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sashaeffer

Howea belmoreana indoors/potted

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sashaeffer

Love these palms but have the worst luck with them as well as it's cousin the Kentia palm

 

Curious if anyone here has kept a Belmoreana indoors with success and what care as far as watering culture yours had.

 

One of the fronds of this one has slowly started to turn brown starting from the tip and working it's way back. Frond doesn't feel "dry" Palm hasn't been misted and it's in the pot and soil it grew up in, I only painted it. When inside for the winter, it's been sitting in front or close to a east facing window with little direct light, but some. As you can see the newest frond is nice and green and it's pushing a main new spear with another one right behind it.

 

 

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John Case

Both of these palms enjoy/thrive in high humidity environments....much higher than the normal home interior provides.....they only thing I might offer is to put them on a bed of pebbles in a tray as large as the drip line, fill it with water and hope for the best....

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Pal Meir

I can only guess: You should water it regularly (daily?) with a lot of water, but don’t leave any water in the saucer/pot. And I would place it in a sunnier site. In the past I never had any problems with Howeas concerning dry air indoors, even during winter in rooms with central heating.

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sashaeffer
6 minutes ago, Pal Meir said:

I can only guess: You should water it regularly (daily?) with a lot of water, but don’t leave any water in the saucer/pot. And I would place it in a sunnier site. In the past I never had any problems with Howeas concerning dry air indoors, even during winter in rooms with central heating.

I can keep indoor humidity around 55% no problem. I've tended to keep Kentia's and Belmoreana's on the dry side as per well documented care found on the net. In the past the one thing that killed them right away was when I misted them (using R/O water or rain water) the discoloration and death was rapid after misting them. In the case of my first Belmoreana from Jungle Music Phil said NEVER mist this species.  Although when outside this past summer we got a lot of rain and often and it did fine.

 

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Pal Meir

Never mist them (palms are no ferns), give them a shower instead! The indoor humidity is no problem in most cases, the watering, the soil mix, and the lack of light cause much more problems.

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PalmatierMeg

I don't know much about RO water, but does it involve using salts and/or similar chemical treatments? If not, disregard my post. If so, those salts/chemicals may be causing problems. I am no palm expert but I am troubled by the appearance of that brown leaf. If palm were smaller I'd wonder about damping off. How long has palm been in that potting mix? Does it drain really well?

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Hammer

RO water is stripped of chemicals as it is run through a membrane.  Salts, metals, chemicals and virtually all dissolved solids are removed.

Scott, that looks like some sort of rot.  Either in the roots or in the base somewhere.   I am fairly concerned for this palm.

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sashaeffer
9 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

I don't know much about RO water, but does it involve using salts and/or similar chemical treatments? If not, disregard my post. If so, those salts/chemicals may be causing problems. I am no palm expert but I am troubled by the appearance of that brown leaf. If palm were smaller I'd wonder about damping off. How long has palm been in that potting mix? Does it drain really well?

Meg, that palm was bought in that pot so palm grew in that (southern California)

I have contacted my soft water provider and was assured there are NO salts in RO water. I have bought a water meter which doesn't test for salt content but purity. Rain water is at 11ppm  RO water around 25 ppm and tap(I'm on a well but water filtered before entering the house) and it's at the high 300's ppm

One thing I've discovered about Kentia type palms is that they don't like to be watered too often or be too wet when inside.

 

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Phoenikakias

Have you used any kind of fertiizer or soil additive and which one?

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Pal Meir

What was your way of watering? Did you water from above, from below, by dipping? Water you always only a little bit, or give you a lot of water? What do you do with the excess water if any? Leave you it in the pot?

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sashaeffer
1 hour ago, Phoenikakias said:

Have you used any kind of fertiizer or soil additive and which one?

 

1 hour ago, Phoenikakias said:

Have you used any kind of fertiizer or soil additive and which one?

No, none.

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sashaeffer
19 minutes ago, Pal Meir said:

What was your way of watering? Did you water from above, from below, by dipping? Water you always only a little bit, or give you a lot of water? What do you do with the excess water if any? Leave you it in the pot?

