8 posts in this topic
All my Cham tuercks - Fall 2018
I haven't posted this topic for the past 18 months, mainly because I was bummed after I lost two of my 5 Chamaedorea tuerckheimii after I repotted them. It would be tempting to leave them in their pots forever but the potting mix eventually breaks down and causes major problems. Even though I was careful as possible, two of my medium palms developed damping-off-like infections that were ultimately fatal. This palm is notoriously tricky to grow and exists in one of two states: healthy or dead. I'm amazed I still have my largest Cham tuerck, purchased from Dale Holton in 2011. What is the secret to growing them? I truly don't know but have a few thoughts.
First, I keep them in pots, not in the ground. My alkaline calcareous soil is dreadful and I don't dare risk planting such expensive palms. I also don't know if nematodes are a problem here. Second, I keep them outdoors year round (I don't keep houseplants at all) on plastic shelf units deep under canopy in my jungle - deep shade, little to no sun. They love high humidity and warmth but are not fond of FL's hot summer days and sweltering nights. But deep under canopy in my jungle, temps can be 10-15 degrees cooler than ambient temps. Now that cooler weather is here they will be much happier and less stressed as long as I make sure the irrigation waters them. The downside is they are out of sight and not on display as eye candy but I am willing to make that tradeoff. I check on them every week or so but otherwise leave them alone. I believe fussing and fretting over them would cause more harm than good.
Otherwise, I give them full checkups every spring and fall. Today I showered them, trimmed their leaves. flushed their pots with distilled water to wash away accumulated salts, drenched soil with imidacloprid insecticide, fertilized them with time release pellets and sprayed them for spider mites (alternately with Ardent or Floramite). Cham tuercks are spider mite magnets and typical insecticides don't kill mites. This summer has been particularly intense and they show a bit of stress.
Then I took the following photos. Since I lost 2 of my 5 palms 18 months ago, I have managed to obtain small ones from Floribunda and Scott Cohen. I also managed to germinate 6 of 10 seeds I got from RPS. Now if I can get them all to survive. Growing this palm is a marathon, not a sprint.
Chamaedorea tuerckheimii, Cape Coral, FL, Fall 2018
Streaks in Kentia Palms’ new growth
What could be causing this streaking in the new growth of my young Kentia Palms? They’re in a front of huge windows but there are large overhangs so they get very little direct light.
They recently had the beginning of a scale problem but that seemed to be mitigated with neem oil. Now I’m worried I might lose all of them. Any help or experience with this would be greatly appreciated.
Anyone else successfully grow Ravenea rivularis
Anyone get their indoor Majesty palm to grow and open spears into fronds? Thing is I live at 7,000ft in Flagstaff a fairly dry mountain climate so its very dry indoors usually. It is in the kitchen which give it a little more moisture and heat from cooking. After 1 year of the original transplant from the nursery container I had used some cheap organic generic fruit fertilizer I had laying around. It's mostly bone meal and has a good amount of nitrates. At first I was thinking it had low potassium as the leaves were sort of yellow on some fronds but I checked the soil it wasn't too soggy so then I figured it just didn't get enough light and I pretty much left it there in front of the sliding glass door for a while. Nothing happened for months, the about 3 months ago one spear turned into a frond and opened up so then I fertilized it to help it out and put a mirror behind the palm it to help it gather the limited amount of sunlight I have to work with (3-4 hours a day of direct and some shaded sunlight) now three more spears popped open all at once this last week. So I used a little bit more organic fertilizer to keep things going as it contains no chemicals as you can't really over do it on the organic fertilizer.
Dying Majesty Palm
A few weeks ago I bought this Majesty Palm on clearance for $5 at Lowes (marked down from $30). It was pretty mangled, like it had been ran over, but it was mostly green with some sunburn. I planted it out (in part sun) and it's been languishing ever since, all of its fronds are now crispy, and 2/3 spears snapped at their base (they were pretty leggy though), although they're still partially green. Does it appear to have a chance of recovery? Or should I just replace it?
I recently purchased two alcantarea imperialis to grow in large pots outdoors. I was wondering what soil mixes others have used with semi-terrestrial bromeliads like alcantareas. From what I've read they grow on rocky granite outcroppings so obviously they prefer a substrate with really good drainage. I've also ready that "each plant establishes its’ own micro habitat, with the gradual build up of humus, mosses and lichens around the root system providing a store of water and nutrients in addition to the reserves held in the copious leaf bases and vases." Anyone else growing these in pots? What type of soil mix do you use?