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We have a nice Kentia Palm within the office.

The plant is watered regularly as per the guidance. It also gets occasional misting.

Unfortunately I recently noticed the plant started drying out and one of the stems is now completely dry/dead. I tried to gently pull it and notice there were loads of tiny bugs running underneath it (probably red spider mites).

I sprayed the plant as well as the soil and around the dead stem with bug clear ultra.

I was wondering what would be the next best steps:

  1. I would like to remove the dead stem but I worry that it has connected roots with the other stems? How are the Kentia palms normally structured? If it has connected roots would it be safe just to remove the dried parts?

  2. What would be the best way of removing the dry stem?

  3. Would spraying the soil with bug clear ultra be enough to kill bugs living within the soil?

Kentia Palm Dry Stem

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Cut the dead stem off at the ground with a pair of secateurs to get a clean cut. Or you can twist the dead foliage and it might come out clean.

The bugs you saw were unlikely to be the cause of the problem. Most tropical plant pests are slow moving and live on the underside of the plant's leaves or stems. You should ignore them as applying pesticides is a stress on the plant and the plant is already stressed.

Seeing as the majority of house plants die from overwatering you should re examine your watering regime. New Kentia's tend to ship poorly rooted due to the way the growers pack the stems together and move them on out as soon as they have enough top growth.

Try to increase the light and only water when the top inch of two of soil is dried out.

Each stem of a kentia has roots and they are slow growing. I do not recommend repotting until each stem is firmly rooted. A little test is to gently try moving a stem. If it moves freely back and forth then it is not well rooted and should be left alone. Bright diffuse light works well for these plants such as a few feet from a south or west window with sheers or blinds.

  • Thank you! :-) Not all heroes wear capes! In terms of poor rooting, is there something I should do to resolve or mitigate this issue? The plant is sort of located at the very edge of the pot too which looks weird! Do all of Kentia stems have separate roots? – Taks Jan 16 at 15:19
  • @Taks added to my answer. Good luck with your Kentia – kevinsky Jan 16 at 16:21

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