Why Are My Cat Palm Leaves Turning Yellow

Are your cat palm leaves turning yellow? It may seem like a small problem, but it can be indicative of bigger issues. Read on to find out more about why the leaves are turning yellow and what you should do!

Why Are My Cat Palm Leaves Turning Yellow?

Cat palms turn yellow when they have been given too much water, not received enough sun, or are suffering from stress. However, the most common reason for cat palm leaves turning yellow is overwatering.

Let’s explore these causes in more detail and what you can do about them.

Cat Palm Leaves Turning Yellow from Overwatering

If your cat palm leaves are turning yellow, the plant may be overwatered. The most common cause of this is when people water their plants too often and with too much water.

Despite many types of palms growing in marshy areas where they hold a large amount of water in their cells (the Cyperus genus), many people still give their palms too much water.

Perhaps it is because they are aware of this fact, so are constantly trying to avoid dry soil at all costs. However, the top layer of soil should be allowed to dry out before watering.

You see, although the top inch looks dry, the roots may be sitting in a pool of water, which brings us to our next point…

Always use pots with drainage holes! This allows the excess water to drain away from the roots, which will help prevent root rot.

Palms are very delicate and easily damaged plants that can’t grow well with tap water. The fluoride in the tap water is enough to kill them! Use distilled instead, and make sure the water is room temperature.

Cat Palm Leaves Turning Yellow from Too Little Sunlight

If your cat palm is suffering from too little sunlight, it will begin to become pale green. You see, cat palms need light to function properly.

Without it, they can’t produce chlorophyll in its full capacity. This means the leaves will be pale green and turn yellow over time if not given enough light.

If you have a cat palm indoors, this is probably why your leaves are turning yellow! The best way to fix this is by placing them near a window that gets sun regularly or increasing their sunlight exposure through artificial lighting (consider getting grow lights).

You can also use artificial lighting on your cat palm trees during the winter months indoors or if you want them to grow taller. Exposure to artificial lighting really helps my own houseplants in the winter.

Cat Palm Leaves Turning Yellow from Stress

If your cat palm leaves are turning yellow, it could be because they are being stressed out.

This often occurs when the plant is moved to a new location, which can cause shock and stress for them. It may also happen if you have tried hardening off the plant into direct sunlight too fast or other situations that put extra strain on the palms.

To fix this problem… do nothing! Any additional steps will increase the stress on your cat palm. Just give it time to adjust, and do not water or fertilize for a few weeks.

If you are moving houseplants around at this time of year (fall) then please be extra careful with them! This is when they will need the rest most after their journey into new homes while avoiding additional stress that can cause yellowing leaves in cats palms.

Yellow Cat Palm Leaves FAQs

Cat palm care isn’t the easiest thing to get the hang of, so you may have a few more questions. As a result, I’ve addressed a few of the most frequently asked concerns.

Should I cut yellow leaves off the cat palm plant?

Yes, you can remove yellow leaves from the cat palm. These leaves are old and dying anyway, so it’s best to remove them before the problem spreads.

However, if you are removing these leaves with your cat palm tree inside then be careful not to damage any of the stems or branches when doing this.

Is it normal for my cat palm to lose some of its lower leaves?

Yes, it’s perfectly normal for a cat palm to lose some of its lowest leaves. These are the oldest and dying anyway. As such, they don’t have any purpose anymore so you can remove them as well if they begin to look unsightly or yellow themselves.

Will too little light cause my cat palm leaves to turn yellow?

Yes, it is normal for too little light to cause cat palm leaves to turn yellow. If you are growing your palms indoors then this is likely why they look pale or have patches of yellow coming through.

Will too much water cause my cat palm leaves to turn yellow?

Yes, if a cat palm is exposed to too much water or humidity then the leaves will begin turning yellow.

Will yellow cat palm leaves turn green again?

No, it is unlikely that the cat palm leaves will turn green again if they’ve turned yellow. They are damaged beyond repair now and show signs of stress. The good news is that you can act to stop the other leaves from turning yellow.


In conclusion, there are many reasons why cat palm leaves turn yellow.

The most common cause is when people water their plants too often and with too much water, which makes the plant overwatered.

Use pots with drainage holes that prevent excess water from damaging the roots! Always use distilled instead of tap for better results as well – otherwise you’ll have fluoride poisoning your poor palms!

Finally, do not forget about getting grow lights if natural sunlight isn’t enough exposure for whatever reason! I hope you have enjoyed this article on my blog and have a better understanding of cat palm leaves turning yellow.

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