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Yellow palm fronds: Is it lethal yellowing?

Are the fronds on your palms turning yellow? There is a difference between lethal yellowing & nutritional deficiencies. Lethal Yellowing (LY) is caused by a mycoplasma organism that is spread by an insect, a plant hopper, Myndus crudus.

LY has the following symptoms:

Stage1: Premature dropping of all coconuts.The fallen nuts will have a brown or black area where it had attached to the palm.

Stage 2: The new flower stalks turn brown or black and do not set fruit.

Stage 3: Coconut palm fronds turn yellow then brown, usually beginning with the older fronds and moving upward towards the crown. Affected fronds hang straight down but remain attached to the tree. Eventually the canopy wilts, the bud rots and the tree dies.

On other susceptible palm species the lethal yellowing may not be conspicuous; instead, leaves collapse and the palm quickly dies.

One Comment on “Yellow palm fronds: Is it lethal yellowing?

  1. Are more people (or landscapers) using organic fertilizers these days, or still chemical based? Specifically in the FL Keys?