Why Is My Majesty Palm Drooping?

Majesty palm plants (Ravenea rivularis) are an ideal houseplant to spruce up your living room. Apart from the jungle aesthetic feel that your majesty palm brings into your home, it also helps remove toxins like carbon monoxide.

That being said, your majesty palm may not be feeling so well. This begs the question, “Why is your majesty palm drooping?”

Well, the houseplant could be drooping due to being underwatered or experiencing root shock when you repotted it.

Why Is My Majesty Palm Drooping?
Photo by Derek Ramsey via Wikimedia Commons

Stick around to learn more about why your majesty palm is drooping and what you can do about it.

Reasons Why Your Majesty Palm Is Drooping

If your majesty palm is drooping, it’s likely giving out a sign for help and could be dying. The causes of drooping can vary between underwatering or root shock.


As a plant originating in the tropical regions of Madagascar, majesty palms tend to get thirsty quickly. In addition to being located in the tropics, the houseplant is usually found near the riverbanks where water is plentiful.

That being so, you could easily underwater majesty palms. Generally speaking, their pots need to be evenly moist to survive.

Your drooping majesty palm could, sooner rather than later, die.

Weak Stem

Majesty palms can grow as tall as 100 feet. Now, all this height might not be supported by a weakened stem.

Consequently, the culprit of a weak stem could likely be trunk rot. This rot is most apparent in your majesty palm’s stem area.

If it’s secreting liquid or you find relatively soft spots around the stem, you may be dealing with trunk rot.

The fungal infection is usually more present during humid weather when overwatering is more likely to happen.

That being said, this form of rot originates from the majesty palm’s soil.

You’ll likely witness root rot if the soil is overwatered or waterlogged. This, in turn, travels all the way up to the plant’s stem, causing it to lose its strength and droop.

Although majesty palms enjoy drinking copious amounts of water, the plant can still face overwatering.

Moreover, root rot produces a host of harmful fungi. This parasitic fungus eventually feeds on your majesty palm’s roots and turns them mushy.

In turn, your plant won’t get its nutrients since its passageway is blocked by the fungi’s harmful symptoms. When root rot is left untreated, it then advances to trunk rot, eventually making the majesty palm droop.

Root Shock

If you’ve recently transplanted your majesty palm to a different pot, it may be getting cold feet. In other words, the roots may not be adjusting well to the new soil, which, in turn, causes the houseplant to droop.

This lack of adjustment is termed root shock. You cannot do much about root shock apart from keeping the soil adequately watered, nourished, and drained.

After some patience, the majesty palm may be able to get back on its feet once more.

Can You Revive Your Drooping Majesty Palm?

In this case, there are good news and bad news. The good news is that your majesty palm may survive after drooping.

But the bad news is that if its condition is too severe, you may end up losing the houseplant. These cases usually involve trunk rot.

By the time the root rot reaches the trunk, it could already be too late to redeem your majesty palm back to its former glory.

In addition, you’ll need to uproot the plant and get rid of it immediately.

On the other hand, if you’ve planted the majesty palm in your garden outdoors, then you’ll want to try to dig up all the affected soil in the surrounding area. This will help in preventing the spread of the fungus to other plants.

For this reason, the best course of action to save your majesty palm is to prevent it from getting root rot in the first place.

How to Prevent Drooping in Your Majesty Palm

You’ll want to follow some pointers to avoid a trunk or root rot situation altogether.

First, your majesty palm must be housed in a well-draining potting soil. Plus, the holes in the pot must be regularly checked if you notice any blockages hindering the water flow.

In addition to this, the pot’s tray underneath needs to be constantly changed if it’s overfilled with water. As a good rule of thumb, you mainly need to water your majesty palm once its one-inch surface is dry.

Now, let’s say you’ve already accidentally overwatered your houseplant’s soil. The best response is to repot your majesty palm.

That way, you’ll be one step ahead of any incoming root rot diseases and, hopefully, avoid a drooping plant.

How to Repot a Majesty Palm

Since a drooping majesty palm may indicate root shock, you should ensure the repotting goes smoothly next time.

To start, take out the plant from its pot. Next, using a gardening hose or in your sink, wash out all the soil to expose the roots.

This step will also help you determine if there’s any lurking root rot. The rotted roots usually appear darker in color.

If you find signs of this disease, cut these affected parts off with scissors or gardening shears. Make sure the tools you use are sterilized as well.

As an extra measure, you can spritz some fungicide on the roots. Lastly, place your majesty palm in its new pot.

The pot should be fully dry before this step. Alternatively, you can use the old pot, as long as it’s thoroughly washed with soap.

To keep the majesty palm healthy and well-drained, add a serving of peat.

How to Revive a Drooping Majesty Palm

Root and trunk rot and other diseases will likely kill off your majesty palm.

Luckily, if you’ve inspected your houseplant’s soil and haven’t seen any sign of disease, it may have a chance to stand tall again.

To revive the drooping majesty palm, you can:

  • Cut off all brown and dead fronds from the houseplant.
  • Place the plant near the indirect sun to avoid scorching the leaves from harsh UV rays.
  • Keep rotating the plant so each side gets enough indirect sunlight.
  • Water the plant routinely once or twice every week, depending on season and pot size.
  • When watering the plant, make sure you see the water trickling down from the pot so the roots get thoroughly hydrated.
  • Add Epsom salt to your majesty palm’s soil every month throughout its growing season.
  • Use a nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer, water it down by half, and add it to the soil in the plant’s growing season.
  • Don’t use any fertilizing product during the winter months.

To Conclude

Why is my majesty palm drooping? In short, your houseplant could be drooping due to several factors, such as trunk rot, underwatering, or root shock.

In terms of survival, some cases, such as underwatering, may be manageable. Unfortunately, others, like trunk rot, may not be salvageable.

Overall, you can prevent drooping in your majesty palm by providing it with sufficient watering and nutrition. Remember, prevention is better than cure!

Related: Why Are My Majesty Palm Leaves Curling?

Author: Stanislav Lem


Stanislav Lem is the founder of Big Time Living, where he provides tips for gardening, traveling and lifestyle. Stan is an entrepreneur, journalist and traveler.
His mission is to provide information to help people become better planters, travel more and live a happy life. His blog has been featured on Huffpost, Yahoo and MSN.