How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Palm—Archontophoenix, Arecastrum, Brahea, Butia, Caryota, Chamaedorea, Dypsis, Hedyscepe, Howea, Jubaea, Livistona, Phoenix, Rhapis, Sabal, Syagrus, Trachycarpus, Washingtonia spp.*
Family Arecaceae (Palm family)

Plant Identification

Palms are tropical or subtropical trees.  Leaves are large and often arranged as a fan, with leaflets branching out from a single point, or they are feathery with leaflets arranged oppositely on either side of a common axis.  Trunks may be smooth or textured. 

*Some species of Palm are invasive weeds. Other types of plants may be better choices when planting.

Optimum conditions for growth

There are many different types of palms, each one adapted to different conditions.  Palms are often found near swimming pools or can make good house and patio plants.  Some species are planted as street trees.  Young palms do well in areas with some shade.  Many older plants tolerate areas with full sun.  Some palms do best in hot, dry climates.  Others are salt-tolerant and do well in seaside areas.  Most are sensitive to frost, but few species can tolerate light frost.  Mature plants don’t require much care.  Fertilize potted plants regularly.  Occasionally hose off foliage of palms growing in dusty areas or near beaches.

Canary Island palm trees
Canary Island palm trees

Pests and disorders of Palm

Invasive Pests

Invertebrates

Invertebrates continued

Diseases

  • Diamond scale
  • Fusarium wilt
  • Pink rot
  • Sudden crown drop

Environmental disorders

Weeds

Vertebrates

Fruit of the palm
Fruit of the palm Butia capitata

foliage of Mexican blue palm
Foliage of Mexican blue palm


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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