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How to Cut Dead Palm Fronds on Houseplants

palm leaf image by TNK from

Miniature varieties of palm plants make suitable houseplants. As long as you can provide adequate light and moisture to these sun-loving plants, they will thrive in an indoor environment. Houseplant palms naturally develop yellowed and withered leaves over time, and an attentive gardener will remove this growth to keep the plant healthy and attractive. Cut dead palm fronds on a houseplant when they yellow and shrivel and your potted palm will continue to grow well.

Check for yellowed growth often to ensure you are providing your potted palm with adequate moisture and light. Fronds turning yellow may indicate a palm needs more water. Yellowing tips are normal but you can remove these tips to keep your palm attractive.

Cut away yellowed tips from the palm fronds with the scissors. Follow the natural shape of the frond and snip off almost all of the yellowed portion. By leaving a small border of yellowed leaf around the edge of the frond, you create an edge that may keep the frond from continuing to yellow.

Prune off completely dead and dying fronds from the palm tree by cutting these fronds off between 2 and 3 inches from the central stem or trunk. Removing these leaves will not only improve the appearance of your palm houseplant, but it will also help the palm refocus its energy on healthy growth instead of trying to grow back unhealthy fronds.

Palm Tree Fronds?

Palm trees are tropical to sub-tropical plants that come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Palm leaves come in four main types; pinnate, palmate, bipinnate and entire. As an old frond dies, a new one emerges. The new fronds emerge from the top of the crown so the mature older fronds are always those held at the bottom of the foliage like a skirt. The fronds on these are arranged in regular intervals along the stem; when they fall off, they leave characteristic scars on the trunk. A frond emerges folded up and comprises an area called the cabbage. Any of these areas can also bear spines. The fronds can be matte or shiny, thick or thin in composition. In contrast, palmate leaves show up on the fan palms. Bipinnate fronds are unusual and resemble a fish tail.

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