Palm trees are a part of life here, in Florida. When we see them, we are reminded that we live in paradise. Even though you admire your palm trees daily, palm tree care may be as hard to grasp as a foreign language. In this four-part series on palm health, I’ll introduce you to several factors that threaten your palm trees. First up: Spiraling Whiteflies.
(Aleurodicus rugioperculatus) Have you seen any of these tell-tale signs of Spiraling Whiteflies on your trees?
Spirals created by rugose spiraling whitefly Spiraling Whitefly on underside of leaf Adult Spiraling Whitefly Residue from Spiraling Whitefly.
The Rugose Spiraling Whitefly has made its way to Florida. This is an amazing new breed of Whitefly that was first detected in Miami-Dade County in 2009. Since then, entomologists from the University of Florida have been studying the characteristics of these new, unusual Whiteflies.
This whitefly appears to have a very broad range of host plants from palms to fruits to woody ornamentals. It has been found on all of the following plants and more.
- Gumbo Limbo
- Black Olive
- Broadleaf Arrowhead
- Brazilian Pepper
- Wax Myrtle
- Live Oak
- Areca Palm
- Coconut Palm
- Pygmy Palm
- Royal Palm
Look for an abundance of white, waxy material covering the leaves. Because whiteflies suck the nutrients from the host plant, they can cause serious plant decline, defoliation, branch dieback and even plant death. They also produce a sugary substance which causes the growth of sooty mold. Excessive sooty mold can inhibit sunlight penetration causing palm decline.
We recommend a trunk spray. This method does not wound the tree & will control the insect for longer than the inoculation method. Usually, only 1 treatment is necessary and works as a remedy and as a prevention. Please note: if you are a customer of ours and are receiving our tree and shrub care , all of your trees under 8 feet are already protected.