OK, So I bought this palm off craigslist a few days ago and it is really sticky on all the frons. I asked them if they sprayed it with anything and they said no. They said they thought it was sap but I dont think palms have sap. Any ideas? It is crazy sticky all over it. I worry they sprayed it with something to make it look good for the sale and now it might have a hard time breathing thru this stuff. It does not wash off with soap either???
Sticky usually means bugs around here. Either mealybugs, aphids or scale. Some of these guys secrete a sugary substance called honeydew that gets on the leaves of the plants they are infesting. It can cause problems like attracting ants, that will then start "farming' the insects in order to get them to make more honeydew, and it can also harbor fungus like black sooty mold that will make your plant look terrible.
It could also be that they sprayed the plant before you got it with Neem Oil. If its Neem its okay, unless you happen to be allergic to Neem.
I would inspect really really well for any insects, and treat the plant with Neem myself if it were me, just to be sure
There is a spray product that's used to make leaves glossier and more attractive. Plant hire businesses use it a lot. I don't think it'd be harmful but leaves that appearance that your palms have. Whatever it is, most probably won't be a problem.
On the ID, haven't been able to work it out so far. Thought it might have been a Chamaedorea. But on a closer look leaflets on yours are blunt, Chamaedorea are mostly pointed. Although C. metallica is an exception, but that's definitely not yours.
Any thoughts on how to clean it off? I have tried dawn on a wet papertowel and its so sticky the paper towel just sticks to the leaves. On a side note there is a new fron just opening up and its not sticky at all. Also some of the fronds are not sticky at all on the under side, but some are. Thanks for the input all!
Ptychosperma elegans has fronds that are more upright. It's also a much larger palm so would have developed a heavier trunk by that height. The leaflets are however very much like many Ptychosperma.
I wouldn't worry about cleaning off the fronds, especially using a cleaning product. It could take off natural protective layers on the fronds and the chemicals could penetrate the plant. The most I'd do is leave it out in the rain, but don't forget and leave it out when the sun comes out. It seems more like they did a quick spray, missed some parts, and the new growth will be 'clean'.
My thinking re Solitaire ID:
Droopy fronds=weight of all the goop sprayed on
Skinny stems=the typical "grown-in-the-shade" stretch
And most important=Leaflet tips had the "ripped-off" look of Ptychospermas
However, on closer inspection, leaflet tips appear to have been scissored off-they had probably turned brown
I retract the Solitaire ID (agree with tropicbreeze on its care)
Either Ptychosperma elegans or Adonidias. Nothing else matches the size of trunk with crownshaft. Even though ends of leaflets have obviously be cut, they still probably had premorse tips. Sticky stuff is definitely something sprayed on the palm.