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Butia capitata yellowing

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County Ag Agent

Dear Palm Enthusiasts, I am new to this blog...frankly I have never been on one. I have over 250 cold hardy palms on my 1/4 acre of land in Las Cruces, NM. Our elevation is 3,850' and it is in the Chihuahuan Desert. I can grow palms very well despite our rainfall of <8", unlimited sunny skies and lack of water. However I am having a problem that I just cannot seem to correct. I have four Pindo Palms planted in a palm garden along with Brahea armata, Jubaea chilensis, Butiagrus and Chaemerops humilis var. cerifera. The trouble is that while all of the other palms look spectacular, the Pindo's have yellow new growth that continues past maturity. I have Pindo's in my front yard and they are fine. I have applied potassium, boron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron to the palms with only slight success wiith the EDDHA Chelated iron. I have given them balanced palm fertilizer as well. This has been going on for three years now. The palms have been very well fed as per the others surrounding them. They have been watered properly and not overfertilized. they are growing well, but they are not the color you'd expect with a healthy Pindo. I am the Horticultural Agent for the county and I have been diagnosing and growing plants for over 40 years...yet I cannot figure out why I cannot improve these palms. The palms were purchaased at different times and all were healthy when planted. I have suggested to the IPS that a data base be formed by the IPS that contained healthy leaf analysis of all the palms of the world so that sick palms would have a standard to diagnose from. Therefore, I am opening up a two parted discussion. Any suggestions?

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trioderob

what does the soil look like if you dig 3 ' down ?

how heavy did you go on the EDDHA?

Edited by trioderob

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County Ag Agent

The soil is a sandy clay loam. Excellent farming soil, old river bed along the Rio Grande. The soil is good down 4'+, I am lucky to have such good soil. If I could attach a photo I would, If I knew how to attach it. I don't think you can go too heavy here on iron. I have applied the EDDHA Chelated iron for several years now. the palms are healthy...but yellow. I thought about too much water, that is all I can think of. I quit watering them months ago, but no results. It just doesn't seem to matter what I do. Tempertures have been only 97F.

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County Ag Agent

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trioderob

yea thats iron - if you go heavy on the EDDA it will clear up

had the same problem with a palm - added the recommended dose and it did nothing.

went super heavy and it turned DARK green and exploded with growth

(have a lot of family in Cruces by the way..........................)

compost will lower the ph and help also

Edited by trioderob

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Xerarch

I don't think Butia like that high pH high calcium, heavy soil in much of the west, I've noticed yellowing in the majority of Butia in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas. I've also heard others complain that there is no treatment that they seem to respond to. Sounds like you know what you're doing, the only other thing I might recommend is soil drench with micronutrients. I used a product in Phoenix that worked really well, I don't remember what it is called, but it was a mitconutrient mix specifically for palms, you mix it with water and drench the root zone. I used it to cure the frizzle top my queen palms were experiencing, it also greened them up nicely. Manganese is one of the things that queens have a hard time getting enough of in highly calcareous soils, and of course iron is commonly deficient as you have already surmised.

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Xerarch

BTW, welcome to PalmTalk!

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Here is DFW the Pindo's will go yellow when they lack Magnesium. Glad you found the place, make sure to post pics of your other palms.

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County Ag Agent

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County Ag Agent

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County Ag Agent

Ok, so I took the keep adding iron approach to the yellowing pindo.  I had limited success, so I decided to add dusting sulpher to help drop the pH.  now the palms are starting to turn green.  while not fast, the are definitely turning green.  could the addition of just a little sulphur make that big of a difference.  I guess so.

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County Ag Agent

post-15046-0-15076000-1440519871_thumb.j

Butia eriospatha

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County Ag Agent

pindo

 

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Pindo's greening up progress. September 30, 2015

 

pindo greening 2015.jpg

Edited by County Ag Agent

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County Ag Agent

Pindo August 2015, same palm

pindo August 2015-2.jpg

Edited by County Ag Agent

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DoomsDave

Jeff, your pindos are certainly greening up well!

