Have I brought a pest into my garden?

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by TonyLoco, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    South Florida
    This weekend a bought a 3 gallon Montgomery triple. It looked in pretty bad shape, it was all yellowy and most of the leaves had browning holes on them. The guy at the nursery assured me that it was just the stress from the pot and once I get it in the ground it would be fine. I accepted that because it was the second nursery that I had been where the small potted triple montgomeries looked like that.

    Yesterday evening I planted it in the ground next to one of my Bucaneer Palms. Then this morning I went out to look and it seems that the part of the Bucaneer Palm leaves that were touching the leaves of the Montgomery have gone brown!

    It is possible that that leaf was already brown but I definitely did not notice it before. Is it possible that the Montgomery palm had a bad pest on it that has now jumped to the Bucaneer Palm? It had only been 12 hours for it to go brown (7 pm - 7am) and during those 12 hours it was raining non stop! Could a pest really have done that much damage in just 12 hours?

    Here are some pics, I had already cut off the leaf of the Montgomery palm that was touching the Bucaneer palm by the time I took the pictures:


  2. edric

    edric Active Member

    Oak Hill Florida
    Hi Tony, I don't think it's a bug, maybe root born fungus, or possible nutrient deficiency, this info here can be found on the Palms in America page here in Palmpedia, but here's the link, Ed http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep273#FIGURE
  3. rpebinger

    rpebinger Active Member

    Winter Haven, FL - 9A usually
    check Pseudophoenix sarg. for leaf skeletonizer. larva of a moth that will brown-out ends of fronds - causing the leaflet to appear glued to itself/folded in upon itself.


    Beyond the palm species noted on Wikipedia, my Washingtonia robusta and Phoenix canariensis have had activity by this. It will not kill the palm unless the infestation is so great that is consumes all green on all fronds. Simply remove the selected leaflets and/or frond impacted by infestation.
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    In all likelyhood it is not a bug. Because:
    1) You would most likely be able to see any insect with close inspection. If you know what to look for, even tiny mites can be seen.
    2) Insects do not work that quickly
    And microscopic pathogens, or nutrient deficiencies would not work that quickly or that locally either.

    I would suspect something to do with exposure. Perhaps the two leaves touching created a place where water collected and intensified a period of intense sun and burned it. Did you spray it with anything, even plain water?
  5. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Your buddies at the nursery were less than forthright to you. I can assure you that your soil mix was from older reclaimed mix coupled with you palm going without any nutrient applications in over a year. Keep it fertilized and watered, it will be robust, green and very happy by this time next year. Giving it K-mag right now would be a good idea.

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