Overwatered Palm Tree| 5 Signs And Step By Step Solutions

If you have an overwatered palm tree, there are a few telltale signs. The leaves will be yellow or brown and wilted, and the tree may be drooping. There may also be waterlogged soil around the tree, and the trunk may be spongy or soft to the touch. If you think your palm tree is overwatered, here are five signs of overwatering in palm trees, and what you can do to fix the problem.

Signs of Overwatered Palm Tree

If you live in an area with a palm tree, chances are you’ve seen the signs of over watering. Over watering can cause the tree to suffer from a number of problems, the most common of which is a decrease in the tree’s size and health. Here are some of the most common signs of over watering:

Leaves are pale and limp

Usually, palm trees have lush, vibrant leaves. However, the first symptom of excess moisture is pale and drooping palm leaves.

The crown of the palm tree would lose its shape and droop with little strength and power. It can be annoying to see, but don’t worry, the leaves will come back quickly if you change your habits.

The leaves are weak and unable to absorb nutrients because the roots are damaged. By reducing the amount of water you give, you allow better absorption by the roots and your plant’s circulation will work.

Root rot

Roots are an important part of every plant, and while we rarely see them, they need to be kept healthy. Overwatering a palm tree can suffocate its roots and deprive it of oxygen, minerals, etc. This can lead to a devastating condition called root rot.

As the roots rot, fungus and disease can spread quickly, and the results can be devastating. You must act quickly to save happy, healthy roots.

Remove your palm from its pot or container and examine the root network.

  • Are the roots weak, frayed or brittle?
  • Are the roots black, discolored and mushy?


You’ll know your palms are overwatered when you see mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies.

These pests love wet, muddy conditions, so if you don’t water your tree, they can infest your tree.

Another pest that commonly attacks palm trees when overwatered is the fungal gnat.

Use insecticides to keep pests out of your palm trees.

Yellowing leaves

Palm trees are known for their lush, bright green canopies. But overwatering these trees can lead to unsightly discoloration.

This is called chlorosis, and leaves turn yellow due to overwatering and lack of nutrients. Remember, overwatering can suffocate the roots and prevent them from working properly.

When the leaves start to fade, turn brown/yellow, or worst of all, fall off, it’s time to cut back on watering. Only cut off leaves that have turned completely brown.

Mold on soil

If you water too much, your soil may start to sprout a woolly coil on its surface.

This mold thrives in moist, moist environments and can be a breeding ground for diseases, mosquitoes, and more. If left unchecked, mold can get out of control.

I highly recommend changing the potting soil when mold appears.

Plant Palm Tree
Plant Palm Tree

How to revive overwatered palm tree 

If your palm tree is looking wilted, droopy, and yellow, it may be overwatered. Palms are susceptible to root rot and other problems if they are watered too often or if they sit in water. To revive an overwatered palm tree, you will need to take some immediate action.

Here are 3 ways to deal with this condition, depending on the severity of the overwatering. Each will help you make the most of the situation.

How to save a mildly overwatered palm tree

The first thing you should do is improve soil aeration. When the soil is compacted, it is more difficult for the root system to absorb nutrients.

More aeration improves oxygen flow, helps foster friendly microbes, and ensures that water doesn’t stagnate at the roots and cause them to rot.

Before watering, make sure the soil is completely dry at the roots. I always find the finger test works best because you can feel the moisture in the bottom of the pan. Do not water the palm tree until the lower layer is completely dry.

Next, let’s focus on the other ingredients any plant needs to be healthy.

  • Distilled Water – Studies have shown that distilled water is ideal for watering plants and trees, including palms. This filtered water contains less salt, toxins, and chemicals that can damage roots.
  • Humidity – Palm trees can enjoy humid conditions. Spraying the leaves is a great way to keep them vibrant without overwatering.
  • Light – Most palm trees enjoy indirect sunlight. Put your palm trees in a cool, cool place in the shade. Too much sunlight, especially on wilted/brown leaves, can scorch and dehydrate them.
  • Fertilizers – Fertilizers should only be used when palm trees are showing signs of new growth and recovery. Palms enjoy a slow-release blend that gives them ample time to absorb nutrients and minerals.

How to save seriously overwatered palm tree

Okay, if you’re reading this, chances are your poor palm plant is suffering. The good news is that you can start developing a recovery plan!

We’ll walk you through every step you need to revitalize your tree.

Remove the Palm Tree from the original container

You need to take a close look at your palm tree to assess its condition.

Place the dry newspaper on the work surface and gently tilt your palms tree outward.

