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RaychHasDatePalms

Scale on hand-me-down palms... can I save them or nah?

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RaychHasDatePalms

My mom is simplifying her plant collection and gave me two of what I think are parlor palms. My dad had accidentally put them directly into the sun after a long winter, so they did get sunburnt... but you know, that can be dealt with. 
 

We discovered after the fact, though, that they have huge amounts of SCALE. She’d had no idea and feels terrible. 
 

What do you think, are these past help? If not, is it safe to trim off the worst branches and then use Dawn on the rest over the course of a few weeks? If so, should I quarantine them away from my other plants, since I so far do not have scale in my own garden? Idk how readily it spreads outside. Or do we just toss both of the trees?
 

Here are my quick snaps: 

 

(Also, I have no idea what the black is)

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1DB9A31D-BE8D-4C1B-B813-038221D7F7B3.jpeg

73FA928F-6163-4803-B206-70D5E66A3F6C.jpeg

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Allen

I put systemic insecticide on these scale palms.  Amazon search Bonide (BND609).  As far as worth saving it's up to you.  Will take a year or more to look good. 

 

 

Edited by Allen
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RaychHasDatePalms
1 hour ago, Allen said:

I put systemic insecticide on these scale palms.  Amazon search Bonide (BND609).  As far as worth saving it's up to you.  Will take a year or more to look good. 

 

 

Thank you! Would you recommend chopping off the worst fronds, or will that shock the tree? 
 

Any idea if the black is from the scale, or from something else? I can ID some common pests, but I’m lost on that one. 

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Silas_Sancona
37 minutes ago, RaychHasDatePalms said:

Thank you! Would you recommend chopping off the worst fronds, or will that shock the tree? 
 

Any idea if the black is from the scale, or from something else? I can ID some common pests, but I’m lost on that one. 

Would leave the fronds attached until fully brown since they will help provide nutrients to new growth.. As far as the brown blotches, that may also be sunburn.. Have seen the same thing happen w/ palms i'd had in the past.. While you can use some sort of systemic insecticide for the scale, might also apply a diluted mix of soapy water since it looks like there might be Spider mite damage also. 

If you choose to give it a little Fertilizer, go easy... perhaps Organic so it won't cause any more burn.

These palms tend to be pretty tough so it should recover and look much better in no time.. Just make sure it stays out of direct sun.

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PalmatierMeg

Sprinkle used coffee grounds on the surface of the soil. Also, you can drench the soil diluted black coffee. Caffeine is poisonous to scale. For really bad infestations I've made a solution of Ivory soap (not detergent or deodorant). I soak a soft cloth in the soapy water, then gently sponged/dab leaves & stems. That kills and removes much of the scale. The infected leaves will  probably die eventually but you want the sick palms able to photosynthesize. I don't think those are parlor palms (Cham elegans), perhaps Cham seifrizii (?)

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RaychHasDatePalms
1 hour ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Sprinkle used coffee grounds on the surface of the soil. Also, you can drench the soil diluted black coffee. Caffeine is poisonous to scale. For really bad infestations I've made a solution of Ivory soap (not detergent or deodorant). I soak a soft cloth in the soapy water, then gently sponged/dab leaves & stems. That kills and removes much of the scale. The infected leaves will  probably die eventually but you want the sick palms able to photosynthesize. I don't think those are parlor palms (Cham elegans), perhaps Cham seifrizii (?)

We honestly have no idea.... they are something she picked up years ago, probably at Walmart, K mart, or Meijer here in West Michigan.... so honestly, whatever would have survived that climate for several years with haphazard care. Your guess is much, much better than mine! 

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RaychHasDatePalms

6B644DE1-E518-4D22-9E02-999FFD505D5E.jpeg.d4d34cc2bfcf938d8918248835b74cdc.jpegSo I actually went ham in them before I read the majority of the replies here; I had a slight bit to go on so I ran with it—some for better and some possibly for worse. 

I did end up cutting off the lost infected fronds—they were also the most sunburnt, and it would take days to descale them. I also trimmed the tattered and dried bits, so wind won’t tear them more. I used a Dawn dosh soap and water solution with paper towels and spent hours pulling off all the scale. The good news is that underneath it all, there are some healthy young fronds that look like they might get through this just fine. 
 

Currently they are sitting in a spot that gets bright shade/dappled sunlight outside, and they each got a cup of coffee but after reading these posts,  will be sure to add more. I know they’re probably shocked right now, but hopefully they are able to breathe a little better. I’ll probably brew them some weak coffee tomorrow when I go out to wipe down whatever else crawls out overnight. 
 

Here’s the finished product, as they sit currently: 

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Allen
2 hours ago, RaychHasDatePalms said:

Thank you! Would you recommend chopping off the worst fronds, or will that shock the tree? 
 

Any idea if the black is from the scale, or from something else? I can ID some common pests, but I’m lost on that one. 

I think the scale is causing most of the damage.  The black spots won't go away.  You'll just have to wait till the palm makes new healthy fronds.  When it starts recovering I'd fertilize with "Osmocote Plus indoor/outdoor" in late august maybe one time before winter.  The systemic is watered in and taken up thru the whole plant so when the scale bugs eat on it they poison themselves.  It lasts several months.  

 

Ohh just saw your newest post.  They look better like that.  You may need to go over them another time or two and make sure to get all that scale.  I never have the patience to hand descale them.

Edited by Allen
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Fusca

They do look better, but I'd go ahead and put some coffee grounds around them as Meg suggested.  As far as the ID of the palms Meg also pointed out that they're probably not Chamaedorea elegans which are solitary and these look like clustering Chamaedoreas - probably C. cataractum (cat palm) or C. seifrizii.

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RaychHasDatePalms

Thank you, everyone! 

I gave each a little coffee today, but am now collecting grounds so I can put that into the soil as well.... probably tomorrow afternoon. I drink more than one k pod a day and they're small pots. ;)

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zoli

Cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol will remove and kill the scale, though that is admittedly tedious. As others have suggested, the black spotting may be due to sunburn or fertilizer burn. Either way, they won't go away.  I'd go easy on them with water and would not fertilize at all until new visible and healthy growth is produced. 

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