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Verschafeltia splendida and/or Hydriastele (Siphokentia) beguine as a houseplant?

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piping plovers

Has anyone been successful growing Verschafeltia splendida and/or Hydriastele (Siphokentia) beguine as a houseplant?  I was visiting a Florida nursery this week to see about purchasing Pelagodoxa henryana seedlings…until I was completely distracted by potted palms I’ve never seen before: Verschafeltia and Hydriastele (Siphokentia).  Stunning foliage on these two.  I decided to research these prior to buying.  Additionally, as I am flying back to frigid New England soon, the logistics were not in my favor.  The smallest Verschafeltia measured over 36” (too tall for carry-on dimensions).  I thought about Fed-Exing them home, but then saw that temps in Rhode Island would be below freezing – not a warm welcome for these palms.  If anyone has had any luck with these indoors please let me know.  I may purchase/ship these next spring.  Thanks! 

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PalmatierMeg

Wait until spring. Both are very cold sensitive, esp the Verschaffeltii. Indoors they will require heat (80+ degrees), bright light and high humidity (70%+). Most northern homes are too cold, too dark and too dry for tropical palms even in summer. In winter they will likely be impossible grows unless you make major concessions to meet their needs. My Verschaffeltii seedlings did very well outdoors through the sweltering summer but I've lost several of a my original 10 since fall dry season began. Right now they are sitting on my back lanai so I have easy access to bring them indoors if nights fall below 40-45. They may or may not survive my winter. I don't keep houseplants here.

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sashaeffer

I have a few that I grow inside because of where I live(nebraska)

Verschafeltia splendida  isn't hard to find online but when I buy these they will dry up in a week and die(this is during the summer months) I am of the belief that when a palm grown from seed indoors will have greater success because it's the only environment that it's known. I ordered Verschafeltia splendida  seeds from a member on here (Dundee) and they arrived already sprouted and I have them in 20oz styrofoam cups with 100% perlite for soil and they do just fine. Now, during the winter months I will get some leaf drying but I try to just give them more water since it just runs through the perlite anyway. I have had these growing that way for almost 2 years now. They are still fast growers and I hope to get at least one of the 5 to a decent height inside the house.

 

68B71174-CCA8-40E7-8C5C-F9CC5A838B56.jpeg

Edited by sashaeffer
To add pictures
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piping plovers

  

Palmatier Meg, thank you for the reply and advice.  Yes, I will wait until Spring to purchase.  No need for me to get started on the wrong foot with these.  Since my Joey palm and Licualas are doing surprisingly well indoors for the winter months, I feel up to the challenge to try the Verschafeltia and Hydriastele.  I’m staying just south of Cape Coral, FL this week – a beautiful area to visit.

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piping plovers

Sashaeffer, Thank you for the reply / comments regarding their culture, and that photo. Well that is a boost of confidence seeing that you grow those so well in Nebraska – and they are really healthy looking, even better than the ones of similar size that I saw at the nursery.  Also good to know that the Verschafeltia is readily available online.  As mentioned above, I plan to grow these alongside the Joey palm and Licualas for the indoor months.  Just curious - how do you deal with the spines?  Do you leave them on, cut as close to the stem as possible, do they grow back?   

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sashaeffer

As far as the spine I leave them on there and usually swear every time I water them because I always get stuck LOL

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piping plovers

Sashaeffer: I'll remember that when watering my future palm.  I have been reading/hearing that the Verschafeltia is a fast grower.  How long do you think it would take indoors for the plants you have to get to the size in the photo below (approx. 6 feet tall)?  The palms I was considering were about the same stage as your palms are.  I took this photo at the palm nursery in FL (you can see the small ones in front); they had a great selection of palms.  Thanks!

5c083ef6aebb5_Verschafeltiasplendida.thu

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sashaeffer

Great looking palm!  I don't know because while the still grow fast indoors I'm sure they are faster when exposed to outdoor tropical temps most of the time.

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GrumpyGrower

Verschaffeltia is actually one of the best indoors palms what you can grow. Highly recommend! I have 3 seedlings and they are about 1.5 years old (I need to check label if it's necessary). 5c0fc7c90e2eb_Screenshot_20181211-151850IMG_20181211_151454.thumb.jpg.aed4665ae7

 

I have also Hydriastele and they seems to be too clingy. Most of them died unfortunately.

 

 

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Missi

Here are my two largest from a batch of germinated seeds I ordered from an eBay seller in Hawaii in July 2015. They're over 4' tall. They would be taller if I hadn't gotten the idiotic idea to put them out in full afternoon sun one summer and if I took better care of them (and if my macaw, whose hanging jungle gym is to the left, would stop chewing the leaves up). I kind of slack on watering a misting them. The smaller specimen I am using as a "guinea pig" in the uncovered part of my shadehouse this year. Watering with well water rather than rain water and staying down in the uncovered part of my shadehouse, which is located further down in my back lot that gets much chillier than my lanai. So far so good and it's gotten in the upper 30s down there, but I'm not holding my breath much longer! lol

EDIT: I should have mentioned that they live, full time (do not come in for the winter), on my roofed lanai. They get some breeze, but mealybugs still love them. Keep that in mind if considering them to keep completely indoors.

46379423_351877722043018_8064932719043280896_n.jpg

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sashaeffer
31 minutes ago, Missi said:

Here are my two largest from a batch of germinated seeds I ordered from an eBay seller in Hawaii in July 2015. They're over 4' tall. They would be taller if I hadn't gotten the idiotic idea to put them out in full afternoon sun one summer and if I took better care of them (and if my macaw, whose hanging jungle gym is to the left, would stop chewing the leaves up). I kind of slack on watering a misting them. The smaller specimen I am using as a "guinea pig" in the uncovered part of my shadehouse this year. Watering with well water rather than rain water and staying down in the uncovered part of my shadehouse, which is located further down in my back lot that gets much chillier than my lanai. So far so good and it's gotten in the upper 30s down there, but I'm not holding my breath much longer! lol

EDIT: I should have mentioned that they live, full time (do not come in for the winter), on my roofed lanai. They get some breeze, but mealybugs still love them. Keep that in mind if considering them to keep completely indoors.

