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I'm a new plant mum and my butterfly palm doesn't seem to be too happy! I've got a grey growth on one of the main stems and it appears at the roots too - any advice what to do? I don't over water it (once a week or so, when soil is dry) and it's kept out of direct sunlight.

grey stem

roots

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Has it been repotted recently? Hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like it might be planted too deep. That kind of palm (dypsis lutescence, aka Areca) typically has some roots at or above ground level. Sometimes an entire stem will grow off the side of another stem, not even touching the ground at all.

The gray stuff on the dirt looks like a fungus. I'd remove all of it I could, and repot the palm if it goes very far into the soil. I'd use a cactus mix or something more sandy than ordinary potting soil.

Don't worry about the dark spots scattered on all the stems; it is natural and common and doesn't seem to bother those palms.

Not sure about the gray on the main stem. If it is sickly or looks too bad, on this type of palm, you can safely cut it off and the others will continue to grow.

Good luck!

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  • Thanks so much, I did repot it a few months back so will try that. Fingers crossed! – Patricia May 21 at 14:54

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