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Adam Halford

Help.. Washingtonia robusta

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Adam Halford

Hi I was wondering if anyone can help. I grew some washingtonia robustas from seed and were all doing really well.. I’m using a mix of fine seed compost, coco cour and perlite. All were doing fine but over the last couple of weeks they are now shrivelling and loosing colour. They are around 18 months old and have been kept in a conservatory during winter and outside in the summer in the UK. I repotted yesterday as roots were coming out the pots. Any help would be appreciated 



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Something about their environment changed drastically to get them in that state of dessication. Now you have to figure out what that is, and correct it.Maybe return them to their spot in the conservatory for now,to see if they improve.

Possible causes:

1.In the picture,are they parked in front of heating vents? Hot air blowing on them will kill them in short order.

2.Did they go from the conservatory to direct sunlight outdoors?They need to be introduced gradually to full direct sun to acclimate without burning.

3.Have you fertilized recently?Either in the new potting mix or in the water you are supplying.You may have overdone it.

4.Did you soak the pots in a bucket of water after repotting to ensure there are no air pockets in the mixture, and that the soil mix was thoroughly and evenly hydrated? Roots can't pull moisture out of dry pockets in soil or thin air.

After thinking it through,one of the above mentioned scenarios might sound familiar, and may help you solve your mystery.Mexican fan palms are very strong growers and you almost have to go out of your way to kill them.




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Adam Halford

Hi pal thanks for the reply... they are not heating vents they are just cavity vents... that is the spot they was in... they have been there all winter and been fine.we have had some hot weather over here the last 2 weeks so I moved them outside in the day and bought back in overnight. Obviously with the current situation I’m home everyday and I misted them regularly. They had turned like this before I re potted them. I fertilised them in April -the first time of the year.. and only a bit in each pot till it started running through. I used palm focus. I caught my puppy. Chewing on one of the leaves the other day-wether she went at both? It’s strange they were doing brilliant considering they are 2 years old? I’m using a potting mix of loam, perlite, coco coir? I gather that’s ok?! This is another from the same batch of seeds? Puzzling me? I only water when soil is dry 1-2 inches down... probably every 2 weeks?!


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I would love to listen to your comments in original English accent.  I believe your Washingtonias will make it. Do not mist them. Washies love dry climates.

Here's a video for reassurance:



Edited by GottmitAlex
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Adam Halford

How often should they be fertilised? I usually mix a 2 litre jug and pour till it runs out of the drainage holes then stop and do the next one the same, is this correct? I’m fairly new to this and just trying to get a system going.. have 50 more seedlings growing in community pots I will need to pot on when the weather changes I don’t want to loose them


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