There are over a dozen species of date palms belonging to the genus Phoenix and they can be divided into two general categories; dry climate species and tropical species.
Date Palm Plant Problems: Dry climate date palms are more disease and insect-prone than tropical species. They are susceptible to:
Ganoderma Butt Rot: A disease that starts killing the trunk, at the base, and will eventually kill the tree. There is no cure. Avoid damaging the trunk in any way.
Fusarium Wilt: Spreads from one palm to another most often by pruning tools. Once infected, trees always die. One-half of the tree dies first, then the rest. There is no cure. Sterilize tools with a bleach solution between each tree.
Palm Weevils: Large weevils lay eggs in the crown of the palm which then hatch into huge grubs that eat the heart of the palm. Although these insects can be controlled with pesticides, they are usually noticed too late and the tree dies. Canary Island Date is very susceptible to this insect.
Magnesium Deficiency: The leaflets of lower leaves have yellow tips, making the lower half of the tree look yellow. Can be cured over time by fertilizing with Harrell’s 11-4-11. We may also advise adding some magnesium sulfate.