How to treat spear rot

oktober 13th, 2017 · No Comments

Not only the low temperature but especially the moisture makes that every winter a lot of palms have to cope with spear rot. In this condition, the spears (the folded new leaf in the heart of the palm) becomes dry and can be pulled out with little effort. The bottom is week and rotten. However, this does not mean the very end of your palm. Because sooner or later every exotic enthusiast will be confronted with this, we wrote a manual for the treatment of spear rot.

Drying

When removing the rotten spears, the heart of the palm remains as a gaping hole.
To prevent further decay, it is important that you treat the hole. Some palms recover spontaneously, but the chance of success is still much greater with treatment.
First of all, dry the hole as much as possible, for instance with the help of paper towels.

When removing the rotten spears, the heart of the palm remains as a gaping hole.To prevent further decay, it is important that you treat the hole. Some palms recover spontaneously, but the chance of success is still much greater with treatment.First of all, dry the hole as much as possible, for instance with the help of paper towels.

Copper fungicide

Next you need to treat to hole with a copper fungicide or a Bordeaux mixture . These products are sold under different names and the legislation for these products changes quite often.

Normally you should dissolve the product in water before use. But as you want to keep the gaping hole as dry as possible you just spinkle the powder inside. Be careful tough as the copper powder is dangerous to inhale and harmful for nature. Just sprinkle the product inside and try to cover all the side walls of the hole while doing so. A little bit will do, it isn’t necessary to fill the whole hole.

Protection

The heart of the palm must then be protected from rain and moisture by means of a shelter. This can be done by using an inverted bottle or flower pot or by placing the palm under a canopy. However, ensure adequate ventilation.

From now on, it comes to patience to see how the palm will evolve. It may take up to a few months before signs of growth are seen again. Do not give up courage too soon. Especially fast-growing palms recover faster from spear rot than slower-growing species. Only when the palm didn’t pick up growth towards the end of the season, the palm is really lost.

Last resort

If the hole appears too deep for proper treatment, the trunk can also be sawn off in horizontal slices. Remove slices until you reach the healthy wood. Then treat with Copper powder and keep the wound dry. Because of this drastic intervention, the palm loses a part of its ornamental value, since the trunk will never be the same again, but it can be the last resort.

© La Palmeraie

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