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White film on coconut fronds


Plantking165
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So this white film seems to be spreading across the fronds of my coconut palm. It doesn't seem to have a direct affect on the palm but it is covering the green on the leaves preventing sunlight absorption thus inhibiting photosynthesis. It doesn't seem like powdery mildew, anyone seen anything like this and is it curable or a life long issue?

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25 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

Does it come off when you rub it

Yeah with a bit of pressure 

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5 minutes ago, Plantking165 said:

Yeah with a bit of pressure 

I did some researching around for the past 30 mins and I can't find anything on this and I saw similar pictures to yours but they're just photography shots with no description on why the leaves look the way they do, I didn't see anything on this so maybe it's normal to your coconut species? or Is it white flies? that's all I got somebody else is probably going to have to answer this one if it's not anything I mentioned :wacko:

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35 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

I did some researching around for the past 30 mins and I can't find anything on this and I saw similar pictures to yours but they're just photography shots with no description on why the leaves look the way they do, I didn't see anything on this so maybe it's normal to your coconut species? or Is it white flies? that's all I got somebody else is probably going to have to answer this one if it's not anything I mentioned :wacko:

Yeah I did alot of searching thats why I'm here now because there is alot going ok with this palm and I need answers especially this black spots on the petiole too they look very bad. Hopefully somone can tell me what the white film is and what this damage on the petioles are.

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@Plantking165 that's really odd, with the sheen looking almost metallic at some angles.  I haven't seen that on any palm fronds except after a foliar spray of some sort. 

As far as the black spots go, it could have a rachis blight.  Many of these are just temporary cosmetic damage and not particularly dangerous to the palm.  The risky types are ones that infect the main tissue of the rachis/stem/petiole.  Those are Fusarium blights that infect only specific species like Washingtonia, Syagrus, and Phoenix species.  They won't infect a cocos, so it's not that.  According to this long read, the rachis blight can cause dead spots in the leaflets, basically by killing small part of the rachis that feed individual areas of the leaves.  Their recommendation is:

"Removal and destruction of severely infected leaf fronds would be suggested as a means of reducing inoculum (available spores to infect other leaves and palms). This would be especially critical in a nursery situation where palms are planted closer together and are more numerous. However, if the palms are in the landscape and under nutrient stress, pruning should be minimal as removal of too many leaves may be detrimental to the palm rather than beneficial."

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/PP145

If it's only one frond and there are several other good-looking fronds, then slicing the diseased one off is totally fine.  There isn't a lot of research on this, because it's mostly a cosmetic issue and not a serious risk to the palm's health.

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2 hours ago, Merlyn said:

@Plantking165 that's really odd, with the sheen looking almost metallic at some angles.  I haven't seen that on any palm fronds except after a foliar spray of some sort. 

As far as the black spots go, it could have a rachis blight.  Many of these are just temporary cosmetic damage and not particularly dangerous to the palm.  The risky types are ones that infect the main tissue of the rachis/stem/petiole.  Those are Fusarium blights that infect only specific species like Washingtonia, Syagrus, and Phoenix species.  They won't infect a cocos, so it's not that.  According to this long read, the rachis blight can cause dead spots in the leaflets, basically by killing small part of the rachis that feed individual areas of the leaves.  Their recommendation is:

"Removal and destruction of severely infected leaf fronds would be suggested as a means of reducing inoculum (available spores to infect other leaves and palms). This would be especially critical in a nursery situation where palms are planted closer together and are more numerous. However, if the palms are in the landscape and under nutrient stress, pruning should be minimal as removal of too many leaves may be detrimental to the palm rather than beneficial."

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/PP145

If it's only one frond and there are several other good-looking fronds, then slicing the diseased one off is totally fine.  There isn't a lot of research on this, because it's mostly a cosmetic issue and not a serious risk to the palm's health.

I can't find ant pictures of coconut palms with similar damage to the petioles and it seems like it's really bad because it will kill off the leaves faster than usual. And that's concerning on how this palm will recover after a cold winter im in zone 9b and let's say it loses its fronds to cold winter would it be able to replace them fast enough before the diseases kill off leaves and have a large enough crown to grow well and sustain enough fronds before the next winter thats my main concern here.

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And you saw the dead spots through the leaflets on my other post the leaves are in rough shape

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There is a picture of the fronds there are 5 on this palm frond 4 is the one that looks horrible and has the most black spots on the petiole the other is frond 2 and idk why frond 4 is worse than almost all the other fronds... doesn't make sense diseases usually set in on older fronds why the newer ones look worse?

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The yellowing leaf ends with necrotic tips is a common sign of potassium deficiency, usually you see that on the oldest fronds first.  That bottom photo looks classic for just an older frond that the palm is "eating" to regain nutrients for new growth.  The upper photo *might* be old remnants of frost damage that is now turning brown and dying.  If that damage started showing up in February after the end-of-January cold snap, then that was probably the original cause.  A systemic fungicide like Banrot (etridiazole + thiophanate-methyl) or a contact fungicide like Mancozeb, Daconil, and sulfur powder might help prevent spread.  Those fronds won't revert to green, basically once it's yellowed or browned it is permanent.  But that might help prevent it from spreading to other fronds.

I tried growing cocos here in the NW side of Orlando, but at 30F with frost they burnt to a crisp and immediately died.  I gave up on them and am growing huge Beccariophoenix Alfredii instead, which only took minor damage at 24F with frost.  They are probably the closest to a cocos in appearance, and at least 10 degrees hardier...here's two of them in my yard at about 12' tall:

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59 minutes ago, Merlyn said:

The yellowing leaf ends with necrotic tips is a common sign of potassium deficiency, usually you see that on the oldest fronds first.  That bottom photo looks classic for just an older frond that the palm is "eating" to regain nutrients for new growth.  The upper photo *might* be old remnants of frost damage that is now turning brown and dying.  If that damage started showing up in February after the end-of-January cold snap, then that was probably the original cause.  A systemic fungicide like Banrot (etridiazole + thiophanate-methyl) or a contact fungicide like Mancozeb, Daconil, and sulfur powder might help prevent spread.  Those fronds won't revert to green, basically once it's yellowed or browned it is permanent.  But that might help prevent it from spreading to other fronds.

