Areca palms (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) have naturally yellow- or orange-tipped leaves, but more serious yellow discolouration may be a sign of a larger problem, such as nutrient deficiency or the fatal palm disease known as lethal yellowing.
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If the areca palm's new leaves are a light shade of yellow on all or part of the leaf, the culprit may be a lack of iron, manganese or zinc in the soil. To remedy the discolouration, add iron, manganese and zinc chelate at a rate of 400, 200 and 200 ppm.
An areca palm that is planted in full sun and exposed to a lot of rainfall or irrigation may develop various fungal diseases, resulting in a yellow-haloed reddish-brown or black lesion. To control, move the palm to an area with only 50 per cent sunlight and treat with fungicide.
Two-spotted spider mites can cause both yellowing and speckling on an areca palm's leaves. Use a pesticide on the palm to remove the mite infestation.
If your areca palm is in Texas or Florida, yellowing may be a sign of the fatal disease lethal yellowing. Lethal yellowing presents as a complete yellow discolouration on the entire palm, and has been known to affect non-native U.S. palms, which includes the Madagascar-originated areca palm.
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