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 »

9 thoughts on “Palm Tree Insects and Diseases”

  1. I have a tall palm tree that has an area about 4 feet of a thin brown mudish material that is as think as posterboard and flakes off. Any idea

  2. I have something boring wholes in the trunk of my Queen palm. What is it and what do I do about it?

    Thank you,

    Jacksonville, fla.

  3. I found white foamy substance on my potted palm tree on the top leaf and a couple of lower branches.
    I washed these branches off with warm soapy water.
    Does this have something to do with all of the rain we are having and the high humidity?

  4. My windmill palm has an issue and I don’t know what it it is. Some of the leafs are brownish and look dead although, are not. I don’t think it lethal yellowing. But I can find anything that resembles what my Palm has. Any way I can submit a photo for diagnosis?

  5. Hi I have some type of bug growing on my Mexican palm trees. It look like a small little Brillo pad, about a quarter to one half inch. They are yellowish and have a small little yellow bug in the center that’s like alittle yellow tab. I had them before Hurricane Ike came through and now years later they are back! Any idea what they could be? They are on the leaves.
    Any help or answers would be much appreciated.

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