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Zeeth

Cyrtostachys renda indoors

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Zeeth

I haven't got one yet, but I'm thinking about getting a Cyrtostachys renda seedling to grow in a pot outside and take it in for the winter. Should I only take it in when temps get below 50, and back out as soon as it heats up, or should I just take it in all winter? How much sun, how much water, will it even survive long with the low indoor humidity? Thanks,

Keith

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Peter Pacific

Keith, I have six C. rendas...all planted outdoors. Three are in mostly shade and three are in full sun and they prosper in both locations. What they need is tons of water. The three that are in full sun are adjacent to an outdoor shower that gets used all the time. They also like the heat so keep that in mind. Peter

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Moose

Keith - I would put a saucer under the container and maintain water in it. Misting with distilled water would be helpful in my opinion.

Best regards, :)

Ron.

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PalmatierMeg

They are practically aquatic. I have a tiny seedling in a deep tray that sometimes has 3-4" inches of water and the palm loves it (but still grows slowly). I also have a larger clump in a 7 gal that I keep in my shade garden. It also sits in a tray that I keep filled. The point is to never let them dry out. You should be able to leave them outdoors most of the winter in Bradenton. I plan to pull mine indoors if temps drop below 45-50 then put them out in daytime. I won't keep them inside fulltime because low household humidity in winter probably won't be good for them, not to mention low light.

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tew

I have one I have grown for two years inside here in Baltimore. It is SLOW to say the least. I keep in a pot and the pot sits in a plastic container / dish that is always filled with water. It gets light from an East window and some supplemental light and hunidity from the 80 or so orchids that grow next to it. The plant is doing very will!

They are practically aquatic. I have a tiny seedling in a deep tray that sometimes has 3-4" inches of water and the palm loves it (but still grows slowly). I also have a larger clump in a 7 gal that I keep in my shade garden. It also sits in a tray that I keep filled. The point is to never let them dry out. You should be able to leave them outdoors most of the winter in Bradenton. I plan to pull mine indoors if temps drop below 45-50 then put them out in daytime. I won't keep them inside fulltime because low household humidity in winter probably won't be good for them, not to mention low light.
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Mark_NoVA

I had a pair that overwintered last year indoors very well (about 7 months!) I sprayed quite a bit, but would forget to sometimes for weeks. Couldn't bring myself to leave them in a saucer of standing water, for fear of what else might grow in those conditions. Watered about 1/week during most of winter.

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tjwalters
I had a pair that overwintered last year indoors very well (about 7 months!) I sprayed quite a bit, but would forget to sometimes for weeks. Couldn't bring myself to leave them in a saucer of standing water, for fear of what else might grow in those conditions. Watered about 1/week during most of winter.

"Had?" What happened to them? I'm waiting for my seeds to germinate, but I'm beginning to think they are duds.

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Mark_NoVA

Whoops...sloppy English! They're sitting next to a koi quarantine tank where the spray bar splashes a little water out, saying "I'm happy, but repot me..."

I had a pair that overwintered last year indoors very well (about 7 months!) I sprayed quite a bit, but would forget to sometimes for weeks. Couldn't bring myself to leave them in a saucer of standing water, for fear of what else might grow in those conditions. Watered about 1/week during most of winter.

"Had?" What happened to them? I'm waiting for my seeds to germinate, but I'm beginning to think they are duds.

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JD in the OC

I agree with Mosse Knuckle... they like lots of water on the roots and humidity on the leaves.

I think if you start with a decent size indoors, it has a chance. A tiny seedling is a death sentence...

The problem with growing these indoors is overall lack of heat and humidity needed to photosynthesize and survive.

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DoomsDave
I agree with Mosse Knuckle... they like lots of water on the roots and humidity on the leaves.

I think if you start with a decent size indoors, it has a chance. A tiny seedling is a death sentence...

The problem with growing these indoors is overall lack of heat and humidity needed to photosynthesize and survive.

