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Funkthulhu

Cold Mold?

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Funkthulhu

Noticed last week that one of my R.rivularis has a really floppy couple spears pushing out. Peeled things back and found that one of the old leaf-bases was covered on the inside with a fluffy white mold. (I should have taken a picture)

Okay, so, I took a page out of MattyB's book and drowned the growth point in peroxide. (fizzed like crazy) I even hit the healthy R.riv a bit just to be safe. Things seem to be getting better, they're getting full sun on the deck and there are now 3 spears pushing at once, also the white fuzzy has turned more to dry black gunk.

I don't know if I'm out of the woods yet, but I'm curious about one thing. My house is notoriously dry over the winter and I had these plants in a relatively cool place (65-70F) but under grow lights all winter. How did I get mold/fungus? Also, this in Nebraska, what the hell up here eats palm-trees? (no other plant in my collection shows signs of fuzzies)

Questions? Comments? Insight? Short-Stories?

-Erik

at the bottom of the Interior Seaway (Zone 5b)

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Hammer

I'm guessing not or you would have mentioned it but did you mist them over the winter? I had an R.R. that was given to me this winter. It stalled and eventually I pulled the spear. Some kind of rot was going on. I hit it with H2O2. It's making a come back now. Never really figured out why it got it in the first place. Some times "stuff" happens as they say.

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Funkthulhu

Well, I did hit it lightly with a spray-bottle once a week or so, but mostly the tips (that were turning brown). Still, it's a possibility.

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Brahea Axel

I don't know why anybody even bothers to try to grow these. They are by far the worst ever house plant and they look like crap outdoors in warm temperate climates.

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Hammer

I don't know why anybody even bothers to try to grow these. They are by far the worst ever house plant and they look like crap outdoors in warm temperate climates.

Well, I happen to have grown up in Omaha where Funky lives. When you live in Omaha you don't have a huge selection of palm nurseries in the area. So you do with what you can get. If R.R.s are what you have then that is what you grow and are thankful for it.

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Brahea Axel

I don't know why anybody even bothers to try to grow these. They are by far the worst ever house plant and they look like crap outdoors in warm temperate climates.

Well, I happen to have grown up in Omaha where Funky lives. When you live in Omaha you don't have a huge selection of palm nurseries in the area. So you do with what you can get. If R.R.s are what you have then that is what you grow and are thankful for it.

I was aiming that comment not just at Omaha residents, but California as well. I am one of those people, I usually pick one up when they're cheap at home depot, only to watch it die over and over again, and they die without any exposure to frost. Ravena rivularis is a really hard to grow palm that should not be sold as a house plant.

Now I disagree that R.R. is all Funky has to choose from. Ravena glauca can be internet mail ordered and it's infinitely easier to grow. Same with ravena hildebrandii, which coincidentally is a much better house plant candidate and an easy to move container specimen since it looks like a small majesty palm but without all the growing difficulties.

The more people know about R.R. and how difficult it is, the less likely people will be discouraged when they fail. Like I said, dump the rivularis and order a glauca or a hildebrandii, these are super easy compared to rivularis.

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Hammer

Don't forget the glauca are prettier too...imho.

The RR may be tougher but there are a heck of a lot of them growing with lots of trunk here in SoCal. Is it more of a challenge in Norcal perhaps?

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Brahea Axel

Don't forget the glauca are prettier too...imho.

The RR may be tougher but there are a heck of a lot of them growing with lots of trunk here in SoCal. Is it more of a challenge in Norcal perhaps?

I've been un-impressed with both Socal and Norcal trunking specimens. They all sport lots of yellowing. The only healthy RR I've seen were at the Los Angeles Arboretum in their swampy area, perfect for RR, wet and hot. But I saw them in 2007 after the freeze, yikes, they were completely toasted. The biggest limiting factor for RR is lack of drought tolerance.

Ravena glauca are screaming fast for me. For many years I avoided the entire rivularis genus because of my negative experience with r. rivularis. But both glauca and hildebrandii grow super fast in my climate, I think it may the cool nights and warm days that accelerate their growth. They crank out one frond after another non-stop. And they are more chill tolerant than rivularis and at least as hardy as rivularis, if not more hardy.

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Funkthulhu

"hard to grow"?

