Sylvester Palm

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2015, 03:13 PM
AriaGrandparents2013 AriaGrandparents2013 is offline
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Default Sylvester Palm

In 2013 I planted a 4+ foot Sylvester Palm as part of a landscaping project in the front of my home. I have done nothing with it in terms of fertilizing or trimming. It has prospered quite well in spite of my lack of attention.

My question is........"What is recommended to be done to ensure this expensive Palm investment continues to prosper"......?
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:54 AM
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Bonanza Bonanza is offline
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You need to be fertilizing a few times a year with a palm fertilizer that contains mico-nutrients (which must include boron). Magnesium (epsom salts) is a fast fix for the oldest palm fronds which may be yellowing. Use according to the directions.

Do not fertilize during the winter months, but that includes all plants.

There are many informative articles on the Internet. Plug in the keyword Sylvester palms or simply palms and you will learn a lot!
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:32 AM
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Call or visit the UF plant folks on 466 they will tell you everything you need to do.

Hard to believe you did nothing so far, as soon as it warms up you need to get the Lesco fertilizer for starters, as they will explain.

Didn't the folks that planted them give you any info?

see this link
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:40 AM
Majestic1 Majestic1 is offline
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Visit the Home and Garden show this weekend, Fertilizer Direct will be there and they will show you the Lesco fertilizer 8-2-12+4. This is the fertilizer that the Master Gardeners and Jim Davis of the UF extension service recommend.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:54 AM
Carla B Carla B is offline
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My notes from the Extension Agent on caring for our large Sylvester: "Palms need slow-release fertilizer. Use Lesco 8-2-12 from John Deere Store at 1201 Thomas Avenue, Leesburg, (352) 748-6555.

Apply 1.5 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. of canopy every two months from March to Sept.

Broadcast the fertilizer out under the canopy to the drip line; Sylvester roots can spread 50 ft.

Don't buy fertilizers with oxides. Don't use Epsom salts for magnesium, can cause potassium deficiency. Don't use iron oxide or magnesium secrete. No cow manure or fertilizer stakes. Palms need boron.

You can use palm fertilizer (8-2-12) on turf and shrubs, as well. If using on shrubs, apply March, July, September. Do not use any other fertilizer on the grass near the palm."
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carla B View Post
My notes from the Extension Agent on caring for our large Sylvester: "Palms need slow-release fertilizer. Use Lesco 8-2-12 from John Deere Store at 1201 Thomas Avenue, Leesburg, (352) 748-6555.

Apply 1.5 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. of canopy every two months from March to Sept.

Broadcast the fertilizer out under the canopy to the drip line; Sylvester roots can spread 50 ft.

Don't buy fertilizers with oxides. , can cause potassium deficiency. Don't use iron oxide or magnesium secrete. No cow manure or fertilizer stakes. Palms need boron.

You can use palm fertilizer (8-2-12) on turf and shrubs, as well. If using on shrubs, apply March, July, September. Do not use any other fertilizer on the grass near the palm."
I'm not going to pick apart your post, but why the negativity regarding epson salts?
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonanza View Post
I'm not going to pick apart your post, but why the negativity regarding epson salts?
Simple, follow the Master Gardeners and Jim Davis of the UF extension service .

or

Trace elements should be given to all palms. The ratios are important and the total amount has an upper limit before it harms the palm. If you add one mineral and not the others it can harm the palm. That is why you should use Lescoe fertilizers that are man made and include amounts that are balanced (more or less) for palms. If you add only (epson salt) magnesium and not the others you will potentially end up in trouble.

Epsom salts contain quick release water soluble magnesium sulfate.

Too much magnesium and you may get a lock up of potassium.


how much more iinfo do you need not to use it?

I have over 30 palms, I have been using Lesco two years, they are thriving.

I also use a drip system on each one


.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:53 AM
Happydaz Happydaz is offline
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Using Epsom salts on palms is, as has already been stated, an immediately available dose of magnesium. This one shot deal is not the best choice for palm trees. It is better to use a balanced fertilizer with micronutrients such as 8-2-12-4. The best fertilizers have higher ratios of ingredients in a slow release form.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:29 AM
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I am happy to read above the excellent summary of advice from Jim Davis, extension agent.
In addition to Lesco fertilizer, there are other 8-2-12 brands (BGI, Howards) at box stores. They are not quite as superior a formulation, but still a good option. This fertilizer is also excellent for turf and ornamentals.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carla B View Post
My notes from the Extension Agent on caring for our large Sylvester: "Palms need slow-release fertilizer. Use Lesco 8-2-12 from John Deere Store at 1201 Thomas Avenue, Leesburg, (352) 748-6555.
Apply 1.5 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. of canopy every two months from March to Sept.
Broadcast the fertilizer out under the canopy to the drip line; Sylvester roots can spread 50 ft.
Don't buy fertilizers with oxides. Don't use Epsom salts for magnesium, can cause potassium deficiency. Don't use iron oxide or magnesium secrete. No cow manure or fertilizer stakes. Palms need boron.
You can use palm fertilizer (8-2-12) on turf and shrubs, as well. If using on shrubs, apply March, July, September. Do not use any other fertilizer on the grass near the palm."
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2012 View Post
Simple, follow the Master Gardeners and Jim Davis of the UF extension service.
Trace elements should be given to all palms. The ratios are important and the total amount has an upper limit before it harms the palm. If you add one mineral and not the others it can harm the palm. That is why you should use Lescoe fertilizers that are man made and include amounts that are balanced (more or less) for palms. If you add only (epson salt) magnesium and not the others you will potentially end up in trouble.
Epsom salts contain quick release water soluble magnesium sulfate.
Too much magnesium and you may get a lock up of potassium.
how much more iinfo do you need not to use it? I have over 30 palms, I have been using Lesco two years, they are thriving.
I also use a drip system on each one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happydaz View Post
Using Epsom salts on palms is, as has already been stated, an immediately available dose of magnesium. This one shot deal is not the best choice for palm trees. It is better to use a balanced fertilizer with micronutrients such as 8-2-12-4. The best fertilizers have higher ratios of ingredients in a slow release form.
Nowhere in my post did I say that magnesium is the only thing you should use on palms.
It most certainly is a good thing to use in the fertilization process for palms as a supplement.
I also clearly stated to "follow the directions."
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:41 PM
AriaGrandparents2013 AriaGrandparents2013 is offline
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Great discussion and recommendations offered. One thing for certain I have been remiss in not doing anything and need to pay more attention in order to ensure my Palm investment thrives.

