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Thread: Foxtail Palms

  1. #1
    I have two small foxtail palms that look like they have a black beard growing up the trunck.* Is this called scales?* Also they don't seem to be producing enough leaves/stems.* I only have two and then as soon as another starts to come out one of the older stems turns brown.* Any advice on what to do and what type of fertilizer to use. Just put the mircacle grow seeds in the dirt.* I live in FL and the plants are in my Lanai area.*

    *

    Now I know it definately has black scurf but how do I get rid of it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    Hi Weedes,

    Scales are usually found on the fronds and not on the trunk. * I'm also wondering if the fronds that die off turn a gray or charcoal color. There is a fungal problem called black scorchbut I can't find any info on it for Foxtail palm aka Wodyetia bifurcata. There is also something called 'scurf' that is normal.* From this site with pictures - see figure 10.
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP34400.pdf

    "In some palms ( e.g., Wodyetia bifurcata, Veitchia spp.) black-colored scurf appears at the bases of the petioles (Fig. 10). This black scurf is very similar in appearance to the sooty mold often associated with palm aphids, scales, or mealybugs."

    So if that is what you see, it's normal.* I'm more concerned that you are losing fronds.* Do they turn yellow before they turn brown?* Got any pictures?

    Newt

  3. #3
    Here is one picture and I will send two more.* There are only two sprouts and it looks like the youngest sprout is already dying.*

  4. #4
    second picture

  5. #5
    last picture.* The leaves just turn brown then black before they completly die.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    The discoloration on the trunk looks like black scurf.* The leaves look like it's been over watered.

    Newt

  7. #7
    That's amazing you say over watered because I hardly ever water it and it's always bone dry when I do.* Could it be anything else or should I just cut back even more on watering.* I probably water every three weeks and the water goes right through the dirt and drains out.*

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    I'm wondering how long you've had these palms and when the symptoms began to show after purchase.* Sometimes a plant can be over watered before you purchase it and the symptoms don't begin to show until later.* The other possibility is a lack of nutrients as these palms are heavy feeders.

    One thing I didn't address before was your question, "Any advice on what to do and what type of fertilizer to use. Just put the mircacle grow seeds in the dirt."* I've never heard of fertilizer seeds.* Maybe you mean the slow release fertilizer that looks like round seeds.* Is this what you mean?
    http://www.szkolkarstwo.pl/images/ar...42/kulki_4.jpg

    If that's what you are referring to, and you have used fresh potting soil, check to see if it contains slow release fertilizer.* It lasts for about 2 to 3 months in a pot.* If the potting soil does contain slow release fertilizer, and since you haven't been watering frequently, I would suggest you wait 3 months from the time you repotted or purchased the plants to add ANY fertilizer, including the slow release fertilizer.* Most potting soils now come with the slow release fertilizer already in it.

    If none of that applies you can use any water soluable fertilizer.* Dilute half strength and use once a week or every two weeks in spring and summer.* You can use it once a month in fall and winter.* These palms are heavy feeders. Personally I prefer an organic fertilizer.* For a palm like this fish emulsion with sea weed or sea kelp would be great.
    http://heartgarden.com.au/description.asp?id=152

    You should be watering when the top 2 inches of soil dries out.* You can stick your finger into the soil up to your second knuckle.* Here's some growing info on your palms.
    http://palmguide.org/genus.php?famil...genus=Wodyetia
    http://www.pacsoa.org.au/palms/Wodyetia/bifurcata.html
    http://www.floridata.com/ref/W/wody_bif.cfm

    I've had problems finding info on these palms about any diseases, but I suspect it's either a fungal problem or a lack of nutrients.* I would say to fertilize if none of the above applies to you and water a bit more often.

    Newt

  9. #9
    Thanks.* Maybe it needs to be repotted because they are in their original pots.* I have had them for about 6 months.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Maryland zone 7
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    That might help too.* :)

    Newt

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