I'm 5 and 6 years in on these two in pots, repotted several times. Other than the browning of leaves that seems to be happening over winters of late, this is the first serious problem I've had with them. They both flush out over the summer to 8-10 fronds and spears, often pushing 2 or 3 spears at once, and then hybernate back to 4 or 5 fronds and spears over the winter. As Hammer says, you take what you can get up here. At least some of the freebie species that members have sent me in the last 3 years are starting to get big enough to fuss over.

As for these R.rivularis, I'm sure one or both will have to go to a home with higher ceilings after this summer (assuming the small one doesn't succumb to the white fuzzy menace!) Fingers crossed, I may be able to "donate" them to the atrium of my building at work come this fall. At least then I'll get visitation rights.

I really hope I can get the smaller sick one to pull through And trunk this summer! I'm going to mark the spears tonight to see if they're pushing again, the peroxide seems to be working.

And as long as we're casting nets, it would be really cool to see the bigger one get to a foot or more of trunk or even pop an inflorescence.

-Erik

Nebraska, 5b

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MattyB

I've been un-impressed with both Socal and Norcal trunking specimens. They all sport lots of yellowing. The only healthy RR I've seen were at the Los Angeles Arboretum in their swampy area, perfect for RR, wet and hot. But I saw them in 2007 after the freeze, yikes, they were completely toasted. The biggest limiting factor for RR is lack of drought tolerance.

You're right, they are not "drought tolerant", but once they are established, they are happy with average water and regular fertilizer applications.

post-126-0-74766500-1368481760_thumb.jpg

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MattyB

Even with SDG&E cutting the tops off due to the power lines, and obviously no special watering or care to these Ravenea rivularis (i've peeked over the fence, it's just a spareingly watered, raggedy bermuda grass lawn), they are looking pretty good in my opinion. They probably just need a regular dose of a well balanced fertilizer and they'd be looking perfect!

Axel, CA is a big place. There's plenty of palms around that you are not aware of.

post-126-0-23302700-1368482327_thumb.jpg

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Phoenikakias

Don't forget the glauca are prettier too...imho.

The RR may be tougher but there are a heck of a lot of them growing with lots of trunk here in SoCal. Is it more of a challenge in Norcal perhaps?

I've been un-impressed with both Socal and Norcal trunking specimens. They all sport lots of yellowing. The only healthy RR I've seen were at the Los Angeles Arboretum in their swampy area, perfect for RR, wet and hot. But I saw them in 2007 after the freeze, yikes, they were completely toasted. The biggest limiting factor for RR is lack of drought tolerance.

Ravena glauca are screaming fast for me. For many years I avoided the entire rivularis genus because of my negative experience with r. rivularis. But both glauca and hildebrandii grow super fast in my climate, I think it may the cool nights and warm days that accelerate their growth. They crank out one frond after another non-stop. And they are more chill tolerant than rivularis and at least as hardy as rivularis, if not more hardy.

I need to be heretical again. Not that I like it, but since I have a contrary experience I have to publish it. I used to have and still have an RR and an RG growing side by side. During the cold spell (advection freeze and frost with snowfall) of 2004 the RR survived with major damages (but no spearpull) but the RG didn't (it died instantly). On the other hand the (new) RG comes after normal winter completely intact but the RR gets some yellow spotting on older leaves. So based on this experience I am forced to say that RR is more cold hardy but not as cool tolerant as RG.

Edited by Phoenikakias

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Brahea Axel

I've been un-impressed with both Socal and Norcal trunking specimens. They all sport lots of yellowing. The only healthy RR I've seen were at the Los Angeles Arboretum in their swampy area, perfect for RR, wet and hot. But I saw them in 2007 after the freeze, yikes, they were completely toasted. The biggest limiting factor for RR is lack of drought tolerance.

You're right, they are not "drought tolerant", but once they are established, they are happy with average water and regular fertilizer applications.

Now that is a beautiful specimen. They do look good with the right amount of pampering.

Even with SDG&E cutting the tops off due to the power lines, and obviously no special watering or care to these Ravenea rivularis (i've peeked over the fence, it's just a spareingly watered, raggedy bermuda grass lawn), they are looking pretty good in my opinion. They probably just need a regular dose of a well balanced fertilizer and they'd be looking perfect!

Axel, CA is a big place. There's plenty of palms around that you are not aware of.

Matty, your second picture is exactly what I am talking about. R.R. requires extra care, I don't think it's an easy to grow palm unless you have the right conditions. The yellowing of RR is what people complain about, it's a pain in the butt, it's even mentioned in the Socal Palm Guide. Sure, RR will look good if pampered, but most of them I've seen just don't look so hot.

