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House Plants/madagascar palm


the sun dried up the leaves and has since begun to rot (or looks like rot) from the top down a few inches. I cut the top (rot) part off and is starting to rot from the top down again.  It is about 4 1/2 feet tall 10 years old give or take. How do I stop the (rotting)?


Since your plant is rotting from the top down and normally it grows from the top up there is unfortunately not much you can do. Stop watering it entirely until you see new growth. That thick trunk holds water. During the winter months it should not be watered more than a cup a month even at the size yours is.  You do not say what size pot it is in or if you recently repotted it but I suspect the problem is that it has been getting too much water and has not dried out well between waterings.

If there is rot at this time cut it off and apply a sulpher dust to stop the rot. You will need to call around to garden centers to locate sulpher dust. Apply it like you would baby powder. If it works the plat will send out new side shoots to grow. Be very careful not to keep it too wet in the future and do not repot it into a larger pot unless it starts falling over. Then it would be better to put the smaller pot inside a larger one and pack soil around it. If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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