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Sick Palms and a Miracle Cure

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by Dypsisdean, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I am not very good when it comes to babying palms. I have way too many, and a very large garden for one guy to keep up on. So, I generally plant more than one of each species (if available), and let Darwinism rule.

    So when two of my favs started getting sick, I let them be. A lot of times the center of a smaller palm may rot out, but here in Hawaii they can just push on through with some quick growth. So I let my Dypsis sp. 'mealy bug' (my only one) fend for itself. And I let my Dypsis lastelliana var. 'mealy bug' fight it off.

    But after a year, and the palms going into a bad funk, with no sign of a new spear pushing through, I tried some Hydrogen Peroxide. I mixed up half and half of the common strength and just poured it into the growing point. A week later I noticed some green in both palms, so I did it again at a two week interval. It only took a second to pour half H2O2 and half H2O into a large glass, and another second to pour it in the center of each palm - and no clean up but a quick rinse of the glass. Fast, cheap, and easy.

    Here's a pic of the D. lastelliana. First a pic of the large ones. Then the sick palm. Then a close up of the new growth, that hadn't been apparent for a year, yet within a week of the H2O2 - there it was peeking through. This is about a month later.
     

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  2. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    And pretty much the same story with the D. sp. 'mealy bug' (malcomberii or mananjarensis). One frond came out all funky and small, and I figured the next one would be OK. But when it appeared to be rotting as well..............out came the H2O2. I thought both of these were goners. And I am now a believer.

    Have any of you tried this stuff. And if so, what dosages, and what results???
     

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  3. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hi Dean I've used peroxide as a first phase fungistat on a few different plants. I; like you, go with a diluted rate of .5% to 1% of the average 3% you can find in most stores. I usually follow the peroxide with neem or light copper. I do this as the peroxide loses it's negative oxygen quickly and converts to water so for me it seems good to keep water out when possible. I brought back a Bentinckia after a spear pull this year. I think the peroxide may have helped out.
     

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  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    In both these cases, I watched the palm try to push through the rot for close to a year, to no avail. Then, as mentioned, withing a week after pouring the H202 in the growing point, I saw the new green.

    Justin, you said .5% and 1%. Does that mean you cut the 3% solution in a third or a sixth?
     
  5. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hi dean, Yes, I do a three parts water to one part peroxide for 1% and six parts water to one part peroxide for .5%. I've had tissue burn on softer leaved annuals with 3% but the dilution is seemingly safe. Maybe we could say .5% for softer tissue plants and one percent for the tougher leaves. I bought a jug of thirty percent peroxide once. That stuff was wicked.
     
  6. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Dean-
    Hydrogen peroxide is favorite remedy in Central Florida after one of our all too often cold snaps or freezes. You'll probably find some extensive discussion on its use on the
    Central Florida Palm and Cycad Society website/board under the heading of Freezes or Cold Damage. Bud rot is a major problem after a freeze or extended cold spell.

    Unfortunately, the H2O2 treatment failed to save a large Jubeaopsis caffra in our local Kopsick Palm Arboretum. The bud rot started in one trunk and raced through five more until they were all collapsed, rotten, and smelly.
     
  7. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Phil,

    After watching the Palmpedia presentation of a palm pathologist HERE, I'm of the suspicion that there are probably several maladies that result in a manifestation of "bud rot."

    Because of the spread through the Jubeaopsis, I would have to assume it was either a systemic infection, or a result of simultaneous cold damage to all growing points, but apparent damage showing up at slightly different times.

    I am sure the problems that I treated successfully had their origin from the outside. probably a combination of constant moisture and/or help from insects or their left over "poop" molding, etc. That's why I think the drying and sanitizing nature of the H2O2 was so successful.
     
  8. MattyB

    MattyB Moderator

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Spring Valley, CA
    Hydrogen Peroxide is my first and foremost used fungicide. I always use it full strength, even on tiny seedlings with no harm done. Love the stuff. And it's cheap.
     
  9. BSMan

    BSMan Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    I'm gonna throw some on the K. piersoniorum today...
     
  10. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    BS, I would hate for anything to happen to that palm. We would have to put you on suicide watch. :)

    BTW - A big congrats on the Final. I've been there twice, and I know the feeling.
     
  11. BSMan

    BSMan Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Thanks
    and Thanks, Dean
    I hope both continue on with unabated success.
     
  12. LJG

    LJG Active Member

    Messages:
    425
    Remember that the results are purely anecdotal when talking about H2O2. It is hard for me to see h2o2 as more then that because how does oxidizing act as a preventative for something that exist everywhere and can attach anytime? To me it is anecdotal for sure, but I do not question the science, I just use it - because it has helped - I think - because I use it with many other things too.

    And Dean, I agree with you on bud rot. Like most plant deaths, it is usually two fold. First insect, then disease. First fungus, then insect, etc... I once had a smart man (you know him) spend about an hour explaining why a palm must keep growing, even if ever so little. He stated that once the spear stops, the positive seal is broke, and hence damage begins. The positive seal is what protects the 'bud'. Freezes are a great example of something that stops growth on most palms that we push the limits with. Hence the rot after.

    On the subject, another thing that is commonly used but still anecdotal - Daconil for bud rot. Nothing in the label says it is for the funguses associated. But pouring it down the crown has helped many palm and cycad lovers over the years.
     
  13. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Len,

    My "theory" or internal reasoning as to why it would work is that from what I hear, H2O2 is oxidizing and drying. So these two simple factors help eliminate two of the influences that I think contribute to bud rot.

    As you said, one thing leads to another, which in this case leads to the first thing again in a vicious cycle. Example --- earwigs get into the bud and leave a lot of poop. It's winter and cold and rainy. The poop gets wet and molds. The spear is moving slowly and starts molding too. Which then makes the area even more rotting, spongey, and wet and unable to dry out.

    I disagree with the premise of your question "how does oxidizing act as a preventative for something that exist everywhere and can attach anytime?" I don't think it is a preventive. The H2O2 oxidizes the dead organic matter, whether it is poop or rooting plant material, and then leaves the area dryer than it would otherwise be. I think it just gives the plant a breather, a window to push the bad rotting area up and out, without adding to the problem - a purely mechanical topical cleansing like cleaning a wound. You clean your wound even though the bacteria "exist everywhere and can attach at anytime." But cleaning it gives the body a chance to heal and keep it out on it's own. Same with the bud.

    Anyway, I do agree, it's all anectodal - but cheap, safe, and doesn't seem to cause any harm.
     
  14. LJG

    LJG Active Member

    Messages:
    425
    Matt says he uses it at a fungicide. That would require more then 'cleaning up the area'. This is what I was referring too. The minute it breaks down, it is done. Fungus will be right back to start/finish their assault. So not sure I would use it as a preventative in this case.
     
  15. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Len,

    I'm with you on that. Maybe a momentary "bath" at best.
     
  16. MattyB

    MattyB Moderator

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Spring Valley, CA
    Maybe I used the wrong words. But when I see that black shrivled spot down at the bottom of a spear I pour some hydrogen peroxide down there to kill any bacteria or fungus or whatever the bad jujus are so that the palm has a chance to push some clean green growth out of the hole and make a recovery.

    Another thing I'm doing periodically is spraying water down the crown with a high pressure hose. I know in the past the advice has been not to allow water down in the crown, but with the amount of earwigs and their associated Palm Crown Poo (PCP) at my place, I believe that clean water is the less of the two evils. It seems to be most problematic with the loose crowns of non-crownshafted pinnate leaved palms, like Jubeopsis, Beccariophoenix, and Butia.
     

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