Ask Dr. Hort: caring for frost-damaged Christmas Palms
By Greg Charles, Special to the Times
In Print: Saturday, August 21, 2010
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida
Christmas Palms (adonidias) still show signs of freeze damageQ: Our Christmas palms took a pretty hard hit this past winter. They seem to have survived, but new growth seems to have changed. New fronds that normally came in as spears to several feet in length and then opened are now coming out an inch or two and coming out opened and a bit deformed. Thank you for any help you can offer.
John Lovitz, Clearwater
A: The winter that wiped out Christmas palms is still showing its ugly face. The freezing temperatures damaged the bud or growing point that houses many fronds in their juvenile state. For many palms, the entire bud was damaged, resulting in the death of the plant. In your case, certain infant fronds were damaged, but fortunately not the entire bud, resulting in random mishaped fronds. Each new frond should look better than the last. Now is the time to fertilize with a micronutrient mix; I suggest SA Essential Minor L, available at your local garden center. The new growth will be in immediate need of iron, manganese, boron and zinc, which a quality micronutrient fertilizer will provide.