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Majesty Palm

Question:

I bought a Majesty Palm and it didn’t have very good care at Walmart and it was on sale! But the soil looked like some white cotton through it and I re potted it but the plant looks good nothing wrong with the palm just the soil, seen no bugs I looked very Carefully, so what should I do? Thanks

Answer:

Majesty Palms do not adapt well to indoor conditions, but they also cannot survive freezing temperatures. So that will be a problem for you unless you have an unusually mild winter. Keep it outside in light shade as long as you can and then move it inside to a sunny location for as short a time as possible this winter.

Without seeing it, I don’t know what the white cotton stuff was. It may have been perlite or marl which are both components of nursery potting mix. If it was a mealy bub infestation, then you should have returned the plant because soil mealies are almost impossible to treat effectively.

If you removed and replaced all or most of the soil, then you have inadvertently damaged most of the tiny root hairs that do most of the work. That will cause your palm to decline and probably not recover. If you did not replace most of the soil, then the mealybugs remain and there is no effective way to treat them.

In general, Majesty Palms require lots of light shade outside and soil that is porous and kept moist, watering thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry. Good air circulation, warm temps, monthly fertilizer and high humidity also help.

Good luck. I hope the roots have not been severely compromised by mealybugs or repotting.