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Jim in Los Altos

Dang...Could This Mean The End Of My Lemur?

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Jim in Los Altos

Flourishing for nearly two years in the ground and producing seven new leaves, two in the winter, my Lemur palm has nearly stopped growing and has lost its three oldest leaves during the last two weeks. What do you palm enthusiasts think is up with this palm?

It's been fed organically periodically and never allowed to dry out. The weather has been warm and more humid than average. Nearby Carpoxylon, Clinostigma, Kerriodoxa, and Bentinkia are doing well. Could this be the end or is this palm playing games with me?

post-181-0-59463200-1437944327_thumb.jpg post-181-0-60870300-1437944331_thumb.jpg post-181-0-18839700-1437944335_thumb.jpg

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Gonzer

nopityA.gif

Seriously Jim, I'm amazed it made it this long.

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Pete in Paradise Hills

Mine croaked beginning of July. Wasn't able to water it as much as you. I won't be trying another...

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Jim in Los Altos

Mine croaked beginning of July. Wasn't able to water it as much as you. I won't be trying another...

Pete, that's too bad. With mine, it seems as though it's not taking up nutrients and its leaves show it in their pale green. I haven't given out hope completely yet since there's plenty of live tissue still and the spear is moving, albeit very slowly. If it does die, I won't waste time on another.

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richnorm

Thrips?

What's the humidity%?

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Jim in Los Altos

Thrips?

What's the humidity%?

Rich, I don't ever have a problem with detrimental insects in my yard. I don't ever spray so there are plenty of natural predators in my landscape. So, no thrips. Relative humidity has been ranging from 40 to 50% daytime and 75 to 95% at night. I also keep the area around the Lemur moist all the time.

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richnorm

Perfect drainage? Has that unhappy roots look. Sorry to say it but could be the beginning of the marginal palm death spiral many of us know so well!

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richnorm

Might help to remove some rocks and lightly till the surface to get more oxygen to the roots. Could water with H2O2 too. Long shots though... Be sure to try again if it fails.

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Pete in Paradise Hills

Mine croaked beginning of July. Wasn't able to water it as much as you. I won't be trying another...

Pete, that's too bad. With mine, it seems as though it's not taking up nutrients and its leaves show it in their pale green. I haven't given out hope completely yet since there's plenty of live tissue still and the spear is moving, albeit very slowly. If it does die, I won't waste time on another.

Mine was purchased from Floribunda and actually put out a couple leaves early on. I am pretty sure that was just Marcus momentum...

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Jim in Los Altos

Might help to remove some rocks and lightly till the surface to get more oxygen to the roots. Could water with H2O2 too. Long shots though... Be sure to try again if it fails.

Rich, Great advice! While I was removing rocks and began lightly tilling the soil, I noticed that the palm tillered itself down a couple of inches! I removed excess soil from around its base and gave it 50% H202 50% water. I had no idea Lemurs did this and it explains it's current condition a lot. I hope what I did was in time. We'll see.

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Josh-O

keep us posted Jim.

I think Bills is still moving along?

Mine is doing good but I've only had it for a few months. I think I will put it in a 15 gal pot and keep it in the green house in the winters and put it out side in the summers until its a big plant and just maybe then I could get it to survive.

I had one in the ground for 4 years and the dang thing died last year.

super tough grow for us anywhere in California :crying:

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trioderob

maybe the thing grew to a point where the roots were now in native and the plant did not like the PH

do you have very alkaline soil ?

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LJG

maybe the thing grew to a point where the roots were now in native and the plant did not like the PH

do you have very alkaline soil ?

This is good advice Rob but I am sure Jim would be well aware of this as he grows tons of rainforest palms that need lower pH. It is not just a Lemur that hate things more alkaline. I had a good friend in FL grow one of these perfectly by adjusting the pH.

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Jim in Los Altos

maybe the thing grew to a point where the roots were now in native and the plant did not like the PH

do you have very alkaline soil ?

