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Feeding Palm Trees

Symptoms and Treatment of Deficiencies

"After two years of virtually no growth on my transplanted Queen palms, I was considering replacing them. As a last resort, I put down some Lutz spikes about six months ago. Today these palms have all kinds of healthy, new, deep green growth. I just can’t say enough about the Lutz Palm Tree Spikes. I would strongly recommend them for anyone who hasn’t experienced recent growth on their palm trees."
Rob Robinson
Pheonix, AZ

Lutz Palm Tree Fertilizer Spikes have proven themselves unmatched in their ability to restore and hold healthy green growth in all established and transplanted Palms, and those with yellowing manganese, magnesium or potassium deficiencies.

Lutz Palm Fertilizer Spikes are a fast, efficient, long lasting method of fertilizing all Palms.  Lutz Palm Spikes are applied next to the root ball, and slowly release nutrient to the Palm over several months.  Depending on climate, annual or semi-annual applications are all that are necessary to maintain healthy green beautiful Palms.

Manganese Deficiency:

Symptoms: Affects the new emerging leaves, causing yellowing and necrosis between the veins and a reduction in leaf size. As deficiency becomes severe, the new leaves wither and have a "frizzled" look. If not promptly treated, Mn deficiency is often fatal to the palm. Manganese deficiency can affect most species of palms. Queen, paurotis and royal palms are particularly susceptible.

Treatment: Use 2 to 10 Lutz Manganese Spikes per palm, depending on the size of trunk and severity of deficiency. Check the rate chart below.

Normal response is from 1 to 3 months.

Apply Manganese Spikes anytime the deficiency is observed.

Manganese Spike #30190
Manganese (Mn) 20%
20% Water Soluble Manganese
Sulfur (S) 16%
16% Combined Sulfur (S)
Total Nitrogen (N) 4%
4% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
Derived From: Manganese Sulfate, Sulfate of Ammonia.

Magnesium Deficiency:

Symptoms: Affects the older leaves, causing them to yellow at the edges while the center band stays green. In severe cases leaflet tips also become necrotic. Magnesium deficiency can affect most species of palms. Date palms are particularly susceptible.

Treatment: Use 2 to 10 Lutz Magnesium Spikes per palm, depending on the size of the trunk and the severity of the deficiency. Check the rate chart below.

Recovery can take several months.

Apply Magnesium Spikes anytime the deficiency is observed.

Magnesium Spike #30191
Total Magnesium (Mg) 12%
12% Water Soluble Magnesium
Sulfur (S) 20%
20% Combined Sulfur
Total Nitrogen (N) 4%
4% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
Derived From: Magnesium Sulfate, Sulfate of Ammonia.

Potassium Deficiency:

Symptoms: Causes yellow, orange or brown flecks and necrotic margins of older leaves. Withering ("frizzling") begins on these older leaves first. From a distance these leaves often appear brown or orange in color. If deficiency is severe enough, new shoots will eventually be affected. If unattended, the palm may die. Curing the potassium deficiency can lead to magnesium deficiency. To balance, K and Mg should be applied together. Lutz Potassium Spikes contain a full 20% Potassium and 7% Magnesium. Potassium deficiency is common in most species of palms in Florida.

Treatment: Use 2 to 10 Lutz Potassium-Magnesium Spikes per palm depending on size of trunk and severity of the deficiency. Check the rate chart below.

Complete recovery can take a year or longer.

Apply Potassium Spikes anytime the deficiency is observed.

Potassium Spike #30192
Soluble Potash (K²O) 20%
Magnesium (Mg) 7%
7% Water Soluble Magnesium
Sulfur (S) 20%
20% Combined Sulfur
Total Nitrogen (N) 6%
6% Nitrate Nitrogen
Derived From: Potassium Nitrate, Magnesium Sulfate.

Maintaining Healthy Palms

Lutz Palm Tree Maintenance Spikes are a fast, efficient, long lasting method of fertilizing healthy palm trees. Lutz Maintenance Spikes have been carefully formulated to effectively fertilize your palms while protecting them from the common deficiencies of Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron and Copper.

Lutz Palm Tree Maintenance Spikes contain nitrogen plus soluble Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron and Copper Sulfates. Their release has been slowed by the use of proprietary binders, to safely release theses vital nutrients to the feeder roots of your Palms.

For those Palms showing symptoms of Manganese, Magnesium or Potassium deficiencies, we suggest using one of the Lutz Spikes that have been specifically formulated to treat these deficiencies. These Lutz Spikes are: #30190 Manganese Sulfate Spike; #30191 Magnesium Sulfate Spike and #30192 Potassium Sulfate Spike. Treatments may be made any time these deficiencies are observed.

Once the deficient palms have responded to treatment we recommend maintaining them with the Lutz Maintenance Spikes.

Maintenance Spikes are applied every 4-6 months, depending on zone/location.

