En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - December 06, 2011

From: Miami, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Problems with non-native Canary Date Palms from Miami FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hi: The fronts of my canary date palm, which I planted about 6 years ago, has been getting brown from the bottom of the tree and working itself towards the top for the past several months now. The browning starts from the tip of the leaves and move towards the middle of the front. There are only a few live fronts left. I need your help with first identifying the problem and telling me what I can do to save this beautiful tree. Please get back to me soon. Thanks.


Since Phoenix canariensis, Canary Date Palm is native to (surprise!) the Canary Islands, it falls out of the realm of experience of Mr. Smarty Plants. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the place in which they are being grown. We understand that they do pretty well in South Florida, so we are going to refer you to some websites that may give you the information you need:

Canary Island Date Palm

Florida Palm Trees

Dave's Garden

The gist of the information we are getting from this is that this palm is very sensitive to cold, and needs to have its trunk wrapped most winters. Since there are apparently quite a few of these trees in your area, we suggest you contact the University of Florida Miami-Dade County Extension Office. If others in your area are experiencing the same problem, the Extension Office should know and be able to recommend what to do.



More Trees Questions

Mountain Laurel having trouble in AZ
June 07, 2011 - A Sophora secundflora (Texas mountain laurel) was planted to an Arizona north faced front yard last year in August under full sun. Starting early this year, I noticed its leaves turn to light green an...
view the full question and answer

Spring blooming Acacia farnsiana in Austin
April 04, 2007 - I've been seeing a large shrub, possibly tree, around Austin this spring - and it is covered is small ball-like orangish-yellow blooms - very tightly covered in these blooms. From the car, it looks ...
view the full question and answer

Disagreement on amending soil for planting from Austin
September 01, 2012 - In today's newspaper column, you answered a question about transplanting a redbud. You said to follow the instructions on the WFC web site, except you recommended adding compost to the backfill soil....
view the full question and answer

Changing color of crape myrtle blooms
July 08, 2008 - I have 5 well established crape myrtle trees whose blooms are a very light lavender/pink color. I would like to know if there is any way to deepen or change the color of the blooms. I would prefer a m...
view the full question and answer

How to care for newly transplanted Live Oak.
July 02, 2009 - I planted 3 B & B, 6" caliper live oaks in February and they lost most of their leaves during the normal time but when the new leaves grew back the amount of leaves were quite a bit less. I have th...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center