I didn't think that treatments like that worked so quickly. Most of my pindos are gray-blue.

Ever try any Butea/Jube hybrids? Bet they'd grow well for you.

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Pal Meir

I don’t think that it’s a good idea to grow Butia and Brahea armata close together: The former likes acidic and hates calcareous soil, the latter hates acidic and likes calcareous soil.

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Josh-O

Cram them in!!

Nothing says statement like a dense jungle in New Mexico...

your palms look nicely grown for sure:greenthumb:

A BIG WELCOME TO PALM TALK

whats the tallest palm you have growing on your tropical island jungle in NM?

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Danilopez89

Oh wow! Nice job. I should try that out too. I have I pindo that is not yellowish but just looks "dull" all the time. Maybe it'll help. 

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DoomsDave

I thought Buteas were invincible

 

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Josh-O

I guess every dog has its day 

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Xerarch

That really is greening up well, my understanding was that sulfur was more of a long term thing. Whatever it is, something has worked.  

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County Ag Agent

Well, the application of sulfur seems to be greening the pindo's up very well.  I think this is the answer.  By the way, all of the palms I grow seem to do well together.  The Brahea armata's are starting to burst at the seams and the pindo's next to them are shaping up as well.  I actually have very good soil at my home.  there was just this glitch with the pindo's and now that I have the answer I expect great things.  thanks everyone for your comments.  I discovered in the SW that Pindo's have a higher requirement for Sulfur. 

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ChrisA

Wow! Thanks for the information. I have two 5 gallon Pindo's I am going to plant outside in Albuquerque (cold zone 8a). Have you suffered any losses from cold in Las Cruces?  I know you get as cold as I did back in Feb 2011 and daytime temperatures didn't recover there either for a few days. I've been down to Cruces several times since and have noticed that even though some large Mexican Fans died out, many also survived.  What temperature did you get down to?

 

In the front yard photo showing the side walk, what is the red flowering plant? Is it Oleander or Crepe Myrtle, or Bougainvillea?

 

Cheers!

-Chris

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County Ag Agent

Chris, I always think Albuquerque is just too cold.  I guess it matters where in Albuquerque you live though.  As for Butia capitata, the low of 15F seems correct.  While below this the palm will survive, it depends on how long it takes to regrow a decent crown of leaves.  several of the Livisona species will not grow here due to that fact.  If you can only regrow 2-3 new leaves per year and they keep freezing back, then the palm at some point will die.  Butia is worth growing since you already have them.  Find a protected location, i.e. warm.  They are slow growing.  I really like many of the Sabal's and the Needle Palm is also great.  I should try the Mazari palm.  I picked some up when I was in California.  Finding a bullet proof feather palm is a challenge for cold.  You may want to try the Chilean Wine Palm.  If you get a chance to visit Las Cruces just let me know and I will give you a tour and a more direct evaluation of my palms.  For the record, my property experienced a low of -5F, however, outside of town temperatures ranged from -8 to -25 F.  I know of Chilean Wine Palms in Dona Ana that endured -8F and recovered.  February 2011 was an odd year, some say a once in a 100 year freeze.  The fact is that wile temperatures did reach these lows, they were only for a three day span, followed by warm weather.  I believe that if these temperatures had occurred in December, followed by more cold weather, then many more palms would have died.  in the 80's we had temperatures down to 5F with most, if not all of the Mexican Fan Palms dying.  Also to note, virtually all of the California Fan Palms have survived these freezes, as well as freezes going back to before the 50's.  I love discussing palms.  what I also see here in the west is leaf yellowing on Pindo's.  I tried all of the recommendations for this Genus...then I discovered an article on Crape Myrtles that hinted at sulfur deficiency.  I also read several articles on corn and sulfur deficiency.  What I read mimicked what was happening in the Pindo palms.  So I began to treat my Pindo's with sulfur.  To my amazement the palms began turning green within a week and have continued to improve to this point.  Just a little information, too much to write down, most stays in my head.  Please let me know what palms you are growing.  I plan on starting a palm society here in Cruces soon.  Glad to meet someone from NM.  Jeff

 

Edited by County Ag Agent

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County Ag Agent

By the way, the plant with the colorful flowers you asked about is Crape Myrtle 'Tuscarora' .

