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RaychHasDatePalms

Dramatic Cocos Is Dramatic

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RaychHasDatePalms

We went from browning and whithering due to overwatering to, suddenly, an overnight drastic change to browning and whithering due to under-watering. I tried to make the soil drain easily with cactus soil mixed with lava rock, gave it a bigger pot, and have a grow light on it maybe 12 hours a day or so. It’s in the warmest spot in the house and I have a spray bottle to counteract the current lack of humidity. Then all this. Any thoughts? 

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Rickybobby

This has happened for me due to the roots not absorbing water anymore. 

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Rickybobby

For me anyway once the palm has had a root rot in some way. It just seems to keep going no matter what I do. The problems of indoor pot life I guess 

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kinzyjr

I've noticed that they are difficult to save once they start to decline.  I had a Jamaican Tall a few years ago that stood next to my Malayan Dwarf.  It went into decline because I had to dig really close to it in order to work on an intake line for my pool pump.  I probably only nicked a few roots with my shovel, but that was enough to kill it.  It sucked because it was one of the most beautiful palms I had, but as @Rickybobby said, root issues = big issues for these.

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NOT A TA

Be cautious making assumptions based on observations that would "appear" to have been the cause of symptoms. I flood Cocos in growers pots (outdoor in S FL) regularly intentionally and accidentally as well as create temporary drought conditions (oops forgot to water!).  Yesterday was a perfect example. I get home from work and water all the plants in growers pots. An hour later an unexpected storm comes in and it pours. So all the potted plants are flooded, they'll be fine. Cocos are found growing well outdoors in areas that get flooded often. They establish naturally and thrive in those locations.  Short term drought is a part of life for Coco seedlings and juveniles also. The long duration of Coco seedlings living off the nutrients in the nut while the root system establishes is probably natures way of helping seedlings establish even during temporary droughts which developed over (millions?) of years of evolution. See example below.

Once a leaf area has browned it isn't going to repair itself, so you kind of have to ignore areas of previous damage and watch newer growth. The damaged area will look worse and worse till the leaf drops of old age. Even here in the sub tropical land of Palm heaven the Cocos look kinda crappy by spring. I'm waiting now for the mature cocos I have to pull the nutrients out of the oldest leaves so I can cut them off. They're brown/yellow and wind burned. Peer pressure from neighbors may entice me to cut them before the palm gods would like me to.

I'm tempted to start a couple Coconuts and see if I can grow them indoor here in paradise. I can try some things that are somewhat different challenges than what you folks up North contend with such as being in an AC dehumidified area vs non AC with outdoor humidity level. Kinda funny that I lived up North most of my life and grew lots of potted plants (including Palms) indoor with some going outside for summers while here in FL I don't have any indoor plants at all, time to experiment I guess.

Raych, you only need the lava rock as a layer on the very bottom of the pot to promote good drainage. Having the stones mixed in the soil and on top doesn't do anything except reduce the growing media volume available in the root zone. As I mentioned previously in the other thread the air at floor level is cold compared to the height a wall thermostat is placed at, and the convective air  current that the heater duct creates pulls the coldest air in that hall around the pot. If doors are open it will also pull the coldest air from those rooms. Meanwhile at the same time evaporation from the soil surface due to the air current cools the pot and soil even lower than the temp of the air flowing around/over it. It's similar to standing in front of a fan when your sweaty. The idea has been mentioned here on PT in other threads that root/soil temp may have an effect on water/nutrient uptake by the root system of Cocos and they may not like cold feet or cold wet feet. Since it isn't something you can see or feel easily it may not seem to be an obvious factor compared with water & humidity.

I took these pics a while back. Since the pics were taken all of the weeds in the area turned brown and died from lack of water during our winter dry spell, yet the Palms are obvious green shoots as I drive by regularly. Having survived long enough on the nuts to establish with no help at all in lousy conditions although they look a bit pale. The little guy surely lived only on the nut during this past winters dry spell and will be ready for our rainy season. I've been trying to decide if I want to "save" them as the area was once a nursery and the land was sold off so I expect equipment to arrive and the area get dug up to construct new buildings or homes fairly soon. The builders wouldn't think twice about killing these Cocos. They may be a desirable variety as the coconuts they grew from were left in a pile of rubble when the grower moved out but the excavators won't care either way.

