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MesquiteRetreat

How much water is too much for a Royal Palm?

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MesquiteRetreat

We moved to Deep South Texas about two years ago from Zone 4 and are new to palms. We’ve planted several Foxtails, Pygmy Dates, Queens, different Fans, etc, and all are doing great. However, we also planted three Royal Palms that are causing great concern. In fact, we have already replaced one, and the other two have very few fronds and do not seem to grow. When a new frond does finally appear, it is stunted and shorter than their counterparts. The sheaths do not shed, either. They are about 15' tall and were originally planted over a year ago. They are in full sun (Zone 9B) and we are fertilizing every four months with a palm fertilizer (but not when first planted). The soil is surprising nice with little clay. Since they had brown frond tips, we upped the water...several times. They are on timed, drip irrigation. I’ve read that Royals are “water hogs” and “may do better is clay soils”. But how much water is too much? They each get about 15 gallons 2x week. Is this enough water? Too much water? Hope the pictures help. Thank you.

DSCN2993.jpg

DSCN2996.jpg

DSCN2994.jpg

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oliver

Welcome to the forum! Guess you only live about 10 miles from me. Not sure why you are having trouble with the royals. They grow like weeds in this area. Where did you get them? They might be getting sunburn? If they came from a Florida nursery where there are more clouds and rain. Mine get water through the water table which is quite salty, so that should not be an issue. I doubt that you can over water them. Maybe cut back on fertilizer until they are more established. And make sure that they are not planted too close to something that might get damaged by falling fronds. They will likely get really big, really soon!

Oliver

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Cindy Adair

I too would think too much water is unlikely as they grow really well even in the rainiest parts of Puerto Rico. However I have no experience with starting with any palms that large. Hope some others here can help as they are lovely palms.

Welcome to PalmTalk where many friendly knowledgeable people have answered so many of my questions over many years now. Sounds like you have a nice collection and know the basics already.

 

Congratulations for escaping the bitter cold of zone 4!

 

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Umbrae

If overwatered in my experience they will swell up and get small cracks in the base of the trunk

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Umbrae

If overwatered in my experience they will swell up and get small cracks in the base of the trunk. I think what you are seeing is wind damage and a little bit of transplant shock.

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greysrigging

There are Royals in Darwin that are in damp soil 24/7 ( my own as I pour the water on during our 'dry' season ) Unless in damp soggy clay I cant imagine too much water is an issue unless it occurs during an extended cold winter spell. They are a tough resilient species that tolerate the odd mild frost here in Australia and thrive on heat.

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MesquiteRetreat

Thanks so much to everyone for responding...that was great! Oliver, the Royals came from Tree of Life in San Benito, but they get their stock from Florida. We buy a lot from them and love their stock. Some time ago we had one of their experts come out to our home and he suggested we increase the water, which we did, but the palms are still "not happy". Because of all this wonderful feedback from Palmtalk, we’ll add another loop of drip to each Royal. Thanks, again, everyone!

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GMann

Their natural habitat is along river banks in the tropical Caribbean. So the roots probably like a lot of water.

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Umbrae

Dont forget slow release fertilizer ... 

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Monòver

Never is too much water for Roystoneas.

May be your problem is transplant shock os not enough water or the near trees( ¿peppertrees?) are drinking the water or the rootball has peat moss  and the peatmoss after to be bonedry, is hydrophobic.

I don't know. But Roystoneas are strong palms and recover fast.

Mine after a few problems was worst than yours and now, after 18 months was like a monster.

May 2015 and October 2016IMG_20150518_200703618_HDR.thumb.jpg.b8eIMG_20161022_104238591.thumb.jpg.5703c56

 

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DoomsDave

More water is better. For Roystoneas.

Other palms may be different, feel free to ask.

We live to serve palm nuts in their nutty nuttiness.

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Zeeth

This is how they grow in habitat (and the picture was taken during the dry season). I'm pretty sure you can't over-water them.