Thank you again for your input.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:40 PM
Happydaz Happydaz is offline
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[QUOTE=Bonanza;1008021][B]Nowhere in my post did I say that magnesium is the only thing you should use on palms.
It most certainly is a good thing to use in the fertilization process for palms as a supplement.
I also clearly stated to "follow the directions."


When you "follow the directions" for using Epsom salts on palm trees just what exactly are the directions listed on the Epsom salts bag. Do you put so many ounces or pounds per inch diameter of the trunk or does it state to spread X number of pounds per 100 Square feet of canopy? What other fertilizers does it mention to add to the Epsom salts and in what ratios? I get confused because 8-2-12-4 already has enough magnesium for the Palm trees so why add extra? Do you dissolve it first and pour it around the trunk or do you spread it around the canopy and let the rain wash it in? I, personally, would not add a supplement to any complete fertilizer.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:29 AM
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I grew palms for many years. Here is a quick review of what I learned from several universities, the best wholesale growers in the area, and my own experiments and observations as they will apply to your particular palm.

1. Get the sprinklers off the trunk.
A huge part of the good looks for a Sylvester is the trimmed 'boot' or base of the trimmed frond.
In order to maintain the color and the boot for as long as possible, you should NOT have sprinklers watering the trunk.

2. Fertilize often.
Get the cheap stuff and apply it monthly, skip Oct-Jan to avoid frosting a newly opened 'head' of fronds.
Once a year or so, use a couple pounds of the good 'stuff' to get the boron, your palm needs boron, but a very trace amount, and boron is quite residual.
It is ok to add some Epsom salts, but ALWAYS add MANGANESE in the same amount. The magnesium alone will generate cell building that requires the same amount of manganese. Over time adding magnesium will produce a manganese deficiency causing several problems. Manganese deficiency is one of the most common ailments I see in not just the home owner's palms, but with palm growers as well.

3. Inoculate for TPPD/Lethal Yellowing.
This is a fast acting disease, and once the symptoms show up, it will be too late.
The inoculation is not expensive, and will keep your tree healthy and alive even if exposed to these diseases .
There are not many documented cases of TPPD in this area, but I have seen several palms die in TV in the last year with the textbook symptoms. It would not surprise me to find palm businesses in this area failing to document cases of TPPD in this area to avoid quarantines as many areas south of us currently have in place.

Palms are tough, you can follow lots of different paths and maybe have a nice palm. Following the 3 steps here, are what I suggest to make sure you have a nice Sylvester, for a long time.

P.S. Don't turn off your water because the lawn guy or TV says you should. Sylvesters like water.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:49 PM
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I agree with water, in fact I use drips on all 34 of mine, year round

Don't agree with you fertilizer regime, I go by Jim Davis at Fl State

care to say who told you that because it contradicts the university.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2012 View Post
I agree with water, in fact I use drips on all 34 of mine, year round

Don't agree with you fertilizer regime, I go by Jim Davis at Fl State

care to say who told you that because it contradicts the university.
How does it contradict UF? The tree doesn't know what brand the fertilizer is. What book published that the UF uses to teach horticulture did I contradict?
Does my method actually contradict a UF horticulture teaching ( for getting a degree ) or just Jim Davis? Maybe... something Jim said was taken out of context. Hard to say with hearsay.

I explained how I came to use this 'fertilizer regime' in my post, 3 of my personal mentors are internationally known horticulturists. Horticulture degree teachings from more than one college , and the results of my own experiments over the last 30 years growing palms. You asked "who", but not for a bibliography of the books. I learn from books often. They are more easily accessed than people.

Sorry, I only posted to help. As I said, there are many paths to healthy palms.
I know my methods work because I use them, and watch them work, it isn't hearsay. And they provide the nutrients the tree needs.

I don't claim to know everything or that my methods and brands I use are the only ones that work, and I doubt Jim Davis does either.
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