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SilverDragon

Livistona chinensis care advice

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SilverDragon

Bought a good looking Chinese fan from a local nursery. Gonna put it on my back patio that is part sun. Any suggestions on care? Also if you could take a look at the pics provided and let me know if there's anything I should be aware of? I'd like to separate them, but could I do that?

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SilverDragon

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Rickybobby

I believe they separate well. Good drainage and heat 

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SilverDragon
1 hour ago, Rickybobby said:

I believe they separate well. Good drainage and heat.

That's good cause I'd like to try and keep them all but just separate.

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clevelandtropicsmaybe

It always annoys me when nurseries try to sell clumps of single trunking palms...they look better when they're separate in my opinion.

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Merlyn2220
On 7/6/2019 at 1:01 PM, SilverDragon said:

Bought a good looking Chinese fan from a local nursery. Gonna put it on my back patio that is part sun. Any suggestions on care? Also if you could take a look at the pics provided and let me know if there's anything I should be aware of? I'd like to separate them, but could I do that?

I did the same thing this spring, I got a $10 pot with 7 Livistona Chinensis in it.  I washed the soil away from the roots and separated them as carefully as I could.  They looked really unhappy for about 2 months, but started pushing new spears at about 4 months.  The only one that really suffered was one that totally dried out.  That was my mistake, I had put them in my "nursery area" but another palm's frond grew up and blocked the sprinkler.  I moved it into deep shade with water and it's growing a new spear now, so most likely all 7 will survive.  Here's my thread, I should probably post a new photo!

 

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PalmatierMeg

They should separate fine and be much happier when not competing with one another. As recommended above, rinse off as much potting mix as possible, sit in the shade, then untangle the roots carefully like you would untangle a mess of string. Extreme patience really helps. After you separate the first one or two, the rest go much faster.

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SilverDragon

They all separated pretty nicely...lost some root mass,but I don't think it was critical.

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Merlyn2220

Nice!  I saw some leaf dieback in the first month after separating them, but I didn't cut off old leaves to balance the sudden loss of roots vs transpiration loss.  I did that on purpose just to see what would happen, figuring the palm would likely "eat" the oldest leaves to fuel new root growth.

The one thing I noticed is that they tended to fall over in their pots, since they had tall petioles and no attached roots to secure them upright.  In late May I repotted one that fell over and was growing sideways.  After ~3 months it had basically filled the entire 1 gallon pot with new roots, so it was pretty much recovered from the separation.

Edited by Merlyn2220

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SilverDragon

So here's a question...do Dypsis lutescens, which are also commonly sold in clumps, fight over root space the same way L chinensis does? Or are they more forgiving since they clump naturally?

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zoli
2 hours ago, SilverDragon said:

So here's a question...do Dypsis lutescens, which are also commonly sold in clumps, fight over root space the same way L chinensis does? Or are they more forgiving since they clump naturally?

It's pretty common to see Dypsis lutescens overpotted for visual effect. That's unfortunate though, because as they get larger some of them will invariably be squeezed out, so to speak. That said, I did go through the exercise and separated a grossly dense clump of these about a year ago. They sulked for a while, as severe root disturbance was unavoidable. They did eventually come around after a few months and started growing again. Some dried up leaves and random yellowing did occur.

Would I do it again? Probably not. It took me like two hours to create two smaller clumps, lost probably months of new growth, and now they are starting to look crowded again anyway.

I have since seen some pretty dense clumps of these in the ground down in Florida, probably as a result of being planted out from exactly these kinds of growing conditions. They still looked beautiful as they always do. So honestly, I wouldn't bother.

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Merlyn2220

I haven't tried splitting up any clustering palms, but I'd guess you could do it with the "slice and dice" method.  I saw a video where they cut a giant ~10 trunk Reclinata clump in half with a monster chainsaw, they just sliced down in the center through the root mass.  After moving it on a semi truck to a new multi-million $ mansion they just pushed the two halves back together.  Since it's clustering, you might be able to just slice a clump in half with a sharp knife or reciprocating saw.  I may try that at some point, I've got a big D. Lutescens clump that could use some thinning.

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