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Old September 5th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Default Pigmy Date Palms Struggling (one dying, one with white stuff)

I actually have 2 problem plants

1. In my front yard I transplanted 2 healthy pigmy date palms from a friend's yard to mine. One is doing fine, the other is clearly dying. For 2-3 months it was doing ok, but the last month the fronds all started wilting, then the lower ones started turning brown, then the center ones started turning light green. I give the plant a good watering every 2 days, he gets 4-5 hours of full sun a day, I live in souther california and plenty of neighbors have the same plants that are doing fine. I just got a moisture meter to I can monitor soil moisture. Im 90% certain my soil is bad. I did a jar test and it looks like its >80% sand based on how much settles instantly, but the strange thing is below the plants, the soil gets rock hard and water puddles on top of it for 5min or so before soaking in (kinda like clay) so I guess I have no clue what kind of soil it is. Can anyone confirm what the problem could be? Does it look like a lack of nutrients or drainage? Should I get palm fertilizer or does it look pretty much dead? Picture below

2. In the back yard, there are 3 healthy looking pigmy palms that have been there since I moved in, but the last few months it looks like the new fronds that are growing in the center are covered with a layer of white gunk. Tried to take a picture below. Any idea what this is and how to get rid of?

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Old September 7th, 2010, 11:11 AM
loverofpalms's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miami, FL
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Default Pygmy Date Palm Tendencies

Pygmy Date Palms have the tendency to start to die but will come back after loosing most of its leaves. With a little patience they will come back. You do need to spray the palms with fungicide. A very popular spray is organicide. Organicide is used to kill over 14 different scales and fungus's. I think that white gunk is just natural hair fibers the come out with the spear to keep it together until the palm's leaf is ready to separate. I would water at least 4 gallons every other day. The sun is good. Maybe its time for some palm fertilizer. When the palm was taken out of your neighbors yard was it removed with lots of its roots in tact. Also was the main tap root affected when the palm was being removed.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 02:03 PM
JacobMirelli's Avatar
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Location: Memphis, Tennessee
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Default maybe just take out the soil

And put new soil in and around the pygmy date. maybe the soil has 0 nutrients and just needs some fertilizer like loverofpalms said. And I am pretty sure the white gunk is natural for every new spear to have.
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Old November 14th, 2016, 05:43 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
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Default Pygmy Date Palms

The Palm Is not dead until it looses its Palm Heart if you look into the top of the palm and the center frond that shoots straight into the air is brown then you will know that that palm is not coming back but Pygmys are finicky when you first plant them into the ground. I would try cutting the brownest leaves that are completely brown to see if there is any sign of green in the center then stop watering it because you may be over watering. Pygmys like the soil to be mostly dry. I then would add some well draining soil and that should do the trick in about 2 weeks the palm should be coming back in green and healthy I hopefully this helps. Sometimes its something as simple as the soil they are in.
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