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ChrisA

Thank you Jeff! Compared to Cruces it definitely does feel like it is too cold here. You definitely get fewer blasts of cold and better returns to warm weather following cold spells. Also I think you do better on sunny days during the winter as it seems when there are storms coming through I can see the line of blue sky south of Albuquerque and we are stuck under the clouds and chillier temps as the sun doesn't then help us to rebound.    I was definitely considering a Jubaea as it seems like they are quite cold tolerant! My space is somewhat limited if they were to survive, but maybe getting a few more Washingtonia hybrids would be the better way to go along with some sabals.  The ABQ BioPark planted 2 Sabal uresana's back when they first opened, they were on the southeast facing side of the Sonoran Desert greenhouse  along the rampway to the second level.  They were planted by some Arizona Rosewood which outgrew them in no time.  I was there two falls ago and one was still there, although looking very pathetic with just a few fronds struggling to get some light. It's too bad as I had hoped those could've been the plantings to judge whether any trunking sabals can make it here.  Now it seems there is one at the Zoo that is probably about 8 feet tall now (height of fronds, not trunk) that may actually be a Sabal Palmetto. I've got photos somewhere I will find and post in a new post!

 

I am hoping since pindo is slow growing and mine are small, that I will be able to protect them easily enough in a warm, sunny spot.  Maybe once established they can get through the winters easier. There is one in Las Cruces in front of Farley's (by Hotel Encanto) that was not damaged in that -5F temperature. It is outside the main entrance on the west facing wall. I've been following that one since about 2006.  Thanks for the sulfur tip! I am going to read your post as I am sure I will have a similar problem here.

 

Would love to meet up and see your palms/garden!  I will let you know next time I plan a trip down there. I occasionally go for work also.

 

Palms and other subtropicals I have tried in Albuquerque:

Mexican Fan Palm (with protection has done really well, but gets too large to continue protecting very easily.

California Fan Palm (have had great luck/success with here, some have died due to poor site or conditions)

Coconut palm (LOL this was more of a lark, bought it cheap at Home Depot and it lived until the end of October!)

Mediterranean Fan Palm (somewhat hardy - I never had luck even after protecting for 3 winters and growing strongly the first winter out killed ALL fronds and they languished for another two years before dying.)

Jerusalem Thorn (Parkinsonia aculeate - not at all hardy for here)

Eucalyptus microtheca (can survive several years with good site, root hardy otherwise)

Eucalyptus cinerea (died outright)

Eucalyptus camphora (lived several years never damaged, but never grew)

Eucalyptus pauciflora

Chilean Mequite (grew 6 feet on every limb in 3 months, then died very quickly with the cold winter)

AZ Velvet Mesquite  (somewhat hardy, although mine died probably for other reasons and the cold added to its stress)

Red Bird of Paradise (C. pulcherima - occasionally root hardy)

Nerium oleander (these actually do okay in ABQ: hardy red, hardy pink, little red and Mrs. Roeding all do fairly well. Have even seen a few Sister Agnes although not as hardy)

Sweet Acacia

Saguaro

American Agave

Octopus Agave (completely cold intolerant, turned to mush after a deep freeze)

Golden Barrel

Hearts and Flowers (Aptenia I think?)

 

Well, I am sure there are others but this is what immediately comes to mind.  If you're ever in Albuquerque send me a PM and I'll let you know when I get down your way.


Happy Thanksgiving!