As Len said above, I have lots of acid loving palms throughout my landscape. My soil is quick draining fertile loam with a mostly clay mix a couple of feet below that. With the amount of organic material I keep on the soil surface, it leans towards acid.

I think the fact that my Lemur tillered itself down may have put in an oxygen starving mode and I'm addressing that now that I know about it.

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comic097

Good luck Jim, how time flies can't believe 2 years already, fingers x mate

Paul

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NApalm

This saddens me

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Pando

I hope it pulls through for you Jim...

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BS Man about Palms

Watching, waiting, hoping..

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Jim in Los Altos

A very credible source thinks it's that my soil isn't acid enough. Apparently these palm's native soil is quite acid and needs to be to guarantee growth and vitality. I will be adding iron sulphate as soon as I can or another acid type fertilizer. Then I'll cross my fingers!

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trioderob

so I was right after all

Edited by trioderob

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Danilopez89

A very credible source thinks it's that my soil isn't acid enough. Apparently these palm's native soil is quite acid and needs to be to guarantee growth and vitality. I will be adding iron sulphate as soon as I can or another acid type fertilizer. Then I'll cross my fingers!

Cool! Good luck Jim.

Whats the difference between iron sulphate and others, say - gypsum? I've spread it on some areas of my yard and I think it made my plants greener and "shiny'er". But I dont really know. It was my first time using it. I thought it would help out my soil.

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LJG

A very credible source thinks it's that my soil isn't acid enough. Apparently these palm's native soil is quite acid and needs to be to guarantee growth and vitality. I will be adding iron sulphate as soon as I can or another acid type fertilizer. Then I'll cross my fingers!

Jim, no clue who the "credible source" is so don't want to offend them as it seems they PMed you, but frankly speaking, why would anyone just willy-nilly offer up that advice. You need to understand what's going on with your soils first. Test them. Iron sulfate (FeSO4) is Fe at 20% and when applied to soil is usually ineffective, especially in pH above 7.0 - which this person thinks is your issue. Why? Becuase iron quickly transforms to Fe3+ and precipitates as one of the iron oxides. If this person thinks it is an iron deficiency, they should be recommending Chelated iron. Using iron sulfate to change soil pH is a really bad idea. If you want to drop pH, use a Ammonium Sulphate based fertilizer or use elemental Sulphur. If you prefer organic, peat or manure. Too much iron on a plant that isn't suffering from iron deficiency leads to iron toxicity. That would surely kill a weak plant. I don't really see the yellow leaf with green veining leading one to think it is iron deficiency. I see more of a plant that is generally just unhappy now.

Jim your Marojejya darianii comes from the same location as the Lemur and you said it is doing great and green. Perhaps if you were throwing something like dolomitic lime on your lemur and not other palms (another bad idea), then you did increase the pH around that plant and not the others, but safe to say your soils are ok.

As far as saving it, the first thing you need to do is use a systemic fungicide because as older leaves die off fast like that it usually means root rot. Without stopping the fungus, everything you do is irrelevant right now I believe.

If it dies, the good news is Marcus has more and you can try again with even more added knowledge and experience under your belt :)

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Jim in Los Altos

A very credible source thinks it's that my soil isn't acid enough. Apparently these palm's native soil is quite acid and needs to be to guarantee growth and vitality. I will be adding iron sulphate as soon as I can or another acid type fertilizer. Then I'll cross my fingers!

Jim, no clue who the "credible source" is so don't want to offend them as it seems they PMed you, but frankly speaking, why would anyone just willy-nilly offer up that advice. You need to understand what's going on with your soils first. Test them. Iron sulfate (FeSO4) is Fe at 20% and when applied to soil is usually ineffective, especially in pH above 7.0 - which this person thinks is your issue. Why? Becuase iron quickly transforms to Fe3+ and precipitates as one of the iron oxides. If this person thinks it is an iron deficiency, they should be recommending Chelated iron. Using iron sulfate to change soil pH is a really bad idea. If you want to drop pH, use a Ammonium Sulphate based fertilizer or use elemental Sulphur. If you prefer organic, peat or manure. Too much iron on a plant that isn't suffering from iron deficiency leads to iron toxicity. That would surely kill a weak plant. I don't really see the yellow leaf with green veining leading one to think it is iron deficiency. I see more of a plant that is generally just unhappy now.