I need to be heretical again. Not that I like it, but since I have a contrary experience I have to publish it. I used to have and still have an RR and an RG growing side by side. During the cold spell (advection freeze and frost with snowfall) of 2004 the RR survived with major damages (but no spearpull) but the RG didn't (it died instantly). On the other hand the (new) RG comes after normal winter completely intact but the RR gets some yellow spotting on older leaves. So based on this experience I am forced to say that RR is more cold hardy but not as cool tolerant as RG.

Yes, R.R. has more mass and is bigger overall, therefore it's more readily able to survive an advective freeze. But as you say, RG looks great after a regular Winter, whereas RR is always yellow. RG is fabulously cool tolerant and therefore makes a better houseplant as well.

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MattyB

Well if "pampering" means water and fertilizer then almost every palm needs pampering.

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Brahea Axel

Well if "pampering" means water and fertilizer then almost every palm needs pampering.

There's a rather lengthy list of palms that need no pampering at all, they line our shopping malls and streets. Anything that needs pampering has little chance of survival or look like crap as a strip mall tree in California or in the average under-fertilized, under-watered California garden. 75% of my in-ground palms receive practically no extra care, not even water or fertilizer and they do just fine. And that includes everything from parajubaea to ceroxylon and rhopies, pretty much all the cool highland growers and the Mediterranean growers are super easy. Marginal palms are a completely different story.

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Hammer

Well if "pampering" means water and fertilizer then almost every palm needs pampering.

There's a rather lengthy list of palms that need no pampering at all, they line our shopping malls and streets. Anything that needs pampering has little chance of survival or look like crap as a strip mall tree in California or in the average under-fertilized, under-watered California garden. 75% of my in-ground palms receive practically no extra care, not even water or fertilizer and they do just fine. And that includes everything from parajubaea to ceroxylon and rhopies, pretty much all the cool highland growers and the Mediterranean growers are super easy. Marginal palms are a completely different story.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the list of palms that need supplemental watering and fertilizer is much much shorter in Santa Cruz than in inland San Diego or Laguna Hills for that matter.

Down south here we have one advantage that you don't. Heat. But with that means we also don't have the moisture nor ability to grow without watering. What is babying to you is SOP for us here in the South. Same goes for growers in truly cold climates.

What they must do to protect against cold we here in SoCal might consider going over the top to protect against cold.

Different strokes for different folks. One size does not fit all, etc.

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Stevetoad

Well if "pampering" means water and fertilizer then almost every palm needs pampering.

There's a rather lengthy list of palms that need no pampering at all, they line our shopping malls and streets. Anything that needs pampering has little chance of survival or look like crap as a strip mall tree in California or in the average under-fertilized, under-watered California garden. 75% of my in-ground palms receive practically no extra care, not even water or fertilizer and they do just fine. And that includes everything from parajubaea to ceroxylon and rhopies, pretty much all the cool highland growers and the Mediterranean growers are super easy. Marginal palms are a completely different story.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the list of palms that need supplemental watering and fertilizer is much much shorter in Santa Cruz than in inland San Diego or Laguna Hills for that matter.

Down south here we have one advantage that you don't. Heat. But with that means we also don't have the moisture nor ability to grow without watering. What is babying to you is SOP for us here in the South. Same goes for growers in truly cold climates.

What they must do to protect against cold we here in SoCal might consider going over the top to protect against cold.

Different strokes for different folks. One size does not fit all, etc.

Your right on hammer. If we didn't provide water to our palms down here the only thing that would grow would be washies and a few braheas and Phoenix. I've seen a ton of awesome looking ravenea rivularis here. There are a bunch that look crappy because people treat them like a washie. These are as easy to get as queens and I see many crappy looking queens too. It's just victim of an easy to get palm that falls into the wrong yards.

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Brahea Axel

Ok they're all really great points, I get it. You need to water more than we do. But I am still convinced ravena rivularis is way more of a water hog, a heat hog and a nutrient picky palm than the bulk of the palms that can be grown in Calif, both south and north but even worse in the north due to lack of heat compared to down south. RR looks much worse at the end of Winter than queen. That's really all I am saying. my experience is consistent with the SoCal Palm Society guide. And please don't tell me I can't speak for SoCal, l gardened there first and I still spend a lot of time in the IE. I've seen great RRs too under pampered care - lots of water AND fertilizer.

