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What's wrong with my Chamaedorea Elegans?


Okay, so my plant looks unhealthy. I bought it around two months ago and watered it the day after I bought it. After a week it so I started feeding it and recently it's grown some beautiful green shoots. The older shoots tend to be wilting and turning brown. I water it every couple of weeks and feed it once every two weeks or so.

Can someone please try and identify the problem?


  • olly_olly_ Posts: 5

    I made a mistake, I water it every couple of days*.

  • I know it's been a long time since you posted this, but maybe you still need help...

    Your palm is faded instead of bright green, and several of the fronds are turning yellow in a striped pattern. To me, this looks like fertilizer burn. (It could be sunburn, but usually that's more evenly distributed across the leaves, and tends to be a darker brown. Sunburn also doesn't make the unaffected leaves fade so dramatically.) Fertilizer burn is common in houseplants because the plant is confined to a small soil area. If the chemicals build up around the roots, they can reach toxic levels and poison your plant.

    You definitely shouldn't fertilize your palm every two weeks. Every 4-6 weeks would be more than enough for a plant growing outdoors, but for a potted palm, I would do it even less frequently, because the soil is so contained. Aim for no more often than once every couple months, and try not to fertilize at all in the winter, or anytime when the plant isn't putting out new shoots.

    I fertilize my C. elegans about four times a year, once in spring, twice in summer, and once again in early fall before letting it rest for the winter. Occasionally, if it grows very quickly the first time I fertilize it, I'll give it an extra scoop the next time (always diluted with plenty of water). Water thoroughly in the days following a round of fertilizer, and if it starts to look burned or faded, you can help it by flushing the soil thoroughly with water and letting the runoff drain away into your sink or bathtub.

    I hope you managed to save your plant. Good luck!
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