Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Queen Palm Tree

Queen Palm Tree Basic Information:

Common Name: Queen Palm
Scientific Name: Syagrus romanzoffiana
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: up to 50ft
Water Req: moderate
Cold Tolerance: down to 25F
Light Req: full sun to some shade

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Queen Palm Tree Problems

Queen Palm Tree is very easy to grow but sometimes you can run into few problems. In these post I will address most common Queen Palm Tree Problems.
  • Queen Palm Tree over watering.
  • Queen Palm Tree pests.
  • Queen Palm Tree diseases.
  • Queen Palm Tree nutrient deficiency.
1. How to find out if you are over watering your Queen Palm?

Over watering will cause palm tree leaves turn brown or yellow and fall quickly without drying out. Signs of over-watering might include soft or rotting trunk, and bad smelling soil around the base of the palm.

Established Queen Palm needs to be watered around 3 times a week during warm months and 2 times a week during cold months. New planted Queen Palm needs to be watered every day for the first week. Here is a great article on Watering Queen Palm Tree that goes into the details on how to water your Queen Palm properly.

2. Queen Palm Tree Pests

Palm leaf skeletonizer and scale are problems for Queen Palm.

Palm Leaf Skeletonizer

Palm Leaf Skeletonizer is called Homaledra sabalella is native to Florida. Leaf Skeletonizer eats the tissue of the leaf leaving bare veins and midribs. It produces brown sawdust-like material.

The best way to control this problem cut the infected leaves as soon as you notice it.

If it infected a lot of Queen Palm leaves before you noticed it’s is harder to control because pruning too much fronds could kill the palm.

After cutting the leaves spray your palm with one of the following: Sevin, or Neem seed extract.
Palm Scale

Palm Scale produces sticky substance that is very hard to get rid of. Also you will notice brown legless bump that usually appears on the new fronds. That brown bump sucks fluids out of the palm. One bump will not kill your palm tree but if they multiply, your palm tree might be in trouble.

To get rid of palm scale mix the same amount of horticultural oil, rubbing alcohol and dish soap. Spray infected leaf and using cotton ball start rubbing the scale off. I know, it is tidies and boring, but there is no other way.

3. Queen Palm Tree diseases

The most popular Queen Palm Tree diseases are Ganoderma Root and Bud Rot

Ganoderma Root

Ganoderma root signs are the drooping of the older leafs and yellow new growing fronds. Sometimes Queen Palm trunk might collapse. The only thing you can do, is to get rid of your Queen Palm. Sorry to disappoint you. To make sure infections doesn’t spread on to other palm trees wash your saw if you where pruning sick palm and get rid of the sick palm roots. There is not chemical treatment.

Bud Rot

If your Queen palm Tree got Bud rot, you will notice black lesions on the new palm fronds and new leaves drooping. The bud rot might occur after a lot of rain or if the bud got damaged by cold. Your older fronds will stay green for a while and then will slowly die. Unfortunately, it’s it unlikely for the palm tree to recover. You need to destroy the palm tree and root system to avoid spreading.

The only thing you can do is use preventive methods to avoid bud rot. Try to minimize overhead irrigation. I found that Bonide Products Liquid Copper Fungicide is very effective against bud rot. You can apply it to the remaining palm trees to make sure bud rot doesn’t spread on other palm trees in your garden.

4. Queen Palm Tree Nutrient Deficiency

Most of the Queen Palm Trees experience manganese deficiency. You will notice your Queen palm has a “frizzle top”. I lot of home owners don’t know how to fertilize Queen Palm Trees properly. Add more manganese to the soil when applying regular fertilizer.

Watering Queen Palm Tree

I get a lot of email asking about right way of watering Queen Palm Trees, so I decided to put together an article answering most of the questions. In this post you will find out:
  • How often you should water new planted Queen Palm
  • How much water Queen Palm needs
  • How to check moist level of the soil
  • Why do you need to deep water your Queen Palm
  • What is the best time for watering your Queen Palm
  • Are you over watring your Queen Palm
Queen Palms like a lot of water. They grow very well in moist and well drained soil.

1. How often should I water my new planted Queen Palm Tree?

You should water your new planted Queen Palm every day for the first week, every other day for the second week and then switch to 3 times a week. You want the soil to be moist.

Usually, watering established Queen palm tree 2-3 times a week is enough. Adjust your watering depending on the season. Queen Palm grow more during warm months, so it needs more water in the summer. Growth rate slows down during colder months, so it needs less water in the winter. Watering once a week should be enough.