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Funkthulhu

We hit 100F today.

Don't know if it was damage already done by the mold, the temperature spike, or both but the longest spear toppled today. I found it still hanging on to the crown, but the tip was on the ground, a hard kink at the base about 6 inches above the growth point.

Is it dead? or shuffling off weak limbs?

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LJG

Erik, I would bet the white fluffy mold was a major Mealy Bug infestation. Once killed, the sooty mold dried up and went black and hard like it should. Major infesations can eventually kill a palm. Try coffee grounds at base to keep Mealy return.

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Hammer

Erik, I lost a spear earlier this year on an RR. Follow the advice from LJG and keep using the H2O2. Mine is making a comeback. All hope is not lost.

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Funkthulhu

there were three spears pushing when I discovered the fungus among us. . .

The long spear (~5 foot) toppled earlier.

Today I found the medium spear (~3 foot) also kinked over against the fence.

The only one left is the shorty (~5 inches) that doesn't have any room to topple.

Did some tugging and nothing is loose, so I'm going to keep hitting the H2O2 and hoping.

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MattyB

I've had this happen on RR. They can push past it. Keep watering it hopefully it'll push

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Funkthulhu

I've had this happen on RR. They can push past it. Keep watering it hopefully it'll push

Fingers Crossed...

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Brahea Axel

George at Cycads 'n palms in Fallbrook sells r. glauca, they were only $10 for nice oversize 1 gallons when I was there, and he will also mail order 1g plants. I highly recommend you dump the R. R. and try the Glauca. Not only does it look a lot nicer, but it doesn't yellow and won't mind the cooler Winter storage conditions as much.

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Funkthulhu

Axel. . .

I live in Nebraska.

Bit of a hike for me.

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Brahea Axel

Axel. . .

I live in Nebraska.

Bit of a hike for me.

I didn't say drive there, I said he'll mail them to you.

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Palm Killer

There is a great use for ravenea rivularis in Northern California or any cold climate northern area. You can use them as a annual palm by adding the tropical touch to a yard with low cost for a clean tropical look works great. I usually drop a few in every spring.

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Funkthulhu

Better?

cam00045b.jpg

*tug* *tug* *tug*

NOPE!

cam00054j.jpg

Felt really squishy, tried peeling back leaf bases, found more mold, tugged out a few loose bases. . . then the whole top popped off.

The foam is the last of H2O2, y'know, in case it's not completely dead...

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Hammer

Ouch. Sorry bro!

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buffy

I use both copper and H2O2. Those copper ions are hell on fungus and bacteria.

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Funkthulhu

Well, the palm is long dead, I've got a banana repotted in its old home now. The dead palm's twin is still with us. However, assuming it ever had a fungus, and assuming the H2O2 killed it, would it still be stunted growthwise?

It's been out in the sun for 2 months now, no fungus seen, last H2O2 treatment was end of May, and no growth since. The leaves are going a nice darker shade of green for being outside, but the spears that were growing seem to have stalled. I keep checking for fungus, bugs, anything I can think of; but aside from being frozen in time it seems completely healthy.

Can H2O2 stunt the growth on a healthy plant?

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Funkthulhu

Well, whatever was wrong with it seems to have passed. My survivor has shown visible growth this last week in pushing out three (3!) spears at once. Maybe it was just recovering? Maybe it was the weather, we've had a weird summer, haven't run the AC for most of August. . .

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Hammer

Pictures pictures!

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_Keith

Well, whatever was wrong with it seems to have passed. My survivor has shown visible growth this last week in pushing out three (3!) spears at once. Maybe it was just recovering? Maybe it was the weather, we've had a weird summer, haven't run the AC for most of August. . .

You know some palms love, ok need some real heat to thrive.

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Funkthulhu

Huzzah!

tt6a.jpg

g6ek.jpg

Another medium spear coming up and a shorty next to that. I expect all three to be fully open before the first frost. (then into the plant room!)

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Hammer

Huzzah!

tt6a.jpg

g6ek.jpg

Another medium spear coming up and a shorty next to that. I expect all three to be fully open before the first frost. (then into the plant room!)

Lookin' good! Thanks for posting the pictures. I've always thought Omaha could rival Hawaii for growing palms...except for those darn winters. :)

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