I use a water meter to gauge soil moisture, usually keeping this species more on the dry side. That being said I water from the top. Any potted palm I have that can fit in the sink or tub get watered there on a pot ring so container doesn't sit flush on the surface so any excess water can drain away. Larger palms are on plant trays and if water flows through soil into the tray then I empty tray.

I have a Bizzy that is overwintering inside and it's in a deep enough try that I just add water to the tray and let the roots at the bottom of the pot suck up the water....which they do rapidly.

 

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Pal Meir

I guess you have let it dry out. – Here a pic of a Howea, also in a small pot like yours, only 12x12cm, regularly watered with a lot of soft water:

56abc2a38afd9_Howea2011-06-16IMG_6337.th

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sashaeffer

Beautiful palm! and looks like it's in perfect soil as well.

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Pal Meir

That palm did not survive the extreme thunderstorm »Ela« in parts of NRW/Germany on 2014-06-09. :( At that time it was much bigger and planted in a 28x28cm ≈ 4gal container. The soil was my standard mix for palms growing on rocky slopes.

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PalmatierMeg

Coming full circle, you don't know how long it's been in that potting mix. I'm not aiming for a quarrel with some nursery owner, but my experience when I visited every nursery in FL is that someone sticks a palm in a pot, tosses it into a lineup, then doesn't touch it again until it is sold, except to toss in some slow release fertilizer or irrigate as necessary (drip in Cali), hoses in FL. I've bought palms that have sat in the same 1- or 3-g pot for years. An observation not criticism. Potting mixes have limited lifespans. Potting up nursery stock destined for buyers takes time, labor and materials that most nurseries can't spare and employees never volunteer for the benefit of the palms. Over 90% of the time when I buy or receive a potted palm, ASAP I mix fresh potting mix and a newer/larger pot and rehouse my acquisition. Because it is my palm and my responsibility now and I aim to do right by it. I know no one else will.

I don't want to insist you do something because I say so. Then if your palm still dies you may feel I had something to do with that. But I can't tell from your photos whether your palm is sitting in fresh mix (not just topped off by you) or a pot of broken down muck that perpetrates rot. Howeas aren't known to be terribly root sensitive, so if I owned your palm I would unpot it, shake off as much soil as you can (have fresh well-draining mix ready). Inspect roots and stem carefully. Healthy roots are white, rotten ones brown or black. Trim away rotten areas and wash off old soil if rot is extensive. Is the stem still sturdy or does it have soft spots (rot)? Is the coming spear firm or loose and ready to pull? Are the leaves browning down through the petiole?  Cut off dead and dying leaves. After you do all that douse the growing point with hydrogen peroxide.

After all that, give palm fresh mix and newer pot. Water very sparingly and keep it on the drier side while it adjusts. Do not fertilize until spring.

 

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sashaeffer
12 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Coming full circle, you don't know how long it's been in that potting mix. I'm not aiming for a quarrel with some nursery owner, but my experience when I visited every nursery in FL is that someone sticks a palm in a pot, tosses it into a lineup, then doesn't touch it again until it is sold, except to toss in some slow release fertilizer or irrigate as necessary (drip in Cali), hoses in FL. I've bought palms that have sat in the same 1- or 3-g pot for years. An observation not criticism. Potting mixes have limited lifespans. Potting up nursery stock destined for buyers takes time, labor and materials that most nurseries can't spare and employees never volunteer for the benefit of the palms. Over 90% of the time when I buy or receive a potted palm, ASAP I mix fresh potting mix and a newer/larger pot and rehouse my acquisition. Because it is my palm and my responsibility now and I aim to do right by it. I know no one else will.

I don't want to insist you do something because I say so. Then if your palm still dies you may feel I had something to do with that. But I can't tell from your photos whether your palm is sitting in fresh mix (not just topped off by you) or a pot of broken down muck that perpetrates rot. Howeas aren't known to be terribly root sensitive, so if I owned your palm I would unpot it, shake off as much soil as you can (have fresh well-draining mix ready). Inspect roots and stem carefully. Healthy roots are white, rotten ones brown or black. Trim away rotten areas and wash off old soil if rot is extensive. Is the stem still sturdy or does it have soft spots (rot)? Is the coming spear firm or loose and ready to pull? Are the leaves browning down through the petiole?  Cut off dead and dying leaves. After you do all that douse the growing point with hydrogen peroxide.

