Robellini Palm Diseases

The Robellini palm--also known as pygmy date palm or Phoenix roebelenii--is part of the Arecaceae family of the Phoenix genus. This palm is a tropical perennial that blooms in spring. It is native to southeastern Asia, from northern parts of Vietnam and Laos to southwestern China.

Bud Rot

Bud rot is a bacterial and fungal disease that occasionally attacks robellini palms. One of the initial symptoms of bud rot is the dying of the leaf spear, after which no newer leaves will appear. The palm's canopy will also become brown, starting from the newest leaves all the way down. The disease can be treated with fungicides.


Pestalotiopsis, a minor fungal disease, attacks leaves injured by poor growing conditions. The dead foliage--usually located near the plant's base--turns from green to yellow to deep brown. It's best to remove the dead foliage.

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline is a systemic and sometimes fatal bacterial disease. One of the first signs is fruit dropping off prematurely. The lower leaves often turn brown and die. The spear leaf then dies, which causes all of the canopy leaves to also quickly die. When a robellini has this disease, the palm must be immediately destroyed to ensure it does not spread.

Keywords: pygmy date palms, robellini palm diseases, bud rot

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.