Cultural problems
 Diseases and major fungal...
 Major insect and mite pests

Group Title: ARC-A foliage plant research note - Agricultural Research Center - RH-83-E
Title: Chamaedorea palms
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066560/00001
 Material Information
Title: Chamaedorea palms
Series Title: ARC-A foliage plant research note
Physical Description: 8 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Osborne, L. S
Chase, A. R ( Ann Renee )
Burch, Derek George, 1933-
Agricultural Research Center (Apopka, Fla.)
Publisher: University of Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research Center-Apopka
Place of Publication: Apopka FL
Publication Date: 1983
Subject: Chamaedorea -- Growth -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Palms -- Growth -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Palms -- Diseases and pests -- Control -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 8).
Statement of Responsibility: L.S. Osborne, A.R. Chase, and D.G. Burch.
General Note: Caption title.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066560
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 71324822

Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Cultural problems
        Page 2
    Diseases and major fungal diseases
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Major insect and mite pests
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida


L. S. Osborne, A. R. Chase and D. G. Burchl

University of Florida, IFAS
Agricultural Research Center Apopka
ARC-A Foliage Plant Research Note RH-1983-E

Chamaedorea palms are such important houseplants that one species,

Chamaedorea elegans, has the common name "Parlor Palm". All Chamaedorea

palms have stems usually less than 1 inch in diameter and can be either

single-stemmed or multi-trunked. The leaves are dark green and compound

with pinnae (leaflets) arranged along the rachis (midvein) resembling a

feather. Chamaedorea erumpens and Chamaedorea seifrizii, the bamboo palms,

are multi-trunked species reaching about 10 feet in height; however, C.

seifrizii has narrower leaves and greater cold tolerance. In Florida,

many of the Chamaedorea palms grown are hybrids between C. erumpens and

C. seifrizii and are known as Chamaedorea 'Florida Hybrid'.

Chamaedorea elegans is single-stemmed and usually sold in 4 to 6 inch

pots with several plants per pot. Chamaedorea cataractarum has shiny leaves,

is intermediate in size (about 18 24 inches high), and becomes multi-

trunked as it matures.

Other species are occasionally seen and most of them are similar in

having pinnate leaves, but a few very striking species, including Chamaedorea

ernestii-augustii and C. geonomiformis have undivided leaves.

Commercial production of bamboo palms often includes several months in

full sun to encourage basal shoot production and good stem diameter, but

most species develop their best color in shade, except C. cataractarum,

which maintains good color even when grown in full sun.

Entomologist, Plant Pathologist, Agricultural Research Center, Apopka and
Ornamentals Extension Specialist, Agricultural Research and Education
Center, Ft. Lauderdale, respectively.

1) Low temperature induced growth stagnation

Symptoms Little to no seed germination or plant growth and color

is poor.

Control The medium should be maintained at 90F for the most rapid

even germination; below this, germination slows and disease problems

increase. However, this temperature will retard root growth and

should be reduced to 800F once peak germination has occurred. Most

root growth of palms stops at 60-650F and root activity slows so

that uptake of nutrients is reduced. This reduction in uptake may

not be uniform and some micronutrient deficiencies may occur in

colder weather.

2) pH induced nutrient deficiencies

Symptoms Deficiencies of manganese and iron may cause malformation of

new leaves as well as a chlorosis that is more severe on young

growth. Magnesium deficiency is commonly found on older leaves with

chlorosis typically extending in from the leaflet margin.

Control Maintaining soil pH below 7 will improve the availability of

iron and manganese and slow the leaching of magnesium. Application

of the appropriate nutrient will correct a problem, but palm

response tends to be slow. Foliar sprays will hasten color

improvement compared to soil application.

3) Root damage and foliar tip burn

Symptoms Poor or dead roots with burned leaf tips and/or margins.

Control Chamaedoreas are sensitive to waterlogged or poorly aerated

soils, and the slow reaction time of palms means that much root

damage can occur before foliar symptoms are observed. The potting

must be free-draining. Excess soluble salts, 1000 ppm or more,

will damage roots. Leaf tip and margin burn usually occurs

relatively soon after root damage begins. Leaching will remove

excess salts, but the pots must be drained well when this is

completed. Chamaedorea cataractarum needs more water than other

species in this group.

There are very few serious diseases of Chamaedorea spp. once plants are

past the seedling stage. As with most other plants which are produced from

seeds, damping-off due to fungal infection can occur either before or after

seedlings emerge from the soil. Root rot on large plants is usually not a

problem if plants are produced with appropriate amounts of water, and leaf

spots are not as common on Chamaedorea spp. as they are on some other palms.

The most serious diseases of this genus are stem rots caused by either

Phytophthora sp. or Gliocladium vermosceni. A real key to control appears

to be good spacing of plants since only then can they be monitored

efficiently for disease outbreaks.

1) Gliocladium stem blight (Gliocladium vermosceni)

Symptoms This disease is characterized by yellowing of basal fronds,

black stem lesions with a gummy exudate, and masses of pink-orange

conidia of the fungus on the lesions. Fronds quickly die when

severely infected and their removal results in a thin plant with

decreased salability.

Control Disease appears to be most severe during the winter months.

Benlate is registered for disease control on this plant. In

addition, when manicuring these palms in the field, dead fronds

should be removed only after they are completely brown, since

removal of green fronds leaves wounds exposed which facilitates the

entrance-of the fungal conidia. Pruning and sanitation should be

followed by application of Benlate to protect any open wounds

from infection. Most species of Chamaedorea appear to be susceptible

to Gliocladium.