After all that, give palm fresh mix and newer pot. Water very sparingly and keep it on the drier side while it adjusts. Do not fertilize until spring.

 

Palm came from well know grower in California. I bought several from him so know only it's been in this soil for a long time.

The only other thing I can think of is that a while back the palm got some spider mites. A small infestation, just at the joints where leaves join the stem. No visible damage to green fronds at that time. With the experience I've had with losing this species to misting and water on fronds this is the one palm that I didn't simply wash them off, instead I used a insecticide that I've used before(pre mixed) and ONLY sprayed the stem where the fronds joined it since that is the only areas I saw the webs, and again it wasn't bad. I can't sit here and remember if I only did the frond I noticed the webs on or the other one to. I moved the palm to a less warm and sunny area and haven't seen any sign of mites on it again.

I will say the frond turning dark, it isn't drying out at all like a old frond would do, and this damage always starts at the tip and works it's way back. As of now, the other frond on the palm is 100% fine and like I said has two spears pushing(one separating from the main)  I've found this species to be much faster growers than regular Kentia palm and have marked the spears to watch for visible growth, which while faster than kentia, isn't fast compared to other palms.

I like your advice on the soil swap and do have some on hand. I did read where Belmoreana don't like to be root bound like it's cousin but I don't think that is the problem based on palm size vs pot. I know the soil I have will be faster draining.

 

Appreciate the help, I love this species and can't easily buy a replacement.

 

 

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sashaeffer

Soil changed, so time will tell.

Observations: Palm wasn't close to being root bound so kept in same pot. Soil palm was in was very much sand based but not 100% sand. While moisture meter usually showed on the dry side the soil had a damp feel to it. I think sand is tricky to use that way when it comes to using a moisture gauge.

Anyway changed soil to a well draining mix that I keep on hand and took a couple of pictures of roots. Used fresh bottled water and watered down the soil, cut off frond that was browning.

Time will tell.

pic of roots.

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by sashaeffer
up load picture

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Pal Meir

My impression is: too little water in the past, but the old soil looks good to me. Good luck for the future!

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sashaeffer

Pal Meir,

that is the new soil you see.

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Pal Meir

I meant this soil:

 56aced4579e91_HoweaSoilDSCF9977.thumb.JP

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Josh-O

you can always water with a little fungicide for preventative measures.

I wouldn't worry Scott you have a green thumb!!:greenthumb:

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sashaeffer
4 hours ago, Josh-O said:

you can always water with a little fungicide for preventative measures.

I wouldn't worry Scott you have a green thumb!!:greenthumb:

lol, not good enough Josh. I've lost my fair share and started second guessing my hobby until I read posts here of other members MUCH more experienced than me and they loose palms.

 

Didn't know there was a fungicide that you could mix with water and use that way. Any brand you suggest?

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Josh-O

I use banrot fungicide for drenching.

I've also had VERY good luck with subdue fungicide. its very expensive but it goes a long way and a bottle will last you for ever

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rice

Hi there

I've got both Howea species here in pot

I've noticed the Belmoreana really needs fast draining soil, they hate wet feet or soil that stays too wet.

Apparently in their natural habitat the Belmoreana grows a little bit more upwards (compared to the more common Forsteriana) on volcanic soil which drains very fast.

Since I've altered the soil my biggest specimen grows very well indoors and needs quite a bit of water actually.

cheers

T

 

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sashaeffer

I have since repotted palm since all fronds turned brown and I cut off. Palm is still pushing a long spear with a smaller one that separated from it and is still alive inside in a bright area. While I had bought that palm potted so was still in soil it was used to, it could be it wasn't draining fast enough for the water I was giving it, although it spend all of last summer outside in dappled light and we received rain on a regular basis, sometimes long down pours and didn't affect palm. Since it was summer time I'm sure the metabolism of the palm was higher so could better stand the rain water. Soil palm is in now does drain a lot faster than previous but I will keep it more on the dry side now since it has no fronds to make food with. Trying to nurse it along until warmer weather is here to get it back outside. 

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