I tried growing cocos here in the NW side of Orlando, but at 30F with frost they burnt to a crisp and immediately died.  I gave up on them and am growing huge Beccariophoenix Alfredii instead, which only took minor damage at 24F with frost.  They are probably the closest to a cocos in appearance, and at least 10 degrees hardier...here's two of them in my yard at about 12' tall:

1087354056_P1070317Alfrediix2.thumb.JPG.80548ed3f83ae102bce32a26a661590a.JPG

I've only had this palm for 2 weeks so I wouldn't know about anything previously but Frost was unlikely because they were in naples where they grow fine but yeah the leaflets are turning brown and going down to the petiole im assuming that's just transplant stress the 3 oldest fronds are doing it the worst as where 5 is only yellowing at the tips. As for a fungicide I got this it says it's systemic and it treats 25 turf diseases and 30 ornamental diseases.

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13 hours ago, Plantking165 said:

I've only had this palm for 2 weeks so I wouldn't know about anything previously but Frost was unlikely because they were in naples where they grow fine but yeah the leaflets are turning brown and going down to the petiole im assuming that's just transplant stress the 3 oldest fronds are doing it the worst as where 5 is only yellowing at the tips. As for a fungicide I got this it says it's systemic and it treats 25 turf diseases and 30 ornamental diseases.

Gotcha, that makes a bit more sense.  If it was a recently planted then the lower fronds dying off quickly is normal.  It's probably aggressively growing new roots and eating the old fronds for nutrients.  Make sure you keep up on the watering at the existing root ball for ~2 months while it grows out into the surrounding soil.

The rachis blight makes more sense too, it was probably tightly packed in a nursery field and then tightly packed into a hot, humid semi truck for transport from Naples to your local nursery.  Tight packing = no airflow = prime breeding ground for fungal infections.  If that's the case then the fungal issue *should* be temporary and new fronds should grow out clean.  Here's what I'd recommend:

  • Mark the new spear horizontally with a sharpie so you can see if it is growing normally.  An inch or so per week is fine, it might be more or less for a new transplant. 
  • Squirt a little bit of regular household hydrogen peroxide into the crown at the new spear.  If it bubbles up aggressively then the palm might have a crown fungal infection.  A couple of small bubbles is normal.  H2O2 is a common treatment for crown infections, I've used it on several palms with good results.  I don't see any sign of a crown infection, this is just a quick and easy check.
  • A surface fungicide like Daconil or Mancozeb is a good idea to keep the fungus from spreading.  Since rachis and leaf blights are normally a surface infection, a surface treatment could be the best option. 
  • A systemic may or may not do anything for a surface rachis blight, but it could prevent any secondary infections.  I haven't used Azoxystrobin, I have Banrot and Alliete as systemics.  Azoxystrobin looks like a broad spectrum Qol inhibitor.  This study looks like Othello Top (Azoxystrobin + Difenoconazole) had a good reduction in Phoenix Dactylifera blights.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333376558_Chemical_control_of_leaf_blight_and_inflorescence_rot_diseases_on_date_palm_in_large-scale_field_trials_in_Basrah_Iraq
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15 minutes ago, Merlyn said:

Gotcha, that makes a bit more sense.  If it was a recently planted then the lower fronds dying off quickly is normal.  It's probably aggressively growing new roots and eating the old fronds for nutrients.  Make sure you keep up on the watering at the existing root ball for ~2 months while it grows out into the surrounding soil.

The rachis blight makes more sense too, it was probably tightly packed in a nursery field and then tightly packed into a hot, humid semi truck for transport from Naples to your local nursery.  Tight packing = no airflow = prime breeding ground for fungal infections.  If that's the case then the fungal issue *should* be temporary and new fronds should grow out clean.  Here's what I'd recommend:

  • Mark the new spear horizontally with a sharpie so you can see if it is growing normally.  An inch or so per week is fine, it might be more or less for a new transplant. 
  • Squirt a little bit of regular household hydrogen peroxide into the crown at the new spear.  If it bubbles up aggressively then the palm might have a crown fungal infection.  A couple of small bubbles is normal.  H2O2 is a common treatment for crown infections, I've used it on several palms with good results.  I don't see any sign of a crown infection, this is just a quick and easy check.
  • A surface fungicide like Daconil or Mancozeb is a good idea to keep the fungus from spreading.  Since rachis and leaf blights are normally a surface infection, a surface treatment could be the best option. 
  • A systemic may or may not do anything for a surface rachis blight, but it could prevent any secondary infections.  I haven't used Azoxystrobin, I have Banrot and Alliete as systemics.  Azoxystrobin looks like a broad spectrum Qol inhibitor.  This study looks like Othello Top (Azoxystrobin + Difenoconazole) had a good reduction in Phoenix Dactylifera blights.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333376558_Chemical_control_of_leaf_blight_and_inflorescence_rot_diseases_on_date_palm_in_large-scale_field_trials_in_Basrah_Iraq

The reason I went systemic is because the spots look a little sunken in so if the infection is deeper this will hopefully treat that too and no It wasn't transported to me I went down to naples and got it myself it was still in a 7 gallon pot I don't think there is any infection in the spear area that looks good and green and seems to be growing slowly but I did recently transplant it.

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