Important Information Regarding Palms

A multitude of products & knowledge is needed to properly care for palm trees. New insects continue to arrive making palm tree care a constant battle. Rest assured, your shrub technician is highly trained & consistently updated on the symptoms of palm tree problems. He will work diligently to give just the right amount of care needed to keep your valuable palm trees healthy & beautiful.

With all that said, we would like to educate you on several issues that may affect palm trees. If you have a regular tree & shrub program, we will work hard to catch these problems & advise you accordingly. However, treatment of the issues below is not included in your program & we can not guarantee these issues won’t arise. Now, lets get started with the information.


Spiraling Whitefly

The Rugose Spiraling Whitefly has made its way to Florida. This is an amazing new breed of Whitefly that was first detected in Miami- Dade County in 2009. Since then, entomologists from the University of Florida have been studying the characteristics of these new, unusual Whiteflies.

This whitefly appears to have a very broad range of host plants from palms to fruits to woody ornamentals. It has been found on the plants listed & is spreading.

Plant Damage:

Look for an abundance of white, waxy material covering the leaves. They produce a sugary substance which causes the growth of sooty mold. (Excessive sooty mold can inhibit sunlight penetration causing plant decline.) Because whiteflies suck the nutrients from the host plant, they can cause serious plant decline, defoliation, branch dieback and even plant death.


We recommend a trunk spray. This method does not wound the tree and will control the insect for longer than the inoculation method. *If you have our shrub service, all trees under 8ft tall will be treated, as needed, at no additional charge.

Royal Palm Bug

The royal palm bug feeds only on Royal Palms (Roystonea regia). Females deposit their eggs in the spring along the ribs of emerging leaflets (fronds). The eggs hatch & reach adulthood in about one month’s time.

As the royal palm bugs feed on freshly opened leaves, yellow streaks appear. The leaves turn brown & wilt as the bugs multiply. The leaves will eventually become tattered, gray & dead.

Plant Damage:

The damage caused by these bugs is unattractive & detrimental to the palm’s grown & health. Royal palm bugs will rarely, if ever, kill a palm.


We recommend one soil drench each year in December as the best preventative for Royal Palm Bugs.

Palm Weevil

Plant Damage:

Weevils bore into palm trees & kill them. Sometimes before you even know they’re there! General, irreversible decline of young leaves occurs as a result of a weevil infestation. With Canary Island Date Palms, the older leaves begin to droop during the earliest stages of infestation. As the infestation progress, severe rotting causes the top of the palm to fall over.


Curative and preventative treatments with systemic neonicitinoid insecticides are possible, but require vigilance and persistence. We recommend preventative treatments two or three per year depending on the type of palm tree. Thorough drenches of the palm heart, trunk and soil are the best prevention method to keep the weevils out. Read more specific details about Palm Weevils here.

Magnesium, Iron & Nitro

· Low magnesium, iron or nitrogen can cause a multitude of problems for your palms. Symptoms include yellowing, spotting and wilting.

· Proper nutrition is important. Initial nutrient drenches can fix a deficiency & proper fertilization will keep your palms properly nourished.

Manganese Deficiency

· Often called frizzletop because of the appearance of the leaves. Caused by low Mn or high PH levels in the soil.

· 2 nutrient drenches can restore the health of your palm. Preventative treatments are available.

Potassium Deficiency

· This deficiency has various symptoms including yellow spotting, curling leaves or necrosis. This deficiency is first noticed in older leaves.

· With the proper nutrients drenched in the soil, this potassium deficiency can easily be remedied.

Boron Deficiency

· Boron deficiency has many symptoms some of which are: hook-leaf, leaf necrosis, accordion leaf or emerging spears that fail to open properly.

· Regular treatments may be needed to solve this problem because recovery can take a long time. Please refer to technician recommendations.

Ganoderma Butt Rot

Unfortunately, Ganoderma Butt Rot is not preventable or treatable. You can think of it more like a virus that is “catching”. Ganoderma Butt Rot disease is spread primarily through pruning tools or through infected mulch. Sadly, GBR is a death sentence to a tree. Click here for detailed information regarding Ganoderma Butt Rot.

Conk on base of Palm Trunk Ganoderma Butt Rot