What is wrong with my Butia

gregplantaine7(7a)July 19, 2014

Can anyone tell what might be wrong with my Butia palm?
The spear has turned brown and alot of the fronds have also turned brown.
Here is a picture of it now.

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gregplantaine7(7a)

Here is what it looked like before.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:23PM
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subtropix

No idea. Approximately, where on earth are you? How long was this palm in the current location? Has anything changed in the environment or your care?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:49PM
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prinbama(Alabama 7b-8a)

Looks like it was transplanted. if so, it could be in shock

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:53PM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

We did have a fairly long stretch of dry weather during the month of June where it kept getting into the mid-high 80s and I didn't water it too often during that time.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:26PM
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subtropix

"We did have a fairly long stretch of dry weather during the month of June where it kept getting into the mid-high 80s and I didn't water it too often during that time."

Bingo.

Newly planted trees and shrubs need to watered regularly until established (that is usually taken to mean after 3 years).

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:50PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

Sorry that your Butia isn't doing well. Hopefully with the remaining months of summer and some nice fertilizer and water, it will pull through. If the spear is brown, it might already be a goner. Some butias are a lot more finicky than others. It seems like they really don't like being transplanted in the first place, so any more stress like under watering can make them start to decline fast. Usually butias have decent drought tolerance though, especially in the eastern US where there is usually a lot of moisture available.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:20AM
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lzrddr(91360)

how was this plant watered? Butia is one of those species that resents overhead tap water when it's a bit cold out (better to water around the base of the palm, not let sprinkler water hit the crown). Lost several Butias to bud rot this way. Nearly all the non-crownshafted pinnate palms are exceptionally prone to this (Syagrus, Howeas, Phoenix, Jubaeas etc.).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:23AM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

The newest frond closest to the center which is brown appears to still be expanding but I have not seen a green spear emerge from the center yet.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:42PM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

There is some kind of red beetle in the center of the palm.
I live in Maryland so I do not think it is red palm weevil.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:05PM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

I poured some insecticide into the center of the palm after removing the three dead center fronds and after a few days the bug appeared to be gone.
I also watered it very thoroughly in the mourning when it was in the shade and it seemed to be a long time till the water started running off.
Is this a good sign?
Would someone please answer.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:23PM
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islandbreeze

Usually with palms, you want the soil to be fast draining, so the fact that it was a long time until water started to run off might be a concern. Too heavy, wet soil could cause root rot, which may be a problem and a cause of your palm's decline. You can stick your finger a couple inches down into the soil in the root zone to see how moist it is.

I would also pour some hydrogen peroxide in the crown just in case you have bud rot.

Regarding Butia drought tolerance, in my experience, they lose the bottom fronds, but hold onto the newest and the emerging spears so that they can recover when water returns.

I would be more concerned about bud or root rot than drought.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:59PM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

What should I use to cover the center from rain?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:44PM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

Since one of the fronds has stayed green this whole time and seems to get the most sunlight I figured the problem was lack of sun so we cut back some of the trees that were blocking the sunlight.
Could that also be the problem?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 4:34PM
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islandbreeze

No, that's not an issue of too little light. I'm assuming that the tree has not improved?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 9:18AM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

Since pouring the fungicide into the center all the fronds are declining except the one that has stayed green.
No bugs have returned.
I am hoping that giving it water and fertilizer will help.
If it is in shock if given proper winter care may it come back late spring?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 9:56AM
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theseventhlegend

Did you say this was a newly planted or transplanted tree? What kind of soil was the Butia planted in? Did you use fertlizer when planting? Could be shock. How does the soil feel 2-3 inches deep? If water is standing there's a good possibility of root rot or soil issues.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 8:49AM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

It was newly planted from a pot.
It is on a well-draining hill so excess water does drain off.
I did pull the three brown center spears out.
Could that be the cause of the shock and will the plant die?
Please answer.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 3:50PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

It looks like it definitely rotted, but I'm not sure why it did. It could be a moisture problem, maybe even a problem it had before you bought it, or it could be from shock (or a combination of the 2). The newest frond in the "before" pic looks a bit lighter than the rest which is a sign that the palm could have been rotting when you transplanted it and it took a while for the effects to be seen. I don't think that it was your fault that it died, but it don't think it has a chance of coming back with that kind of rot damage.
Sorry your butia gave you such problems. Palms are always a bit more finicky when young.
-Alex

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 11:13AM
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gregplantaine7(7a)

The one green frond has turned a slightly darker green since I fertilized it and gave it more sunlight and water.
Could this be a sign that it is still alive but had declined alot?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 2:26PM
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