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Hemp palm: recognizing and fighting diseases and pests

Hemp palms are quite robust plants. Nevertheless, it can happen in the winter months that the plant is attacked by pests or various diseases.

On the underside of the leaves you can often see the red spider hemp palms are very popular plants. They thrive at least as well indoors as outdoors. You can plant the hemp palm both outdoors or in pots. However, the latter has the disadvantage that it can happen that the plant is attacked by pests during the winter. The reason for this is the non-ideal conditions.

If you react quickly in such a case, you can still save your hemp palm. Here you will find a small overview of the pests and diseases that can affect the hemp palm, how to recognize them and how to combat them properly.

The most common diseases and pests at a glance

Red spiders

➜ Detect

Infestation by red spiders manifests itself through yellowish to whitish colored leaves, as well as through fine webs on the underside of the leaf. The arachnids themselves are difficult to see with the naked eye due to their small size of less than half a millimeter. If the pests multiply unhindered, the plant gradually loses its leaves and eventually dies.

➜ fight

Red spiders love dry air and do not tolerate moisture well. Ordinary water therefore works well as a control agent. Put your hemp palm in the bath or shower and shower off the plant thoroughly. Make sure that the water jets reach all parts of the palm tree and especially devote yourself to the undersides of the leaves. During the shower process, you should cover the bucket with plastic wrap to prevent moisture damage to the roots.

Mist the hemp palm regularly with water over the next few years. The easiest way to do this is with a spray bottle. The palm must always have enough time to dry, otherwise there is a risk of fungal attack.

If fogging is unsuccessful, the only option is to use spraying agents. It is important to continue treatment for six weeks. If it is broken off prematurely, there is a risk that some eggs will survive, which are sufficient as the basis for the next generation of red spiders.

Sooty mold

➜ Detect

If a black, often star-shaped layer appears on the leaves of the hemp palm, the harmful fungus soot is probably responsible for this. The coating inhibits photosynthesis in the leaves, but is not life-threatening and easy to remove for the palm.

➜ fight

Simply wipe the blackish layer with a water-vinegar solution or remove the affected leaves. Afterwards, however, you have to eliminate the cause of the infestation, which usually consists of colonization of the palm tree by aphids or other lice.


➜ Detect

Aphids leave excrement on the leaves of the hemp palm, which is clearly visible as sticky honeydew. This honeydew is used as a food base for soot and other harmful fungi. Other symptoms include stunted shoot tips and curled and yellowish leaves. Depending on the species, the aphids themselves are between three and seven millimeters long and mostly green, but can also be colored black, brown, gray or yellow.

➜ fight

A complete shower of the hemp palm is recommended as an immediate measure. Set the shower head to medium-hard rays. In the following weeks, you should spray the plant regularly with a weak soapy water and, as a supplementary measure, wipe the palm fronds with a damp sponge.