What Can Make a Majesty Palm Turn Brown at the Tips?

The Majesty Palm, or Ravenea rivularis, is hardy to zones 9b through 11. Their medium green fronds are feather-like and can reach lengths of between 5 and 8 feet. Majesty Palms originated in Madagascar, where the climate is hot and humid. These plants can be grown indoors as houseplants in cooler climates, but must be properly cared for to ensure healthy green growth.

Majesty Palms are often grown as houseplants in cooler climates.


If you notice brown tips on the fronds of your Majesty Palm, evaluate your watering practices. Most often, the formation of brown tips is a signal that the plant is not receiving adequate water. Majesty Palms prefer moist, well-drained soils. Adjust your watering schedule so that your Majesty Palm's soil is never allowed to dry out between waterings. Be careful to avoid overcompensating and causing the soil to remain wet. Majesty Palms should never be allowed to sit in water.

Lack of Humidity

Because of the Majesty Palm's tropical origins, they require high humidity. Browning tips on their fronds may indicate that the humidity level is insufficient. Place a humidifier in the same room as the palm and let it run during daytime hours. Place a tray filled with rocks underneath the palm's pot and fill it with water. As the water evaporates from the tray it will rise upwards among the fronds, creating a cloud of humidity around the Majesty Palm.

Direct Sunlight

Although Majesty Palms need lots of light, direct sunlight can cause the tips of their fronds to become brown and crispy. The hot, direct sunlight will cause the tips of the fronds to lose moisture too quickly and will result in dry, brown tips. Move the palm out of direct sunlight, but keep it in a bright room. Avoid placing the palm against window glass, because excessive heat and cold from the glass can cause the tips to brown as well.

Spider Mites

Spider mites can infect Majesty Palms grown indoors. They attack the leaves of the plant by piercing the surface and draining the moisture from the leaf cells. This causes the leaves to turn brown and die back. Majesty Palms that are stressed are more susceptible to attack from spider mites. Wash the leaves with soapy water to remove the insects. If the damage persists, treat the infected palm with neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Jessica Westover

Jessica Westover began writing professionally in 2010. She has worked at various greenhouse production facilities and more recently as a personal banking assistant for Zions Bank. Westover graduated from Brigham Young University Idaho in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in horticulture and a minor in accounting.