Ask a Question forum: Palm turning bad colors

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Texas
Kayt
Dec 18, 2017 8:47 PM CST
Ok so I recently purchased a palm and it didn't have a name but I believe it is a Chamaedorea hooperiana. The leaves have rapidly started turning black on the tips and then brownish yellowish on the bottom ones. I have no idea what to do. It is not the red bugs. HELP!
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Dec 18, 2017 9:14 PM CST
Welcome!

It looks like you are overwatering.
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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Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 1:36 AM CST
I have barely watered it? How often should it be watered? Crying Confused
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 19, 2017 11:39 AM CST
Do you have a photo that shows the entire palm, including its pot? I assume it is potted and kept inside, but maybe not. What is your watering routine?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 7:52 PM CST
I got it 2 weeks ago. I haven't had time to change it into a permanent pot. I have watered it once a week. HELP!
Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 7:54 PM CST
It is still deteriorating rapidly and I don't know what to do. It is worse than it was yesterday.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Dec 19, 2017 8:16 PM CST
Kayt, we need more information or we can't help you.

First, we need a photo of the entire plant, with pot, to determine what kind of palm it is. Also, a photo of the base of the plant, showing growth. Different palms need different care. Why do you think its Chamaedorea hooperiana (a photo will help determine that)?

Where did you buy it (big box store, local nursery, internet)? Was it in a greenhouse? Which leaves are dying? Old ones, new ones? Do you have it sitting on a heater vent? In a sunny window?

Don't move it to another pot until we determine what the problem is. Repotting while trying to diagnosis just adds to the variables.

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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 9:29 PM CST

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Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 9:35 PM CST
My grandma gave it to me for my birthday because I love plants and I don't know where she go it from. It's not on a heater vent.
Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 9:39 PM CST
I think it might be some sort of bug or molding. I found these in the top of the pot. There was moss on top. These were under.on the leaves that are bad there are white dots.
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Dec 19, 2017 9:55 PM CST
Looks like scale infestation to me. You can remove them with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol if there aren't to many, or spray with a alcohol/soap and water solution... getting in all the crevices, or insecticidal soap if you can do it outside. You will have to watch carefully for a new generation, and repeat until all bugs are gone.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Dec 19, 2017 10:08 PM CST
Carol is right about the scale. They suck the life out of a plant so getting rid of them is a top priority. The little caterpillars... no clue but getting rid of the moss may get rid of them too. Anything lying on the soil surface (moss, dying leaves...) will attract insects.

Its not Chamaedorea hooperiana but I'm not sure what it is.

You still haven't told us if the old leaves or new leaves are dying and its not obvious from your photos but I think old leaves.
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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
[Last edited by DaisyI - Dec 19, 2017 10:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
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Zuni
Dec 19, 2017 10:11 PM CST
First, if you can return it, I would.

Next, unless you are a purist, use a pesticide to kill those buggers. There are some organic ones that are pretty effective.

Then, is it outside? I can't tell. Maybe it's too cold outside.

If you can't return it or don't want to, or you already have other plants infected by the bugs from it, then what I'd do is treat the bugs with some kind of insecticide. Make sure you have it somewhere warm enough for it without drafts. Cut off all bad leaves/growth. Make sure it's moist but not drenched. And let it heal.

If it's totally root bound, you could also repot it in moist but not drenched soil.

It will probably come back if you get the bugs under control, as well as the moisture level, warmth level, and enough light but not direct sun.

I think people are often more shy than they should be regarding pruning, too. If you get it healthy, you should be able to prune it pretty heavily and have it bounce back.

To be honest with you, I never have had good luck with palms either inside or outside. We just don't get along. So, if you do fail, don't feel like you are a total failure at all plants. There are lots of plants that love me to pieces. Just not ferns or palms LOL.

