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Funkthulhu

Pot Size vs Palm Size & Growth

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Funkthulhu

It is springtime, and a man's fancy turns towards thoughts of repotting his container ranch...  

Let's be straight here, I'm in Nebraska, I have some "big" palm species creeping past the juvenile stage. . . and my ceilings are only 8 feet high right now.  Container Ranchers, how do you decide how big of a pot you will use for each of your species.  Assuming everything is deep enough for tap-roots and whatnot, does the pot size help or hinder the size of your palm?  In my most recent post I was talking about a potentially sick Veitchia, that little guy is getting a growth spurt right now.  Save for the freezing winters, if it were outside it has the potential to get freakin' huge.  I don't want it to be freakin' huge.  In fact, I'd like to keep it relatively unchanged for the foreseeable future.  They say a goldfish will grow to the size of its tank, but that's just hooey.  A goldfish keeps growing depending on how much food it gets and how long it lives, sometimes despite being too big for its tank.

I guess what I'm asking is this:  In your experience does a larger pot equal a larger palm?  Does a larger pot equal a faster growing palm?  And by reversal, does a smaller pot keep a palm smaller for longer?  

I don't want to end up with sickly stunted trees, but something that doesn't burst through the roof in a few years would be nice.  It means I get to enjoy my palms longer than I would normally in my apartment.  If that means I delay or even never increase the pot size for some of these species, I want to make sure I'm not doing them undue harm.

Cheers!

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Pal Meir

At least e.g. these two Lytos don’t mind their relatively small pots: :greenthumb:B)

770415665_N13012019-04-01P1050100.thumb.jpg.e0b06391efdd0367bed4c06861286eb3.jpg

1098598652_N14012019-02-14P1050052.thumb.jpg.255297010627df60f4b3a060e620dcaa.jpg

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Pal Meir

… or this Arenga, too:

446172372_Arengaengleriryukyuensis2008-06-12.thumb.jpg.ebb8bded2af765c0004c9747aee662d0.jpg

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Funkthulhu

Wow. . . okay, my pots are all way bigger than either of those.  And some are bigger than those ceramics as well.

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Pal Meir

These pots were also relatively small, I think:

1786017336_Chamaeropshumilis1989-09-07.thumb.jpg.f11156c7053f74588ed90b9b44bdd7ff.jpg

229953247_Livistonachinensis1989-09-07.thumb.jpg.8c8e205c85f57febcf5ce7dfb9681667.jpg

1567512604_Washingtonia1989-09-07.thumb.jpg.c10353b177774ca1f4f012b5b76780fa.jpg

1570392008_Phoenixroebelenii2008-09-27IMG_1524.thumb.jpg.9639d6f6fb83cb1b9d029c2e41e57f4f.jpg

1554627338_Phoenixrupicola2008-09-16.thumb.jpg.0b12ff933886b0c6a9e09e7c8b5d39bd.jpg

And this Lodoicea seedling was also planted in a tiny pot:

775157165_Lodoicea73N05-0203.thumb.jpg.e9907665cc50c0418acae54ab6787c4e.jpg

Cocos nucifera HD 1977.jpg

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Fusca
1 hour ago, Pal Meir said:

At least e.g. these two Lytos don’t mind their relatively small pots:

Pal, your potted palms always look fantastic.  :)  Keeping them in smaller pots when so large requires almost daily watering, is that right?  And haven't you also done some palms as bonsai? 

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Pal Meir
7 minutes ago, Fusca said:

Pal, your potted palms always look fantastic.  :)  Keeping them in smaller pots when so large requires almost daily watering, is that right?  And haven't you also done some palms as bonsai? 

Yes, watering was/is the main problem ……

Here a couple of bonsai examples:

1939435360_Chamaeropshumilisargentea2015-04-14.thumb.jpg.69850d2eccff3c8d5e63580ad5188bd8.jpg

1154811731_Twagner2011-03-23IMG_5451.thumb.jpg.48a1b7e3b5c0b7b76e5e6c2e240eb1ec.jpg

2146442397_N13012019-04-01P1050100090.thumb.jpg.6b7d197ae5f95ae6ef0e5095051450f1.jpg

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Pal Meir

The Trachy bonsai was planted in ground in 2014 (the one on the left):

1558907287_Twagner2019-04-10IMG_9606.thumb.jpg.dc505b789377a7445d79bc48c8e8cb99.jpg

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Fusca
3 hours ago, Funkthulhu said:

something that doesn't burst through the roof in a few years would be nice.

Pal's bonsai palms look very cool - maybe that's an option for you in Nebraska.  I have no idea how this is done but I'd be interested in trying this sometime.

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Rickybobby
8 hours ago, Funkthulhu said:

It is springtime, and a man's fancy turns towards thoughts of repotting his container ranch...  

Let's be straight here, I'm in Nebraska, I have some "big" palm species creeping past the juvenile stage. . . and my ceilings are only 8 feet high right now.  Container Ranchers, how do you decide how big of a pot you will use for each of your species.  Assuming everything is deep enough for tap-roots and whatnot, does the pot size help or hinder the size of your palm?  In my most recent post I was talking about a potentially sick Veitchia, that little guy is getting a growth spurt right now.  Save for the freezing winters, if it were outside it has the potential to get freakin' huge.  I don't want it to be freakin' huge.  In fact, I'd like to keep it relatively unchanged for the foreseeable future.  They say a goldfish will grow to the size of its tank, but that's just hooey.  A goldfish keeps growing depending on how much food it gets and how long it lives, sometimes despite being too big for its tank.

I guess what I'm asking is this:  In your experience does a larger pot equal a larger palm?  Does a larger pot equal a faster growing palm?  And by reversal, does a smaller pot keep a palm smaller for longer?  

I don't want to end up with sickly stunted trees, but something that doesn't burst through the roof in a few years would be nice.  It means I get to enjoy my palms longer than I would normally in my apartment.  If that means I delay or even never increase the pot size for some of these species, I want to make sure I'm not doing them undue harm.

Cheers!

Awesome questions I’m interested in the feedback 

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jimmyt

In the tradition of bonsai, you can keep large plants small by placing them in small pots.  This limits their growth.  Not all plants will tolerate Bonsai style growing though.  I suspect the roots on these palms will find their way out of the drain holes eventually and need to be trimmed back.  The main palm like plant that is kept as a Bonsai are cycads from my observations.   I have found that bonsai pots surface area to total volume is larger than standard larger pots and they do dry/transpire faster making them require more frequent watering.  Just my 2 1/2 cents worth.

 

jimmyt  :unsure:

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