Live to Plant

What’s Causing my Cat Palm Plant to Die?

Updated: June 26, 2022

Cat palm plants are a popular indoor plant species among plant lovers because of their low maintenance needs and aesthetic appeal. However, it can be frustrating to see your cat palm plant dying despite your best efforts to keep it alive. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why your cat palm plant might be dying and how to revive it.

Lack of Water

One of the most common reasons why cat palm plants die is due to a lack of water. Cat palms require consistent watering, and failing to provide sufficient water can lead to the leaves turning brown and eventually falling off. To avoid this, ensure that you water your cat palm plant regularly, especially during hot and dry weather.


While a lack of water can cause cat palms to wilt and die, overwatering can be equally damaging. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can eventually kill the plant. Symptoms of overwatering include yellowing leaves, mushy stems, and a foul odor. To avoid overwatering your cat palm plant, ensure that you let the soil dry out between watering sessions.

Low Humidity

Cat palm plants thrive in humid environments, and low humidity levels can cause them to dry out and die. If you live in a dry climate or have air conditioning that dries out the air, consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near your cat palm plant to increase humidity levels.

Lack of Sunlight

Cat palms require bright but indirect sunlight to thrive. If your cat palm plant is not getting enough sunlight, it can lead to stunted growth and eventually death. To ensure that your cat palm plant gets enough sunlight, place it near a window that receives bright but indirect sunlight.


Pests such as spider mites and mealybugs are common problems for indoor plants such as cat palms. These pests can suck the sap out of the plant and cause it to wilt and eventually die. To prevent pest infestations, ensure that you keep your cat palm plant clean and free from dust and debris. If you notice signs of pests, use insecticidal soap to get rid of them.

Root Bound

Cat palms can become root-bound if they are not repotted regularly. When a cat palm becomes root-bound, it can lead to stunted growth and eventually death. To avoid this, ensure that you repot your cat palm plant every two to three years.

Fertilizer Issues

Cat palms require regular fertilization to thrive. However, over-fertilizing or using the wrong type of fertilizer can be damaging to the plant. Over-fertilization can lead to salt build-up in the soil, which can cause the plant to wilt and die. To avoid this, use a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.

By addressing these possible issues, you can revive your cat palm plant and help it thrive for years to come.


How often should I water my cat palm plant?

Cat palms require consistent watering, and you should aim to water them once every week. However, this may vary depending on factors such as humidity levels and temperature.

Can I grow a cat palm plant outdoors?

Cat palms are native to tropical regions and are not frost-tolerant. Therefore, they are best grown indoors or in a greenhouse.

How do I know if my cat palm plant is root-bound?

If your cat palm plant has stunted growth or has roots growing out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, it may be root-bound.

How do I repot my cat palm plant?

To repot your cat palm plant, gently remove it from its current pot and place it in a larger pot with fresh soil. Ensure that the new pot has drainage holes to prevent overwatering.

Can I prune my cat palm plant?

Yes, you can prune your cat palm plant to remove dead or yellowing leaves. However, be careful not to remove too many leaves, as this can stunt the plant’s growth.