Last Updated on January 4, 2021 by Matt Gardener
What is growing out of my palm tree? Well, during spring, it is easy to see many plants grow out of many places. Many plants grow on the soil while others prefer peculiar spots, like your palm tree.
Not all of these plants will negatively affect your palm tree, while others will be parasitic and need to go. You have to find out which is doing what before ridding your palm off them.
Now, let’s talk about some of the things that can grow out of a palm tree and what to do to them when they do.
Table of Contents
What Is Growing Out of My Palm Tree?
Lichens live and grow out of the palm tree, but they are not harmful. They are present in every ecosystem and all parts of the world. The lichen is part of the foundations of biological succession.
They break rocks down and form soil. On your palm, however, they are not breaking down anything; they are just living there.
The lichen is light green and is present in all the oaks in the southern part of Florida. When you see them growing out of your palm, please do not fret; they are not harmful.
A lichen comprises cyanobacteria, algae, and white fungus. These three different organisms have to find a way to thrive. The fungi supply the family with water and minerals; the cyanobacteria and algae provide the family with carbohydrates and sugar. So, do not fret when lichen comes to roost. They are harmless.
2. Ficus Aurea
Ficus aurea, AKA strangler fig, is popular in South Florida. Even though epiphytes generally are not harmful, this one is. When it is young, it doesn’t harm the palm tree, but when it grows, and the roots get to the ground, they can turn into monsters. It will strangle the palm tree and stand alone.
You can see strangler figs in Miami. They usually start in boots or old frond scars. Detecting the infection early enough is an advantage. When they are still little, you can easily remove them, but they will destroy your palm tree when they grow and take root.
3. Ganoderma Bud Rot
This disease is a fungal disease that has no cure. Once it infects the palm, it will kill that palm. The disease passes through spores that live inside the soil. The palm tree takes them in slowly via the root. The disease starts its attack by eating away the internal parts of the trunk.
When the fungus has eaten the trunk, it will grow out as some conk on the trunk, then begin reproduction. The conk sends more spores to the ground, and a new palm plant is infected.
The problem with this fungal infection is that when the conk grows out of the palm tree, the damage is already complete, and your tree is on its way to certain death.
If you notice that the conk is growing out of the trunk, contact an arborist so they can handle the spores living inside the soil before they infect another palm tree.
4. Tillandsia Species
You can also find the Tillandsia species growing out of your palm. Some of the species occur naturally in Florida. They also act like tank epiphytes, forming a tank that can absorb and hold water since the roots can’t reach the soil.
A type of the tillandsia, the cow horn orchid, is at risk of going extinct. They are white and beautiful. If you see them on your palm, you’re lucky.
5. Anthuriums, Orchids, and Bromeliads
Anthuriums, orchids, and bromeliads can also grow on the palm. But do not worry about these as they are relatively harmless.
They exist as epiphytes and a beauty to behold. People intentionally add them to palm boots so they can brighten the landscape with their dazzling colors.
Do not be quick to remove anything that is growing out of your palm tree. It is not all of them that are parasitic and would harm your tree. But it would be best if you were watchful though to spot out those bad ones and remove them as soon as possible.
Detecting the presence of parasitic plants early enough is a significant step in stopping their proliferation. So, if you’ve been asking the question “what is growing out of my palm tree?” We hope that this article has educated you on which plant to remove and which plant to let flourish on your palm tree.