Mexican Fan Palm Tree - Fronds Turning Yellow/Brown

RedRayderz01July 23, 2012

Hi everyone,

I live north of Dallas, TX and have a Mexican Fan Palm Tree that I planted in my backyard in April. It has been doing great until the last few weeks. Some of the fronds are turning yellow/brown and they are fairly young fronds. I don't know if the problem is too much or too little water. I dug a small hole near the tree to feel the moisture level of the soil with my hand and the soil seems to be somewhat moist... it is a compact/clay like soil which I guess may not be idea for palms...

Anyways, I attached a picture, and would appreciate any feedback any of you may have. I'd hate to lose this tree, it's very beautiful.

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How often do you water it? it could be overwatering, of maybe sunburn because the stalk if the frond still looks green. if the stalk is green, id probably say sunburn.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 5:43PM
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It looks more like a filifera or filifera cross.
They don't seem to do well with a lot of moisture, so I'd bet you need to cut back on the watering.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 6:35PM
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I agree, watering might be a problem. Best bet is to just leave it alone and see what happens!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 6:51PM
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nice looking palm sorry to here about the fronds and it does look like a burn. hope it gets well.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Thanks everyone. Home depot (where i bought it) said it was a Mexican fan palm. I water it about 2 times a week. Today after I created this post, I put a soaker house around the tree for an hour because I thought it might be lack of water.

I do remember a few times when I was watering the tree, I would wet the fronds and perhaps the sun did cause this to burn the fronds? I usually only do this in the morning but it's pretty hot here in Texas in the mornings already.

Is there a proven way to know if it is lack of or too little water?

Thanks again everyone !

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 11:40PM
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How much did you pay for it at Home Depot?! I cant find anything but house plants at mine!!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:07AM
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It was $100! An amazing deal, they sold out of them really quick. It's probably 6 feet tall.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:10AM
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I paid $45 for my 4 foot one with ALOT less trunk! you got a great deal! All the fronds on mine died after planting :( but its getting better

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 1:40AM
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Hi Rayderz,
I am having the same problem with a potted palm I've had for almost 5 years. Were you able to figure out what was wrong and what to do about your plant?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:32AM
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prinbama(Alabama 7b-8a)

Another thing that could be the issue is shock. Upon planting a palm, they can get shock upon replanting. I would just quit giving it water for a while and keep an eye out on how its doing. The fronds will eventually all brown up and new fronds will grow back. Mexican fan palms have an amazing growth rate it will be back in no time.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:52PM
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I used to have the same problem when I planted my 4-year old Washingtonia robustas on the ground. That was six years ago. It seemed that the phenomenon would start midsummer and in period of about two months most of the fronds would die. I must admit it was very frustrating because I couldn't solve the problem by watering or fertilizing.

Now here's the good news: a) I didn't lose any of my 5 robustas, b) as soon as autumn comes the trees start recovering, growing new fronds, and c) after 3-4 years, as the trees were getting larger the phenomenon started to go away and although some fronds still get brown and die during the summer I no longer consider it a major problem.

I can safely rule out overwatering as the cause of the problem because the trees would start recovering in fall when it rains heavily in my area.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Hi Everyone,

That was a brutal winter wasn't it! My Mexican Fan Palm looks really bad, all the fronds are brown. I really hope it comes back this Spring, but I'm not sure. I live in Frisco (30 miles north of Dallas) and we had a good amount of ice and very very cold temperature. It got as low as 10 degrees a few nights. I am holding on to one sliver of hope. In the attached pic, you can see some small areas of green on the youngest fronds.... does this mean the palm is still alive and will come back this Spring? Thanks everyone, looking forward to your feedback.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Here is another pic of the whole tree.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 4:23PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

I hope your palm pulls through, but it looks dead to me. I've seen them damaged on cold years here in Central California, but never this bad.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:23AM
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But I inspected the center of it (the bud) and I do see areas of green. I have high hopes that it will return here in the next 1-2 months. Why else woudl the bud still be green?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:48PM
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If you see green in the emerging spear, I'm pretty sure it will live. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:38PM
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10C or 50F is not a chance for a Washingtonia. I went through that and gave up 7B/8A climates and long terms survival for any palms other than Trachys, Sabals and an occasional Butia. Even in zone 11 here they don't look at their best. My Washingtonia was killed at 14F just one night of 14F and one day of 30F was enough for all my Washies. In fact Wash. filifera is not doing well in a rainy climate or a semi-shade or both, I would not take a chance either in a rural area zone 8 with any of the Washies. 8 years experience talking. Now I am in a zone 11 without much heat, so it may not be a true zone 11 since the low temps March the 11B but high temps are never above 80F. Even the 80F is reached a couple days a year for short periods. I would say Washies are best for zone 9 and up, maybe marginal for 8B. That's it. Your Washie is dead or dying and even if it comes back, it will not last long. The next winter will kill it. It is now too weak to survive. Move to a warmer zone. I lost too much money playing with borderline zones. Get your plants one or half zone below yours and you will be safe.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2015 at 8:03AM
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