Brown tips on Fish Tail Palm

Hello! I have a fishtail palm which I’ve had for a few years. The edges of many of the leaves are brown. Is this from too much water or not enough or too much fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.?
I have treated the plant for some kind of aphid or insect over the past few months with insecticidal soapInsecticidal Soap is defined as any of the potassium fatty acid soaps used to control many plant pests and diseases. This product is typically sprayed on plants in the same manner as other insecticides. It works only on direct contact with the pests. The fatty acids disrupt the structure and permeability of the insect cell membranes and the insect quickly dies. Soaps of this kind also work well on fungus infections such as botritis and leaf spot as well as on common houseplant pests such as spider mite and mealy bug. spray- could this have caused it?
Thank you very much! I love my tree!
warmest regards- delfina

Hi Delfina,

There could be several reasons: too much fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small., (this usually affects the bottom leaves first), too much fluoride in the water, too little humidity, or allowing the soil to totally dry out. You’ll have to check them out one by one.

Always dilute your fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. to 1/2 the recommended strength and only feed your plant when it is actively producing new leaves. Never use water that has passed through a softener. If your water has chlorine or fluoride in it, allow it to sit out over night before watering your palm. If your house is very dry, especially in the winter, place a small humidifier near the plant or surround it with smaller plants to create a greenhouse effect.

Read all about how to care for a Fish Tail Palm in the popular Houseplant Section of HousePlant411.