Question: I have 3 Pygmy Palms in containers near my pool (west Texas) and for the last two years I have had a problem with the tips of the fronds turning a rusty brown, then yellow before the green area of the frond. Some of the leaves have what appears to be small lesions, same rusty brown. This seems very similar to the red spot that attacked my Red tips (photinia) about three years ago. I have used the same fungicide on the palms as I used on the red tips, which are now free of fungus(after two years treatment).
I have seen a suggestion that this could be a magnesium and potassium sulfate deficiency? I use Super Bloom in all of my patio containers about every three weeks and I water daily or every two days as days are cooling and soil is not drying as fast. One tree has 3 trunks and is about 5 ft tall, the other two have not grown as well. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You.
Answer: Palms are very sensitive plants. Sometimes it is very hard to figure out what’s wrong. This problem could be a nutrient deficiency. Use a good quality fertilizer that has a slow release formula and see if this helps. After applying fertilizer, wait for a few months and see how new growth is developing. If new fronds don’t have the same problem, then just keep using that fertilizer. ~Susan Brian
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