Jim your Marojejya darianii comes from the same location as the Lemur and you said it is doing great and green. Perhaps if you were throwing something like dolomitic lime on your lemur and not other palms (another bad idea), then you did increase the pH around that plant and not the others, but safe to say your soils are ok.

As far as saving it, the first thing you need to do is use a systemic fungicide because as older leaves die off fast like that it usually means root rot. Without stopping the fungus, everything you do is irrelevant right now I believe.

If it dies, the good news is Marcus has more and you can try again with even more added knowledge and experience under your belt :)

Thanks, Len. My "credible" source is not on this forum. I would never add anything to the soil without a test first and you're right about my soil being acid already. There's always been a lot of organic activity in my soil and that goes for the area where my Lemur is too. The person told me that Lemurs like a soil that is even more acid particularly if my tap water is on the hard side, which it is.

I'll keep an eye on the Lemur now that I've removed almost 2" depth of soil that was packed to high on its stem. This palm really pulled itself down. It has a prominent heal with roots near its top so I left the soil a little higher on it so as not to expose those roots.

The good news is that the spear moved measurably overnight!

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LJG

That's good news about the spear growth. Perhaps it is just shedding old Marcus leaves. The high heat triggering it. I have had palms drop Hawaiin leaves quickly before and scare me.

Your garden is so nice and everything so well grown I would hate to see you throw something into it which could change the balance just because of one plant.

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Kostas

Cycad seedlings, especially understory ones, many times end up deeper than they should before gaining enough mass to reach the surface again, and they can rot in heavy soils. After losing more than a couple to this, I acted on some favorites showing signs of going to the same decline, and saved them by digging down to their caudex, removing some soil above them and mixing the rest above their caudex with lava. I think something similar would benefit saxophone stemmed species that seem to not like the conditions they find while digging deeper. Even the tilling with the fingers alone down to the growing point, seems to help quite a bit

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MattyB

Sometimes those old leaves just die quicker in the warmer weather. Watch the spear, that's you're indicator.

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Dypsisdean

Something to watch out for during drought conditions.

Watering frequently but not deeply leads to salt build up in the soil. And during drought conditions, the TDS (total disolved solids) in the water sources generally becomes even higher - further exacerbating the problem. Irrigated soil, needs to be periodically "flushed" so the salts can be moved down and out of the root zone (more so in SoCal) - and rain is the best way to do this.

While NoCal is better when it comes to water quality, without the accustomed rain and with the deteriorating quality of the stored water, this may be an issue up there as well - especially if you were watering the Lemur frequently but not deeply.

Perhaps find a friend with some RO water - and use it for the Lemur.

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Tyrone

The weather has warmed up and the humidity has climbed. Any root pathogens fungi etc may have been dormant until now. They may have sensed stress in the Lemur and are now doing something about it.

I hope it pulls through. The problem's definitely in the roots IMO.

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Jim in Los Altos

She's turned the corner! The new spear started opening today so my worries are over for now. The poor thing was probably being smothered after pulling itself down into the soil nearly two inches. Besides getting air to its base, I gave it a small amount of acid azalea food last month and I've been watering it with distilled water on in-between days of automatic sprinklers. It's light green leaves are getting deeper green. I'll post a picture a little later this summer to show the contrast. Hopefully it will be very noticeable. Yoo hoo!

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Ben in Norcal

Glad to hear it Jim - fingers crossed

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Jim in Los Altos

Glad to hear it Jim - fingers crossed

Thanks, Ben. If I can just help this thing to "bulk up" a bit more I think it will be fine. I was ready to give up on it but I'm excited that it's pulling through its little slump.

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