Palm Tree Problems

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  1. Cottony Disease on Indoor Palm Plants
  2. Caring for Indoor Palm
  3. Palm Trees
  4. My Indoor Palm Is Very Sick!
  5. Curly Leaves on Palm
  6. Scale on Potted Palm
  7. Grey Mold
Asked by Beansy1946 on December 4, 2010
Cottony Disease on Indoor Palm Plants

My indoor palm plants have been dropping leaves due to a cotton-like substance at the base of the leaves. What is this, and how can I rid my plants of it? Thank you!

ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
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Asked by Anonymous on January 14, 2011
Caring for Indoor Palm

I have an indoor palm that I bought the summer of 2006. It was producing ‘leaves’ around 4’1/2 to 5′ tall. It got this white film (for lack of a better word) around the base a year or so later. I repotted it and since then it’s been only 2′ to 3′ tall. I was wondering how to prune it, and if there is anything I can do to get it tall again.

ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

There are many things that can affect a palm tree like this but it was likely either a fungus or an insect infestation. It is also likely that whatever it was has not gone away and this is why the palm has gotten as tall as it was. I would treat the tree with neem oil, which takes care of both insects and fungus. I would leave pruning to only removing brown fronds. Once it is not stressed, it should grow tall for you again.

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Asked by liz on January 16, 2011
Palm Trees

I have had several very large palm trees in my garden now for over 10 years but this week not only have they been shedding old dried leaves but the healthy green ones also. I have to look out of my bedroom window to see the top of them and it appears that all the leaves are limp and loose. Any ideas as I am seriously worried I am going to lose them. Thanks. Liz

ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

There are two things that would cause this. One would be pest, typically scale, on palms. To look for pests, look for growths or dirt looking substances near the base of the fronds. Scale especially will not move but looks like just bumps on the leaves. If you find these, treat the tree immediately with an insecticide. I like neem oil myself as it is safe for people and pets.

The other possibility is something is attacking the roots, perhaps a root rot fungus or nematodes. This article will help you identify root rot:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/treating-root-rot-gardening-tips-for-housplants.htm

But, if it is nematodes, you will need to have the soil assessed by your local extension service to confirm that they are the problem.

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Asked by juog on February 2, 2011
My Indoor Palm Is Very Sick!

I came home to find to find my indoor palm sticky all over and two brand new fronds are broken off at the base by their own weight. What’s going on, and what can I do about it?

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

It sounds like it scale. Treat the leaves and leave them on the tree. While they may look unsightly until new leaves grow in, the plant needs them to help it remain healthy and to produce energy while it is growing new leaves. This article will help you with the scale: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/palms/sticky-palm-tree-leaves-treatment-for-palm-scale.htm

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Asked by Anonymous on February 3, 2011
Curly Leaves on Palm

One┬áleaf of the palm has started to curl wildly – any reason for this?

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

That is probably caused by scale insects. They are very hard to spot on the plant and will look almost like specks of dirt or fuzz on the underside of the leaves. Here is more information on how to treat it:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/scale-bug-how-to-control-plant-scale.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm

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Asked by Anonymous on February 20, 2011
Scale on Potted Palm

After treating potted palm for scale with a mixture of water, rubbing alcohol, and dishsoap, the insects appear to be dead. However, the┬áleaves are dry and slowly browning. Was I too late? Will this have a chance of recovery, or shall I throw it away? Can a four-five foot tree grow back fronds if I cut them off at the stem? It was purchased at Home Depot, so it is a common variety, perhaps Majestic. Two others purchased at the same time are doing well inside for the winter (Chicago). They were outside for the summer months as well, but didn’t pick up any pests.

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

The alcohol can dry out the leaves if used too much, which may be what's caused the drying leaves. A safer alternative for treating scale is neem oil. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm

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Asked by Anonymous on March 24, 2011
Grey Mold

My palm has grey mold. What is this, what causes it, and how do I get rid of it?

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

It is probably powdery mildew. This article will help:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/powdery-mildew-homemade-and-organic-remedies.htm

You can treat it with either a chemical fungicide or neem oil. Both should be available at any store that sells gardening supplies.

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