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Foxtail Palm Trees

Q.Potted Foxtail palm

Zone 30307 | Beverly.miller added on January 21, 2018 | Answered

I bought an 8-ft foxtail palm at a nursery back in the spring. It lived on my balcony for 7 months and did very well. It grew to about 10 ft. I brought it in before the first freeze, and it’s been a great addition to our living area. It thrived there for several months. We have floor-to-ceiling windows, so it gets enough light. However, before I noticed there was a problem, it got a very heavy spider mite infestation. I’ve treated it and think I’ve killer the mites, but 90% of the fronds are now brown. Will the palm come back? Should I trim the brown fronds? I’m very fond of the palm and hate to lose it. Thank you for your help.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 22, 2018

This is quite common. There are many things I recommend for killing mites like this. Mix neem oil, and a few drops of the following in water: coconut oil, rosemary oil, chrysanthemum oil, garlic extract, and clove oil for the worst of infections. You will want to make sure to spray the plant until it is dripping for several days. There will still be eggs that will hatch, and it will be necessary to kill them off as they do.

Only cut these leaves off after they completely die. Other than that, you will just have to baby it until it returns to normal.

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Answered on November 10, 2018

Dear BushDoctor:

Thank you again for your advice last winter. My foxtail palm lost two fronds but did survive and recover with the intensive treatment. It had a glorious summer out on the balcony, grew a foot taller, and added two new fronds. Now I’ve just brought it in again due to freezing temps and am wondering what I might do this year to be proactive. Is there a systemic soil treatment I might use now to deter mites? Also, I put small, LED holiday lights on the palm last winter. Could this have been a contributing factor? I’ve read that misting helps, so I plan to mist the palm each day now that the heat is on.

Thank you for any advice you might offer.



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Answered on January 22, 2018

Dear BushDoctor, Thank you for your advice! I’m relieved that there’s hope for my palm, and I will continue treatments. Best, Beverly

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