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Desert Badger

Unopened Spear

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Desert Badger

I live north of Houston and 5 out of 6 of our Mule Palms (though one is just getting by but has new spears coming) survived the Texas winter storm. Pleased with this. But one of my palms has a solid spear, about two feet tall, that is not separating into fronds (see pic). Other spears are coming up and doing fine and overall the palm seems to be thriving (see pic). They are fertilized and we have had an abundance of rain the last two weeks (15") so plenty of water. My question is, do I just let its course or is there some other action to take? Thank you ahead of time!

E58A1A6E-A6C5-4103-AC07-7C987D816C34_1_201_a.heic 9F49582C-CBBE-4131-BFEA-6C47DC7A0E5C_1_201_a.heic

Edited by Desert Badger

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TomJ

resize pictures to smaller files :) so we can see

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Desert Badger

Sorry, hopefully here are smaller jpeg versions of the photos. Thanks!

IMG_0441.jpeg

IMG_0440.jpeg

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Merlyn

I've had this happen on a Bottle palm, the spear grew completely normal-looking but wouldn't open.  When the next spear started growing up beside it, I decided to try and tease it open carefully.  It turned out that the very tips of the leaflets were fused together.  I gently separated the tips on a couple of them, and over the next week most of it opened up normally.  I had to help out a couple of spots, but the frond turned out pretty normal.  It's been healthy and normal ever since.

In your case I'd mark it with a sharpie horizontally, to see if it is still growing taller.  If so, then just let it grow until it has another new spear peeking out near the base.  If it hasn't opened by then, gently loosen the spear up and see if it'll open by itself.  Palms can do odd things when hit with severe cold.  As long as it's not rotten or blocking the growing point, it'll probably grow out of it.

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The7thLegend

That spear looks a lot like a palm spathe.   If it is then it'll take longer than a normal spear to mature an open, in that case I'd leave it alone.

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JLM
9 minutes ago, The7thLegend said:

That spear looks a lot like a palm spathe.   If it is then it'll take longer than a normal spear to mature an open, in that case I'd leave it alone.

Wouldnt think it would flower at such a small size. Doesnt look like its developed a trunk yet. Would be quite interesting if that is what that is.

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sonoranfans

I woud let it go but watch it closely for a potential mold attack in your rainy weather.  If water can get inside that spear and it doesnt open for a while, it could be a problem.

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Desert Badger

Thank you to all of you for your replies and insight. Upon looking at it closely I think it is a spathe (though had to look up what that was!) It has had seed pods in the past and this one is coming up the side, not the center. I'll keep my. eye on it but I assume just to leave it alone-correct?

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