Palm Trees Insects – 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.

Regardless of the pathogen, disease symptoms are similar. Buds and young palm tree fronds show black lesions, and young leaves wilt. A firm rot of the bud occurs. Over time, this area may become slimy later due to secondary invaders. Older palm tree fronds may remain green for several months and are the last to die. Eventually, only the trunk remains.

Palm Trees Treatment

Avoid overhead irrigation when possible. Once infection occurs, plant recovery is unlikely. In general, infected palms should be removed and destroyed promptly to reduce disease spread.

Preventative fungicides such as copper hydroxide or copper salts of fatty acids can be used on plants exposed to the disease. I use Bonide Products Liquid Copper Fungicide. It is very effective against Bud Rot. Make sure to apply at intervals sufficient to protect new developing tissue. Make sure to apply all fungicides at rates and spray intervals according to directions on the label.