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Mike Evans

Gaussia princeps on the rocks

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Mike Evans

I have a number of Gaussia princepis that I am growing. The grow on rocky limestone cliffs in western Cuba. They evidently grow on the limestone rock, sending out roots that crawl along the rock, until they find a crack to take a hold of. A friend of mine told me of someone that grew them on top of boulders & have the roots clinging to the rock, until they tke hold in the ground. I decided to try this with some granite boulders that I have. I took a double G. princeps and bare rooted it on top of of a granite rock & let the roots hang down the side. I then cut out the bottom of a 25 gal container and inverted it around the boulder and filled w/ potting soil. I will let the roots make its way down to native soil for a few years, then remove it and wash away this manner. in the potting soil. The roots will be exposed around the boulder, w/ the palm sitting on top. Has anyone tried this before. If so please post some pics, or any pics of Gaussia's growing on rock. I think it will be a very unique specimen growing on rock.

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Mike Evans

Oops, let me rotate some pics

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MattyB

Very interesting! I love creative stuff like that. It really adds interest to the garden.

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DoomsDave

WHoa!

Keep us thoroughly apprized!

Tell gtlevine, he's got rocks that rock!

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Cindy Adair

What an interesting idea! I especially like the inverted pot to use something simple and available in a new way. I'd also appreciate updates and photos as time goes by.

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DALION

I know we have all seen pics of this before on smaller scales.

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I wonder if that was your true inspiration. To be the owner of a full size palm bonsai. Looks like it will be another reason to visit your garden in a couple years.

Leo

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Mandrew968

I am surprised this palm will grow in St. Pete. I have friends in the Redlands that lost theirs during some of our cold snaps. Good luck with yours!

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Jastin

Great idea!

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Carlo Morici

Great idea. Anything like that will work. Roots will naturally do the work, in a way much like orchid-roots take over their wooden slab. Actually the palm roots evolved to entangle a highly porous limestone, so it is better to have a non-smooth rock, with lots of cracks and bumps or - much easier - a mound of smaller rocks.

At the palmetum in Santa Cruz de Tenerife they were planted in a flat area(mistake!). Roots were coming out everywhere. Some years later we poured lots of rocks on the ground and fairly soon roots grabbed them.

An idea! Drill/cut holes on the sides of your plastic pot. I am sure the roots will be happier with more air and it will not overheat

Carlo

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Mike Evans

Great idea. Anything like that will work. Roots will naturally do the work, in a way much like orchid-roots take over their wooden slab. Actually the palm roots evolved to entangle a highly porous limestone, so it is better to have a non-smooth rock, with lots of cracks and bumps or - much easier - a mound of smaller rocks.

At the palmetum in Santa Cruz de Tenerife they were planted in a flat area(mistake!). Roots were coming out everywhere. Some years later we poured lots of rocks on the ground and fairly soon roots grabbed them.

An idea! Drill/cut holes on the sides of your plastic pot. I am sure the roots will be happier with more air and it will not overheat

Carlo

Your right Carlo, roots are always more developed with better air circulation in the pot. I'll cut some holes this weekend. If roots grow out of them, I will cut them off when I remove the container. Thanks for the tip.

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Mike Evans

Well, it has been a little over 8 years since this experiment started and the G,  princeps is now an understory palm.  It is growing in the shade of a group of Dypsis sp. mayotte, so the growing is slow.  The roots are pushing it up off the rock.  I just cut away the plastic container to expose the roots.  I will let the potting soil naturally erode away so the roots do not go into a fast drying shock.  That may take a few years, depending on the rainfall.  Looks like this experiment will take another 3 - 5 years to see how things turn out.  So far, so good.  It held up to hurricane Irma winds a few years ago.  I will update in a few years.IMG_20200719_150419.thumb.jpg.8814745146a9fc56cbfb9a2e5d95f77f.jpgIMG_20200720_141138.thumb.jpg.83a1d66ae26970cd931f3b4cfbc8beba.jpgIMG_20200720_141059.thumb.jpg.d54eaf599be6d8517dce29489b7443dc.jpgIMG_20200720_141127.thumb.jpg.8fce5adeaf456bdbadea2c0a00b0464f.jpgIMG_20200720_141138.thumb.jpg.83a1d66ae26970cd931f3b4cfbc8beba.jpg

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Palm Tree Jim

Very cool and thanks fro the update!

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Merlyn2220

That's a really cool idea!  Did you happen to plant any other Gaussia Princeps "normally" to see if the boulder impacted growth over the past 8 years?  I have ~8 Gaussia Princeps seedlings, I bet I can find a big honkin' rock around here somewhere to try it too!  :D

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WaianaeCrider

Interesting.  I have a boulder area and have trying to figure how to use it.  The spaces between the boulders are to small to plant something and often have underground boulders.  Not sure what I could try this with.

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