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Old April 7th, 2011, 09:39 PM
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Default Help! Palms unhealthy looking. [PICTURES]

Hello Palm Community,

I've got three juvenile palms - mediterranean fan palm, windmill palm, and dwarf windmill palm - that are experiencing browning, starting at the tip of the leaves. They all seem to still be growing; the windmills have just finished putting out a new frond each after winter, and the fan palm put one out a few months ago.

I suspect that I'm not watering them properly. I've heard and seen everywhere that windmills especially like moist soil, so keeping them indoors I'd say I dump about 12-16 oz of water on them every few days when I feel or look at the topsoil and notice that it's dry. The fan palm, being an arid variety, I water about every couple of weeks.
But now that spring is here (in Eugene, Oregon), I've put the palms back outside, where it's been raining something like every other day.

Do you think that when I was keeping them inside, I was watering them too much or too little? I honestly have no idea which it might be.

Sunlight *might* be another issue, but again I'm not sure. My house faces northeast, and tall coastal firs surround it along the south, west, and north edges. So hardly any direct sunlight filters in, though in the morning hours they can catch direct rays. I can also move them to another patch of light available during sunset.

Fertilized back in fall, and again today with 10-8-8 slow feed with nitrogen and other minerals.

Basically at a loss here. Check out the pictures!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg windmill_1.jpg (90.7 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg windmill_2.jpg (101.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg windmill_3.jpg (100.0 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by GT313rd; April 7th, 2011 at 09:47 PM.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 09:42 PM
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Here's the dwarf windmill. Notice the browning tips on the relatively new frond.
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File Type: jpg chusandwarf_1.jpg (98.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg chusandwarf_2.jpg (100.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg chusandwarf_3.jpg (103.4 KB, 5 views)
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Old April 7th, 2011, 09:44 PM
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And finally the chamaerops humilis.
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File Type: jpg fanpalm_1.jpg (93.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg fanpalm_2.jpg (103.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg fanpalm3.jpg (101.1 KB, 5 views)
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Old April 16th, 2011, 08:03 PM
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As an update -- the palms have been outside for about two weeks now. It's been raining pretty heavily on almost a daily basis. The soil has been wet for days, maybe they're drowning? Browning has quickened, and even the new frond on the dwarf windmill looks like it's starting to go.

Someone please help. I'm frustrated at this point because I have no clue what's going on.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:52 AM
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Default My opinion

First of all, I am not an windmill palm expert, but I saw that no one else was giving you and advice so I'll do my best.

The pictures you attached don't look too bad. Normally when palms have been over watered the tips of their leaves will turn a dark green, yours are not. If they have gotten too cold you get round marks that look like cigarette burns throughout the leaves, yours don't have them. Infection is a possibility, but fungus can usually be wiped off with your fingers and it doesn't look like that, but it wouldn't hurt the spray them with a fungicide anyways.

My best guess is poor light from over the winter, so they might be in shock. In that case there's not much you can do but wait. Don't go crazy with fertilizer or water because that can do more damage than good. Just treat them as normal and cross your fingers. They might lose all their leaves, but that doesn't mean theyre dead. I'd wait for them to fall over before tossing them, but they will most likely recover, they really don't look too bad.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 02:31 PM
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Thanks for your response. I noticed that they all started browning pretty quickly around the same time, just after I added fertilizer. Salty-looking buildup started accumulated around the bottom of the pots where the drains are, so I assumed that I over-fertilized. I asked a couple of local gardeners around town and they seem to agree that over-fertilizing was the problem. I used a granulated mix right in the pot, and I think burn kicked in.

I ended up buying fresh pots and soil, and transplanted all of them after doing a bit of root detangling. Since I only did this a couple of days ago, it's too early to tell whether this will help, but I've noticed no increase in browning. I bought standard potting soil with organic fertilizer and the little root fungi (forget the name but start's with an M), plus some cactus mix. I repotted them using a mixture of the two. I don't think that mix is quite as lean as it needs to be, but if I notice signs of overwatering, thanks to your helpful descriptions, I'll transplant them again using more cactus mix or sand and less soil.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 02:33 PM
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Whoops forgot to ask. I've heard that freshly transplanted palms need to be watered daily for awhile until they settle in. Does that include transplanted trees from pot to pot, or is that only for trees planted in the ground?
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