Lately, as I’ve been driving around, I’ve noticed a number houses that have Queen Palms with yellow fronds and, you know what? It doesn’t have to be that way. I just want to go knock on their doors and give them the 411 on palm care. These palms are not happy. They’re hungry, they need some food…unfortunately, for these guys, their fronds are doomed to stay yellow. Palms don’t react to fertilizers like other plants. If the fronds grow out as yellow, they stay yellow. It will only be the new growth that will grow out green after getting fed…and most likely what they need is manganese. (There are some other possibilities so take some pictures or bring in a frond and ask one of our experts at the nursery.) However, if it’s a Queen Palm, it’s most likely a manganese deficiency.
Our soils in San Diego County are, well, not very fertile. Soil is the foundation to plant health and if it isn’t addressed when planting, your plants are going to struggle their entire lives. So start with a good foundation by loosening up the soil before planting, adding compost, gypsum and fertilizer to the plant hole at planting time. Trust us, you WANT to do this. You wouldn’t give your kids soda for breakfast…it’s kind of the same thing.
So, you’ve had your palms in the ground for a year or two and you notice the new fronds are yellow. Have you given them regular feedings? They need regular food, folks, just like your kids…and your dog, and your cat…you get the picture. What you need to do is give them regular doses of palm tree fertilizer such as Gro-Power, Green All Palm Food, E.B. Stone Organic Hibiscus & Palm Food, Lutz Palm Tree Fertilizer Spikes which have the necessary minerals and micro-nutrients palms need. These need to be applied in the spring and fall for best results. You won’t see immediate results so you’ll have to get your instant gratification elsewhere. BUT, you should see green growth on new fronds that emerge from the center.