Is My Pindo Palm Dead – Treating Pindo Palm Freeze Damage


By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Can I save my frosted pindo palm? Is my pindo palm dead? Pindo palm is a relatively cold-hardy palm that tolerates temperatures as low as 12 to 15 F. (- 9 to -11 C.), and sometimes even colder. However, even this tough palm can be damaged by a sudden cold snap, especially trees that are exposed to cold wind. Read on and learn how to assess pindo palm frost damage, and try not to worry too much. There’s a good chance that your frozen pindo palm will rebound when temperatures rise in spring.

Frozen Pindo Palm: Is my Pindo Palm Dead?

You will probably need to wait a few weeks to determine the severity of pindo palm frost damage. According to North Carolina State University Extension, you may not know until late spring or early summer, as palms grow slowly and may take several months to re-leaf after pindo palm freeze damage.

In the meantime, don’t be tempted to pull or prune dead-looking fronds. Even dead fronds provide insulation that protects emerging buds and new growth.

Assessing Pindo Palm Frost Damage

Saving a frozen pindo palm begins with a thorough inspection of the plant. In spring or early summer, check the condition of the spear leaf – the newest frond that generally stands straight up, unopened. If the leaf doesn’t pull out when you tug it, chances are good that the frozen pindo palm will rebound.

If the spear leaf comes loose, the tree may still survive. Drench the area with copper fungicide (not copper fertilizer) to reduce the chance of infection if fungi or bacteria enter the damaged spot.

Don’t worry if new fronds display brown tips or appear slightly deformed. That being said, it’s safe to remove fronds that display absolutely no green growth. As long as the fronds show even a small amount of green tissue, you can be assured that the palm is recovering and there’s a good chance that the fronds that show up from this point will be normal.

Once the tree is in active growth, apply a palm fertilizer with micronutrients to support healthy new growth.

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Why Are My Palm Tree Leaves Turning Yellow (And How to Treat)

Flourishing palm trees instantly remind us of paradise. So, the last thing we want is for these tropical treasures to become a source of stress.

That’s why Lorraine F. reached out when some of her queen palm trees didn’t look healthy. Lorraine said, “It almost looks like they are dying, but continue [to grow] with stunted leaves and branches.”

If Lorraine’s palm problem sounds familiar, read on to learn why palm leaves turn yellow (specifically queen or majesty palms). Plus, get steps to help treat your ailing palm tree


Prune mature Sago palms annually to eliminate yellow-tipped, aging foliage. The best time to cut back your Sago palm is during the autumn, when it's not producing new leaves. The plant does not like to be disturbed when it is actively growing. During pruning, wear heavy garden gloves to protect your hands from spines on the fronds and long sleeves. Clip the lowest fronds with the clippers as close to the trunk as possible. Depending on the size of your palm, clear fronds up the trunk by 6 inches to 2 feet. Cut out all yellow and brown fronds to prevent your palm tree from becoming infested with insects. Expose the trunk of your Sago palm for ornamental purposes by removing extra fronds during the pruning process.

Sago palms produce flower cones at their centers that some gardeners prefer to remove, finding them unattractive. Additionally, the seeds that develop from the flower cone are fatally poisonous to both people and animals, making it more desirable to remove them, especially if you have young children or pets who will be around the plants. If your Sago palm is in a safe place, it's best to allow the seed pod to mature and fall off on its own, protecting the growing point at the center of the plant from damage however, you can carefully remove the seeds and flower cone at any time without fear of affecting the growth or health of the plant.


Wrapping up

Dealing with the aftermath of winter weather is never fun - but if you carefully assess and nurture cold-damaged plants (as well as make smart planting decisions for your landscape), you can keep your yard in good shape, year-round.

  • Cold weather and storm damage can look like wilting, soft or blackened foliage, burned evergreens, cracked or torn bark, or broken branches and downed trees
  • Evaluate your landscape after a winter storm to determine which trees and plants have minor damage, which have moderate damage and will need to be cared for, and which are dead or dying
  • Remove snow, but not ice
  • Carefully remove broken branches
  • Don’t overprune or “top” your trees
  • Water dry plants, but avoid fertilizing until spring
  • Allow potted plants to thaw slowly, moving them out of direct sun
  • Prevent future winter damage by choosing the right plants for your climate, insulating outdoor plants with mulch or frost blankets, and moving delicate plants indoors


Watch the video: Palm Update: November 19, 2020


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