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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.

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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

 

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