Is My Pindo Palm Dead – Treating Pindo Palm Freeze Damage

(Image credit: Marina Denisenko)

Can I save my frosted pindo palm? Is my pindo palm dead? Pindo palm is a relatively cold-hardy palm that tolerates temperatures as low as 12 to 15 F. (- 9 to -11 C.), and sometimes even colder. However, even this tough palm can be damaged by a sudden cold snap, especially trees that are exposed to cold wind. Read on and learn how to assess pindo palm frost damage, and try not to worry too much. There’s a good chance that your frozen pindo palm will rebound when temperatures rise in spring.

Frozen Pindo Palm: Is my Pindo Palm Dead?

You will probably need to wait a few weeks to determine the severity of pindo palm frost damage. According to North Carolina State University Extension, you may not know until late spring or early summer, as palms grow slowly and may take several months to re-leaf after pindo palm freeze damage. In the meantime, don’t be tempted to pull or prune dead-looking fronds. Even dead fronds provide insulation that protects emerging buds and new growth.

Assessing Pindo Palm Frost Damage

Saving a frozen pindo palm begins with a thorough inspection of the plant. In spring or early summer, check the condition of the spear leaf – the newest frond that generally stands straight up, unopened. If the leaf doesn’t pull out when you tug it, chances are good that the frozen pindo palm will rebound. If the spear leaf comes loose, the tree may still survive. Drench the area with copper fungicide (not copper fertilizer) to reduce the chance of infection if fungi or bacteria enter the damaged spot. Don’t worry if new fronds display brown tips or appear slightly deformed. That being said, it’s safe to remove fronds that display absolutely no green growth. As long as the fronds show even a small amount of green tissue, you can be assured that the palm is recovering and there’s a good chance that the fronds that show up from this point will be normal. Once the tree is in active growth, apply a palm fertilizer with micronutrients to support healthy new growth.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.