Palm Tree Insects and Diseases

Bud Rot

This disease can be caused by various fungal pathogens, Phytophthora species and Thielaviopsis species, as well as by bacterial pathogens. While bud rot tends to occur after a tropical storm or periods of excessive rain, bacterial bud rot tends to occur after the bud has been damaged by cold weather. More »

Ganoderma Root

This disease is caused by the fungus, Ganoderma zonatu , which can infect many types of palm trees. The first symptom of infection is the withering and drooping of older fronds. More »

False Smut

False smut or Graphiola leaf spot is caused by Graphiola species. This disease is most common in areas of high humidity. Small, black, wart-like bodies are seen, often with yellow filaments protruding from the middle of the raised spots. More »

Leaf Spots

Leaf infections called “leafspots” are caused by a variety of fungi and some bacteria on many trees. Leaf spots can be circular to elongated, brown and possibly oily in appearance. The spots will vary in size and color depending on the plant, the organism involved and the stage of development. More »


If you found a lot of little circular, brown colored scales on your palm tree you are in trouble. It’s called “palm leaf scales”. You would never guess but palm leaf scales are actually a mature female small insect. They literally are just a small headless, legless bump and once the female has matured, it is unable to move from where it has planted itself. More »


They belong to a family of unarmored scale insects found in moist, warm climates. Mealybug females feed on plant sap, normally in roots or other crevices. They attach themselves to the plant and secrete a powdery wax layer (therefore the name mealybug) used for protection while they suck the plant juices. The males on the other hand, are short-lived as they do not feed at all as adults and only live to fertilize the females. More »

19 Responses to “Palm Tree Insects and Diseases”

  1. my banana palm leaves don’t unfold naturally and stay looking like spikes. why does this happen.


  2. An invasion of a red colored like insect (roach looking is on the coast of Spain. The insect eats rapidly into the upper palm’s leaves right down into the heart of the tree causing
    its death in less than 20-days.
    The Spanish call it the ‘eating red roach’
    Please advise

  3. Florida Palm. Trunk of palm is black in color. Bark comes off easily, also to a crumble.

    Please advise.

  4. Have a Windmill Palm. Fronds are browning from the tips inward. I believe it has gotten too much late afternoon sun. I am watering , but doesn’t seem to help.
    Do I need to transplant too a less sunny spot or is it too late?

  5. i have mexican palms that had and odor and when we would pull out the fronds they had this weird yellow goo on them now its gone but one of the trees seem like its becoming to crumble are they too late to save?

  6. Robellini palm – approx1″ grey/black insect – six legs red strip on both sides of head. Multiple bugs on plant and seem to travel into frond base. HELP!!

  7. I am so sorry about your tree. Sounds like there is some kind of rotting going on. If you want to try and save it, spray it with Copper Fungicide. It should help. Susan Brian

  8. I have the palm trees in my yard that have the 3 trees ( from one base) and big long branches (about 15 feet tall, sorry I don’t knowthe type) Sometimes the trees will produce short midget like branches like a quarter of the size that they should be. What causes this?

  9. I have a palm indoors. I believe it’s a Chinese fan palm, but not sure. Anyway, it’s dying, or maybe already dead. I found out first because it stopped sucking up it’s water. I have a hibiscus in the same room, and every fall when I bring IT in the house, it comes down with spiders. Of what kind I don’t know. They’re yellow, and so tiny you can hardly see them. But you can see very fine almost invisible webs. And this year, I see them on the palm tree. It makes the leaves on my hibiscus turn yellow and fall off. It keeps growing new ones, but they eventually fall off. Anyway, back to my palm, I can see webs on it too. Could it have spider mites or whatever as well? Is there some sort of spray I should use on it? Not that it may help, I think it’s dead, it’s not taking up water.

  10. I have Chinese fan palm, mature 15 yr old trees. On underside of fan a brown dusty looking, I think an insect has created the powdery substance. It is spreading to different fans causing sections of fans to die turning completely brown. Please help I have four multi stemmed trees and this insect? Perhaps? Disease is killing my palms.

    Thank you.

  11. Why Phoenix (theophrastii, canariensis, dactylifera) 1-2 year old palms (maybe older ones too, not sure yet) growing in pots “dig” deep themselves into the soil? I had to undig around their “bottoms” as deep as 1 to 2 inches. Why do those palms bury themselves into the pot soil so deep? Should I replant them higher?

    Thanks in advance to all your responses and help.

  12. My young foxtail palms have a small oval shaped insect looking thing where the leaf meets the frond. The man I bought it from says it is just part of the tree. I wonder if that is so. Please help me.

  13. I have a Travelers Palm and young Lemon tree. Both are being eaten by something that seems to feed at night! Every morning more of the leaves on the palm are eaten along the ribs of the leaf. The lemon tree no longer has any leaves and part of the main stem is missing its skin. I want to save my palm. It’s too late for the lemon tree but I don’t want to replace it only to have the same thing happen.
    I’d appreciate any help and thank you for your time.

  14. I have queen palms, as the new shoots sprouts up at the top of the tree it seems to fall over and die. Otherwise the rest of the palm tree looks very healthy. I fertilize the trees with the best fertilizer available recommended by the University of Florida. This particular tree is very large and I hate to lose it can you give me any possible treatments for it thank you Jerry

  15. Hello, I have a question for yall. My 2 Mexican Palms are very healthly, but I have noticed recently that there are small BLACK lady-type bugs on the under leaves. They have form a dirt like nest in between the V’s of the leaves. I don’t know how or what to treat them with!!! Please HELP!!!!!!

  16. My foxtail palm has bumps all over the trunk-what is this?

  17. We have a Queen Palm, it has white stuff that looks like a pelican dropped a load on it, it is white near the end of the leaf attached to the tree, the palm leaf has fallen downward along with the seed pod leaf near it, palm leaf is still all green, this has happened twice now. Is this a disease or a bug.

  18. I have a Queen Palm that has lost a large amount of bark.
    It does not have water hitting the tree. The canopy is healthy looking. any suggestions?

  19. I think I have Xmas palms. Just the ordinary Florida palms. Something is attacking or eating from the frond outer leaf to the inside. Leaving only the veins of the frond turning brown. It seems to be at the top of the tree,making its way to the lower fronds. I’m losing all the fronds. Hopefully not the trees. Any ideas?

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