2. How much water does my Queen Palm needs?

Here is a rule you should use when watering your Queen Palm. If it's a 15 gallon container palm tree, then use 15 gallons of water. If it's a 20 gallon container, then use 20 gallons of water. Again, summer months use a little bit more than that, winter month a little bit less. You should understand, that it really depends on the type of the soil and the drainage.

Always check the soil to make sure it's moist and adjust your water amount if needed. This simple rule should help you not to over water your palm.

3. How to check the moist in the soil?

I use soil probe. You can use a screwdriver if you don't have a soil probe. Take a soil probe and push into the ground as far as it can go, twist it and pull it out. If the soil is too dry, the probe will stop. Feel the soil.

If it's moist you don't need to water more. Check to see how far the root extends. You don't need to water deeper than that because roots can not get to the water below the root depth.

Check to see how long the soil stays moist after you water. If the soil is wet do NOT water your palm. It is very easy to over water. For the best result DEEP water your palm.

4. What is DEEP watering and why is it good for my Queen Palm?

Let's say you have 25 gallon Queen Palm, so you would need 25 gallons of water. You can water your palm tree two ways. First way is to take all 25 gallons of water and dump it on the ground around your palm tree in 1 minute. The water will simply runoff your your palm roots will not get enough.

It takes time for the soil to absorb water. The second way to water your Queen Palm is to slow drip 25 gallons of water over the course of 1 hour. If you have a sprinkler system with a timer, that is what I would highly recommend, water your Queen Palm for 30 min, turn the water off, let it soak into the ground for 30 min, then resume watering for the remaining 30 min.

This should not only water the top of the soil but also get few inches deep into the ground. It all depends on the soil type. Check with the soil probe.

5. When do I need to water my Queen Palm Tree?

You should water your Queen Palm early in the morning or late in the evening when it's not too hot. Why? Because if you water your palm tree in the middle of the hot summer day, when the temperature is around 100F, and get the water on the palm tree frond it will fry the leaves. When you going tanning, you put oil all over your body to maximize the result. The same thing happens to your palm tree, only instead of tanning it's burning!

Mist or hose your palm to clean up all the dust on the leaves, but do it in the cooler time of the day. After you figure out how long to water and how much water your Queen Palm needs, it's is a great idea to get a sprinkler system with a timer.

Note: You don't need to water your Queen Palm when it's raining. In case, you didn't know. Turn OFF your sprinkler system when it's raining. I see a lot of my neighbors creating a tropical storm and a flooding by leaving in on during the rain. Poor trees... What a waste of water.

I hope you find this article useful. Let me know if you would like to share your experience or have good tips for Watering Queen Palm Tree. Have a great day!


Fertilizing Queen Palm Tree

It is very important to properly fertilize Queen Palm Tree. I this post I will answer following questions:
  • When should you fertilize your Queen Palm Tree?
  • How often do you need to fertilize your Queen Palm Tree?
  • How much fertilizer should you use?
  • What is the best fertilizer for Queen Palm Trees?
  • What are the most important nutrients for your Queen Palm Tree?
  • What is the worst fertilizer for your Queen Palm?
1. When should I fertilize my Queen Palm Tree?

Fertilize your Queen Palm ONLY during growing months, from April to beginning of October. Queen Palms increase growth rate during warm months and slow down during winter month. It is important to begin fertilizing your Queen Palm in the early April because it's when growing period starts. Fertilizer will supply your Queen Palm with all the nutrients needed for the fast growth.

2. How often do I need to fertilize my Queen Palm Tree?

4-5 times a year should be plenty. Queen Palm Tree is very fast growing palm that needs fertilizer and I think fertilizing it 5 times a yea will keep it happy and healthy.

3. How much fertilizer should I use?

How much fertilizer to use depends on the age and the size of your Queen Palm. Queen Palm Trees have wide roots, so when applying fertilizer it is necessary to cover the root ball of your palm. The wider the better. Read the instructions on the back of the fertilizer bag.

Important Note: Apply fertilizer at LEAST 2 foot away from the Queen Palm trunk. Queen Palm Tree fertilizer needs to be applied BEFORE watering. Not after.

4. What is the best fertilizer for Queen Palm Trees?

I recommend using 8-3-9 slow release formula. Slow release fertilizer will feed your palm for few months and won't burn the roots of your palm. A lot of palm trees die from the fertilizer root burn. Find 8-3-9 fertilizer that contains other micro nutrients. At least 6, but the more different micro elements, the better. Here is the list of additional micro elements: Magnesium, Manganese, Sulphur, Boron, Copper, Iron, Molybdenum, Zinc.