46379423_351877722043018_8064932719043280896_n.jpg

GORGEOUS Missi!  I'm sure if mine experienced more heat and humidity they would be nicer like yours.

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Missi
22 minutes ago, sashaeffer said:

GORGEOUS Missi!  I'm sure if mine experienced more heat and humidity they would be nicer like yours.

YOU CAN DO IT BUDDY!!! :yay:

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piping plovers

I've gotten behind on my forum reading.  Thank you for all the informative replies and the photos. I am so inspired now to try these.   It's amazing that you all grew them from seeds considering how delicate they seem to be; but this should not be too surprising as this is a forum of serious palm growers.  :D

GrumpyGrower - it's good to know such nice foliage can be had by these indoors in under 2 years.  Thanks for the info on both the Verschaffeltia and Hydriastele.  I think I will focus on getting the Verschaffeltia seeds next spring.

Missi - Did these palms get to that size in 3 years from seedlings?  Although, I do understand that you are in balmy, palm-friendly SWFL.  Amazing and beautiful foliage!  I was in SWFL last week and dreaded leaving the Sunshine State.  Is that your Joey palm in the right corner?  Or maybe a Joey look-alike.   

 

 

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PalmatierMeg

Great work, Missi. I hope my surviving Verschaffeltii seedlings grow that large someday. In any case, I ordered 10 more seeds of a "dwarf" Verschaffeltii from a grower in Thailand who sent me seeds last year. Hope they pass customs. This palm, given the right conditions, grows very fast.

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Palmaceae

Here is mine that I had for a few years in my old garden before I forgot about bringing it in one cold night in the 40's, it lingered for about a year after that then died.20160905_152104.thumb.jpg.5be4edb46023b4

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sashaeffer

Beautiful!

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piping plovers

Palmaceae - very nicely scaled in that clay pot too.  I'm surprised I don't see these more often in interior decorating type settings, magazine photo shoots.  Maybe because they have not been "discovered" yet by the taste-makers or because they are not as forgiving in care as the Ficus lyrata  (fiddle leaf fig) or White Bird of Paradise, which seem to be the tropical houseplants for real chic, architectural photos.

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PalmatierMeg
5 hours ago, piping plovers said:

Palmaceae - very nicely scaled in that clay pot too.  I'm surprised I don't see these more often in interior decorating type settings, magazine photo shoots.  Maybe because they have not been "discovered" yet by the taste-makers or because they are not as forgiving in care as the Ficus lyrata  (fiddle leaf fig) or White Bird of Paradise, which seem to be the tropical houseplants for real chic, architectural photos.

Likely because they are very spiny and user-hostile as well as delicate and demanding of knowledgeable care.

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piping plovers

Yes --those spines! That's why when first I saw the Hydriasteles (with similar foliage and no spines) adjacent to the Verschaffeltias---they peaked my interest.

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Missi
On 12/12/2018, 5:56:02, piping plovers said:

Missi - Did these palms get to that size in 3 years from seedlings?  Although, I do understand that you are in balmy, palm-friendly SWFL.  Amazing and beautiful foliage!  I was in SWFL last week and dreaded leaving the Sunshine State.  Is that your Joey palm in the right corner?  Or maybe a Joey look-alike.  

Yes, in just 3 years and even with being stunted from the few months I stupidly had them in full sun!

On 12/13/2018, 11:39:19, PalmatierMeg said:

Great work, Missi. I hope my surviving Verschaffeltii seedlings grow that large someday. In any case, I ordered 10 more seeds of a "dwarf" Verschaffeltii from a grower in Thailand who sent me seeds last year. Hope they pass customs. This palm, given the right conditions, grows very fast.

I know you can do it!! I hope your dwarf ones pass customs too! I've never heard of a dwarf Verschaffeltia but I love the idea!!

On 12/13/2018, 7:54:31, Palmaceae said:

Here is mine that I had for a few years in my old garden before I forgot about bringing it in one cold night in the 40's, it lingered for about a year after that then died.20160905_152104.thumb.jpg.5be4edb46023b4

I'm sorry to hear you lost it :crying: Was it in this same roofed location when it was subjected to the 40s? Mine were in the upper 40s on my roofed lanai last winter and a couple nights this winter, but so far, so good. I would think yours would have been as well?

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Missi
On 12/12/2018, 5:56:02, piping plovers said:

Is that your Joey palm in the right corner?  Or maybe a Joey look-alike.   

Sorry, I forgot to address this question above! That is my little Lanonia dasyantha in the far right corner. I have Joey altifrons down in my shadehouse (first winter outside of my lanai), J. magnifica and J. lanceolata on my lanai. This is the later two's first winter outdoors. :unsure:

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Palmaceae
11 hours ago, Missi said:

Yes, in just 3 years and even with being stunted from the few months I stupidly had them in full sun!

I know you can do it!! I hope your dwarf ones pass customs too! I've never heard of a dwarf Verschaffeltia but I love the idea!!

I'm sorry to hear you lost it :crying: Was it in this same roofed location when it was subjected to the 40s? Mine were in the upper 40s on my roofed lanai last winter and a couple nights this winter, but so far, so good. I would think yours would have been as well?

Missi,

Yes same spot, that was my front porch and it faced north. I was very sad when I lost it but it was my fault. One day I will get another to try.

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