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RoystoneaJax

Bacterial colonies on coconut palm leaves

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RoystoneaJax

Hello everyone, do any of you know what these black spots growing on my coconut palm are? They look like bacterial colonies to me. So far they are only only on the palms and do not seem to be causing any damage. What do you all think I should do to get rid of them?

 

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Steve in Florida

The contact spray Daconil will kill fungal spores.

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Steve in Florida
3 hours ago, RoystoneaJax said:

@Steve in Florida Is that what you think they are?

I've never had any problems like that.  I would scratch a few off and look at them under an 8-10 power magnifier to see if the problem is insects or fungus.

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Steve in Florida

If you Google spider mite images the photos looks similiar.

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RoystoneaJax

@Steve in Florida Thanks. It also looks like it could be palm scale. Now that I look at it I think my Christmas palms might have red spider mites though.

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PalmatierMeg

If the palm is potted it is probably small enough for you to work on. Make a solution of mild soap (castille or Ivory, not detergent or deodorant) and water. With a soft cloth or sponge, gently wipe down the leaves and petioles front and back. That will kill and disrupt any mites and insect pests. The black spots might be mold/mildew feeding on secretions from aphids. Also, apply an insecticidal drench containing imidacloprid - from Bayer - to the soil. Spider mites do not respond to insecticides, so you may have to hose them down or invest in a targeted miticide. I alternate two every few months during winter/dry season. They can be expensive and must be used outdoors with mask, gloves an a pressure sprayer.

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RoystoneaJax

I want to update this post and say that I showed my local garden center a picture of what was growing on my coconut palm and they confirmed that it was scale. Basically it turns out that what I thought were little colonies of bacteria were actually the female scale bugs which lose their legs and head and stick an appendage into the plant to feed off its sap. They then gave me an insecticide with imidacloprid that I mixed with water and poured into the soil and which made the sap of the plant poisonous in order to kill the bugs. They told me that the insecticide would kill anything that ate from the tree including me and last for a year so I moved it outside to protect my cat who likes to munch on plants. It has been a little over a week and the bugs are all already dead. My questions are how long will the plant remain poisonous enough to kill an animal the size of a cat? Will the scale bugs come back after a year or are they gone for good? And also any ideas on what may have caused the outbreak? I had the plant for a good two and a half months before I noticed anything.

Edited by RoystoneaJax

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