"I wanted to write and let you know the results I have had using Lutz Maintenance Spikes. I am the Interiorscape manager for Laurel Creek Nursery. In the past potted palms have been used infrequently in our accounts. One of the reasons for this was the difficulty supplying proper nutrients to palms. Our customers would complain of yellowing fronds, and curled leaves. Close inspection would reveal orange specks in the yellowed fronds, and a few necrotic margins.

We began using Lutz Maintenance Spikes in August. I am pleased to say that our potted palms have never looked better, and as a result we are using more palms. I have used the maintenance spikes on the following potted palms: Adonidia, Neanthe Bella, Kentia, Areca, Rhapis Excelsa, Date, Bamboo, Chinese Fan, Fishtail, Triangle, and Majesty. Our customers are pleased with the way their palms look.

Many thanks for developing this product."
Judy L. Little
Laurel Creek Nursery
Christiansburg, VA
Maintenance Spike #30193
Manganese (Mn) 6%
6% Water Soluble Manganese
Magnesium (Mg) 6%
6% Water Soluble Magnesium
Soluble Potassium (K²O) 6%
Sulfur (S) 10%
10% Combined Sulfur
Total Nitrogen (N) 6%
4.2% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
1.8% Nitrate Nitrogen
Iron (Fe) 1%
1% Water Soluble Iron
Copper (Cu) 0.5%
.5% Water Soluble Copper
Derived From: Potassium Nitrate, Manganese Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate,
Ferrous Iron Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sulfate of Ammonia.

Suggested Coverage & Placement of Lutz Palm Tree Spikes

Palm Diameter 6" 9" 12" 15" 18"
Spikes Used 3 4 6 8 10

Feeder roots on palm trees are at the outer edge of the root mass, which is normally about 18” to 36” out from the trunk. This is where the Lutz Palm Tree Fertilizer Spikes should be placed to get the maximum result.

Root mass varies in size depending on the species of palm, age of palm, and soil conditions. It is closest on newly installed palms as most have shaved root balls.

To accurately find the outer edge of the root mass, probe, using a sharp rod or the Lutz Fast Feeder.

Start probing about 12” from the trunk. The probe will not go down too far before you encounter the top of the root mass. Then go out 2” to 3” and probe again – and so on, until the probe goes down easily. You are now at the outer edge of the root mass. This is the distance around that palm to place the Lutz Palm Spikes.

It is a good idea not to guess, but to probe each palm, as root mass sizes vary.

The advantage of the Lutz Fast Feeder is that you can probe with it and when you find the outer edge of the root mass the first 8” hole is ready to accept a spike and the balance are swiftly made.

While all Lutz fertilizer spikes are made to feed for up to twelve months, spring and fall feedings will give the maximum results. We especially recommend fall feeding in any areas where temperatures below freezing would be encountered. This increases the palms’ hardiness and also increases the salts in the treated palms which act like anti-freeze.

* Number of spikes used will not only depend on palm diameter, but the severity of any deficiency as well.

The Feeding of Small Potted Palms

Palm Diameter 1" 2" 3" 4"
Spikes Used* 1/2 3/4 1 1 1/2

Break spikes into quarters and place appropriate number of quarters at outer edge of root ball.

What our customers say about Lutz Palm Tree Spikes!

"We have been using the Lutz Palm Tree Maintenance Spike for about three years. They outperform similar granular type fertilizers by correcting nutrient deficiencies faster and more effectively. We also recommend them to our retail customers."

John Klement
Valley Garden Center
McAllen, TX

"I live in Charlotte, NC and grow cold-hardy palms outdoors. I have been using your palm maintenance spikes, along with the manganese spikes, for about 5 years. I have been very pleased with the results on my windmill, sable minor, needle, and sago palms. Healthy palms help weather cold winters better in marginal climates like this one."
Ken Szymanski
Charlotte, NC

"I just wanted to tell Mr. Lutz that I have purchased all three spikes to treat my queen Palms in the desert. It has been about three months and ALL 15 of my queen Palms have healthy spikes coming out with new lush green foliage! Amazing! I am telling all of my neighbors about your product. You saved my trees; I was going to cut them down and replace them with Mexican Fans. I will be a client for life."
Benjamin Leaskou
Palm Springs, FL

"We have a fair amount of palms, as do many large areas in Southern California, and most of which were exhibiting classic deficiency symptoms. Yellowing or necrosis of the fronds with age, some with frizzle top. Granular top application were working, but over.under applications were problems, as were fairly often repeat applications. As I had hoped and anticipated, the Spikes have worked quite well on our palms. I am currently planning orders for our second year application.

One grouping of Phoenis canariensis that have been in raised planters for the last 20 years have shown drastic improvements. Archontophoenix cunninghamiana's that were consistently dropping fronds early are now holding heads of 8 to 12 fronds. Drastically up from 4 to 5 fronds from only 8 months ago. It is staggering to see the difference. They work so well that this year all palms are going to be treated with the stakes.

I have also used them successfully in treating some deficiency problems in Sequoia sempervirens and Sequoiadendron gigantia.

Thanks for your follow-up interest in your customers. It is a nice touch in the business world to know that someone really does care."
Donald DeLano
Pomona, CA
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