How do I help this poor palm??

summerstar(Z7VA)November 7, 2011

I bought a very pretty feathery table top palm that I believe it is a neathe belle palm that I've had for a year or more. It hasn't grown more than 12 to 16 inches high. When I bought it, I didn't realize it had spider mites. No other plant in our home has mites. I spray treated it several times, but I think I wasn't consistent and the mites kept coming back.

About a month ago, I had enough and went to war on those !*^#!!?@ bugs and started spraying it once a week, rotating with three different mite sprays. Examing it today after about four or five weekly treatments, I didn't find any mites on the plant and hope they're gone for good.

In spite of the rough treatment the plant is

still growing and about three or four new palm fronds are coming in. Problem is the old fronds look awful, some a sickly yellow and others tan and drying out. I'd like to refurbish the poor thing, but not sure what to do. If I cut off every frond that looks bad, the plant will practically be bald. The base of the plant doesn't look very good either.

If I cut off 1/3 of all the sickly looking fronds, will it stimulate growth with more fronds appearing? I don't know if palms respond like perennials or shrubs after being cut back. I'd sure appreciate your comments.

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ericthehurdler(NOR CAL 9a)

my guess is that some of that spray you used got into the soil and is effecting your palm negatively. What i would do is leach the soil for a few minutes hopefully draining the salts and other crud that might be in your soil.

cutting the sick fronds off would do nothing but harm the already stressed palm


    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 8:49PM
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I would leave the fronds as they are now until it grows well again. You dont want anything stressing the palm out and its not necessary.

I would water it well to get rid of anything that could be in the soil thats bad for it and every once in a while I would take it outside during a heavy rain storm because nothing is better than natural rain!


    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 9:37PM
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Hey summerstar - where in Va are you located?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:45PM
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Hi Mastiffhoo,

I live 30 or so miles west of Charlottesville at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains; near the Parkway.

I was having a recurring problem with spider mites and did the only thing open to me: Undertake a rigorous spray program. At this point, it seems that the spider mites are at last gone. Since last posting here, I've cut out the palm fronds that really looked the worst and put the plant in the shower and gave it a thorough watering of good well water. I'll continue the showering process as I understand mites don't like a dousing of water. For now I'll wait and see what happens. I don't have any other ideas at this point. In the spring I'll repot it. It looks a heck of a lot better with all the tan/gray fronds gone.

Thanks to those who wrote.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 3:17PM
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we are fairly close, I'm in Bedford County...

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 7:07PM
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Hi mastiffhoo,

Hubbie tells me Smith Mountain Lake is in Bedford County and we have friends living in a huge community there. They live walking distance to the lake; on the northeast end.

Please send some positive thoughts to my little palm. It's lookin' better as I said earlier. Happy gardening and God bless.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 4:22PM
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Yes, it is - and it is a beautiful lake!

You all should visit it sometime.

God bless back!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 10:32AM
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Hunter_M(Kentucky Z.6)

You live near Bedford!! I used to live in Bedford before I came to Ohio. I love Bedford! I had a friend that lived off of Smith Mountain lake, too. I went wakeboarding and tubing with him once. But, yeah I lived in Bedford County and I loved it!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 11:23AM
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I actually live in Goode - between Forest and Bedford - but close. I also teach at Staunton River High School. I love the area - Lynchburg and surrounding areas!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 7:53AM
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Hunter_M(Kentucky Z.6)

Hey, my best friends are in 8th grade at Staunton River middle school! Maybe you will teach in some of their classes next year!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Hunter_M(Kentucky Z.6)

Sorry, maybe not next year, as I dont know what grade you teach. I wasnt thinking. Im 14 and I went to Goodview Elementary School for k-5. If I didnt move to Ohio I would be at Satunton Middle.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 4:42PM
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