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David_Sweden

Cold drafts

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David_Sweden

I've read sometimes that some palms (and some other trees like ficuses) are sensitive to cold (and warm) drafts. I'm wondering if anyone knows more about this, and if it can be an issue here?

The problem is that one of the two windows on the north side of my apartment was broken so that it has to be sealed for 2 months while they manufacture a new one. It also has windows on the south side. The only other window on the north side is where my (semi-)shade-loving big palms are: Kentia, Rhopalostylis Baueri, Licuala Ramsayi and Licuala Peltata. It's in the middle of summer here now and I live on the top floor (attic) so I have to keep windows open at least during daytime both sides.

So I've kept one small window slightly open by these palms for the last 2 weeks. Outdoors temp at night recently has had a minimum of 9.5 to 12degC (49 to 54degF). Room temp stays between 24 and 26C (75 to 79F). I suppose I could close it at night but some days outdoors temp during daytime is 13 to 15C (55-59F) so days can be almost as cold.

But I'm thinking: What's the difference between a cold draft and a chilly breeze? Is 10-15C harmful? These palm types all have been documented to do well at lower temps than this, but cold tolerance and draft tolerance isn't the same thing from what I understand?

I think I'm beginning to see some pale areas close to the tips the last days which are hard to explain.

You can see the scenario here (I attached a filter screen to the window to keep mites out):

post-10152-0-98963900-1435425444_thumb.j

They did undergo extensive pesticide treatments but that ended over a month and they grow very well indicating no root damage. And the pale parts aren't necessarily close to the window, but they sure see some draft. Winds have been still though, not much draft. Other than that nothing out of the ordinary: Trying to keep humidity >40%RH most of the day and 50-65% for a few hours while light (might fall to 35% a few hours per day), I water them when still slightly moist (Licualas quite moist), they were leached this spring, no changes in fert. I keep my grow light running on the fronds farthest from the windows giving ~1-3klx (but only 10h/day during the summer). I pull a lace screen for the windows if risk for direct sun which lowers illuminance by 50% giving a dappled effect. Baueri was repotted 2½ months ago.

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Jim in Los Altos

David, Howea experience lots of breezy conditions in their natural habitat as well as temperature swings. They are really tough, strong performers indoors and I wouldn't worry about drafty conditions. Licuala enjoy more stable conditions but I think yours will be fine. Keep it moist all the time. The Howea palms can stand a bit less watering but never let them completely dry out.

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David_Sweden

Thanks. Some people seem to worry a lot about drafts, especxially for some plants (Ficuses, Calatheas, many palms like Lipstick). Good to hear from your experience this probably is fine in my situation.

PS I actually became an IPS member yesterday having posted so much here I thought it was about time but it doesn't show in the avatar yet

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Jim in Los Altos

Thanks. Some people seem to worry a lot about drafts, especxially for some plants (Ficuses, Calatheas, many palms like Lipstick). Good to hear from your experience this probably is fine in my situation.

PS I actually became an IPS member yesterday having posted so much here I thought it was about time but it doesn't show in the avatar yet

Good for you, David!

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PalmatierMeg

David, you need to contact the Moderator (Palm Mod) about your IPS membership so he can post a logo to show you belong. Welcome to IPS.

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Kai

What's the difference between a cold draft and a chilly breeze? Well...That's as far as my knowledge of the English language goes. In other words, I couldn't tell you, lol.

I love your collection of indoor palms and the effort you're putting into it! Bravo!

Makes me think of my living room about 7 or 8 years ago. Keep up the good stuff!

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David_Sweden

What does your living room look like now then?! :hmm:

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Kai

What does your living room look like now then?! :hmm:

Hey David,

In a nutshell...

Before getting married and having a kid:

post-1050-0-64009300-1435761931_thumb.jp

After getting married and having a kid:

post-1050-0-01896500-1435762229_thumb.jp

When I moved to Amsterdam I couldn't take my collection with me (it still hurts). But as you can see I started over again and I'm allowed to grow a few palms indoors... as long as the leafs don't block the TV screen or cause any other discomfort.

Also the garden is getting shape now which gives me a lot of joy!

Cheers!

Kai

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Pal Meir

What does your living room look like now then?! :hmm:

Hey David,

In a nutshell...

Before getting married and having a kid:

attachicon.gifjungle maart 2009.jpg

After getting married and having a kid:

attachicon.gif20150302_081552.jpg

When I moved to Amsterdam I couldn't take my collection with me (it still hurts). But as you can see I started over again and I'm allowed to grow a few palms indoors... as long as the leafs don't block the TV screen or cause any other discomfort.

Also the garden is getting shape now which gives me a lot of joy!

Cheers!

Kai

C'est la vie! :floor2:

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David_Sweden

Hope the cat doesn eat'm!

Seriously though I'm a bit worried why e g the Licuala Peltata has tendencies now to becoming paler at the edges of the newest leaf. Have had it for over a year and until now perfectly green leaves. Would have thought winter and pesticide treatments would be harder times for it, strange that this happens now. Only indirect sunlight and lamps. Not root bound. Last pesticide drench May 24th (and no excessive watering 10 days after that). Only new thing I can think of is the (cold) draft.

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David_Sweden

I read something interesting (written by an associate professor at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences): If the air is still, plants create a thin layer of moist air close to the leaf (and one advantage of hairy leaves is to keep this air still). I'm thinking in a situation like my apartment, where I have to struggle to keep humidity above 40% most days, maybe leaving the air still is a great idea for plants that want high humidity. That the combination 40-45%RH and moving air is not so good. And thus for ventilation maybe it's better to do that in bursts, not a constant draft.

In any case, for my plants I think this is not a significant factor, any yellow or brown tips I think are due to phototoxicity/salinity and pots being a bit small, since I can't see any evidence of more damage close to window or draft and I usually don't have much draft.

But I thought I should mention it since I started the topic and it sounds like it can be a factor sometimes.

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