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Dying California Fan Palms

Posted by dahur 8a (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 15:04

Two years ago I found, and purchased 5 California fan Palms at Home Depot. I forget the gallon size, but they were about 4ft tall. They loved it here and thrived, doubling in size to over 8ft over the two years. Back in June, I noticed one was wilting, and within 4 weeks or so had perished. This saddened me, as they were doing so well..! Now, this week I noticed another is dying. I have been growing Palms for five years,( I have 28), fertilized them in the Spring, water them twice a week, and that system has worked out fine.....until now.
I fear losing all five. Any ideas on what's going on..? My Mexican's, and Medjool are doing great.
Southern New Mexico Zone 8b


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

Here's one I took today:


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

Mine do best with a lot of water. Dig down and see how dry it is, or you might find it to wet/water logged.


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

My first thought was that it looks very, very dry. Yes, these are desert palms BUT, in nature they rely on water from underground aquifers. Increase watering.


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

They've been fine for two years, as have all my other palms. When the first one died in July, I cut it down, and it stunk of rot.
The trunk was very wet, so I just don't think it's a lack of water.
And I don't think watering every four days is too much...it never has been before. That's why I think something else is going on.


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

Then check to see if the drainage is bad, they could be water logged like I said before. You will have to dig down into the dirt to find your answer.


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

Ironically, the effects of being dehydrated and being soaked look the same. Dehydrated plants are not getting enough water and soaked plants have rotted roots that cannot utilize that water.


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

Worst case scenario (for me), is someone is poisoning them. Is there anything someone could put on these plants that could kill them like that...?
I've never had any problems like this before, and these Palms were growing phenomenally well.. Beautiful all green fronds, no yellowing. Then bang...just like that, one failed. Now another one.


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

Did you dig down to see what is going on at the root level?


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

I planted a new palm right beside the one that had died. When I dug the hole for it, the soil was not wet.
The affected one now, I dug down 6 or 8 inches two days after watering. Not wet.
The soil in that area drains pretty good.


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

A palm grower near me had a mysterious die off of some of her palms, and it turned out it was an underground gas leak (too about half a year to figure that one out). Certain substances can also leak into the soils and cause death as well (oils most likely).


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RE: Dying California Fan Palms

Could be phytophthora. Don't water them overhead if you usually do that. Also, water away from the trunk, maintaining a dry space of 4-6 inches around the base.


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