Lipstick Palms

16 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I am after some advice concerning lipstick palms.

I purchased 10 of these around five months ago. They were potted by the nursery when delivered. They used a local soil combined with clay pebbles. They looked great and were growing well until around a month ago. I then stated to notice a few spots on a couple of fronds but nothing major. However in the last two weeks they have declined rapidly with about half the foliage of the plants now gone.

Originally I thought it may have been a water problem (too much) as they were getting a decent water every second day, however this is consistent with the original watering routine. I tried to use a seaweed based tonic on the advice of a local nursery followed by an insecticide to treat mealybugs based on recommendation from another nursery. Plants are still browning rapidly with 4-5 fronds completely turning brown each week. The older foliage seems to be impacted more than the new.

We live in Singapore so the cilmate is stable (hot and humid).

Any suggestions? 

 

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Edited by AshW
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I would suggest repotting in a mix of clay pebbles and a humus-based potting soil. The soil in your mix looks to be similar with a clay-based soil. Clay smothers the roots. You cannot water these palms too much as they grow in swamps where they're native. If they're not getting daily rain, thoroughly water every day, but only if it is in a well-draining potting media.

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Also, did you treat with a systemic insecticide? I ask because I see more scale than mealybugs.

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I was hoping to avoid repotting, but will give it a go.

You don't think the browning is related to blight or another fungus?

I didn't use a systemic insecticide. Is that the best way to remove scale?

 

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13 hours ago, AshW said:

I was hoping to avoid repotting, but will give it a go.

You don't think the browning is related to blight or another fungus?

I didn't use a systemic insecticide. Is that the best way to remove scale?

 

Hmm. I'm not sure about a fungus. I don't have much experience with that. Have you tried hitting it with a full spectrum fungicide? *EDIT* Do you have access to a copy of Ornamental Palm Horticulture, or can you find a copy online? It has photos of nearly every palm disease. It's wonderful! Ornamental Palm Horticulture Second Edition

In my experience a systemic is the best way to kill of scale since they suck the juices from the plant cells. If you spray them topically, the chemical will most likely not permeate their hard protective shell. After applying systemic to the roots, give the scale insects a couple weeks to die off then go to each tiny hard shell and remove with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

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Thanks Missi.

Have ordered some potting mix plus vermicast and will repot on the weekend. Will add some leca to the bottom for drainage.

 

i will also pickup some systemic insecticide and funguside.

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23 hours ago, AshW said:

Thanks Missi.

Have ordered some potting mix plus vermicast and will repot on the weekend. Will add some leca to the bottom for drainage.

 

i will also pickup some systemic insecticide and funguside.

Please keep us posted!!

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I repotted all the plants this weekend. The existing soil was very compacted and it took some effort to clear out the pots. I didn't see any signs of root damage, other than some weird stuff growing in the bottom of one pot. They are not in a high quality organic potting mix with a good does of vermicast. I watered them in well with some eco-seaweed solution. Then sprayed with a broad spectrum fungicide and eco-oil.

I did however notice these long skinny "things" attached to the middle of the fronds. They seem to be on all plants. Not moving and not legs, etc. You can scrape them off with a bit of effort. Are they a type of scale?

 

 

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Oh goodness! The old grayish-brownish colored soil around the roots looks like it may be of a consistency that would smother roots. I'm glad you've repotted it with different soil! Watch it with the oil you use. Make sure it doesn't smother the pores on the leaves. I have heard of that happening to people's plants before so I won't use it. Now that it's had time to do the trick, maybe gently wipe down each leaflet. Other than that, sounds like you're on the way to recovery! Can't wait to see updates!

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On 10/10/2018, 11:43:30, Missi said:

Oh goodness! The old grayish-brownish colored soil around the roots looks like it may be of a consistency that would smother roots. I'm glad you've repotted it with different soil! Watch it with the oil you use. Make sure it doesn't smother the pores on the leaves. I have heard of that happening to people's plants before so I won't use it. Now that it's had time to do the trick, maybe gently wipe down each leaflet. Other than that, sounds like you're on the way to recovery! Can't wait to see updates!

Yes, what Missi said about being careful with "oils" for pest control. Lost a nice 3 gallon lipstick and one other to neem oil application.  After the fact, a nursery owner in Florida told me he DOES use neem oil at night then the next day spray all the treated palms to clean pores to keep them from suffocation.

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4 hours ago, sashaeffer said:

Yes, what Missi said about being careful with "oils" for pest control. Lost a nice 3 gallon lipstick and one other to neem oil application.  After the fact, a nursery owner in Florida told me he DOES use neem oil at night then the next day spray all the treated palms to clean pores to keep them from suffocation.

Sounds like a safer way to use neem for sure. I must say I have been using neem mixed with water in a pump sprayer with pretty good results. But now you have me worried that I've just been lucky. Anyone have better recommendations for controlling mealy bugs and other palm loving pests?

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Direct sun will fry palms treated with horticultural oil. I accidentally did that to a bunch of Dypsis sp Malagasy seedlings years ago. Lost some and set the rest back for years.

When I want to use a systemic insecticide I get a 2oz bottle of Merit powder (75% imidacloprid). Mix 1/8 tsp to 2.5 gallons of water and water around the drip line. One bottle makes 100 gal of solution. Very cost effective.

BTW, insecticides do not work against spider mites. You may have to invest in a targeted miticide and those aren't cheap. Or mix your own soap solution with castellian soap made with olive or coconut oil. That should suffocate the varmints but you will have to be watchful and ready to re-treat.

And the photo of your potting mix looks nasty. You got to find/mix something better draining.

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Meg, have you ever used predatory mites for spider mite control? 

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4 hours ago, sashaeffer said:

Meg, have you ever used predatory mites for spider mite control? 

No, but I did research on them. Expensive and a lot of work for the number of container palms I have. If I had only a few or kept them indoors I'd definitely consider it.

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20 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

No, but I did research on them. Expensive and a lot of work for the number of container palms I have. If I had only a few or kept them indoors I'd definitely consider it.

Other than reviews on sellers pages I have yet to find anyone I know that has used them how effective they are. What I want to control are indoors and the wife isn't thrilled with the idea of releasing hundreds if not thousands of "bugs" in the house.

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On 10/12/2018, 11:58:30, Jupiter1 said:

Sounds like a safer way to use neem for sure. I must say I have been using neem mixed with water in a pump sprayer with pretty good results. But now you have me worried that I've just been lucky. Anyone have better recommendations for controlling mealy bugs and other palm loving pests?

Root drench with systemic insecticide/miticide and switch up chemicals each use :greenthumb:

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