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Pony Tail Palm in Dire Condition

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Joined: Aug 26, 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:58 am    Post subject: Pony Tail Palm in Dire Condition Reply with quote

Hello All,
I have a ponytial palm that I have had since the base was about the size of a baseball. It is now about soccer ball size (about 18 years) and I fear that I might loose her. About three months ago I noticed that the upper section of the "head" of leaves had been loosely "cut" (the plant has spent it's life indoors) as if a giant cut worm had just visited. No sign of pest could be found. I could not save the very top of the tree, but the center was alive and continued to grow. Several weeks ago I had the same problem again, only a little lower on the head. Again, no sign of pest. I put a few tablespoons of a broad spectrum pesticide (YUK) into the center of the head, in desperation. Now, the lower leaves are quickly beginning to die, although the very center of the head still apppears to be alive. Has anyone had this experience, or know what action I can take to save this beautiful plant? HELLLLLLP!!?? (I have attached a picture of the originally "cut" head.)
Thanks for the help.
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Joined: Feb 20, 2007
Posts: 339
Location: Vancouver, Canada (zone 8b)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: Pony Tail Palm in Dire Condition Reply with quote

Mark, your photo attachment didn't show up. Could you try again as it may help identify the problem? Were the leaves actually cut as if by chewed off, as you write "cut"? Or were they loose & you could simply pull them off as a cluster of leaves or individually?

Since you've had this for 18 years, you must know how to grow it & been treating it right so excuse these questions. It wasn't overwatered at all, was it? Did anything change recently as in temperatures, light, addition of new plants around it (that might harbour some pest), or anything you can think of? Have you pulled away leaves & looked closely way down into the junction between leaves to see if any fungi or pest can be found there? I

'd be tempted to paint on a little Tanglefoot on some of the leaves where they emerge from the main cluster to see if you find any pests that only attack it at night. In case you don't know what Tanglefood it, I'm including a link. There may be similar products with diff names where you are.

Not sure if your plant won't fare worse with putting some system insecticide directly on the plant as they're meant to be absorbed through the soil. They can be very hard on some plants too, not just the insects.

I'll try to grow almost anything if I can get seeds or cuttings from a plant or fruit. It's a challenge!
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