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Plant Diseases/Palm potted trees

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Question
History:I found two abandoned palm trees in pots. I thought they might be root bound. So I repotted them and cut the trunk and roots down and sorted through the dirt to see the type of care. I live in the Midwest and kept them outside so I did not contaminate my other plants with any disease. However they are still not doing well. I found too much and many different types of fertilizer and lots of junk in the pots including a throwing knife taped to the top of trees foliage to keep it up right.

Q:I was wondering if I have a lost cause or is there anything along the lines of homeopathic things I can do for "the twins"?

Answer
Hi Renee,  Pruning
Container palms can be pruned simply with hand help equipment or a pole saw/lopper. Most growers remove old leaves when they become unsightly. Over-pruning can lead to loss of plant vigor. The petiole is cut close to the palms trunk. Leaf bases are allowed to age until they can be easily removed by hand. Premature removal will invariably cause permanent scars to the trunk, increasing the chance of bacterial or fungal infections.

  
Fertilizers
To understand fertilizers, one must understand what fertilizer is and does. Fertilizer is a substance that gives nutrition to the palm for growth of the leaves, trunk and roots. It may be derived from an organic source (blood meal, bone meal, manure, fish emulsion, etc.) or inorganic (purchased chemical fertilizers). Its major components (major nutrients) are nitrogen, phosphate (phosphoric acid), and soluble potash (K20) and the concentration of these components is given as the N/P/K ratio. Palms generally like a ratio of approximately 3:1:3, such as 18/6/18 or a similar formula. Minor nutrients (microelements) are the elements necessary in trace amounts yet still very important to overall palm growth. These include such things as iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, and molybdenum. The minor elements may be part of a fertilizer formula or can be used separately. There are maladies described for specific deficiencies of all fertilizer elements, especially in high rainfall areas. Organic fertilizers (except for steer manure) are slower acting and have less chance of burn. Regular chemical fertilizers typically are faster with more chance of burn. Slow release chemical fertilizers diminish but dont eliminate this risk of plant burn. Soluble fertilizers are chemical fertilizers that go into solution. With an injector they can be quite efficient but require strict adherence to manufacturers directions. Fish emulsion is a soluble organic fertilizer and thus reduces chance of burn.

If you have passed all these tests with your palm then you could use Atomic Grow to keep plants healthy organically.  Let me know and I will continue.  kathy

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kathy crowley

Expertise

Tropical plants in Florida, Bamboo, Vines, Fruit trees, Antique Roses, rare plants from around the world.

Experience

Nursery business for 19 years

Organizations
Bamboo Society, Rare Tree Society, Rare Fruit Tree Society, Passiflora Society

Publications
Florida Gardening Sarasota Magazine Bradenton Herald Tribune Sarasota Herald Tribune

Education/Credentials
Self taught, family history of nursery business

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