Q.sago and madagascar palm
I live in Chicago (cold weather of course) and inside my home I have both two sago palms, about a foot tall and the other is about 4 inches. Now on the little one, the leaves are real hard and they’re turning yellow, but the pot seems to be small. Will replanting it with new soil and bigger pot help? And my lovely Madagascar palm (it’s my favorite) is about 36 inches tall and I just bought it. When cold weather came, all of the leaves got hard (toast like) and eventually fell. I decided to just cut the rest of them off. I hope I did not kill it. What’s the best food and nutrients for both these plants to use?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It is possible that the trees are being exposed to a draft. Check around them and see if you can find it. It may be coming from the windows or, if they are near a doorway, that could be it. Repeat exposure to cold temps will hurt them.
They can regrow their leaves, but it may take quite some time and they may die in the meantime. Losing all their leaves is quite stressful for them.
Use a balanced fertilizer for these plants.
Another problem that is very common with houseplants, especially succulents such as these, is soil that is too wet. Often the soil on the surface will feel dry, while the soil near the bottom of the pot, where the roots are, will still be wet. Checking the soil moisture down there before you water will help. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/testing-moisture-in-plants.htm
As for the Madagascar palm, you say you just bought it? It may have dropped leaves because of the change in light from the greenhouse to your home. I would have left the green leaves on it, allowing them to continue making food for the plant, but so be it. I would try to get all these plants to a spot with higher light, or add some electric light. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/hpgen/fluorescent-lighting-for-indoor-gardening.htm
Continue to check the soil, plants without leaves will use even less water than normal, but don't let the soil get completely dry. Keep them in a high light spot, and hope for the best.