2) Helminthosporium leaf spot (Bipolaris setariae and Exserohilum

Symptoms Lesions are usually 1/8 to 1/4" long, reddish brown to black

and found all over the frond surface. A yellow halo (margin)

frequently surrounds the lesions. Under optimum conditions, the

lesions coalesce and form large irregularly shaped necrotic areas on

leaf tips and margins.

Control Elimination of foliar wetting will also eliminate disease.

Chemical applications, such as Daconil, Zineb, and Manzate, each

provide good control of these pathogens, but are not all labeled for

this use.

3) Phytophthora root and stem rot (Phytophthora sp.)
Symptoms Phytophthora root and stem rot occurs mostly during

the summer months and is typified by severe loss of roots and

wilting of the tops. Roots are blackened and their cortex is easily

removed from the central core. The symptoms on the upper portions

may be confined to loss of stems starting with lesions near the

soil line and yellowing of leaves on these stems, or can include

discrete lesions on the stems. Lesions are black and sunken, and

can appear on portions as high above the soil as 12 inches.

Control Use of pathogen-free potting medium, pots, and seedlings

is essential. Chemical applications can include use of Truban or

Subdue (not labeled for this use). The soil moisture should be

maintained as low as possible to reduce pathogen growth.

4) Root rots and damping-off (many fungi)
Symptoms Poor germination, blackening of roots, or mushiness

followed by yellowing, wilting and loss of the plant or seedling.

Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Pythium, and Phytophthora spp. each cause

these symptoms.

Control Same as for Phytophthora stem and root rot. In addition,

Banrot or Benlate Truban, Benlate Subdue combinations may

provide good control of damping-off and root rot problems. Benlate,

Banrot, Truban 25EC and Truban 40.7F are labeled for use on

Chamaedorea palms.


Safe Questionable or Unsafe

Agri-Strep Maneb compounds Truban 5G
Banrot 40WP Truban 25EC Copper compounds
Benlate 50WP Zineb compounds
Captan 50WP
Daconil 4.17 F
Daconil 75WP

Pesticides were tested at recommended rates and intervals.


The major arthropod pests of this plant group are mites. However, there

are a number of insects, such as scales, seed feeding ambrosia beetles,

thrips, and fungus gnats which also attack palms. In the control section for

each pest, a few of the many registered and effective pesticides will be

listed. For a complete listing, please consult the references at the end of

this report.

1) Mites

Symptoms Spider mites are the most common pest group found feeding on

palms. The primary species involved is the two-spotted spider mite.

Recently, a tarsonemid mite (Steneotarsonemus furcatus DeLeon) which

is related to the broad mite has caused severe damage to C. elegans.

Plants infested with mites begin to turn yellow or become speckled.

Speckling, in the case of the tarsonemid mite, is much more distinct

with small yellow spots resulting from the feeding activity of

individual mites. When spider mite populations become high enough,

webbing, loss of leaves, and plant death can occur.

Control Mites can be controlled with either Vendex or Pentac. The

critical point in any control program is thorough coverage with

pesticide. The best control program is to minimize the possibility

of introducing mites into the growing area on infested plant material

In the case of the tarsonemid mite, it would help to grow palms as

far away from the preferred hosts of this mite (Maranta sp.,

Calathea sp., and Bermuda grass) as possible.

2) Scales

Symptoms Infested plants become weakened or stunted and decline or

die. Scales can be found feeding on leaves, petioles, or stems.

Their shape, size, and color are variable and many are hard to

distinguish from the plant material on which they are feeding. The

soft scales excrete sticky drops of liquid which is called honeydew.

This material soon appears black in color as a result of sooty mold

developing on it.

Control Scales are difficult to control, especially when they are

mature. Control measures should concentrate on killing the pest

when it is in the crawler stage. Systemic materials are preferred.

Examples of chemicals which have systemic activity are: Dimethoate,
Disyston, Metasystox-R, Vydate, and Orthene. Bendiocarb appears to

be as effective as some of the systemic materials.

3) Thrips

Symptoms Infested leaves become curled or distorted, with silver-gray

scars or calloused areas where feeding has occurred.

Control Many materials are registered and effective at controlling


4) Beetles

Symptoms Seeds have small circular holes from which the small darkly

colored adult beetles have emerged. This problem should be detected

before the seeds are planted, otherwise significant losses due to

poor germination will result. When a container of heavily infested

seed is first opened, beetles will often be observed.

Control Use clean seed.


Safe Questionable* Unsafe

Diazinon EC Dimethoate EC Kelthane WP
Dipel Kelthane EC Morestan WP
Dursban EC Metasystox-R EC Omite WP
Ficam Orthene WP
Mavrik Pentac
Permethrin EC Plictran WP
Resmethrin EC Thiodan 3EC
Safers Soap
Sevin WP
Temik G
Vydate EC
Pesticides were tested at recommended rates and intervals.


1. Chase, A. R. 1983. Phytotoxicity of some fungicides used on

tropical foliage plants. ARC-Apopka Research Report, RH-83-2.

2. Short, D. E. 1978. Phytotoxicity of insecticides and miticides to

foliage and woody ornamental plants. Extension Entomology Report #57.

3. Short, D. E., L. S. Osborne, and R. W. Henley. 1982. 1982-83 Insect

and related arthropod management guide for commercial foliage and

woody plants in Florida. Extension Entomology Report #52.

4. Simone, G. W. 1982. Disease control pesticides for foliage production

1982. Extension Plant Pathology Report #30.

Mention of a commercial or proprietary product or of a pesticide in this paper
does not constitute a recommendation by the authors, nor does it imply
registration under FIFRA as amended.

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