Tall and elegant, short and squat, producing fruit, and not, palm trees come in many varieties. The one thing that all palms have in common is that they can get sick and die.
A palm tree’s fronds embody both the branches and leaves of the plant, making them unique from other trees.
Fronds are long and blade-shaped on some plants and soft and frilly on others. Fronds grow from the top of the tree downward and naturally shed their dead limbs from the bottom.
Before taking preventative measures for a dying palm tree, try to find out what is wrong with it.
Many disorders can occur in your palms, and a little detective work can reveal what you can do to save your dying palm tree.
If you would like to know what to do to save your palm tree, read along to find the problem with your tree.
Once you know what might be killing your palm you can then make corrections to save it from certain destruction.
How to save a dying palm tree?
To save a dying palm tree, check for signs of overfertilization and insect infestation. From there, you can adjust its fertilizing schedule, prune, or spray insecticides on it. Also, overwintering your planting area can help revive a dying palm tree.
Signs your palm tree is dying
Over-fertilizing will cause palm fronds to turn yellow almost immediately. The best fertilizer for use on your palm tree is a slow-released variety.
Another sign of a dying palm is fronds that turn yellow or brown near the top of the tree.
A tree that loses all of its fronds may be beyond your help. If you have a palm that is dying and cannot determine what to do for it, you will need the assistance of a professional to save your tree.
Insect infestations and plant disease can kill your palm trees, and remedies for these issues may be beyond the ability of a homeowner to correct.
Potassium deficiency will cause bronze-colored spots on the fronds and can be cleared up quickly by adding manure with slow-release potassium.
A calcium deficiency can cause the palm leaves to be disfigured. This mineral can remedy the deficiency in your palm tree by applying calcium nitrate.
Another mineral deficiency that causes yellowed leaves in bunches is magnesium.
A good fertilizer with all of the above minerals added can help you from ever wondering if one of your palm trees is dying from malnutrition.
Be careful when amending poor soil, and do not use soil that has added fertilizer, as it can burn the tender roots of your palms.
Pruning to save a dying palm tree
Some palms develop what looks like a beard as their fronds die, which is a natural occurrence.
However, a palm with fronds that are browning or yellowing near the top of the tree could be a sign that your palm tree is in distress.
If you find a tree with dying fronds, give it a harder look to see if it needs water, treatment for insects, or just a little pruning.
Trimming is suitable for your palm tree, but over-trimming can stunt its growth. Different from most trees, a palm tree gets energy from its dying fronds.
So when you prune, do not be overzealous and wait until the frond is completely brown before removal.
Watering and reviving a dying palm tree
Watering an already overwatered tree will do further damage. One sign of overwatering is fronds that begin to yellow and fall off before they are dead.
If there is a problem with one of your palm trees, it is one of the only arguments for moving a sick palm tree.
Tips in saving a dying palm tree from freezing
Palm trees are climate-sensitive, so before planting a palm in your yard, be sure to overwinter your area.
Some palms can handle colder climates, while others cannot, and you may not be able to save them from a freeze.
If you have potted palms, the best practice is to bring them inside if you live in an area that receives frosty, freezing weather. Palms do great indoors and are a lovely addition to your décor.
Frequently asked questions about how to save a dying palm tree
Can I move a palm tree that is dying?
It is best not to replant or repot an ailing palm tree. The stress of replanting is hard on healthy plants, and replanting could kill them. If your palm is in poor soil, however, transplanting may be the only way you can save your palm tree.
Does trimming a palm tree keep it healthy?
As mentioned earlier, trimming a palm tree can make it healthy. However, there are some instances where leaving the dying fronds hanging is also the best practice. In hurricane-prone areas, the hanging fronds can protect the trunk of the tree from flying debris.
Can my palm tree be overwatered?
Like other water-sensitive plants, it’s possible to overwater a palm tree. Palm trees are susceptible to root rot. A palm tree’s feet need to be dry, whether planted in your yard or a pot on your patio.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.