Jump to content
m92

Please help me rescue my newly adopted Dwarf Date Palm, "Gimli"

Recommended Posts

m92

Hi everyone,

Glad to be accepted into the forum :-). My recent adoption of a dwarf date palm tree has led me here, to reach out for your help.

Originally the tree was planted on the ground before I received it, which now lives in an outdoor pot in my small backyard. The guy who supplied the tree surprised me that he could drop it off quickly on the day and was caught half-prepared. He had dropped it off without a soil bag and unfortunately had to stay like that overnight as my backyard is just concrete (with fake grass). I did as much as I could to quickly pot it on the next day with a mixture of peat, good quality soil & sand along with a 15cm/6" base of scoria for drainage hoping for the best. Unfortunately, it isn't doing too well and would like to ask for your help/advice to quickly save it from potentially dying. The fronds are shrivelling and browning at the tips :-(.

I will purchase some items soon (e.g. ph soil tester kit), but thought to reach out here should there be any additional items that I need to purchase (e.g. fertiliser, tonic, etc). I've read that they're prone to a few deficiencies but am having a hard time identifying if my tree's problem is just that, or a potential fungal infection that I'm not aware of yet.  Below is a link of one of Australia's main hardware stores for these items:

https://www.bunnings.com.au/search/products?page=1&q=fertiliser&sort=BoostOrder&pageSize=60

If it's a potential deficiency in something particular, would someone be able to advise me to find the right fertiliser please?

If it's something else, I desperately would like to hear from you in regards to turning this thing around and saving my dwarf date, Gimli.

If there's any info that I've missed, please let me know.

Thank you very much in advance.

kind regards,

Alex

 

IMG_20200908_081452.jpg

IMG_20200908_081550.jpg

IMG_20200908_081657.jpg

IMG_20200908_081501.jpg

Edited by m92

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lzorrito

It's stressing and in shock because it was pulled out of the soil and potted. Must put it in shade, no fertilizer, just water as needed. And...probably it suffered some root damage...it looks like so. Both pot and soil must have good drainage. Must be patient and give it time to acclimatize and recover. Cut the fronds only when completly dry...and be patient, it it will probably look worst before you can see some improving...or not.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m92

Thank you very much lzorrito for the assessment & advice :-). I really appreciate it!

The pot itself is in the shade as the fence blocks the sun during winter & spring. It has been raining regularly and the winds have been atrocious even though I've put it in the most guarded spot for wind in my backyard. The soil was bought and is a mixture of peat, good potting soil & sand. It seems to drain fairly well but the regular rain every 3 days or so makes it hard to figure out if it retains too much moisture? I'll try to be patient and hope that the warmer seasons coming will help. Summer for us starts in December. When you advise to cut the fronds, do you mean just the affected ones or all of the fronds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lzorrito

You're welcome! It's not only the pot that needs to be in the shade, but all the fronds also. For what I see and read from you it seems like it the palm isn't also dealing so well with those strong winds, which is normal dureto its actual condition A more wind sheltered spot is adviced. Just by looking to the potting soil surface on the picture it looks dump and compact (it looks...you must test that yourself), which means that roots aren't getting enough aeriation, and that can become a serious issue, just like too much moisture retation, it's also important you check that. It should be wet but not dump and muddy. I if it'so, you should move it to a drier spot where you can monitor watering and moisture levels. Too much moisture may lead to root rot. Cut the affected leaves but only when completly dry, because the palm will recycle its nutrients in order to directed them towards the healty ones . Remember that the palm is in shock...so you must be patient, very patient, and a certain amount of dedication, but it will be rewarding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jimmyt

Agree with Izorrito for sure.  Looks shocked and needs some TLC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JLM

It probably wont start looking better, or pushing out any new fronds for that matter, until it gets its roots established. It will likely be focusing on root development instead of new fronds for the time being. Once it gets better established it will begin to push out new fronds and redevelop its crown. Better protected area and water as said above. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m92

Thank you lzorrito, jimmyt & JLM for your collective advice so far :-)! I really appreciate it.

Ok, so it looks like there's quite a bit of work ahead of me... If the plan is to move the entire pot & tree in the shade, I will have to:

* dig out all of the soil mixture first

* take the tree out

* move the pot under the alfresco (no sun though)

* maybe blend more potting mix for better aeration in the pot (no fertiliser needed)

* put tree back in the pot under the shade

* when tree & soil are fairly dry, cut the affected fronds/leaves but leave healthy looking ones on.

Does that sound right?

I guess it depends on how much the tree is in shock, but recovery-wise, should I do all the steps above somewhat soon, what do you think is my ballpark for recovery time here? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? I ask because once it's recuperated & starting to develop new fronds, I'd like to take it back out in the sun - which sadly means I'll have to dig it up again & repot :-(...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Funkthulhu

Take a look elsewhere in this subforum, there are a lot of posts on the recipes for good potting mix.  Pygmy dates are pretty forgiving compared to some primadonna palms, but they still want a good potting mix.  It needs to provide aeration to the roots and be quick draining so they don't water-log and rot.  

As said above by others, the palm is stressed out.  Protection from wind and only indirect sun until it gets over this hump.  it'll look worse before it looks better.

Side note.  I hope that's the last pot it ever lives in.  Because with that shape (with the lip curved in at the top edge) you'll have to shatter the pot to get it out if you ever re-pot it later.  It's going to make a rootball that is likely to be too big to lift out of that spherical shape pot.  Digging/cutting the roots to remove it without damaging the pot is just going to put you right back here again with an injured and stressed palm.

Good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lzorrito

Now only time will tell...be gentle handling the roots and don't let the soil dry completly. Fingers crossed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m92

Will have a look at the subforums, Funkthulhu, thanks! And yes, I'm working out a plan in my head based on my logistics. I'll have the weekend to do it, as my 9-5 job doesn't leave a lot of time in the morning nor evenings sadly. And on the rootball topic, yes, that will probably be the last pot for it and am planning a spot for it on our driveway for the future. The tree is apparently about 15 years old - how much bigger does the rootball (& upper half) of a dwarf date palm grow?

 

Thanks lzorrito, I will try to do my best!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Funkthulhu

@m92  

Regardless of size, you're putting a tree in a pot.  It will eventually push its roots to the edge of that vessel.  It's not that it can't have a smaller root ball, it's that you'll damage the roots it does grows should you ever try to cut it out of that container.  It's not an insta-kill, but it will stress the tree a lot.  Best to avoid it if possible with a straight or tapered-side pot that allows easy extraction.  Or at least acknowledge it'll be better for the tree if someday you break that pot rather than break the plant when you need to re-pot.

But as you say, that's a pretty big pot and possibly the last one for that palm.  With good soil it may never need to be re-potted again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m92

Sorry Funkthulhu, I guess I worded that kinda funny. Yes, so I meant that that will be the last pot for it and when the time comes that it has outgrown it, I'll have to break it and move the tree to a spot near our driveway. I hope that clarifies that bit :-).

Thanks once again though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NOT A TA

Is there a possibility of borrowing a hand truck to move the pot & palm without taking the plant out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m92

Sorry guys, just been inundated with work. NOT A TA, I'll look into the hand truck idea this weekend. My neighbours might have one. Thank you for the idea :-)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...