Maggots on my palm!

millerrocksJuly 26, 2011


Hello everyone I need some serious advice. I couple weeks ago I posted a thread about my palm. It went through some distress and wilted badly. Well since then I've been keeping an close eye on it. I've had to prune most of the fronds on the main trunk because they became gray and of course were wilted. So today I was watering it and I noticed a musty smell coming from the main trunk. I inspected it and gently pulled on the fronds coming out from the top and they just CAME OUT! They easily slipped out without having to tug on them and they were brown and slimey on the ends with MAGGOTS!! I am afraid that the main trunk is rotting away and is going die in a matter of time.

I pulled out about 4 fronds and threw them away. It smelled so bad. My question is:

There are 3 suckers growing from the base that are growing nicely and dont seem to be affected yet. The foliage is green and strong with many baby frond growing out. Is there any way to save them? Can I chain saw the main trunk before the rot reaches the suckers without killing the whole palm?

Someone please help. :(

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What kind of palm is it??

Do the suckers have any roots at this point?--If not, you risk killing the suckers by removing them. If you can remove them with some of their own roots, they should be okay to remove and transplant.

Assuming they do not have their own roots at this point, I would leave the suckers and on the mother palm, cut back to non-rotted tissue. But I have to add, even if you do NOTHING, the suckers should not be infected by the bud and stem root of the mother plant.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 7:00AM
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Hello njoasis, I posted a picture of the palm in the ID this palm thread and viewers Id'd it as a Mediterranean Palm. I don't think the suckers have their own roots yet. They are fairly young but thriving nicely, I dug back the soil and they seem to just be growing out from the trunk itself.

have you heard of this rotting of the trunk with the smell and maggots though? Also I saw 2 yellow mushrooms growing from the main trunk. I don't know if its normal. If anything I hope that I can leave the mother trunk alone like you said and that its death doesn't affect the babies. :(


    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Med fans don't mind arid conditions but they are not fans of very high, constant humidity. The kind of damage you describe can come from Winter cold and WET, or Summer wetness and insufficient drainage of the soil. The maggots came after the initial rotting of plant tissue. Soil should be quite sandy to help drainage. Meds are VERY hard to separate--I've never done it. (There is a thread somewhere on here about separating them. I would LEAVE the suckers, they will be fine. Any idea what might have bothered the mother plant so?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 2:02PM
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You can cut down on the damaged trunk,start out
only with what you see is rotted and then continue.

Rot can explode in warm wet/confined areas.....
once you get the trunk cut down to live tissue
(or past the rot)
it will dry up and the exposure to air should shut down the rot.
Treat it anyway with some copper fungicide or hydrogen peroxide.

I have a small C.cerifera that did the same thing-
the pups are fine and chugging right along.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:23PM
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LIFE SAVERS! I am very glad to hear that the suckers will do fine. I will follow your advice and cut down past the rotted tissue.

I am not sure what happened to it. Before planting we checked the dug hole and it had wonderful drainage. I used palm/cactus planting soil and watered it about a few days. I actualy planted two, at both front corners of my home. The other plam is doing marvelous and it about 5 feet high and packed with fronds.

Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 8:31PM
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Once a fungal infection starts...and progresses
in warm temps it can spread very quickly,
especially if it gets deep into the tissue.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 12:09PM
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