But, your pics look like a palm that is mostly very healthy, so I think there's hope :-)
Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 10:23 PM CST
Thank y'all so much! There is a whole section like a big chunck where it is infected majorly should I cut that off or pull it off? I am going to buy organic pesticides tomorrow. It's the new small leaves that are being majorly infected
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Dec 19, 2017 10:50 PM CST
Zuni, maybe your poor luck with palms is that you pruned the tops right off. Palms have only one growth point - prune it off and your palm is gone. Forever.

As I advised before, don't repot a plant you are having a problem with. It just complicates the problem.

First a solution... The only way to get rid of scale is to wipe it off. Alcohol works well and you already have it in your bathroom (or in my case, your kitchen where all sick plants go to die or recover). Scale insects live under a waxy little dome, safe from all pesticides. Loosen them up (with a Q-tip in alcohol) and wipe them off.

On the whole, except for the scale, your palm doesn't look all that bad.
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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 10:50 PM CST
This is all the infected area that I just barely touched and it fell off, this fella has a long recovery ahead😂wish me luck and if you have anymore tips let me know. This is my first palm. Thank You!
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Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 10:54 PM CST
Oh no. Did I do it wrong? I took off the really bad parts that fell of. Then took the very infected one out. Then tomorrow I need to wipe the whole plant down with alcohol?
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
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Zuni
Dec 19, 2017 11:01 PM CST
DaisyI said:Zuni, maybe your poor luck with palms is that you pruned the tops right off. Palms have only one growth point - prune it off and your palm is gone. Forever.

As I advised before, don't repot a plant you are having a problem with. It just complicates the problem.

First a solution... The only way to get rid of scale is to wipe it off. Alcohol works well and you already have it in your bathroom (or in my case, your kitchen where all sick plants go to die or recover). Scale insects live under a waxy little dome, safe from all pesticides. Loosen them up (with a Q-tip in alcohol) and wipe them off.

On the whole, except for the scale, your palm doesn't look all that bad.


Top? Hmmmm. I guess it depends on the palm. But, the one in question seems to be sprouting leaves from the root system, so even if you cut off the top, it should continue to send up shoots from the root system, right? The trouble I ever had with palm-type trees (perhaps I'm using the wrong words?) are the ones like in this thread, and they ended up with yellowed tips mainly. They were the types where new leaves came up from the root system, as opposed to the types of palms I see in my neighborhood, where they are one stalk with palm fronds at the top - like a pineapple type tree. Forgive me, palms are not my area of expertise, but I understand the concept, I think, that you are referring to.

I can see, though, that if a palm had only one stem and you lopped off the top, it could be palmicide LOL. But, I don't think this palm is that type. But, as I say, I'm not a palm expert. I just have a pretty good basic understanding of how plants grow. And it doesn't seem like this guy will die if it gets pruned severely, as it's growth seems to all come from the root system.

But, hey, I'm not always right :-)
[Last edited by Zuni - Dec 19, 2017 11:07 PM (+)]
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Texas
Kayt
Dec 19, 2017 11:04 PM CST
Yes mine has many different sprouting thingies. Lol. So I just took the one that was completely infected out.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 21, 2017 7:51 PM CST
There is only one frond in one of the photos that looks like it might be scale. If it is scale, then you should find some stickiness on the leaves or on the floor under the pot.

In any case, I don't think that your Chamaedorea looks that bad and insects (crawling or scale) are the problem. These Palms can be rather fussy about light and water. Make sure yours is getting a lot of very bright indirect sunlight all day long. If it is more than a few feet from the nearest window, then it is probably not getting enough light. Water it thoroughly as soon as the surface of the soil feels dry. That is sometimes hard to determine because of the underground rhizomes that are close to the surface. When you do water, be sure to add enough that some water trickles through the drain holes.

It is not uncommon for Chamaedoreas to lose some of their lower and interior fronds as they adapt to the less than ideal conditions of the home environment. As long as there is healthy new growth emerging, you are probably on the right track.

Be alert for spider mites as Palms of all species are favored hosts of spider mites.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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