20190125_123017_zps1k15bxcz.jpg

20190125_123035_zpskqoubc7d.jpg

 

Edited by NOT A TA

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Rickybobby
6 hours ago, RaychHasDatePalms said:

We went from browning and whithering due to overwatering to, suddenly, an overnight drastic change to browning and whithering due to under-watering. I tried to make the soil drain easily with cactus soil mixed with lava rock, gave it a bigger pot, and have a grow light on it maybe 12 hours a day or so. It’s in the warmest spot in the house and I have a spray bottle to counteract the current lack of humidity. Then all this. Any thoughts? 

Coconuts a lot of fun and a. If learning curve. The best thing is it’s fun to start over and experiment until you get it right. I check my sowing coconuts today. (About a month) and here we grow again! It’s not the end of the world. Just start from scratch and try again !

3E323E71-4821-4E39-80C8-3E8203DA4598.jpeg

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Rickybobby

I’m trying to. Get my crap together on making a video on germinating these in a northern climate 

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Rickybobby
1 hour ago, NOT A TA said:

Be cautious making assumptions based on observations that would "appear" to have been the cause of symptoms. I flood Cocos in growers pots (outdoor in S FL) regularly intentionally and accidentally as well as create temporary drought conditions (oops forgot to water!).  Yesterday was a perfect example. I get home from work and water all the plants in growers pots. An hour later an unexpected storm comes in and it pours. So all the potted plants are flooded, they'll be fine. Cocos are found growing well outdoors in areas that get flooded often. They establish naturally and thrive in those locations.  Short term drought is a part of life for Coco seedlings and juveniles also. The long duration of Coco seedlings living off the nutrients in the nut while the root system establishes is probably natures way of helping seedlings establish even during temporary droughts which developed over (millions?) of years of evolution. See example below.

Once a leaf area has browned it isn't going to repair itself, so you kind of have to ignore areas of previous damage and watch newer growth. The damaged area will look worse and worse till the leaf drops of old age. Even here in the sub tropical land of Palm heaven the Cocos look kinda crappy by spring. I'm waiting now for the mature cocos I have to pull the nutrients out of the oldest leaves so I can cut them off. They're brown/yellow and wind burned. Peer pressure from neighbors may entice me to cut them before the palm gods would like me to.

I'm tempted to start a couple Coconuts and see if I can grow them indoor here in paradise. I can try some things that are somewhat different challenges than what you folks up North contend with such as being in an AC dehumidified area vs non AC with outdoor humidity level. Kinda funny that I lived up North most of my life and grew lots of potted plants (including Palms) indoor with some going outside for summers while here in FL I don't have any indoor plants at all, time to experiment I guess.

Raych, you only need the lava rock as a layer on the very bottom of the pot to promote good drainage. Having the stones mixed in the soil and on top doesn't do anything except reduce the growing media volume available in the root zone. As I mentioned previously in the other thread the air at floor level is cold compared to the height a wall thermostat is placed at, and the convective air  current that the heater duct creates pulls the coldest air in that hall around the pot. If doors are open it will also pull the coldest air from those rooms. Meanwhile at the same time evaporation from the soil surface due to the air current cools the pot and soil even lower than the temp of the air flowing around/over it. It's similar to standing in front of a fan when your sweaty. The idea has been mentioned here on PT in other threads that root/soil temp may have an effect on water/nutrient uptake by the root system of Cocos and they may not like cold feet or cold wet feet. Since it isn't something you can see or feel easily it may not seem to be an obvious factor compared with water & humidity.

I took these pics a while back. Since the pics were taken all of the weeds in the area turned brown and died from lack of water during our winter dry spell, yet the Palms are obvious green shoots as I drive by regularly. Having survived long enough on the nuts to establish with no help at all in lousy conditions although they look a bit pale. The little guy surely lived only on the nut during this past winters dry spell and will be ready for our rainy season. I've been trying to decide if I want to "save" them as the area was once a nursery and the land was sold off so I expect equipment to arrive and the area get dug up to construct new buildings or homes fairly soon. The builders wouldn't think twice about killing these Cocos. They may be a desirable variety as the coconuts they grew from were left in a pile of rubble when the grower moved out but the excavators won't care either way.

