Massive pest problem - Majesty Palm

houseplantlover86(6)June 23, 2010

Hi there! My name is Eirinn, and I have a huge pest problem on my Majesty Palm. As far as I would guess, the palm is about 3 years old and about 6 feet at its tallest point. It has 3 spikes that have yet to fully open. I would bet my money the spikes wonÂt open until I clear up my problem! They also have sustained damage.

There is a huge mess of spider mites along with some other problems. I also see webbing on a few of the very badly affected fronds. There are little white clusters large enough to see with the naked eye (but still fairly small) on the undersides of the fronds  I have read that spider mites can be various colors, including red or white. There is a lot of yellowing in the leaves, and I am getting tipping (the tips vary from brown to red to yellow in color). The leaves also look dirty and weak. When I shake the fronds over a piece of paper, little black specks drop off and run awayÂI believe the entire plant to be affected. This degree of damage is beyond my expertise!

I bought the plant back in April at Ikea for only $15. It was in a 10 inch pot and I repotted it into a 12 inch. I should have seen the tell tale signs of pests from the little pin pricks of damage on leaves and some yellowing. All told I have removed several fronds, probably about 5. This is my first palm plant! It sits in a western exposure, about 6 - 8 feet back from the window.

I am not familiar with types of pest control other than spraying the plant with a soap based spray. I made my own with some dish soap and water. I also mist the plant... That didnÂt seem to help any, and the problem has only gotten worse.

What type of pesticides can I use to kill the bugs?? Should I use a spray, or something to put into the soil itself? Does anyone know of a good place to go where they sell these items? Any help you can offer me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot!


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I would throw it away now. Maybe buy something else. Home depot gets alot of palms this time of year. try a cat palm, spindle palm,,,chinese fan palm,,,something easier ,,,,Once ur palm is infested,,,and it was only 15 dollars,,,it isnt worth trying to fix it!!! Good luck!!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 9:37PM
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cut off all the leaves except the 3 that didn't open. place it in full sun outside in a pot. water daily and feed 10-10-10. Add som peatmoss so that the soil doesn't dry out quickly. I have a 4 year old majesty with 2inches of trunk

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:35PM
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I would put the palm in the shade outside and well watered. Sun will burn the remaining fronds. Hopefully the link will help.

Here is a link that might be useful: kill spider mites

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:54AM
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Thanks everyone. I have moved the plant outdoors, and as a last ditch effort, I am spraying the plant with a hose......I know spider mites hate water, so hopefully they will die if I spray the plant liberally for several days. I paid special attention to the undersides of leaves. Checking the plant afterward, I noticed the mites were gone, and the leaves appeared clean. No more webbing!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:31PM
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I'd love to hear how things are going with your palm! I'm having a similar problem, and I'm trying to decide if the palm is worth trying to save or just starting over.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 6:27PM
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I agree, cut off all the plants and soak it with a hose to get rid of remaining spider mites. Neem oil is suppose to help too. Ive used it on aphids and the first time it didnt work that well but it was better the second time.
Also keep the plant outside and water well. Try not to put it in full sun. These are strong plants so they can handle neglect pretty well. By the end of the summer they should look pretty good but dont be surprised if the spider mites do return when it goes indoors.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:29PM
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