Unless you want to subject yourself to hell on earth . . .

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DoomsDave
I agree with Mosse Knuckle... they like lots of water on the roots and humidity on the leaves.

I think if you start with a decent size indoors, it has a chance. A tiny seedling is a death sentence...

The problem with growing these indoors is overall lack of heat and humidity needed to photosynthesize and survive.

Unless you want to subject yourself to hell on earth . . .

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Daryl

I have never had any trouble with these indoors. We don't have heating so the air is not too dry I guess. I leave them indoors all winter and they spend the other 9 months outside on the patio.

The main trick is to never let the potting mix dry out. I lost one once when I went away, it wasn't watered in my absence and promptly died!

Daryl

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PalmatierMeg

Tom, I haven't had much luck germinating C. renda seeds. Out of the 20-30 I've bought or been given in the past 18 months, only 1 germinated. That was in spring of '08 and is the seedling I keep outside in a tray of water. I know that at least some of those seeds were fresh - because I know who picked/cleaned them. Still, no germination. Maybe someone can tell why these seeds are so difficult or suggest what I may be doing wrong. This little survivor is about 4" tall with 3 leaves. I bought my larger C. renda at the Searle spring sale.

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Gileno Machado

I've had this clump inside for a few years now, in the apartment downtown. Every morning (in winter) it gets + - an hour of direct sun through the glass, from 6:30 to 7:30 when I open the curtains, unless it is a rainy day...

It's grown a lot since then, to over 3 meters tall, so I'm afraid it won't fit in the elevators anymore and it will be tough to get it down 21 floors through the stairs...

I know I should have taken it back to the beach house a long time ago but the palm seems to be so happy here...and besides, when we have a party at home we place it downstairs by the door with halogenous lights above and below and the result it terrific, most people visiting mention how incredible this palm looks.

I have this palm watered every other day and there's always a dish (full) below the plastic container...and I should have repotted it by now...

Liquid fert every month, spray every couple months or so. This upper living room where the Sealing wax usually stays is not air conditioned but there's always a nice breeze we control with the glass windows.

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Gileno Machado

Newborn Babies and favourites in TV room, sun exposed for the first time:

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Mike Evans

I have grown numerous CR in St Pete over the past 9 years. They have ranged in size from seedlings to 7'+ in height. I religiously bring them inside the bedroom when temps dip below 50F. Yes, I sleep w/ CR surrounding the bed. Nice to wake up w/ them in the morning. As soon as it gets warmer outside for a few days, they come back out to sit in trays of water. They have always looked great! Yes, you can do it, but you must be very anal, about bringing them inside during a cold snap. All it takes is 1 night of cold & kiss it goodbye. When they get too big to move, sell it. Go for it.

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edric
I've had this clump inside for a few years now, in the apartment downtown. Every morning (in winter) it gets + - an hour of direct sun through the glass, from 6:30 to 7:30 when I open the curtains, unless it is a rainy day...

It's grown a lot since then, to over 3 meters tall, so I'm afraid it won't fit in the elevators anymore and it will be tough to get it down 21 floors through the stairs...

I know I should have taken it back to the beach house a long time ago but the palm seems to be so happy here...and besides, when we have a party at home we place it downstairs by the door with halogenous lights above and below and the result it terrific, most people visiting mention how incredible this palm looks.

I have this palm watered every other day and there's always a dish (full) below the plastic container...and I should have repotted it by now...

Liquid fert every month, spray every couple months or so. This upper living room where the Sealing wax usually stays is not air conditioned but there's always a nice breeze we control with the glass windows.

Wow Glen, that really is a spectacular plant, Ed

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Zeeth

As soon as I save up some money and find one, I think I'll get a seedling. I have a good spot for it on the front porch, and when it gets below 50 I'll bring it in until it heats back up. They're really pretty palms, so it'd be neat to have one.

