Contact Us Host an Event 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

Organic means for ridding garden of stinging ants
April 18, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a butterfly garden that is filled with native plants the butterflies LOVE! However I have a colony of red ants that have moved in. I need to trim some of the more inva...
view the full question and answer

Control of non-native invasive Japanese Barberry from Enfield NH
April 22, 2014 - I recently bought a home that is bordered by woods and a sizable area of invasive Japanese Barberry growing on a steep hill in and around a stone wall making it that much harder to dig up. I've alway...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive peanut butter tree from Canby, OR
July 17, 2012 - I too have a peanut butter tree with the pink and white blooms, its about 5 years old and is beautiful, but 2 weeks ago it started wilting and losing all its leaves, I am afraid it is dying. Can I sav...
view the full question and answer

Is non-native mascagnia macroptera poisonous to animals from Hockley TX
February 17, 2014 - Is Mascagmia macroptra (Butterfly Vine) poisonous to animals (horses and dogs)?
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native jasmine from Austin
June 25, 2012 - Hi, I have a mature jasmine plant in the ground in a very sunny courtyard which gets watered daily. The lower leaves are turning yellow and am wondering if this is too much water for it. The top lea...
view the full question and answer

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