Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
5 ratings

Tuesday - March 06, 2012

From: Glendale, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Queen Palm Fertilization in Arizona
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I placed standard Miracle Grow in a root feeder device and inserted into the ground around all of my Queen Palms. Why have they taken a turn for the worse (furled tips on all new branches) Can you overdose with Miracle grow? I used 1 tablespoon per Palm

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants can only be of a little help to you.  The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.  Queen Palm trees (Syagrus romanzoffiana) are native to South America, which means that we don’t have much information on them.  We are focused on the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown, this situation doesn't make it with us!  Are you sure you don't want a nice native?

 That said, I found a few references on the web that may be useful to you.  This article on Queen Palm Care in Arizona notes a syndrome called “Frizzy Top” disease and relates it to lack of magnesium in the soil. We don’t happily recommend chemical fertilizers either, so you’ll need to examine the stuff you used to see if it has magnesium or not. It appears there is a special formulation of Miracle Grow for palm trees, but the regular stuff may not be suited. Heres an article from Intregrity Tree Service on Queen Palms in Arizona with very similar information.  Finally, this link is to a more comprehensive article from the University of Arizona.  There is a section towards the end on care of established plants.

 Good Luck with your Palm Trees!     MSP

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Encouraging bloom on non-native Batwing Erythrina
July 18, 2007 - Hi! I have a Batwing Erythrina in the ground next to my driveway in full sun in Houston. It's nine years old and is about twenty feet tall, but it does not bloom. What can I do? Thanks for your s...
view the full question and answer

Adding Wildflowers to Corpus Christi
May 20, 2012 - I have a dry sandy yard, full sun in Corpus Christi with lot's of stickers mostly, want to transform to wildflowers. When should I plant, how should I prepare soil, should I dig out stickers? Which w...
view the full question and answer

Elimination of non-native English ivy in Maryland
March 11, 2009 - I have Old English Ivy sprouting up throughout my side yard. What can I do to get rid of it? Would putting lime down help or Crabgrass control? What would you suggest and the easier the better as I...
view the full question and answer

Comments on non-native Tecomas from Phoenix AZ
October 11, 2011 - There was a question regarding red Tecomas but I see no way to make a comment directly to that. There are indeed red Tecomas on the market one being Tecoma x 'Bells of Fire' tm and ppaf. I am the ...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Tree for Austin, TX
February 10, 2013 - Can you recommend a tall privacy plant similar to the Thuya Green Giant that is suitable to the Austin environment?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.