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Iv owned my Palm for almost 3summers now and he was doing really well until recently, I moved to Cornwall last year as we survived the first winter but now he seems to be struggling. Iv cut off the bad leaves as I'm not afraid to cut it back but I have cut off about 7 stems in the last 48hrs so would also like to know what's going on really to avoid it happening in the future. He gets a healthy amount of morning sunshine in my window but after about 10/11am its then in shade but with bright light all day. I water him regularly also.

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  • PHi Natalie, some photos would help. Jun 14, 2023 at 7:02
  • Yeah they would but the website wont allow me upload them.
    – Natalie
    Jun 14, 2023 at 7:53

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OK Natalie, if we compare the past 3 winters in the UK generally, one could say that they were generally mild winters compared to ten years ago. We also know that Cornwall is generally milder than the rest of the UK most of the time.

However, I remind you that during December 2022 the entire country had a period of quite extreme cold comparatively for the UK and whilst normally a cold spell comes and goes, in Dec 2022 we had a continuous period of at least 10 days when at least here in York buckets of water in my yard were frozen solid for at least 10 days.

In basic terms, Kentia palms are considered to be indoor plants in the UK and yet it remains common for places in Devon and Cornwall to allow their Kentia and other palm species to overwinter outside.

All the advice however points to owners protecting their palms well in advance of any long spells of cold. It would seem the Kentia palm can survive a short period of low temperatures down to -3.8C but only for short periods AND if it has been wrapped and protected with straw around the root, binding the fronds upward with twine and wrapping the entire plant in a heavy duty horticultural fleece as detailed here Winter wrapping procedure.

Now you do not mention if you followed that procedure yourself, if perhaps you thought that it was not necessary, then this might be the occasion when you should have done so with your outdoor Kentia. UK temperatures fell well below -3.8C in December 2022.

So, what can you do? All one can do is hope that the palm may recover slowly during the summer months.

I follow a gardener from down your way called Roger Crookes on YouTube since he is fairly well versed in the care of palms and cordylines (of which I have a few in my garden). Interestingly he is reporting that a lot of palms were damaged by the cold this last winter in the West Country, so you are not alone and it confirms my observations about the bad winter. His fairly recent video comes up with a few suggestions albeit for large tree like cordylines and I shall leave you with that. He may have other suggestions on other videos but that might be something worth looking through yourself.

Here is the video I saw recently Roger Crookes, Palm frost damage.

All the research I have done suggests that winter damage can be cumulative so whilst a palm may not show signs of damage much in Year 1, year 2 can trigger cascade into very visible and possibly irreversible damage, but let us hope your palm recovers since they are beautiful plants.

If it does pull through, please let us know here but be sure to wrap it for the winter of 23/4 please.

Best wishes and high hopes for a recovery.

Nikki

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