If you are trying to grow a Parlor Palm, chances are that you are hoping for lush, emerald green leaves that are soft and full of life – something that looks like it belongs in a posh magazine for home decor.

Unfortunately, if your plant gets overwatered or given too much full sun it can start to look far from the picture-perfect houseplant.

You may start to notice browning leaves, which quickly turn crispy and look rather unappealing, especially compared with the bright green of the other fronds.

Why Is My Parlor Palm Drying Out?

a parlor palm growing in indirect sunlight

Your Parlor Palm is drying out because it is either getting too much sun, or not enough water and humidity.

Although Parlor Palms do not specifically need humidity, they may benefit from being misted from time to time, and this can help if the leaves are looking a little crispy.

They also need watering about once per week, and you should remember that direct sun will cause the soil to dry out more quickly.

Parlor Palms are not so forgiving when it comes to overwatering and being exposed to direct sunlight.

They will quickly let you know their care isn’t right by developing brown and dry fronds.

They are quite sensitive and can dry out a bit even if you are caring for your plant very well.

How To Stop Your Parlor Palm Drying Out

If you want to mist your Palm to increase the chances of bright greenery, this can be done very easily.


Add some water to a spray bottle, and lightly spray the soil around the base of the plant, allowing the droplets to disperse through the air.

This will gradually evaporate over the course of the day (misting should always be done reasonably early in the day to allow the plant to dry out before night) and provide your plant with humidity.

You don’t need to do this all the time, but it can be a good way to give your plant a little extra pick-me-up if it’s looking dry and brown.

You can mist a couple of times a week, and this will also help to ensure the leaves are clean and dust-free, increasing the plant’s ability to photosynthesize.

Related Article: Why Is My Parlor Palm Falling Over? (All You Need To Know)

Raise Humidity With A Pebble Tray

If you don’t want to mist with a spray bottle, set up a tray with gravel or small pebbles in it, and add water until it sits just below the top of the pebbles.

Stand your Parlor Palm on the pebbles, above the surface of the water, and the water will gently evaporate over the course of the day to provide your plant with constant humidity.

Many forest-floor plants particularly enjoy humidity, so this is a great way to keep your Parlor Palm looking its best even in summer or hot, dry weather.

Give Enough Water

Your Parlor Palm might be drying out simply because you aren’t watering it regularly enough.

You should aim to water your plant about once a week, giving it a good drink to thoroughly dampen the soil.

You do want the soil to dry out between waterings (otherwise it may rot the plant’s roots), but your Parlor Plant should never sit dry for too long.

If you’re noticing brown leaves, check how dry the soil is.

If it’s very dry, increase your watering slightly to counteract this.

Don’t water it too much or too often, or you’ll also see brown leaves – as a result of rotting roots and stress.

Too Much Direct Sunlight

Dry leaves aren’t always a sign that your plant isn’t getting enough to drink.

One potential reason for dry leaves is too much sunlight.

Parlor Palms do not need excessive amounts of light, and if they get too much, they will start to dry out and suffer.

Their leaves will curl and brown and may begin to dry and shrivel.

The plants generally grow in the dappled light beneath a forest canopy and therefore struggle to handle direct sunlight.

Move them out of the sun, especially in summer, and provide them with a well-lit but shady spot to mimic their natural environment.

Excessive Sunlight Dries Out The Soil

It’s also important to remember that the sunlight affects your plant’s soil, too.

If you leave your Parlor Palm in direct sun, it will quickly evaporate moisture from the soil, leaving your plant dry and thirsty, especially when it is not accustomed to this.

This is an easy explanation for why your plant might be drying out more quickly than you expect – it’s getting too much sunlight.

What To Do With Brown And Dry Fronds On Your Parlor Palm

You should trim off any fronds that you see drying out and discoloring as they don’t change back from brown to green again.

Your Parlor Palm is also more likely to attract spider mites if it is under stress and allowed to keep its dying foliage.

Any frond that is completely discolored should be removed where its stem attaches to the main plant stem.

If it is just the tips of the fronds that are browning, those can be trimmed off.

How To Revive A Dried Out Parlor Palm

To revive your dried-out parlor palm you’ll need to remove dead leaves, repot it into fresh soil, provide it lots of bright indirect sunlight, keep it at a temperature of around 70 degrees F and raise the humidity to at least 60%.

This process is for badly dried-out and neglected plants.

If your palm is just a tiny bit on the dry side you may only need to change its location and start watering it properly.

But if your plant is in really bad shape, repotting should help.

Remove Dead And Dried Out Leaves

Removing browned and dried leaves will instantly improve the look of the plant.

It will also allow your Parlor Palm to free up space for new growth and direct more energy into new leaf growth instead of wasting it on old damaged leaves that are unlikely to recover.

Pruning will also help to thin out the plant and allow more light to penetrate deeper and access the healthy green leaves that are left.

When pruning, cut the leaf stem at the bottom, close to where it’s attached to the larger stem that’s coming out from the soil.

Be sure not to cut away any healthy green leaves because your plant will need those to survive.

If there aren’t at least a few healthy leaves remaining the plant will probably die.

Repot Your Parlor Palm

To ensure your plant has all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy once again it might be an idea to repot it into rich, well-drained soil.

These plants do have sensitive roots so be a little careful when repotting.

Try not to remove too much soil from the roots and try not to be rough or disturb them too much during the process.

Inspect The Roots

First, take your palm out of its pot and inspect the roots.

Remove any dead or rotten ones.

Loosen the roots and soil a little bit with your fingers.

If your Parlor Palm is quite rootbound and there are lots of compacted tangled roots at the bottom of the pot, you can cut the heaviest of these away with scissors.

Be careful not to remove any healthy roots because your plant will need those to recover.

Transfer To New Pot

Take a pot that’s just an inch or two bigger than the old one and fill it with a well-draining potting mix with some perlite mixed in.

Fill up the new pot enough so that your palm is sitting at a similar depth to what it was in its old pot.

You can then fill in around the sides of the roots to fill the rest of the pot in.

Thoroughly Water Your Parlor Palm

Once your plant looks like it’s sitting happily in its new pot you’ll want to thoroughly water it.

If the soil level sinks a little after watering you can top it back up again.

Keep Your Parlor Palm In A Warm, Bright, And Humid Location

At this point, your palm is going to be severely stressed so you’ll want to make it happy by keeping it in an environment that’s as close to its natural habitat as possible.

Try to keep it at a temperature of around 70 degrees F or a little higher.

Provide it lots of bright but indirect sunlight and raise the humidity level to about 70%.

If you can’t do 70% make sure it’s at least 60% humidity.

And be careful to keep it out of direct sunlight.

Never let it sit in water, ensure the pot has good drainage, and only water your Parlor Palm when the top one inch of soil feels dry.

In these conditions, your plant should feel right at home and begin to grow healthy once again.

No less than about 6 weeks after repotting, you could give your palm some fertilizer about once per month during the spring and summer.

A 10-10-10 all-purpose liquid fertilizer will work well.


Parlor Palms are generally easy to please, so don’t panic if your palm is looking a little dry and unhappy.

Start by checking the soil’s dampness levels, and give your plant a drink if necessary.

Review your watering routine and increase it if you think the plant needs more, but make sure the soil always dries out in between.

Use humidity and indirect sunlight to keep your palm as happy as can be, so you can enjoy that beautiful foliage.