Inspect roots for signs of rot and disease

Carefully remove any caked soil from the roots, then go inside for a closer inspection. If the soil is sticking together or clumping at the bottom, you can use a gentle stream of water.

As I mentioned before, root rot is a major problem with overwatering, so it’s crucial to check the health of the roots.

Rooting is easy to spot, will turn brown/black, mushy, and may be foul-smelling.

Remove affected roots

With your trusty scissors in hand, you should carefully cut away the damaged roots.

Don’t pull or tear the roots by hand – you want a clean cut every time. Use sharp scissors and clean them after each clip. Cleaning is important because you don’t want to spread disease or bacteria around healthy parts of your palms.

Reduce foliage

With fewer roots, your palm tree cannot support itself in its current form. You will need to remove some leaves to keep the tree from bogging down.

I recommend removing 1/3 of the leaves and letting the palm tree refocus its resources on restoring its roots.

Food-grade fungicide and fertilizer

I highly recommend that you consider a fungicide that kills the parasitic fungi that are destroying your plants. Always remember to use a food grade mix so the chemicals used are safe for houseplants.

Also consider the right fertilizer, as this will help strengthen the plant’s natural defenses. However, I recommend that you only use fertilizer when you see new growth on your plants.

Repot your palm tree

You must immediately discard the old potting soil and replant with new soil. This will prevent harmful fungi, bacteria and mold from reappearing and damaging your plants.

Empty your trash and clean it thoroughly. Remove any dirt with a wire brush and wipe with clean water. You can thoroughly sanitize a pot with a mixture of 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Let stand for 10-30 minutes.

Use brand new potting soil for your palms. Make sure the soil is well ventilated – if in doubt, poke holes with a needle to depressurize the soil.

Propagation – The last resort

There are a few things you’ll need in order to propagate a palm tree from cuttings: a sharp knife, a pot, a rooting hormone, and a palm tree cutting.

1. Cut the stem of the palm tree just below a node or a leaf. Make sure not to cut any further than the node.

2. Make a hole in the bottom of the pot.

3. Put the palm tree cutting in the hole and cover it with soil.

4. Water the palm tree cutting regularly so that the soil remains moist.

5. Place the pot in a sunny location and leave it there for a few weeks.

6. After a few weeks, take the pot out and check to see if the palm tree cutting has rooted. If it has, remove the pot and keep it in a sunny location. If the palm tree cutting has not rooted, put it back in the pot and water it regularly.

7. Eventually, the palm tree cutting will root and you can transplant it into the garden.

How to water a palm tree

How To Save Overwatered Palm Tree
How To Save Overwatered Palm Tree

Watering rules

If you want your palm tree to stay healthy and looking its best, you need to follow some basic watering rules.

– Make sure you’re using clean water – free of chlorine, salt and other chemicals.

– Water your palm tree deeply and slowly, so the roots have time to absorb the moisture.

– Don’t let the soil around your palm tree dry out completely; aim for keeping it evenly moist.

– During hot weather or periods of drought, you may need to water your palm tree more frequently. Keep an eye on your palm tree’s leaves – if they’re drooping or turning brown, that’s a sign it needs more water.

Following these simple guidelines will help ensure your palm tree stays healthy and looking great.

How much water does my palm need?

It is important to know how much water your palm tree needs. Depending on the type of palm tree, they can be drought-tolerant or require a lot of water. If you live in an area with low rainfall, you will need to water your palm tree more often. Here are a few tips on how much water your palm tree needs:

  • If you have a dwarf or pygmy palm, they are drought-tolerant and only need to be watered once a week.
  • For foxtail palms, they need to be watered twice a week.
  • Queen palms require the most amount of water and should be watered three times a week.

How often should you water a palm tree?

Most palm trees need little to moderate amounts of water once they are established. However, during the first few months after planting, they will require more frequent watering to help them get established.

Once your palm tree is established, water it deeply but less frequently. Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between watering. How often to water will depend on a number of factors, including the type of palm tree, the weather and temperature conditions, and the type of soil you have.

If you live in an area with hot summers and low rainfall, you will need to water your palm tree more frequently than if you live in an area with cooler summers and higher rainfall. Sandy soils will require more frequent watering than heavier clay soils.

Factors that Influence watering

Watering is an important part of plant care. There are a number of factors that influence when and how much to water a plant.

  • Temperature

Temperature influences the rate at which water is lost from the plant. Hot weather causes water to evaporate more quickly from plant leaves, leading to increased watering requirements.

