Should I Cut Off Brown Palm Leaves From My Tree?

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on December 26, 2022 by Griselda M.

Should I cut off brown palm leaves from my tree immediately after I see them or leave them to see if they will recover or die?

The magnificent palm tree is one elegant beauty everyone wants to have in their home. However, palm trees are not as brilliant as they look in their prime green stage.

The palm fronds are not always upright and green. Sometimes, they can turn brown and lose their color and firmness. So should I cut off brown palm leaves when I notice them?

Why Is My Palm Tree Turning Brown?

Now that we are discussing why you should cut off brown palm leaves, let us first understand why the palm plant’s brown tips form in the first place.

Natural Growth Process

As the palm grows in various seasons, the fronds’ lifespan ends. Therefore, the frond dies, and the browning starts from the tips spreading entirely to the fundamental parts of the leaf.

The palm plant grows new green fronds again during the browning process to replace the old ones. This is one indication that the browning of the fronds is a natural process; therefore, it should not worry you.

Why Is My Palm Tree Turning Brown - Natural Growth Process

Low Temperatures That Lead To Injury

Palms trees are tropical plants; they love places with high temperatures. You can easily protect your indoor plant from getting injured by cold than those grown outdoors.

Your outdoor palm trees are at the mercy of the changing weather conditions. If you can place your plant indoors, avoid placing it near door drafts and windows so that they are not affected by the cold.

Do not keep your palm plant under an air conditioner in the summer season. The cold will make the fronds turn brown.

Use Of Too Much Fertilizer

This is a critical issue, especially for outdoor plants. Adding too much fertilizer to the soil will cause the fronds to turn brown and adversely affect the plant. Add fertilizers in summer and spring, when the palm needs fertilizer the most as it grows fastest then. Ensure that the fertilizer you use is the right choice and comes with the recommended dosage.

Watering Frequency

The soil that your palm is growing should be moist and well-draining. Too much or too little water can cause your leaves to be brown and later die. Do not water during spring as the plant receives; watering is unnecessary because of the rainfall. For potted plants, add water every 2 to 3 weeks, and allow the water to percolate. Remove the water on top of the soil so that your palm doesn’t suffer from root rot.

gonicc 8″ Professional Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears

61CZEemMnuL. AC SL1005

Should I Cut Off Brown Palm Leaves?

If you notice your fronds turning brown but not due to aging, it is advisable to cut them off. But, how do you know if the browning of fronds is a result of aging?

Check to see if green fronds are growing out of the palm tree. If any are growing, do not cut off the brown palm leaves. Leave them to wither and fall off on their own.

However, if no new fronds are growing yet, and you notice the fronds turning brown; you should cut off the brown part. How?

Sterilize your pruning saw or shears with alcohol, depending on the size of your palm tree branches.

When you are about to cut off the brown fronds, moisten the saw or the pruning shears so you don’t damage the tree’s tissue.

Cut the brown leaves off at the base but don’t pull them as they might leave a scar on the palm tree trunk.

Click Here to Learn About:

How Do You Trim Brown Palm Leaves?

Before you begin the pruning process, you will need:

  • Sharpened pruning shears or saw
  • Gloves
  • Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner
  • Water for cleaning the blades

Step By Step

  • Clean your blades or shears before pruning and in between snips using water and soap or scrubbing bubbles.
  • If you use your blade to cut dry brown leaves due to aging or lack of humidity, moisturize the blade with water before slicing.
  • Do not cut off too many fronds all at once. Do it in stages to retain your plant’s neat look.
  • At no point should you cut the plant’s stem; stick to the leaves only.
  • Trim any unwanted branches and leaves at 45 degrees angle.
  • If the frond is not turned brown, trim only the affected area. This trimming will restore the aesthetic look of your plant.

Things To Avoid When Cutting Off Brown Palm Leaves

When pruning palm leaves, don’t remove too much of them. Some gardeners make this mistake every year, leaving the tree weak and unhealthy.

Leave as many green fronds as possible on the palm. To produce a steady food supply for the plant, palms need many green fronds. A palm tree cannot stay healthy or build reserves if it doesn’t have many green fronds.

Do not prune your palm plants for cosmetic reasons. This weakens the plant and leaves it with essential nutrients.

