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How to Get Rid of Borers on Chinese Palm Plant

Updated: December 24, 2022

If you have a Chinese palm plant in your garden or home, you may have noticed some unwanted guests: borers. These pests can cause serious damage to your plant, leading to stunted growth and even death. In this article, we’ll explore what borers are, how they damage plants, and most importantly, how to get rid of them.

What are Borers?

Borers are small insects that lay their eggs inside the stems or trunks of plants. The larvae hatch from these eggs and tunnel their way through the plant, feeding on the inner tissues. As they grow, they create long tunnels that weaken the plant’s structure and reduce its ability to transport nutrients and water. This can lead to stunted growth, wilting, or even death.

Signs of Borer Damage

The signs of borer damage can vary depending on the severity of the infestation. Here are some common signs to watch for:

  • Small holes in the stems or trunks of the plant
  • Sawdust-like frass (insect waste) around the holes
  • Wilting or yellowing leaves
  • Stunted growth
  • Dying branches or leaves

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage.

How to Get Rid of Borers

There are several strategies you can use to get rid of borers on your Chinese palm plant. Here are some effective methods:

1. Prune Infected Branches

If you notice borer damage on one or more branches, prune them off immediately. This will prevent the larvae from spreading further and will also help your plant focus its resources on healthy growth.

2. Apply Insecticide

Insecticides can be effective in killing borers, but you need to choose the right product for your plant and follow the instructions carefully. Look for a product that is labeled for borers and is safe for use on palm plants. Apply it according to the instructions, being careful not to overdose.

3. Use Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic organisms that feed on borers and other pests. You can buy them online or at garden centers and apply them to the soil around your plant. They will help control the borer population and prevent further damage.

4. Keep Your Plant Healthy

Healthy plants are less susceptible to borer damage, so make sure your Chinese palm plant is getting the right nutrients, water, and sunlight. Avoid over-fertilizing or over-watering, as this can weaken the plant’s defenses.


Are borers harmful to humans?

No, borers are not harmful to humans.

Can I prevent borer infestations?

Yes, you can prevent borer infestations by keeping your plant healthy and inspecting it regularly for signs of damage.

How do I know if an insecticide is safe for my plant?

Look for a product that is labeled for use on palm plants and follow the instructions carefully.

Will pruning my plant harm it?

Pruning can actually help your plant by removing damaged or diseased branches and promoting healthy growth.

Can I use natural remedies to get rid of borers?

Yes, there are some natural remedies such as neem oil and garlic spray that can be effective in controlling borers. However, they may not be as potent as insecticides or beneficial nematodes.