20190125_123017_zps1k15bxcz.jpg

20190125_123035_zpskqoubc7d.jpg

 

It all makes sense but we don’t have humid subtropical winds to help with water uptake and evaporation. Once we water one indoors if mistakes are made it’s tough. I’m sure most of my palms would be doing amazing if I lived in Florida 

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PalmatierMeg

A coconut's Achilles' heel is cold and/or long term cool temps. If they have high heat and full sun they are very tough palms. The high heat and high light issue are the biggest obstacles to growing them in a colder climate. They need conservatory conditions and the closer you can get to achieving those, the easier time you will have. Unfortunately, those needs run counter to human wants, needs and expense accounts unless you are willing to make a huge commitment to growing them.

Consider this: I have the opposite problem if I want to grow cool-loving species like Dictyosperma, Hedyscepe and, of course, my unobtainable dream palm Lepidorrhachis. I would need to establish a cool-weather conservatory that we could not live in while we go bankrupt ratcheting up the a/c. You might be able to establish heated greenhouse conditions if you have discretionary funds. I've pondered how I might establish an air conditioned greenhouse for my FL hating dream palms but decided the effort would be futile and impractical.

You have to keep thinking and experimenting creatively. Fortunately, coconuts are fairly easy to come by.

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RaychHasDatePalms
11 hours ago, Rickybobby said:

For me anyway once the palm has had a root rot in some way. It just seems to keep going no matter what I do. The problems of indoor pot life I guess 

Oh no!!!!!! But I chopped that root completely off!!!! Do you think it had already gotten into the entire plant???? :badday:

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RaychHasDatePalms
7 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

Be cautious making assumptions based on observations that would "appear" to have been the cause of symptoms. I flood Cocos in growers pots (outdoor in S FL) regularly intentionally and accidentally as well as create temporary drought conditions (oops forgot to water!).  Yesterday was a perfect example. I get home from work and water all the plants in growers pots. An hour later an unexpected storm comes in and it pours. So all the potted plants are flooded, they'll be fine. Cocos are found growing well outdoors in areas that get flooded often. They establish naturally and thrive in those locations.  Short term drought is a part of life for Coco seedlings and juveniles also. The long duration of Coco seedlings living off the nutrients in the nut while the root system establishes is probably natures way of helping seedlings establish even during temporary droughts which developed over (millions?) of years of evolution. See example below.

Once a leaf area has browned it isn't going to repair itself, so you kind of have to ignore areas of previous damage and watch newer growth. The damaged area will look worse and worse till the leaf drops of old age. Even here in the sub tropical land of Palm heaven the Cocos look kinda crappy by spring. I'm waiting now for the mature cocos I have to pull the nutrients out of the oldest leaves so I can cut them off. They're brown/yellow and wind burned. Peer pressure from neighbors may entice me to cut them before the palm gods would like me to.

I'm tempted to start a couple Coconuts and see if I can grow them indoor here in paradise. I can try some things that are somewhat different challenges than what you folks up North contend with such as being in an AC dehumidified area vs non AC with outdoor humidity level. Kinda funny that I lived up North most of my life and grew lots of potted plants (including Palms) indoor with some going outside for summers while here in FL I don't have any indoor plants at all, time to experiment I guess.

Raych, you only need the lava rock as a layer on the very bottom of the pot to promote good drainage. Having the stones mixed in the soil and on top doesn't do anything except reduce the growing media volume available in the root zone. As I mentioned previously in the other thread the air at floor level is cold compared to the height a wall thermostat is placed at, and the convective air  current that the heater duct creates pulls the coldest air in that hall around the pot. If doors are open it will also pull the coldest air from those rooms. Meanwhile at the same time evaporation from the soil surface due to the air current cools the pot and soil even lower than the temp of the air flowing around/over it. It's similar to standing in front of a fan when your sweaty. The idea has been mentioned here on PT in other threads that root/soil temp may have an effect on water/nutrient uptake by the root system of Cocos and they may not like cold feet or cold wet feet. Since it isn't something you can see or feel easily it may not seem to be an obvious factor compared with water & humidity.