  • Soil Conditions

Soil conditions also influence how much water a plant needs. Wet soil will hold more water than dry soil, so plants in wet areas will need more water than those in dry areas.

  • Plant Size

The size of the plant also affects how much water it needs. Larger plants need more water than smaller plants because they have more surface area to lose water through.

Types of Indoor Palm Trees that Tend to Get Overwatered

Indoor palm trees can be prone to over-watering if not properly cared for. Here are four types of indoor palm trees that are more likely to get over-watered:

Areca Palm

When it comes to areca palms, overwatering is a common problem. This is because the plant is native to tropical regions and does not need a lot of water to survive.

However, overwatering can lead to problems such as root rot and leaf drop. If you think your areca palm might be overwatered, look for signs such as yellow or wilted leaves.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s important to take action immediately by watering less frequently. With proper care, your areca palm will thrive and add beauty to your home for years to come.

Ponytail Palm

The ponytail palm is a popular houseplant that is known for its ability to tolerate neglect. However, even this tough plant can be killed by overwatering. An overwatered ponytail palm will have wilted, yellow leaves and may drop its lower leaves.

The stem will be soft and spongy, and the plant may collapse. If you think you have overwatered your ponytail palm, take immediate action to save the plant.

First, stop watering the plant completely and allow the soil to dry out completely. Next, check for root rot by gently pushing on the base of the plant. If it feels soft or mushy, the roots are rotted and the plant will need to be repotted in fresh soil.

Sago Palms

Sago palms are a type of plant that is often seen in tropical climates. They are known for their wide, flat leaves and their ability to tolerate high temperatures and humidity. However, sago palms can also be susceptible to overwatering.

When sago palms are overwatered, their leaves will begin to yellow and curl. The leaves may also start to drop off the plant. In extreme cases, the entire plant may die. Overwatering is often caused by incorrect watering schedules or by using too much water when watering the plant.

To avoid overwatering your sago palm, be sure to follow a proper watering schedule. Water the plant only when the soil is dry to the touch.

Majesty Palm

An overwatered majesty palm can quickly become a problem for any gardener. The palms are susceptible to a number of problems, including yellowing leaves, browning leaves, and root rot. Any of these problems can lead to the death of the plant.

To avoid overwatering your majesty palm, be sure to check the soil before watering. The soil should be dry to the touch before you water again. It’s also important to make sure that the pot has good drainage so that excess water can quickly drain away.

Types of Palm Tree
Types of Palm Tree

Frequently asked questions about overwatered palm tree

How long does it take for a tree to recover from overwatering?

It usually takes a tree about a year to recover from overwatering. The first step is to stop watering the tree too much. Next, you will need to check the soil to see if it is too wet. If it is, you will need to drainage. Finally, you will need to fertilize the tree to help it recover.

Will Overwatered palm recover?

If your palm is overwatered, it is important to take immediate action to save the plant.

First, check the soil to see if it is soggy or wet. If so, remove the plant from the pot and allow the excess water to drain away.

Next, replant the palm in fresh, dry soil and water only when the top inch of soil is dry. With proper care, your overwatered palm should recover within a few weeks.

Why is my palm tree turning yellow and brown?

There are a few reasons why your palm tree may be turning yellow and brown. One possibility is that the tree is not getting enough water. Make sure you are watering the tree regularly and deeply, especially during hot weather. Another possibility is that the tree is getting too much sun. If the leaves are scorched or dried out, try moving the tree to a shadier spot. Finally, palm trees can be affected by nutrient deficiencies.

Should I cut the dead leaves off my palm tree?

If the leaves are truly dead, then yes, you should cut them off. If they’re just brown and dry, they may just need more water.

Can a palm tree grow back?

Yes, palm trees can grow back after being cut down. They have a very strong root system that allows them to regrow quickly.

How long does it take for palm tree leaves to grow back?

It takes approximately six to twelve months for palm tree leaves to grow back.

Why does my palm tree look sick?

There are a few reasons why your palm tree may look sick. It could be due to a lack of water, too much sun, or pests. If you think it’s due to a lack of water, try giving the tree a good soaking once a week. If it’s too much sun, try moving it to a shadier spot. If you think it might be pests, check the leaves for any signs of insects and treat accordingly.

What happens if you cut off the top of a palm tree?

If you cut off the top of a palm tree, the tree will eventually die.


In conclusion, if your palm tree is showing any of the above signs that Gardeninthecity.net have provided, it is likely overwatered. Be sure to check the soil before watering and only water when the soil is dry. If you continue to overwater your palm tree, it will eventually die.