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Need some help with this Areca palm

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by MarkT on March 16, 2006 12:56 AM

I recently bought an areca palm. It's 4ft tall, a bit scruffy looking and some of the leaf tips are brown. It also has black spots on the stems (but not on the leaves).

The brown leaf tips look unsightly (some are about 2 inches), should i trim them or remove the whole leaf?

Should i do anything about the black spots, are they causing the problem?

Some of the leaves are twisted, what is the best way to train it?

if you can help or point me in the right direction it would be most appreciated.
by GardenGuy_Gardener on March 16, 2006 06:50 AM
Black spots are not good. They are black spot disease most likely. Browning leaf tips browing its most likely not enough humitity. I would mist the leaves daily or put a humidity tray underneath it. As for the twissted thats a cultural problems. Deformed leaves are not a good sign on MOST occasions. Areca palms need moderatew to bright filtered light and to dry a little between waterings. Hope this helps

* * * *
The good thing about snow is that it makes your yard look just like your neighbors! [Big Grin]
by Will Creed on March 17, 2006 10:15 AM
The lower portions of Areca stems have a yellow and black mottled appearance and that is normal. However, if the black spots are slightly raised and scratch off with your fingernail, then you may have a scale infestation.

Any lapses in light and water will cause frond tips to turn brown, so it is quite common with Arecas. Make sure it gets a lot of very bright indirect light with a few hours of early or late day direct sun. Allow the top inch or so of soil to dry and then water it thoroughly. Make sure not to use hard water. Raise the humidity if you can, but daily misting will not help in that regard.

Trim off brown tips when they become unsightly.

Will Creed
Interior landscaper
by MarkT on March 21, 2006 06:39 PM
Thanks Will, they do scratch off easily, so perhaps it is some sort of fungus problem. It does appear to be sorting itself out a little, the leaves are shiny, and its growth is more uniform, I can see now why it's called a butterfly palm. Thanks for the tips.
by Will Creed on March 22, 2006 06:03 AM
Hi Mark,

I am a bit concerned that the black spots scratch off easily. If you have a scale infestation it will not sort itself out, only get worse.
by MarkT on March 22, 2006 07:22 PM
Well yes, I am concerned, but to be honest I don't know how to treat it. I can see them occasionally up the stem but they seem to gather mostly around where the leaves start. They are slightly raised. What should I do about them?
by Will Creed on March 23, 2006 04:59 AM
I suspect they are scale insects. Spray them with a solution of 6 parts water and 1 part rubbing alcohol and a squirt of liquid soap. Be very thorough.

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