Don't buy cheap fertilizer trying to save money, because it means less quality plant food for you palm. And don't buy it because of the brand name. This is one of the most valuable advice you can get - Always read the label! Remember, BEST fertilizer is not cheap. I apologies, but I couldn't find any good fertilizer on Amazon.com. I'll keep looking.

5. What are the most important nutrients for your Queen Palm Tree?

Most important nutrients that your Queen Palm Tree needs are represented by 3 number on each fertilizer bag. If you are confused by the 3 numbers, don't worry, they are: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). The numbers are the percentage by weight of the N, P, K found in the fertilizer. The bag of 8-3-9 fertilizer will contain 8% of Nitrogen, 3% of Phosphorous, and 9% of potassium (potash).

Nitrogen is responsible for the dark green color of your palm fronds and development of the new leaves. Phosphorous helps the root system and blooming. Potassium helps cold hardiness of the palm and keeps tolerant to different diseases.

Queen palm also needs additional manganese. Don't confuse with magnesium. A lot of Queen Palms have a "frizzle top" because of the manganese deficiency. Always apply additional manganese with your regular fertilizer EVEN if it already contain manganese.

6. What is the worst fertilizer for my Queen Palm?

I thought you never ask. By far the worst fertilizer is the potting soil that includes fertilizer. I get so many emails from people, saying that it killed every plant in their garden. Do NOT buy potting soil that contains fertilizer.

I really hope you found my article useful. Please share your fertilizing experience and tips on Fertilizing Qeen Palm Tree.

Susan :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Planting Queen Palm Tree

Queen Palm Tree likes warm weather and high humidity. You can plant palms any time of the year but they establish much faster if planted during warm months. I takes 2-3 months for palm trees to develop new roots if planted during April - October. Here are step-by-step planting instructions for planting Queen Palm Tree:

1. Choose a spot. When picking a place for planting your palm, consider that Queen palm tree is a fast growing palm that can grow up to 50ft. Power lines above the Queen palm, might be a problem in the future. Queen palm likes full sun, so make sure your spot is getting enough sunlight during the day.

2.Dig a hole. As a rule of thumb, your hole size should be twice as big as the root ball of your palm.

3. After you are done digging, cut the walls of the hole with a small shovel, just a little bit to make the walls a little softer. That will help palm tree roots to penetrate through easier.

4. Since Queen palm likes well drained soil, mix some sand into the soil. That will help to improve the drainage. Do NOT add any fertilizer to the mix. If you do, it will burn palm roots and your palm will die.

The best soil mix is based on Canadian peat moss. I found two different types on the Amazon. That's what I would use to make sure my soil has excellent drainage:

5. A lot of times new planted palm trees experience "transplant shock". To minimize the stress use the original soil form the pot around the root ball of the palm.

6. Pure some water into the bottom of the hole and start adding soil. Push down the soil to eliminate air pockets. Add more water and plant your palm.

7. Add soil around your palm and again push it down around the root ball of the palm to avoid air pockets. Make sure you palm is not planted too deep or too high. This can kill your Queen palm. It should be on the ground level.

8. After you done with soil create a barrier around the tree. It should be around 2-3 inches. This will hold water and will help keep the soil moist longer.

9. Another great tips to keep the soil moist is to add some mulch. 2-3 inches of mulch should be enough. I like to use organic mulch that is made from natural forest products. It's so cheap, like $5, you should definitely get it. I like to use organic mulch that is made from natural forest products. Scott Organic Mulch lasts for 1 year:

10. If your Queen palm is few feet tall put a brace around it. You can make it from few wooden sticks and a strap. This brace will protect your Queen Palm Tree from wind and storm.

11. Water your palm and you are done! Don't forget to water your new planted Queen Palm every day during the first week. You can water it every other day for the second week and only 3 times a week after.

Important Tip: I know that Queen palm likes full sun, but if it's a young palm you should protect it from the direct sun for few weeks after planting, especially during summer month. It can get very hot in Florida and your new planted palm already got stressed by being transplanted. I get emails from people who completely fried their new Queen palms by leaving them in the direct sun during hottest days of the summer.

Here is an easy fix: cover it with something like umbrella from 11am - 6pm. And use common sense. If it's very hot, water it a little more.

I hope this article on Planting Queen Palm Tree was useful. Let me know if you have good tips on planting queen palms.

Have a great day!