The palms belong to the Arecaceae family, they are part of one of the main botanical groups of ornamental interest and their diffusion affects the whole world, as many as 200 genera and 3,000 different species have been classified.
In the garden
Each species must have its own space to grow, so it is advisable to avoid bushes or other plants too close. For the types that are destined to grow in height, it is necessary to dedicate a privileged position so that they can grow towards the sky. The roots must be protected with an abundant mulch of plant material. The planting place must be sunny, the leaves must be brought upwards, tied together but leaving a lot of slack, so as to give the space needed for the correct circulation of air and for growth.
The roots of the palms are fragile and sensitive and the humidity or wounds can seriously damage the plant.
Its trunk is very thick and high and can grow to 35 meters, it is also the palm tree with more leaves in your cup. Gardening is one of the world’s 30 species used and is very long-lived: some specimens can live between 2 and 3 centuries.
Really one of the oldest plants on the planet that can be potted for the apartment or buried in the gardens. The growth is very slow and is really particular.
The “true” date palm from which the tasty fruit is obtained is Phoenix dactylifera which is a multi-stemmed palm from which the suckers are usually removed to create single stemmed specimens.
One of the most commonly grown palms in the world, there are two species: Washingtonia robusta the easiest of the palms to grow. Washingtonia filifera is a type easy to maintain, use to come from the deserts of southern California.
Very resistant, you can define a native species, resistant even to the coldest temperatures. La Palma reaches if well cultivated a height from 1 meter to 6 meters.
Called also Mexican blue palm is widely planted as an ornamental palm, really special thanks to the leaves colour. Can grows to a height of 15 metres. It is drought tolerant, can handle both partial shade and full sun, and temperatures down to −10 °C.. The leaves can be 1-2 meters wide and 1 m long, forming a shag around the trunk;
Originally from Uruguay and Brazil, its height varies from three to six meters. It has very very large leaves that can reach 2 meters.
The origins of this palm tree date back to the southern regions of China. It has leaves that exceed 70 cm. Flowering occurs at the end of spring and early summer, can resist to cold temperature (up to –18°C)
Picudo Rojo – The Red Palm Weevil
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Curculionidae) is a highly invasive pest of Phoenix canariensis, Phoenix dactylifera, Chamaerops humilis, Trachycarpus fortunei. It has devastated ornamental palms in many areas of the Mediterranean, changing the landscape. It is very difficult to detect R. ferrugineus in the early stages of infestation. Generally, it is detected only after the palm has been severely damaged. Early symptoms of an attack include egg-laying notches; cocoons inserted into the base of the palms; an eccentric growing crown; holes at the base of cut palms; symptoms resembling those caused by lack of water such as wilting, desiccation and necrosis of the foliage; tunneling within the stems and trunk. Larvae and adults destroy the interior of the palm tree, often without the plant showing signs of deterioration unless damage is severe.
Is another insect of the Curculionidae family that affected in the past the agave plats types, but now the main affected crops by Scyphophorus acupuntactus are also Aloë, Strelitzia, Yucca and Dracaena.
Adults bore into leaves of young plants or plants with weak fibres, and if perforated sisal hearts are infected by fungi, the central shoot becomes red and soft, producing conditions suitable for development of the larvae, which die quickly in the absence of moisture. Plants over 2 years old are not generally perforated, and only leaves too small to cut are damaged. Suckers that have been too deeply planted may begin to rot at the base and weevils are then attracted to them as secondary pests. Weevil attack on healthy leaves too strong to penetrate produces a mottled area of dead epidermis approximately 20 cm from the leaf base; this damage is only distinguishable from that caused by friction because it occurs before the leaf has unfolded.
The European Commission has introduced emergency measures to prevent the further spread of R. ferrugineus and Scyphophorus acupuntactus within the community.
At the moment only a chemical control is effective to prevent the infestation cause natural and biologic insects are not enough for a big population that here in Spain can be alive during all the season.