-Chris

 

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County Ag Agent

Chris, good to hear from you.  Sutherlands in Las Cruces is going to bring in Arctic Frost Mandarin Oranges.  These are cold hardy to 10F.  I have had them for two years now and they are wonderful.  You may want to try them in Albuquerque.  Sutherlands is only bringing in about 20 and I am sure they will go fast.  They can only bring in one shipment for the spring.  I would think that the Brazoria or Birmingham Sabals would do well in Albuquerque.  both are trunking Sabals and are more cold hardy than Sabal uresana.  You can find them online.  Sometimes I have seed and/or seedlings of different palms that you may want to try.  We will definitely have to meet up sometime.  Jeff

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ChrisA

Sounds great Jeff! I look forward to it!  What are your thoughts about Brahea armata?  I would LOVE to try/have one of these. I know Hotel Encanto has planted at least one out in their new Pool Deck, along with many Robustas. They re-did their whole pool area from those very old W. filifera,  I wonder what they did with those? I would've loved to have gotten them transplanted to ABQ. :) They hadn't grown much in the almost 20 years I followed them but they were gorgeous and stout. I am pretty sure they were pure bred, full green petioles if memory serves me right.

 

I will have to check out Sutherlands, where is it?  Is that the place that used to be a Rowland's on the frontage road north of Lohman? I will have to research the Arctic Frost Mandarin Orange. That would be awesome.  Have you gotten any fruit?


Cheers!

Edited by ChrisA

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County Ag Agent

I worked with the Hortel Encanto on the landscape project.  The old California Fan Palms were moved to the Hilton Garden Inn, however, they were moved in January when it was 16F.  Needless to say all of them died except one.  Very tragic.  Renovations take place on man's time, not on what is best for our plants.  Sutherlands is on El Paseo in Las Cruces, NM.  I think Brahea armata is worth trying out. It seems to be very cold hardy.  About as cold hardy as Washingtonia filifera.  Another citrus to grow is Citrumelo.  It is cold hardy to below 10F and produces a fruit similar to a grapefruit.  Nice to create a Mediterranean garden.

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ChrisA

OH, that is sad. I'm sorry only one made it. I used to stare up at those fronds for minutes at a time, they had such enormous crowns...  I will definitely try Brahea armata here I think it would do very well and it would be slow enough growing that I could protect them easily for several years through the worst of the weather.  I was in Las Vegas two weeks ago and saw some that were in 30+" boxes that were only $499!!!! Geez, I wish I lived close by as that would be a steal.  They were at least 8 feet across and had start trunking! Gorgeous!!

 

Take care!

 

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County Ag Agent

sometimes Home Depot gets them in here in 15 gallons for $49.  Not too bad.  they also get the Atlas Blue Palms as well.  I like Kevin at KW Palms in Lake Elsinore, CA.  I think he has the best prices, PERIOD.  I really enjoy palms.  Some people here have a definite hate for them, I don't get it. While other trees are OK, palms they claim are not appropriate.  Go figure. I see you like Sycamores.  Have you tried the Mexican Sycamore?   Exceptionally beautiful tree.  silver backed huge leaves that are resistant to anthracnose and leaf hoppers.  I don't know why more are not planted.  I just gave away a Lacey Oak and a Chinquapin Oak, ran out of room for more palms so something had to go. LOL

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ChrisA

Hahaha! You definitely need to have enough Palm room! Lol,. I've heard of the Mexican Sycamore but have never seen them for sale here that I can recall.  I like the Arizona and California sycamores as they have the deeply lobed leaves and flaking bark that reminds me of large Eucalyptus. I also think the spring leaves smell great when the are still soft and fuzzy!

 

If you see any Brahea could you let me know?  I would totally rent a pick up and drive down to pick at least one up!

 

We've had frost, light frosts, the last few nights. Tonight it should only get to the low to mid 40's due to the incoming storm and resultant cloud cover. So my Cali gets several easy days in a row with days getting to the mid 60's, upper 60's yesterday in fact.

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