areca palms yellowing

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by JoeSoFl, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. JoeSoFl

    JoeSoFl Member

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    Hi, I am new to this and am having problems with some areca palms. They are in cement pots outside in southern florida full sun and have slowly become more and more yellow in the fronds and the stalks. They are watered and fronds misted twice a week and I have used a palm fertilizer and and even tried an application of liquid chelated palm nnutritional (Mn,Mg,Fe) a couple months ago but nothing has really helped. there are also a number of fronds with brown tips that need to be trimmed. I do have some new growth that looks a little greener than the other fronds but the stalks are still very yellow. Not sure if they are not getting enough water or if they were not fertilized enough, etc. Any help would be appreciated. Joe
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Mites? More effective fertilization needed? Too much sun?
     
  3. JoeSoFl

    JoeSoFl Member

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    Thats what Im trying to find out. No there are no mites or other insects.
     
  4. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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  5. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Do the pots allow for drainage? Do you have the soil amended with sand?

    We used to have at least a dozen of these palms in our Miami yard but they always appeared to do best with just less than direct sunlight. I watched them grow from three feet to over 15 feet in four years but they do need regular fertilizer.

    I now grow one in an atrium that stands over 14 feet but there is no direct sunlight, only lightly diffused with regular water and fertilizer.
     
  6. JoeSoFl

    JoeSoFl Member

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    thanks for the pic.. mine look pretty much like that, maybe a little more yellow. The pots do drain well. i wonder if they need more water since they get so much sunlight
     
  7. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Does the soil feel dry?

    As long as the water flows through quickly more water won't harm the plants but don't allow the roots to remain water logged.

    I would also suggest you check with a local palm nursery for advice. There may be a supplement missing. I asked a palm expert in Naples to comment but so far I haven't received a response.
     
  8. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I received an answer from Buddy Poulsen who is a South Florida palm expert. Chances are you won't be crazy about the answer,

    "This palm knows as the common Areca is really Dypsis lutescens. They are junk. They grow like a weed using up all the food and then become deficient rapidly turning yellow. If you must have one, the palm needs Sul-Po-Mag (already mixed together) or sulfur potash and magnesium on top of a palm blend of fertilizer with a ratio of 4-1-4 w/minors and put it on every three months at a rate of one pound per caliper inch. The soil must be sand, pine bark, Florida or Canadian peat with no wood in the mix. The palm need lots of room to grow and as soon as it is out of room it will let you know by turning yellow unable to maintain a steady diet. They are good in a pot through about 10-12 f, then they need a very large pot or put it in the landscape. "

    Buddy is a good friend but everytime he visits my atrium he tells me to cut my "Areca" down! Believe me, he knows his palms!
     
  9. JoeSoFl

    JoeSoFl Member

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    Wow photopro.. thanks so much for taking the time to check into this for me. It figures... I have 8 big ones (6ft) in pots that pretty much provide the privacy for my pool so maybe I ll try the fert an peet before I give up and buy all new plants. Wasn't sure if I was really saving something expensive or what (they came with the house). Sounds like I'm not! Thanks again
     
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    When we lived in Miami they were fairly common but, despite Buddy's opinion, still fairly nice plants until they get really big.
     

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