I took these pics a while back. Since the pics were taken all of the weeds in the area turned brown and died from lack of water during our winter dry spell, yet the Palms are obvious green shoots as I drive by regularly. Having survived long enough on the nuts to establish with no help at all in lousy conditions although they look a bit pale. The little guy surely lived only on the nut during this past winters dry spell and will be ready for our rainy season. I've been trying to decide if I want to "save" them as the area was once a nursery and the land was sold off so I expect equipment to arrive and the area get dug up to construct new buildings or homes fairly soon. The builders wouldn't think twice about killing these Cocos. They may be a desirable variety as the coconuts they grew from were left in a pile of rubble when the grower moved out but the excavators won't care either way.

20190125_123017_zps1k15bxcz.jpg

20190125_123035_zpskqoubc7d.jpg

 

Ugh. Send me one! :P :w00t:

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RaychHasDatePalms
2 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

A coconut's Achilles' heel is cold and/or long term cool temps. If they have high heat and full sun they are very tough palms. The high heat and high light issue are the biggest obstacles to growing them in a colder climate. They need conservatory conditions and the closer you can get to achieving those, the easier time you will have. Unfortunately, those needs run counter to human wants, needs and expense accounts unless you are willing to make a huge commitment to growing them.

Consider this: I have the opposite problem if I want to grow cool-loving species like Dictyosperma, Hedyscepe and, of course, my unobtainable dream palm Lepidorrhachis. I would need to establish a cool-weather conservatory that we could not live in while we go bankrupt ratcheting up the a/c. You might be able to establish heated greenhouse conditions if you have discretionary funds. I've pondered how I might establish an air conditioned greenhouse for my FL hating dream palms but decided the effort would be futile and impractical.

You have to keep thinking and experimenting creatively. Fortunately, coconuts are fairly easy to come by.

Actually, believe it or not, greenhouse conditions are my favorite conditions! I was just telling my fiance about the conversation we are having here and he said that once we get a place that's not a crap rental, we can make a small greenhouse for just this purpose. :) I will say, the one thing I truly miss about our previous rental is that it was a third floor apartment with heat paid by the complex, so everyone cranked it up and we had the PERFECT conditions for palms! If this one doesn't last long enough to make it into actual sunshine,  I'll probably stick to my date palms till we get some sort of more official greenhouse set up. 

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RaychHasDatePalms

UPDATE: So in my last-ditch effort to save this tree, after going through a totally depressed week where I assumed it was doomed anyway, I switched it up and added the heating pad, more constant humidity, and another good watering. (I figured it was going to die anyway, so I might as well experiment.) Of course the leaves still look dried up--that obviously isn't going to change--but I noticed before that the stem all the way down to the coconut husk was mushy. Since adding the heating pad etc., the dirt has been drying much more quickly, so I've been working to keep the dirt moist and monitoring it in other ways. I noticed a day or so ago that the base of the stem is no longer mushy! (Knock on wood!) It seems to have firmed up, and there are still at least two leaf bases that seem nice, firm, and green. It also seems as though those bits are being protected and "cut off," so to speak, from the completely dried up parts of the leaves, as though to reserve the moisture and nutrients. I still have no idea if this tree will pull through or not, but at least now it seems to not be suffering as much! 

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Rickybobby
4 minutes ago, RaychHasDatePalms said:

UPDATE: So in my last-ditch effort to save this tree, after going through a totally depressed week where I assumed it was doomed anyway, I switched it up and added the heating pad, more constant humidity, and another good watering. (I figured it was going to die anyway, so I might as well experiment.) Of course the leaves still look dried up--that obviously isn't going to change--but I noticed before that the stem all the way down to the coconut husk was mushy. Since adding the heating pad etc., the dirt has been drying much more quickly, so I've been working to keep the dirt moist and monitoring it in other ways. I noticed a day or so ago that the base of the stem is no longer mushy! (Knock on wood!) It seems to have firmed up, and there are still at least two leaf bases that seem nice, firm, and green. It also seems as though those bits are being protected and "cut off," so to speak, from the completely dried up parts of the leaves, as though to reserve the moisture and nutrients. I still have no idea if this tree will pull through or not, but at least now it seems to not be suffering as much! 

