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Need Queen Palm Help - ASAP!!

Bought 3 queen palms about 3 years ago - all 5-8 gallon, all at same time.  We take exact same care of all 3 - two are thriving, one is dying - we are very inexperienced gardeners, but try our best - can somebody please give us some suggestions or ideas before we completely lose it? Branches have been turning brown for a couple months - still has one nice green branch coming out of middle, but we don't have hope for much more.  Trees are in front of our house (front door faces north), they are watered and fertilized regularly.

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Posted 2012-09-10T22:12:58+0000  by Tootse65 Tootse65

Also have pic to share if someone can tell me how to upload it.  Thank you!!

Posted 2012-09-10T22:14:31+0000  by Tootse65

Hi Tootse65,


I would love to see some pictures.  Once you click on reply, then you will see a little tree on the top of your response page.  Click on the tree and follow the prompts to upload the photos.  I look forward to seeing them so that we can better assist you in your question.

Posted 2012-09-11T15:28:00+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Hi Tootse65,


Thank you for your question and welconme to our communty.  The pictures you have will help but I have a few questions for you.  Are the palms in the ground or are they still in the containers you bought them in?  You stated that you water and fertilize all the plants regularly.  How often do you water and how often do you fertilize?  Queen Palms is a sun loving plant and will do best in 6 or more hours of direct sunlight.  The Queen Palm is also a fast growing palm as well which means it can quickly outgrow the container it came in  provided it has the proper amount of sunlight, soil and moisture.  With filtered light, the queen palm will not fill out and grow to its normal height and fullness.


Regular watering the palm in a pot is a must but in pots that are 5-8 gallon containers, they will be quickly overwhelmed by the Queen Palms root system.  Longer term containers for Queen Palms should be at least 15 gallon containers and will do best in 24 inch box size planters or larger.  


QueenPalm boxed by laspalmasranch.jpg      Queen Palm by randy4ut.jpg        Queenpalms by mauricethelawnguy.jpg


I look forward to seeing your photos.

Posted 2012-09-11T17:05:51+0000  by Rick_HD_OC

Thanks for the responses!!  My pics are too big - I will work on making them smaller and getting watering info today - the tree is in the ground, has been for approximately 3 years now - it was thriving, then its growth slowed down compared to the other two and has slowly been "withering" away - it is in direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.


Posted 2012-09-20T13:50:10+0000  by Tootse65

Can someone please help!!  My little palm is dying and don't know why.  Thanks!!

Posted 2012-09-26T13:34:08+0000  by Tootse65

Hi again Tootse65,


From the looks of your pictures, it appears that you live in the high desert or in Arizona.  Both areas have a lot of sand and rock which drains very fast and does not hold water. You stated that you are watering and fertilizing the palm trees on a regular basis.  How often is this?  Do you only water at the base of the palm trees?   It is important to remember that watering should be done at the drip line of the plant.   


Drip Line 6 by RicksPicks.png


The drip line is the area where branches or the palm fronds end.  It is in this area that the plant will absorb its nutrients and moisture.  By only watering at the base of the tree, you are not providing adequate water for the plant.  I would expand the watering area to include the drip line of the palm tree.


As the Queen Palm gets older, the roots go deeper and spread out following the growth of the palm fronds.  This means that your watering cycle needs to be longer and not more often. Short watering cycles do not penetrate deep enough into the soil especially in areas with very low humidity.  Do you have a drip system for your palm trees?  How much water is emitted from the emitters?  How many emitters do you have per tree?




To help revive the palm tree, you can use a product called SuperThrive.  This is a plant growth hormone designed to stimulate growth.  I would apply it using a five gallon container and apply it at the drip line of the palm tree.  This is not a fertilizer so it can be used along with your regular fertilization or by itself.  


                                 Super Thrive.jpg    Home Depot 5 gal Bucket.jpg


How often do you fertilize your palm trees?   Usually once every 2 months is adequate if you are using a granular fertilizer and you are fertilizing at the drip line as well.


I noticed that the other two Queen Palms appear to be doing well.  The question to answer is what has changed between the two palms doing well and the palm not doing well?    Is the palm not doing well up slop or down slop from the other two palm trees?  It is hard with your type of sandy soil to over water a queen palm tree.  I have a neighbor who had a queen palm tree growing very well in a clay/sandy loam mix here in Souther California.  We are about 10 miles east of the beach.  The Queen Palm grew so well, he had to cut it down unfortunately.  


The other issue could be below the ground.  It looks like you are in a fairly new area.  It is possible that during construction, something was buried that is now affecting your palm tree.   


I hope some of these suggestions will work for you.  It is a trial and error process at times when trying to diagnose a problem with a plant. Sometimes the solution is clear and other times it is not. 


Best of luck with your palm tree.  Please keep us posted on your progress. 


This has been another of,

Posted 2012-09-28T17:11:51+0000  by Rick_HD_OC

We are in the southwest, Phoenix, Arizona.  In the summer time we water every other day for 30 mins - all on drip system.


We also have another queen palm in our backyard that is thriving. Quite some time ago we had another die when it was small, we felt bad but at the time considered ourselves lucky that we only lost one out of the bunch. Now it looks like we are losing at least 1 more, possibly 2. If you look at the palm tree pic I posted - the one in the middle is thriving, obviously the small one is having the major problems, but now the third one on the outside is looking a bit wilted.


We fertilize with these clear small grain-like pellets, we buy them at Home Depot but do not know the name, looks similar almost to rock salt.


Does it look like frizzled palms, maybe lethal yellowing?  What about a manganese deficiency?


Thank you!!

Posted 2012-10-02T18:32:19+0000  by Tootse65

Hi again Tootse65, 


Your biggest issues are soil, water and sun.  I do not recognize your description of the fertilizer but, The Home Depot Garden Department does carry a fertilizer that is especially formulated palms.  This is only added about once every three months.  Too much fertilizer and you can burn your palm. 


                              Vigoro Palm and Ixora fertilizer.jpg


When you water, the drip system should be at the drip line of the palm.  On the palms that have been in the ground over one year, you should not have to water more than 1-2 times a week depending on how much water is emitted by the drip system, weather and soil conditions.  The soil should be damp but not wet at the Drip Line of the palm.  Remember that the drip line is that area where palm fronds end, not right next to the base of the palm tree.


                                    Drip Line 6 by RicksPicks.png

The larger palm trees can handle more water than the smaller ones due to their size and water consumption abilities.  The smaller palms can drown with too much water or dry up if not watered at the drip line.  The one issue that is not clear is your fertilizer.  How much and how often have you fertilized the palm trees?



Check the back of the package and see what is in the fertilizer  you are using.  Vigoro is a balanced fertilizer and should include manganese as well as iron which is valuable ingredient for palms.  A lack of this mineral will not cause the palms to look burnt but too much of any fertilizer will cause the palm to look burned and dried.



Posted 2012-10-02T21:49:31+0000  by Rick_HD_OC

Does it look like frizzled palms, maybe lethal yellowing?  What about a manganese deficiency?

Posted 2012-10-04T23:18:23+0000  by Tootse65
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