White Fungus On Palm Tree Trunk (Causes & Remedies)

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When there is white fungus on palm tree trunk, it often lead to very poor growth and development of the tree, and it will not bear fruit in its time.

And if the fungus is left untreated, and the affected fronds are not treated or cut off, the fungus will spread to other parts of the palm tree, preventing the leaves from receiving sufficient sunlight.

This will lead to the palm tree not performing photosynthesis, thereby leading to the death of the plant in the long run. 

But what causes white fungus on palm tree leaves and what is the remedy? And how can you care for your palm tree more? This and many others are what we will be discussing in this article.

How To Identify White Fungus On Palm Trees 

White fungus on your palm tree is very easy to identify; they’re apparent and different from other parts of the plant. They’re those white stuff on your palm tree. In general, their appearance is usually like that of cotton soot.

The first place they usually appear is under the palm tree leaves, which are usually hidden, and most farmers don’t check them. 

When this is left untreated, it will spread to other areas of the palm tree, which will eventually lead to poor growth and development of the palm tree. In adverse conditions, it can affect the stems, leaves, and down to roots of the plant tree.

One of the most common ways of removing this white fungus from your palm tree is to nip it in the bud and remove affected areas immediately after it is formed to avoid spreading to other areas of the plant.

See Also: Top 9 Palm Trees That Stay Small

What Causes White Fungus on Palm Tree Trunks?

Two types of insects are responsible for white fungus disease on palm trees. They’re; 

  • Cycad scale and
  • Rugose spiraling whitefly 

1. Cycad scale 

This is one of the most notable insects that causes white fungus on palm trees, they do not attack the true palm tree, but it usually kills infected trees if left untreated. 

This insect is one of a kind, and it attacks the palm tree where least selected by the farmers; they usually start by infecting the underside of the tree, which is hidden, and if left untreated, will spread to other areas of the palm trees. 

When cycad insects attack your palm tree, their effects are apparent and long-lasting. If not treated effectively, they will progress to the plant stem and go up to about a foot deep into the soil. 

This is why you need to take action immediately when you notice the effect of the cycad insects on your palm tree. 

2. Rugose Spiraling Whitefly 

Unlike the cycad, the rugose spiraling white fly attacks true palm plants like coconut trees, and they do this by feeding on the plant juices, thereby extracting honeydews from the tree. 

When they feed deep into the plant stem, they will suck the plant nutrients, which will lead to the poor growth and development of the plant. 

Furthermore, they do not just suck the sugary liquid from the plant, and they equally attract more diseases to the palm tree, such as the sooty mold to the leaves. This, in combination with the white fungus, will cause more damage to the plant. 

Unlike the cycad scale, the Rugose spiraling whitefly doesn’t kill the host plant; it only dies a great level of damage to the plant, blocking the leaves from receiving sufficient sunlight to produce food through photosynthesis. 

How To Get Rid Of White Fungus on Palm Trees

There are several ways to get rid of white fungus on palm trees, but the most popular method of getting rid of palm trees is by getting rid of the infected palm tree leaves to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the plants. 

As you know, the white fungus attacks the palm tree by the underside of the palm leaves, and if left untreated, it will progress to other parts of the plant 

This is why it is very important to get rid of them immediately after you start noticing any symptoms on your palm tree; this will prevent them from spreading to other parts of the plants.  Other ways of getting rid of white fungus are; 

  • Stopping overhead irrigation
  • Increasing the space between the palm trees

1. Stop Overhead Irrigation

One of the ways to prevent and get rid of fungus from your plant is to use hoses to water the plant bases instead of using sprinklers to water your palm trees. 

This will help the palm tree to get rid of the white fungus from the underside of your palm trees. 

In addition to that, sprinkling water on your palm tree will increase the chances of mold developing on the leaves, which is why we don’t recommend this method.

2. Increase Space between Palm Plants

Do not overcrowd your plant, especially during the growth stage. 

Allowing sufficient air circulation in and around your plant will help decrease the humidity and equally help to lower the chances of white fungus developing on your plant. 

You need to know that white fungus and mold thrive and grow in high humidity conditions; increasing the space between your palm trees will help you prevent it. 

How to care for your palm trees 

It would help if you cared for your palm tree during its growing season. Once it has taken root and has established itself, it will require very little or no care or maintenance. There are two Categories to care for your palm tree. They are

  • Outdoor
  • Indoors


Palm trees usually grow and survive in full sunlight, so it is good to plant them in areas with sufficient sunlight. It usually takes two to three months for your palm tree to be established. 

During the early growing stage of your plant, you need to water them effectively and always for it to grow well and develop to maturity. When watering, ensure you don’t overwater. Just water adequately for it to grow well. 