In the mean time why don’t you try germinating a store bought?

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RaychHasDatePalms
On 3/17/2019 at 1:52 PM, NOT A TA said:

I've been trying to decide if I want to "save" them as the area was once a nursery and the land was sold off so I expect equipment to arrive and the area get dug up to construct new buildings or homes fairly soon. The builders wouldn't think twice about killing these Cocos. They may be a desirable variety as the coconuts they grew from were left in a pile of rubble when the grower moved out but the excavators won't care either way.

 

 

 

I say do it! You never know, and like you said, they surely won't care. If you decide you don't need or want them, you know fully well that someone on this forum will gladly take them off your hands! ;)

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RaychHasDatePalms
Just now, Rickybobby said:

In the mean time why don’t you try germinating a store bought?

I've considered it. Right now I'm working on germinating a handful of date seeds, and I also started some basil from what turned out to be REALLY crap seeds. Those are supposed to be easy and they're acting up for me, so I really am not sure if I want to add something as finicky as that when I already have a poor cocos doing its best over here. ;) If this one doesn't limp along till it warms up and then heal over the summer, I've considered other varieties of tropical palms for next winter... something that might be slightly harder to kill? I am kind of obsessed with the idea of a dwarf betel nut, although those are probably impossible to find around here. 

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Rickybobby
6 minutes ago, RaychHasDatePalms said:

I've considered it. Right now I'm working on germinating a handful of date seeds, and I also started some basil from what turned out to be REALLY crap seeds. Those are supposed to be easy and they're acting up for me, so I really am not sure if I want to add something as finicky as that when I already have a poor cocos doing its best over here. ;) If this one doesn't limp along till it warms up and then heal over the summer, I've considered other varieties of tropical palms for next winter... something that might be slightly harder to kill? I am kind of obsessed with the idea of a dwarf betel nut, although those are probably impossible to find around here. 

What’s a great palm for us is Phoenix roebellini for me doesn’t mind being a tad wet. So my watering ocd hasn’t hurt it. Foxtails good too and also saw palmetto.

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RaychHasDatePalms
1 hour ago, Rickybobby said:

What’s a great palm for us is Phoenix roebellini for me doesn’t mind being a tad wet. So my watering ocd hasn’t hurt it. Foxtails good too and also saw palmetto.

I would love a pygmy date, too! And I liked the idea of a foxtail, but from what I read, it seemed like it wouldn't like trying to overwinter. Maybe that was incorrect! 

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Rickybobby

Since I seem to over care for my palms with too much water and love. It’s good to know what’s bullet proof and as you. Can see this is one of my foxtails. Trust me. All 3 look the same as this guy. Never really seen out doors or hot hot temps. Just consistent 70s indoors with grow lights and I don’t water them until they really do start to dry and as you can see. This guy is in perfect health!

473E1253-3143-49C4-9D3B-49A2F0703477.jpeg

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Rickybobby
On 3/21/2019 at 10:16 PM, RaychHasDatePalms said:

I would love a pygmy date, too! And I liked the idea of a foxtail, but from what I read, it seemed like it wouldn't like trying to overwinter. Maybe that was incorrect! 

Hey raych so we think we over water our cocos too much. This drives me nuts!

this whole swamp here has coconuts completely submerged under water. Doing prettt decent and they are mostly in shade!

956636CF-8072-48D0-B1EB-5C7EE7DC68A4.jpeg

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RaychHasDatePalms
On 4/4/2019 at 9:03 PM, Rickybobby said:

Hey raych so we think we over water our cocos too much. This drives me nuts!

this whole swamp here has coconuts completely submerged under water. Doing prettt decent and they are mostly in shade!

956636CF-8072-48D0-B1EB-5C7EE7DC68A4.jpeg

HAH oh of COURSE!!! 

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