Lethal Bronzing

Lethal Bronzing is a disease caused by a phytoplasma, a bacterium with no cell wall. Phytoplasmas live in the part of a plant where sap is transported (the phloem tissue). Phytoplasmas are transmitted to plants by piercing-sucking insects that feed on sap and move plant to plant causing the spread of Lethal Bronzing. Planthoppers and Leafhoppers are the main insects that transmit phytoplasmas. The first symptom is premature fruit drop on mature palms, this progresses to discoloration of the oldest fronds, then the collapse of the spear leaf or apical stem, meaning the heart of the bud is dead. All this can happen in a few months or much faster, it varies greatly from palm to palm. Once you see any of the indicators, it's usually too late to save it. Injecting a palm with antibiotics as a preventative may help prevent the disease, but it's not a gaurantee.