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Jose Maria

I agree with the mention of "Humidity".

Here , in Costa Rica, they are growing in many environments, up to 1000 metres above sea level, and they do fine since most produce flowers and seeds. But .during the last dry season I saw a clump of these palm die in the local park, while other palms just kept going. So this means they are most sensitive to lack of water.

Temperature of course should be as "tropical" as posible...between 20° and 30° centigrades.

Seedlings as painstakingly slow.....better to buy a small palm instead.

This one hardly gets any shade from trees nearby, but is a perfect example of what an adult palm can look like.

w7mn7n.jpg

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Jeff in St Pete
Seedlings as painstakingly slow.....better to buy a small palm instead.

Hi Jose Maria, As you know these are inexpensive palms in CR,

but have you seen the prices of a 3 or 5 gallon size plant in the US?

You would be shocked! :)

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Carlo Morici

I grow one in the terrace in the city and I think it likes to be in blazing sun, especially in the cooler months. Gileno's plant is fabulous. I don't think it can be just as easy for those who are far from the tropics. I believe here it needs full direct sunlight to rise up the temperature and grow properly. Winters are always too long for it and sun is important. I would rather restrict indoor cultivation to the colder months in winter. It does not beg for spraying, it takes fine our dry air in the city.

José María, I remember in Costa Rica it is not planted in pond conditions. Some looked spectacular, but not all. I saw it always in regular pots, with holes, instead of buckets with no holes. Some specimens were spectacular, while some were stunted.

I understand It naturally grows in various water-related habitats: shallow freshwater lakes, grassy marshes, seasonally flooded peat swamp forest, landward sides of mangrove areas.

I see it is very slow, even in the tropics. The colours are really worth the wait.

Carlo

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Keith in SoJax

Keith,

Go see Chris Oppenheimer @ Botanics in Homestead. Yes, they are pricey, but not all that bad. He has them in several sizes. I have one here in Jacksonville and I'll have to bring it inside in Nov/Dec and keep it here until April (for the most part). I have absolutely no other plants inside since they all die of neglect. It ought to be interesting..............

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David_Sweden

I hope it's ok to add to this 5 year old thread, the subject couldn't fit better.

I just ordered a 10-20cm (4-8") Cyrtostachys renda which I aim to grow indoors (yes I know it might be difficult, and I know where i live, don't remind me..). Actually I don't mind so much that it takes years to become a few feet, what I'm mostly looking forward to is when it gets a red stem. Does anyone know at what age that usually happens? I have looked at pictures of seedlings and small palms at the internet, these three look like very small seedlings and two of them already have some red color:

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I have one even better reason for writing and that is to ask about drainage. Because I read a lot about it, and several people say it needs good drainage. Sounds like normal advice for any palm. But several people also write that it usually grows in swamps and is used to being half drowned. Aren't those two statements contradicting oneanother? I'm thinking that maybe it is not a bad idea to leave water in its tray always, meaning the bottom 1/4 to 1 inch will be wet always. Is it perhaps one of those palms that have special roots for oxygen that reach beyond the soil level? If so, then perhaps drowning all of the soil would be fine? If I do decide to put part of the soil under water, oxygen isn't the only thing one would worry about, what about rot?

Another issue I'd like to ask about is actually a general question regarding winter conditions for all palms that are indoors always or just during the winter. If I broaden the horizon beyond palms a bit and look at my Jatropha it has some built-in ability to go to sleep (or hibernation) during the winter, and I think it's the same with the Hawaiian "Palm". They are both evergreen but seem to be aware of seasons and can hibernate and don't suffer from it (well the Jatropha promptly loses all leaves but 2 in like 1 minute when it thinks it's autumn and stays that way until it thinks it's spring, when it in about a minute grows 25 big leaves.. it's a very determined plant.. but palms can't lose leaves like that). I think my old Kentia mainly just stops growing for a few months. What I'm thinking is: Is it better for the palm the more light I give it during the winter, or is there any advantage in aiming at "hibernation"? I don't know if palms can "hibernate" at all, if they all live in the tropics then I suppose there are no distinct seasons, still, the jatropha also grows only in the tropics.

