Lethal Bronzing

Lethal Bronzing

Lethal bronzing disease, also known as Texas Phoenix Palm Decline, is a fatal disease that affects many species of palms. The disease was first discovered in Florida in 2006 and has since spread to other states in the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. In this blog, we will discuss how to identify lethal bronzing disease, its cause, and cure.


The symptoms of lethal bronzing disease include wilting of leaves, discoloration, and necrosis of the flowers and fruits. The earliest symptom of lethal bronzing is the yellowing of the lower leaves, which gradually spreads upwards. The leaves will then turn brown and droop, eventually dying. The spear leaf (the central shoot that produces new leaves) will also turn brown and die. Infected palms will show a distinctive pattern of wilt, where the oldest leaves show symptoms first, and the symptoms move upwards.


Lethal bronzing disease is caused by a bacteria-like organism called a phytoplasma that is transmitted by a small insect called a planthopper. The planthopper feeds on the phloem of the palm, allowing the phytoplasma to enter the plant. Once inside the plant, the phytoplasma multiplies and spreads, causing the symptoms of lethal bronzing disease. The disease can also be spread by pruning tools, so it is important to sanitize tools between uses.

Here are some tips for preventing and curing Lethal Bronzing:


Choose resistant species

Some palm species are more resistant to Lethal Bronzing than others. When selecting palm trees for your landscape, choose species that are known to be resistant to the disease. Some of the more resistant species include Canary Island Date Palm, Windmill Palm, and Sago Palm.

Use certified disease-free plants

When purchasing new palm trees, make sure to buy them from a reputable nursery that sells certified disease-free plants. This will help to prevent the introduction of Lethal Bronzing and other diseases to your landscape.

Practice good sanitation

Practice good sanitation in your landscape by removing any dead or diseased palm fronds and disposing of them properly. This will help to prevent the spread of Lethal Bronzing and other diseases.

Control insect vectors

The insects that spread Lethal Bronzing from tree to tree are known as planthoppers. To prevent the spread of the disease, control planthoppers in your landscape by using insecticides or other control methods.


Remove affected trees

If your palm trees have already been infected with Lethal Bronzing, the best course of action may be to remove them. This will help to prevent the spread of the disease to other palm trees in your landscape.

Antibiotic treatment

In some cases, it may be possible to treat Lethal Bronzing with antibiotics. However, this treatment is only effective if the disease is caught early and the trees are still in the early stages of infection. Antibiotic treatment should only be performed by a licensed professional, as it can be dangerous if not done properly.

Nutrient management

Maintaining proper nutrient levels in your soil can help to prevent Lethal Bronzing and other diseases. Make sure your palm trees are receiving the right balance of nutrients, and avoid over-fertilizing, which can stress the trees and make them more susceptible to disease.

Mike Gast Lawn Care

If you suspect that your palms are infected with lethal bronzing disease, it is important to act quickly to prevent the disease from spreading. Mike Gast Lawn Care can help with this problem by providing professional palm tree removal services. They have experience with removing infected palms and disposing of them safely to prevent the spread of the disease. They can also advise on how to keep your remaining palms healthy and stress-free to prevent the disease from spreading. In conclusion, lethal bronzing disease is a serious problem for palm trees, and there is no cure once a palm is infected. It is important to take steps to prevent the disease from spreading, including keeping your palms healthy and stress-free, sanitizing pruning tools, and removing infected palms as soon as possible. Mike Gast Lawn Care can help with this problem by providing professional palm tree removal services. With these measures, you can help prevent the spread of lethal bronzing disease and keep your palms healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Source: University of Florida