Ask a Question forum: Mediterranean Fan Palm

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Jul 12, 2016 6:56 PM CST
I've recently relocated a thriving 10 year old Mediterranean Fan Palm. The first month or so it looked great. Now for the past month the older leaves are turning light green and yellow. I have an aggressive watering schedule as we had to cut away all of the extended roots to create a manageable root ball and I wanted it to get the needed water. I water three times a week on drip and for about 90 minutes each time. I can dial back the amount of water, but I have trees and bushes who need the deep watering needed here in the Phoenix summer so cutting the time would not work. Any suggestions? Could it need Palm food, more water, less water?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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Jul 12, 2016 9:51 PM CST
Kelly, a picture of the plant would be really helpful. It is probably natural for a transplanted tree to lose some older leaves, especially if you had to root-prune it. In fact, it might have been a good idea to take some of the foliage off proportionally when you did the move. i.e. if you removed, say, 1/4 of the roots, you should take off 1/4 of the leaves too.

How long ago did you move this plant? After all, it IS July and about as hot as it gets in the next month or so. It would have been much easier on the plant to move it in the fall, or during the cold weather when it was more or less dormant. So . . the transplant shock is really setting in now that the weather is so hot.

If you are seeing any new growth at the top, you could give it some VERY dilute fertilizer. If you're not seeing new growth, it's still trying to grow roots and doesn't need much other than water. Is there any way you can rig up some shade for the tree? A piece of shade cloth suspended over it, or something similar?

Have you mulched over the roots? A thick layer of organic mulch like wood chips will help retain moisture, as well as protecting the root area from the direct sun so the roots will be cooler. Don't ever use rock or rubber mulch, as it doesn't insulate, and heats up in the sun, instead of absorbing some moisture and staying cooler.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jul 13, 2016 10:31 AM CST
Hi Kelly Welcome! to NGA

My Dad transplanted full grown palm trees all the time and with great success. I have followed his instructions and transplanted a couple myself.

After transplanting, he put a dripper in the top of the palm where the leaves emerge and let the water drip for a couple weeks until he started to see signs of life.

I don't know if its too late for your palm but if you can extend that drip line so it is dripping onto the crown and down the trunk, you might have better success.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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