I looked and then looked some more and was unable to find any definitive resource on when it is best to start fertilizing seedling palms. Some people claim that seed nutrients are exhausted approximately 2 months after germination, but this may be species dependent or just plain wrong altogether.
I think a little background is warranted.
I started fertilizing some of my seedlings about 3-4 weeks ago, many of them single leafers, roughly between 3-4 months old. I generally use 180-day Nutricote on all my palms. Most of my seedlings are in 2.5" Anderson pots and are doing well. Or so I thought. As of last week, I lost about 10 seedlings, none of which were recent transplants or in any kind of obvious stress. Among the lost species, there were Areca macrocalyx, Pinanga caesia, Dypsis leptocheilos, and a single Cryosophila stauracantha. All were recently fertilized. At the same time, many other species are seemingly unaffected (e.g. Ptychosperma spp, Areca vestiaria, Calyptrocalyx spp.), as well as some of the aforementioned. At least so far.
To be fair, I may have overfertilized and some just couldn't handle it. So I did what any sane palm freak would do and started meticulously removing some of the fertilizer balls from my plants over the weekend. Great project, by the way.
Anyway, enough history. So what do you guys think? When should one start to fertilize? And how much? Are some species really more sensitive than others?
In the Moku Garden, four Clinostigma have died, one after the other. The pattern seems to have stopped for now, but a couple of stumps were left in the garden. One spot in particular had been so perfect for the large elegant palm, so I decided to try a little experiment.
On top of the stump, which measures about 15 inches across, I placed 2 seeds of Clinostigma samoense. I checked them in April -- no sign of life. In July, still nothing. But a couple of days ago -- boom!
The question is -- will the seed continue to grow on the stump as the stump gradually rots? Curious if anyone has done this? If so, how did it work out? Any photos?
This evening I picked 50 ripe seeds from one of the Chamaedorea tepejilote in my jungle and have more on the way. I grew the mother palm from seeds I received in 2008/09 and planted many of them a few years later. See summary below:
Chamedorea tepejilote: 50 ripe seeds = $10.00 for the lot. I will send them uncleaned to speed them to their buyer.
Shipping = $5.00 via first class mail within the US. No shipping overseas.
Total Due = $15.00
Payment via Paypal. PM me if you are interested
Photos below. My jungle is densely planted so getting shots of the mother palm were difficult.
I will appreciate any inputs/ comments on the ID of these 2 Brahea palms.
Since I'm at the beach, there are a ton of Sabal minor around and they are absolutely loaded with unripe seed. If I were to take off one of the stalks from the base, do you think the seed would ripen all of the way, or is it too early to be doing that?