What Is Palm Tree Dropping?
Palm tree dropping (or “palm leaf drop”) is a common problem for home gardeners. It occurs when a palm leaf falls off and breaks into many pieces on the ground. The resulting debris causes damage to your plants or even destroys them completely! Most often it happens during heavy rainstorms, but sometimes it can happen at any time of year.
The problem is caused by a change in climate called El Niño. When there are too much moisture in the air, such as during a rainy season, the soil becomes saturated and water evaporates from it. However, if there isn’t enough moisture in the air to prevent evaporation, then it will remain wet all day long instead of drying out overnight. This results in a sudden drop in temperature which causes the soil to become dry.
In some cases, the soil may not get so hot and dry, but rather just warm enough that the plant roots can’t survive. If this happens, then your palms will die.
The following are the most common signs that your palm tree leaves are dropping:
1). Leaves become Yellow or Brown.
2). Newer Leaves start Dropping.
3). Stems start to become Soft and Flop Over.
4). The Entire Plant becomes Wilted.
How Do I Know if My Palm Tree is Drooping?
If you see the above symptoms, then there is a good chance that your palms are being affected by this condition. You may also notice that the soil has cracked in several places.
At this point, it is necessary to act quickly. If you do nothing else, stop watering your palm trees immediately! Watering them will only make the soil wetter and increase the likelihood of further damage.
To fix the problem, it is necessary to identify its cause. During the next rainstorm, take note of whether or not the soil is staying wet for long periods of time.
If it does, then you need to find a way to fix that problem. There are several homemade ways to dry the soil out faster such as using sand, wood chips, or even newspaper to soak up excess moisture. You can also remove the top layer of soil and replace it with a quick drying material like gravel or small rocks.
If it doesn’t stay wet for long periods of time, then there may be another problem. Check the condition of the roots, and see if you notice any dead or dying ones. If there are, then cut them off as close to the trunk as possible. Be careful not to cut into live roots when doing this!
You should also remove any dying leaves that are drooping over or have fallen to the ground. These will only serve to add more moisture to the soil and potentially cause more damage.
If you’ve done all of the above, but the problem persists, then you may need to consider replacing your soil. At that point, there isn’t much else you can do other than hope for the best.
How to Prevent Palm Tree Dropping in the Future
The best way to prevent this problem from ever happening is to avoid El Niño weather patterns. El Niño is a climate condition that affects tropical areas, which means that your palms will be more susceptible during the months of October, November, and December.
If you live in an area that normally doesn’t experience El Niño, then the season for this condition will vary depending on where you live. For example, it may start in September or as late as January. The best way to know is to keep a close eye on the news and your local weather reports.
If you live in an area with hot, dry summers and mild to cold winters, then you may have a better chance of avoiding this condition. During the summer months, keep your soil consistently moistened, but not soggy. This will help to prevent the soil from getting hot enough to cause the problems listed above.
Even if you live in this type of area don’t get complacent, because El Niño can still occur even if it isn’t as severe. Also, keep in mind that other parts of the world experience very rainy and cold weather patterns, which can also lead to palm tree drooping.
If you live anywhere other than North America, your palm tree’s drooping season will probably be during the winter months. During this time, you should water your palm tree less and be sure to keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy.
In all cases, be sure to check your palm tree regularly and prune any dead or dying leaves immediately. This will help to keep the soil around the trunk from becoming compacted as easily.
If you live in an area that experiences extreme El Niño events, then the condition of your soil is probably not in the best condition to begin with. In this case, you may want to consider repotting your palm tree into fresh soil.
Repotting should always be done during the spring months when the weather is mild. The best time of the year to repot is actually during the last El Niño event of the winter months. This will give your palm tree’s roots time to establish themselves before the new growing season starts.
In conclusion, palm trees are extremely sensitive to their environment. They don’t do well indoors, but are beautiful trees to have in your yard. If you live in an area that experiences extreme weather changes, then you should always make it a priority to inspect your palm tree regularly and maintain the health of the soil around its roots.
A little bit of maintenance can go a long way in preventing serious problems from occurring with your tree!
Thanks for reading! 🙂
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