Anyway, one reason I got a Cyrtostachys renda and not an Areca vestiaria (besides it looking a bit nicer I think), is that I have a spot for it in my sunniest window, so it has to be a plant that can handle and wants full sun.

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palmsOrl

The second palm (the one labelled "Lipstick palm") does not look like a Cyrtostachys to me. Maybe Areca vestiaria?

Also, in my experience, Cyrtostachys renda likes wet feet, but of course, the soil needs to be kept warm. It does not tolerate drying out well at all! It can tolerate FULL sun from a young age in my area and needs to be given tropical temperatures to survive and grow well. Humidity is good but I have found it to not be strictly necessary if the soil is moist to wet and the temperatures warm to hot with mild nights.

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David_Sweden

Thanks. The image is from Dave's Garden, they don't usually make mistakes, but I saw now there's a comment from someone saying it is something else.

I also ran the nursery's advice through Google Translate, it says "Etwas Wasser darf im Topfuntersetzer oder Übertopf stehen bleiben." which I believe means that "some water may well be left on the plate under the pot, or in the outer pot". Good to get clear info on that. I usually am very careful not to get any plants wet feet, this is the first I've come across one that actually likes and prefers it.

I will have it indoors so it will always be 20 to 30 degC (Kota Bharu had min 12-22C, max 36-40C the last year so I think temp is fine).

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O'o Bar Master

We have a bank of C. renda all in full afternoon Hawaiian sun.

They have done extremely well and while they are known for needing a lot of water, ours have thrived on a minimum of water from the time they went into the ground. Both were about four feet tall when they were planted in 2010. Today they are 10-12 feet tall. When they were purchased, one was very healthy and the other was struggling. Today both core plants are doing really well and in some respects the struggling palm may be outgrowing the original healthy one.

For an indoor C. renda, regular watering and misting should be a must and I would bring it in for the entire winter but keep it close to a bright window.

Mike

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Tropicgardener

The second one actually looks more like a young Hyophorbe lagenicaulis (Bottle Palm) to me.

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tropicbreeze

I've got 4 of them. 2 are just in the ground and get normal irrigation so not very wet except in the wet season. One is in a spot that gets flooded in the wet season and only damp in the dry season. Wet season it's usually in about 100 mm water with occasional periods no more than a day or 2 of 300 to 400 mm water. It doesn't seem to like that. Another is still in a pot, just haven't got around to planting it out yet. It's in a container with water constantly half way up the pot (and in total shade). It seems to be doing the best of them all, and all the others are in a lot of sun.

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David_Sweden

Thanks. I guess I'll leave up to half the pot flooded for this one (or at least ½ inch), always wet.

This is a great forum, both for inspiration and to learn.

I wish there existed an equally good general forum for indoor plants, I have a few, more general questions that I don't feel like bothering you guys with. Daves Garden is good but the indoors section is very small. And I seem to scare some people in such forums since I don't mind adding some semi-scientific approaches to my methods.. like buying a lux meter or reading a book on pests.

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David_Sweden

I got the seedling yesterday, and I put a plate under the pot and kept a some water on the plate. This morning I saw a small worm (or big nematode), brown, 2 cm long, thicker at one end, in the water on the plate. :hmm: Seems to just be turning back and forth at the spot. I sprayed Provado Calypso for half a second on the leaves yesterday because there were some scale insects on a plant nearby a week ago. I wonder if this is a parasite or just a worm or something?!

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David_Sweden

A picture of the cute palm, longing for sun (don't worry it will be sunny again tomorrow). Swimming worm to the right. The extra saucer is cause the worm worries me. Half of it was brown and thicker but maybe that was soil, now all of it is pink.

