Growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area. With a wiener dog.

August 22, 2013

Powdery residue on palm fronds

If you are seeing white, powdery residue on your palm fronds, and are concerned, don't be. It's perfectly natural, and is a sign of a very healthy tree.

Palm trees, like this Phoenix roebelinii (pygmy date palm) grow from the center. To determine the robust health of a tree, look at its "spear" leaves in the middle. They start out all clumped together, with that powdery residue, and then open up.

I have had palms here at The Tropical Paradise for twenty years, and no, I have no idea what the botanical reason for the white powdery residue is. I am satisfied in knowing that it means a wonderfully healthy tree, and that that is how God made it.

By the way, if you have a healthy tree that is throwing up several spears, go ahead and do a gentle shake to open up the fronds. You will see that powdery residue, which falls off, and mostly you will see some beautiful leaves!
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