But when it has established itself and is well rooted in the ground, it becomes resistant to drought, and when this happens, you need to water once a month. Slow-release fertilizers are only needed to be applied once or twice a year. 


When planting palm trees indoors, you need to plant them in an area with sufficient sunlight. Most palm species prefer a humid atmosphere but drier soil conditions, so planting them indoors can be a good idea. 

Whether indoor or outdoor, the foliage usually turns yellow or discolored with age. And we advise that you do not prune the leaves until they turn brown and wilt; whether indoors or outdoors, you need to water them effectively and well for them to grow effectively.

White Fungus On Palm Tree Leaves

Have you ever walked up to your palm tree and seen a whitish substance on it? That whitish substance is called white fungus, and if left untreated, it can cause great damage to your palm tree. 

How to Identify White Fungus On Palm Tree Leaves 

A palm tree is a well-known tree, and numerous types of fungi attack palm tree leaves. If you can confidently identify the type of fungus, then treating the fungus won’t be a problem. 

However, you must know that humid conditions cause white fungus, and the best treatment is using a fungicide. 

However, this is not the only treatment, but if the fungus is black, it is most likely to be a sooty mold and can be treated differently. 

After you’ve identified the type of white fungus, the next thing you need to do is for you to take preventive measures. 

When a white fungus infects your palm tree leaves, and you do not take care of it immediately, after some time, the white fungus will start spreading to other parts of the palm tree, even down to the leaves; this can cause great damage to your palm tree.

One of the most effective ways to eliminate the white fungus is to prune away any affected leaves or branches. This means when you find out that there has been an infestation of white fungus on your leaves, you need to remove the affected area immediately. 

Furthermore, after pruning the affected area, you need to sterilize any of the equipment used in pruning; this is to prevent the white fungus from spreading to other parts of the palm tree when the equipment is used in a different part of the palm tree. 

Most times, the white fungus is usually confined to a small area; if you find out that it is confined to a section of your palm tree leaves, carefully remove the leaves and apply fungicide to the affected area. 

You should know that white fungus likes to affect the underside of the leaves first before spreading to other areas of your palm tree; this is to prevent you from seeing it immediately. 

What Causes White Fungus On Palm Tree Leaves

Palm trees grow better and faster and develop well in warm and tropical areas, but most times, they can also be found in regions like the Mediterranean. Palm trees are one of the most planted and best species that is well accepted anywhere in the world. 

However, no matter the species of the palm tree and where it is grown, they’re all susceptible to white fungus diseases, and this white fungus disease is caused by a type of fungi known as a cephalosporin

This fungus, known as cephalosporin, grows and survives in warm, humid environments, and this is the exact kind of climate that the palm tree loves; this is why they usually affect palm trees irrespective of where it is planted. 

Humid conditions are a perfect condition and breeding ground for cephalosporin fungi. This is why one of the ways to care for or get rid of fungus from your palm tree leaves is to make sure you don’t make the breeding condition comfortable for them. 

These diseases usually affect the palm tree during the summer and spring, when humidity is at its peak, and when there are the best conditions for the breeding of fungus.

How to Prevent White Fungus On Palm Tree Leaves 

There are several ways to prevent white fungus on palm tree leaves; in this section, we will discuss a few ways to do this effectively. 

By now, you know that white fungus is a mold that grows on palm tree leaves; they grow on the underside, which means they’re hard to spot until you look closely. 

When left unchecked, the white fungus will spread to other parts of the plant and inevitably lead to the death of the plant in the long run. 

There are several things you can do to prevent white fungus on your palm tree leaves; one of the first things you need to do is to ensure that your palm tree is receiving sufficient sunlight. 

As we know that white fungus thrives in an area of high humidity and hides under the leaves; growing your palm tree in an area of sufficient sunlight will reduce the humidity around the leaves and will prevent the infestation of white fungi on it. 

The second thing you need to do is to clean the area of any debris sufficiently; the reason for this is to prevent the debris from holding water and moisture, thereby making the area the best breeding ground for a white fungus

The third and one of the most important things you need to do is to water the plant regularly, especially during the early growing stage. 

Your palm tree needs a lot of water when growing, so you should water effectively, but you don’t have to overdo it; water adequately but not to the point of saturated soil. 

When the soil becomes waterlogged, it will lead to the decay of the root of your palm tree. 

Furthermore, after watering the tree effectively, you need to allow the soil to dry before you water again; this is to ensure that the root of the plant receives sufficient water for effective growth and development. 

When watering, we don’t advise you to use a spray can; instead, you water directly; this is to enable you to wash off any white fungus that may be infesting the underside of your leaves. 

Another important preventive measure is to use your hands to remove the white fungus from your leaves. 

When you notice the infestation of white fungus on your palm tree leaves, you are to remove it immediately and remove the affected leaves to prevent it from spreading to other areas of your plants.

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