So how long before this one's 3 meters tall? :mrlooney:

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Edited by David_Sweden

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David_Sweden

I got this Cyrtostachys renda seedling a week ago, it spent 6 days in a parcel from Germany to southern Sweden, and they sent it when the forecast showed night temps down to 50F but I think it was slightly warmer than that but I can't be sure. It was quite pale when it arrived (photo is when unpacking, next to a Cyphosperma) and I think it is now even paler, like pale yellow with just a little mottled green in there.

It's been having ½" of water on the saucer, ~75degF and direct sun from 9AM to 1PM, lots of indirect sun at other hours.

One reason for pale leaves in general is waterlogging but this one's supposed to like being always wet. Hope that also applies to seedlings. But I read just now that if ~50degF even briefly it is damaged (dies?) and that the symptoms is that it gets pale.

So what happens with a cold damaged Cyrtostachys renda I wonder? Will it get better soon, or worse? Should I do something? Or ask the grower to send a new one? I did warn them 2 times about the forecast but it was too difficult for them to delay the shipping process for a few days.

PS The worm must have gotten better, no trace if it.

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Peter Pacific

David, these are a personal favorite and so gorgeous that they're worth the extra effort. For humidity, you can always move the palm to the bathroom and run a steamy hot shot for a few minutes, with the door closed. They really like the warmth and even Fairchild has one in a very warm conservatory, protecting it from Miami's sometimes very cool winters.

Here's one of mine on a busy path that gets a lot of attention.

Peter

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David_Sweden

Thanks. I followed your advice and put it in a steamy bathroom for half an hour. When I think about it, it seems like a good idea. If it's a bit gloomy after the trip and all. Still not growing I think (the other palms from Palme Per Paket started growing the first day after arrival) and rather pale, hope it gets better.

Regarding when these get their beautiful red stems, I found an answer it seems. Not in years but in centimeters. The first image is from ebay and 70 cm incl pot, the second is 3 feet i e ~90 cm (I'm guessing incl pot) and very much red already:

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So it seems it's around 80 cm they get the red stem. It also means that of the 3 images of seedlings I included above, only the last one is a lipstick palm since it's the only one that's all green. The ones who sell those on ebay guess is is 2-3 years old but they don't know since they import them. From the images it seems that the "seedling look" (with just bifid leaves) goes with the green stem. The older one also has a much thicker stem and a couple of small suckers already. At least a couple of years older I would guess but what do I know. I'm a bit surprised that it still looks like a seedling at 70 cm, and that toptropical's image doesn't seem to be correct.

One way to get a smaller one with red stem would be a sucker, if anyone is sucker enough to cut into their palm. I guess it means my miniature seedling will probably not have any red stem for several years yet. :-/ If I manage to keep it alive through winters and repotting and all that lays ahead. You can look forward to a new post in 5 to 10 years.. ;)

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David_Sweden

I've been thinking.. My Licuala Peltata has two distinct aerating roots (pneumatophores) which I saw very clearly when repotting it (but they are not very easy to see after that, they just reach a bit above soil level, but I can find them by feeling the surface).

Does the Cyrtostachys renda have pneumatophores? And if so, is there a risk they haven't developed yet, so that it is suffocating if I keep the soil very wet? If they don't have pneumatophores then how do they cope with being waterlogged? Some plants I read can transport oxygen from the leaves, is that what it does?

I read here that they don't actually grow in the swamp but rather on the landward side of mangroves, but I'm guessing the peat there is quite wet.

I put it once more in a steamy bathroom for an hour (sounds like a good idea for at least recently bought palms) and since today I put a screen made of lace in front of it which cuts lux level by half i e to ~50 klx. And stopped giving it fertilizer (gave it half dose or less before).

