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Alcibiades

Seedlings and fertilizer

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Alcibiades

When do you start fertilizing your seedlings? Some say that you have to wait for the palm to repell the seed. I usually start fertilizing my seedlings when the second leaf emerges. I use a highly dilluted fertilizer though (1/4) . Is there a general rule of thumb?

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Hamal

Hey Jakob,

I usually start fertilizing very early, especially because I observed that remote germinators often lose the seed even before the eophyll is built. If the substrate provides a lot of drainage, I noticed that even very small palms, which are still attached to the seed, are not bothered by fertilizer and actually benefit from a little bit of feeding that would otherwise kill them quickly.

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Alcibiades

Hi Frank,

Latania seeds are a good example. They loose the seeds very early. I even threw away some of my seedlings because i thought they were dead already in my first try. :)

My cocos nucifera on the other hand still has not repelled the coconut after 3,5 years and everybody told me to not fertilize the palm before this happens.

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Turtile

Palms generally don't have much problem with salts.  However, you should be using slow release fertilizer which has a much smaller chance of causing problems and is much better in terms of efficiency and plant health.

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Phoenikakias

It has occured to me often that a depleted seed remains still attached to seedling. As a thumb rule I think that after 3 leaves one could fertilize plants. Of course very much depends on size of pot and kind of medium used. 

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Mohsen

should we use liquid fertilizer or slow release ?

I bought 3 different type but not sure which one is more suitable to seedlings ?

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Alcibiades
33 minutes ago, Mohsen said:

should we use liquid fertilizer or slow release ?

I bought 3 different type but not sure which one is more suitable to seedlings ?

IMG_5064.JPG

IMG_5066.JPG

IMG_5069.JPG

I allways use liquid fertilizer for potted palms.

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Phoenikakias

Mo, they are all imo unsuitable. I read scotts and osmocote on the green and blue container, so I assume plausibly, due to the same form, that the fertilizer in the brown container is also osmocote and scotts. This is good but I miss entirely the duration of the fertilizer, which is variable and imo very crucial at least for a beginner.  I would begin with a long lasting fert of 6 or 9 months, so that I do not kill by mistake through overdose my plants. Of course much depends also on the quality of water you use for irrigation and frequency/season  of rainfall (if your  pots remain outdoors). Blue container is very low in potassium, green container is too rich in nitrogen, brown container seems more balanced but not even close to ideal. I would prefer even lower nitrogen. Further in all three instances percentage of magnesium is very low compared to potassium, though you can correct it by adding some kieserite. All in all, if my freedom of choice were restricted to those those three options, I would use the brown container but I would be also very careful if not restrained in the applied amount  because of the high nitrogen percentage. And the shorter the duration the bigger would be my reservation.  

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Hamal

Konstantinos, I completely agree with on Mo's fertilizers. Ideally, palm fertilizer contains a ratio of 3:1:3:1 (N-P-K-Mg) and essential trace elements. They are hard to find, usually Mg is too low for palms.

My fertilizer has a ratio of 16:8:22:3, but I add epsom salt (probably the same as kieserite, in German it is called Bittersalz), so the total ratio is 16:8:22:7 plus essential trace elements. In March and June (during the growth season), I sprinkle an organic (slow-release) N fertilizer on top of the substrate of my potted palms. Works nicely, but for the seedlings I leave out the organic N fertilizer and dilute the standard fertilizer.

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knell

I have never, ever seen a slow release fertilizer designed for palms that didn't explicitly say "do not use on potted plants".

And yet a few people here and in the Betrock guides say to use a substantial amount in their potting mixes (other than that it is very similar to Pal's ingredients).

Can someone tell me of one available in California? Thats why I gave up and started mixing and diluting liquids.

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