IMG_5156.JPG

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DoomsDave

Sue, give the Roystoneas lots of room. Like steroidal bulls in an ultra-fragile china shop. They get fat. As in almost 3 feet (1 M) across.

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PalmTreeDude
1 hour ago, Zeeth said:

This is how they grow in habitat (and the picture was taken during the dry season). I'm pretty sure you can't over-water them.

IMG_5156.JPG

From Florida habitat?

Edited by PalmTreeDude

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Keith in SoJax
On 5/24/2017, 3:21:23, MesquiteRetreat said:

We moved to Deep South Texas about two years ago from Zone 4 and are new to palms. We’ve planted several Foxtails, Pygmy Dates, Queens, different Fans, etc, and all are doing great. However, we also planted three Royal Palms that are causing great concern. In fact, we have already replaced one, and the other two have very few fronds and do not seem to grow. When a new frond does finally appear, it is stunted and shorter than their counterparts. The sheaths do not shed, either. They are about 15' tall and were originally planted over a year ago. They are in full sun (Zone 9B) and we are fertilizing every four months with a palm fertilizer (but not when first planted). The soil is surprising nice with little clay. Since they had brown frond tips, we upped the water...several times. They are on timed, drip irrigation. I’ve read that Royals are “water hogs” and “may do better is clay soils”. But how much water is too much? They each get about 15 gallons 2x week. Is this enough water? Too much water? Hope the pictures help. Thank you.

DSCN2993.jpg

DSCN2996.jpg

DSCN2994.jpg

Here's my $0.02, they were terribly potbound which stunted them.  I've seen them like that here in FL before, many times.  Probably would have helped to score the root ball with a saw before planting.  It'll be a while before they outgrow the condition, IMO.  Oh, and they may very well show symptoms of drought despite good watering.  Thats because the potting soil where 99% of the roots are located dries out really fast.  Royals recover from having roots severed very quickly, but root bound recovery is slow.  Be very mindful to keep enough water on them until they put out new roots.  Direct the water towards the the potting soil where the roots are located.  

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Zeeth
5 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

From Florida habitat?

Yes, the Fakahatchee.

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DoomsDave

Royals get big.

From LaHabraHatchee

IMG_2510.thumb.JPG.55660a375e3cbb87c0ee3

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MesquiteRetreat

Keith, in fact, they were really large palms in amazingly small pots. But as we have explored more and more nurseries here in the Valley, we have discovered that same scenario was common with all palms. All our palms were planted by Tree of Life in the same manner (size of hole, soil amendments, etc.), but I do not remember them scoring any of them. Soooo, that is a very interesting thought.

Wow, Zeeth, guess I’m safe with another loop of drip, huh?!

Cindy, as for Zone 4, if I never walk on crunchy snow or drive on black ice again, I’ll be a happy gal!

To all, thanks again for all the input. This forum is great! We love the majestic look of the Royals, and lots of our neighbors have them, so we are hoping ours will get past this stage soon! 

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DoomsDave
10 hours ago, DoomsDave said:

Royals get big.

From LaHabraHatchee

IMG_2510.thumb.JPG.55660a375e3cbb87c0ee3

That's Butch, in the failing light of a late spring evening.

The trunk is about 21/2 or 3 feet across the base. Total height about 35-40 feet (12 - 14 M)

The leaves weigh about 50 pounds each when they fall; now that the palm is getting big, they're starting to fall hard.

DON'T for the love of You Know Who, plant something like this next to a road, driveway, patio or boat dock. Or anyplace where someone or something might get brained by those leaves.

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MesquiteRetreat

My hubby reminded me that we had taken photos when Tree of Life replaced the Royal. Does this give anyone any clues? My apologies for not posting these pics sooner...had forgotten all about them.

DSCN2185.JPG

DSCN2182.JPG

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PalmTreeDude
22 hours ago, Zeeth said:

Yes, the Fakahatchee.

Nice.

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