PS I found this image of a 25" (63 cm, incl pot) specimen which is clearly reddish already. It doesn't look completely healthy I think - many leaves are as yellow as on my palm. Is it normal? Almost all other images have much greener leaves. Hasn't grown a bit either. Looks very much like when it got here 3½ weeks ago, although the brown tips on 3 of the leaves are a bit bigger now, so it's alive at least.

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PalmnutVN

Out in this neck of the woods, many people keep Cyrtostachys in water although the roots are not usually submerged completely like Nypa. So, that might help to answer your question.

I personally keep mine in a bucket of water although I only permit the water to cover around 2/3rds of the rootball.

That said, unless you can replicate tropical conditions where you are, I would err on the side of caution and keep your palm damp rather than wet. I lived in Sweden myself for many years where I also attempted to grow palms on my 'inglassad balkong' although I never really attempted to grow anything too tender. Also, be careful with major temperature fluctuations such as a room getting too cold or moving it from a cool to hot room as this can send your palm into shock from which it may not recover. I lost a 2m tall Neodypsis decaryi this way.

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David_Sweden

I'm pretty sure it is growing but veeery slowly, maybe 1 mm per week, possibly increasing lately.

But since a couple of days the soil smells really sour, even before watering, but after watering I smell it even in the next room. Only way I know how to avoid that is less frequent watering. I read it likes sour to neutral pH though. Do yours smell a lot?

I've reverted from the swamp-like growing conditions to more normal ones since over a month, meaning I water when still rather moist (but not wet) and I reduced sunlight a bit so that it gets full sunlight only before noon, then 50% of that for a couple of hours and then indirect light.

The soil is a bit peculiar: Seems to be very coarse except the top ½" which is peat. Since the pot is only ~5" high I suppose coarse soil is good to get better drainage. But the odd combination means the bottom and top ½-1" stay wet longer than the middle section.

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David_Sweden

My little Cyrtostachys renda has been doing well recently! Growing 10 times faster now, has two new pairs of leaves, darker and wider:

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But I write mainly to ask you guys about these plants I found on eBay. I couldn't resist ordering this "90cm Cyrtostachys renda" on eBay today:

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When I think about it, it looks like a giant seedling. Compare it e g to this image which is also 90cm:

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I suspect this is 90cm + pot and mine 90cm incl pot. But still, do they really look like giant seedlings when 90cm incl pot? At what height do they get more than 2 leaves per frond?

If you're interested and live in Europe there's one more like mine for sale at ebay.de. And another seller has this only 35cm high one for a much higher cost (3 of them). To me those leaves don't look at all like Cyrtostachys renda:

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I've been on the lookout for a bigger Lipstick palm since I predicted I would be 200 years old before my seedling is a meter high. But I had to wait until outdoors temp is >10degC and we've had the coldest summer in decades so far. Some moron sold a couple from Austria a couple of months ago on eBay, couldn't wait to get the money I suppose even though the plants are likely to die. I asked if I could buy one and have it shipped in June but no.

If I compare my Kentia to those found in malls here, mine is more compact. Could it be that growers somehow encourage palms to stretch?

PS I must say the seedling is not fragile in all respects: Sure it must be kept wet and can die of 10degC, but it doesn't seem to mind full sun, low humidity, constantly wet soil, and messing with the roots much.

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Pal Meir

Hello David, the last pic (#4) is definitely not a Cyrtostachys; Cs have bifid eophyllum and bifid juvenile leaves. For me it looks like a Washingtonia (robusta???) grown up in shade.

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David_Sweden

I think so too, still someone has 3 of them for sale at eBay, 35cm for €90, see here. Looks like a hustle to me, or maybe he doesn't know any better. Meanwhile my 90cm cost €37, very reasonable I think, and by a guy who sells a lot of plants.

But what I really would like to know if it is normal that Cyrtostachys renda has bifid leaves (i e 2 leaves per frond) still when 90cm tall incl pot, and how tall will it grow before I see a frond with more than 2 leaves?

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