Learn more about Why Are My Sunflower Leaves Turning Brown – Find Out The 5 Best Answers And Save Your Sunflowers

Can Brown Leaves Turn Green Again?

Palm trees shed dead leaves and develop new leaves. Sometimes, palm tree fronds rapidly spin their color from yellow to brown within 3 to 5 days. If you notice brown fronds, it means they are dead and won’t turn green once again.

Can Brown Leaves Turn Green Again

What To Do When My Palm Tree Leaves Turn Brown?

For some pam plants, the leaves turning brown is a sign that it is not getting the best care it needs. The brown tips on such plants are an indication that you need to offer your plant better care. Provide your palm trees with sufficient water to prevent browning from happening. Keep the soil adequately moist but not too wet. Ensure your pot has a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot that drains excess soil water. Do not keep your palm tree under direct sunlight as it may cause it to dry out.

Learn more about Will Rubber Tree Leaves Grow Back Fully?

Can You Burn Dead Palm Leaves?

Can you burn dead palm leaves is a question I have often been asked by new and established gardeners? The answer is yes, you can burn them. However, there are a few aspects that you should take note of when doing so. The first thing to note is that the water content in palm leaves is high although it burns quite fast. For this reason, most people don’t consider them great options when it comes to firewood.  This is unless the dead leaves are first completely dried before doing so.

If you want to use the leaves to burn a continuous fire, then you should at least have a whole stack of them seeing that they turn to ask in no time. If you are fortunate enough to be a resident in the US coastlands then you should have an ample supply to burn. Just keep in mind that palm leaves light up well only when they have been properly dried. Otherwise, you will just create a whole lot of smoke rather than the fire you were looking forward to when setting them alight.

How Do You Revive a Brown Palm Tree?

Are you wondering how you revive a brown palm tree? If you want answers to your question, then the following information would be of great benefit to you. To begin with, there are several reasons why your palm tree may be withering away. These include dehydration, fertilizing near the roots, inefficient soil, pruning when it’s the hurricane season, and lots more. To rectify this problem and revive your palm plant, we suggest the following.


Over or underwatering your palm tree can flaw the fronds substantially, causing it to change to a yellow or brown color which is an indication of its dying state. Therefore it is best to incorporate sand in your garden soil to allow for excellent drainage. This will ensure that your plant doesn’t stay thirsty for extended periods and excess water will drain through easily. Ensure that you water your palm plant often in summer and not so frequently in the winter season.


To bring your palm tree back to life, it is important to amend the soil with a good quality fertilizer. Ensure that you don’t add fertilizer near the roots. For a safe application, we recommend that you apply it about 2 feet above the roots. This will avoid the build-up of fungi, insect infestations, and other plant diseases.


Pruning your palm tree is essential if you want to revive it. However, take note that this should not be done during the hurricane season. Furthermore, if you notice that the palm leaves are changing color, it is advisable to leave them alone until they have completely died before cutting them. This is because you wouldn’t want your already stressed palm plant to also lose nutrients during this time. Additionally, if you cut them back too early, you will flaw any new growth.


Affording your palm tree the correct amount of nutrients it demands will aid in bringing it back to its former thriving glory. These plants grow best when provided with an ample amount of iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. If the case you find that your palm plant leaves are spotting, this will indicate that it is deficient in potassium which is an essential component in keeping it lush.

Deformed or stunted leaves are due to the scarcity of calcium while a magnesium deficiency manifests itself in the form of yellow-banded leaves that appear along the fronds borders. If you find that your palm tree has thin veins, spots of green, or ends that are broken on the leaves then that should tell you that it lacks calcium.


Now that you know if should I cut off brown palm leaves, the question is answered; you can go ahead and grow your palm trees with more knowledge.

Most gardeners and plant lovers cut palm leaves whether they are browning or not. They do not stop to consider these are the super feeders of this plant. That’s why you will find many palm trees do not look healthy at all.

Everyone growing palm trees needs to know that cutting fronds off a palm tree exposes the tree to harm. Anytime you cut the leaves, note that the remaining leaves should be 4 times the number you are getting rid of.

We hope this article has answered your questions and cleared any concerns about cutting brown leaves off the palm tree.

Read more about Plant Leaves Turning Light Green. Here Are The 7 Possible Reasons

Sharing is caring!