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How to Save a Dying Cat Palm Plant

Updated: December 26, 2022

Cat palm plants are popular for their lush green foliage and adaptability to indoor environments. However, despite being relatively low-maintenance, these plants can still fall victim to diseases or improper care. If your cat palm plant is showing signs of decline, don’t despair! With a little bit of effort and attention, you can revive your plant and bring it back to its former glory. Here are some tips on how to save a dying cat palm plant.

Identify the Problem

Before you can begin treating your cat palm plant, you need to identify the problem. Some common signs that your plant is struggling include:

  • Yellowing or browning leaves
  • Wilting or drooping leaves
  • Stunted growth
  • Dry or brittle leaves
  • Pest infestations

Once you’ve identified the issue, you can take steps to address it.

Provide Adequate Light

Cat palm plants thrive in bright, indirect light. If your plant is not getting enough light, its growth may slow down or it may develop yellow leaves. To remedy this, move your plant to a brighter location or consider using artificial lighting if natural light is not sufficient.

Water Correctly

Overwatering or underwatering can both be detrimental to cat palm plants. These plants prefer soil that is consistently moist but not waterlogged. On average, you should water your cat palm plant once a week, but adjust as needed based on the specific conditions of your environment.

If you’re not sure whether your plant needs water, check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.

Prune Dead Leaves

Dead or brown leaves won’t recover and can even attract pests or diseases. Remove any dead leaves promptly with clean pruning shears to prevent further damage.

Treat Pests

Cat palm plants can be susceptible to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. If you notice signs of a pest infestation, such as yellow stippling on the leaves or sticky residue on the plant, take action immediately.

You can try using insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat pests on cat palm plants. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid using too much, as this can also harm the plant.

Fertilize Regularly

Cat palm plants benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) to provide your plant with essential nutrients.


Can I save a cat palm plant that has already lost all its leaves?

It may be difficult to revive a cat palm plant that has lost all its leaves. However, it’s worth trying by following the tips above and being patient. As long as the root system is healthy, there is still hope for the plant.

How do I know if my cat palm plant is getting enough light?

Look for signs of sunburn (brown spots on leaves) or elongated stems reaching towards the light. If your plant isn’t getting enough light, you may need to move it to a brighter location or supplement with artificial lighting.

Can I use tap water to water my cat palm plant?

Cat palm plants are sensitive to chemicals like chlorine and fluoride in tap water. If possible, use filtered water or let tap water sit out overnight before using it to water your plant.

With a little care and attention, you can save a dying cat palm plant and enjoy its lush greenery for years to come. Remember to address any issues promptly and adjust care based on the specific needs of your plant.