Pygmy Palm - Knowledgebase Question

Chandler, Ar
Question by vicmick10
June 13, 2010
Pygmy palms look terrible after planting in March.The frongs appear burnt and the palm is no longer full looking.I went from watering 3-4 times/week to 5-6 times/week.I've done 1 does of Miracle Grow with no results.Help! Thanks!

Answer from NGA
June 13, 2010


Pigmy palms are well adapted to the Phoenix area. As long as you are watering yours regularly, they should be fine. I've found that they can take several months to establish their root systems before they begin to grow well. The sunscald on the leaves is distressing, but it just shows that the plant was originally growing in a more shaded, more protected spot when the leaves first emerged. Now that they are in full summer sun, they're reacting to the intensity of the sunshine by turning brown and looking burned. As your palm develops new leaves, they will be more tolerant of the summer sun. Eventually you'll be able to prune off the older leaves and your palm will look much nicer. While adequate water is important, you don't want to over water to the point where the soil remains too wet. This can cause root rot. Watering deeply every 3-4 days should be fine for your palm. It's important that when you do water, the water is applied slowly so it has a chance to soak in and wet the entire root mass. Our clay soils hold lots of water so you may want to use a stick or a metal probe to see how far down the water is traveling. Push the probe into the soil near the palm. If the soil is moist the probe will go in easily. If it is dry it will be hard to push down into the soil. Use this as a guide. If the soil is moist to the depth of the root mass, your palm is getting enough water.

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