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Frond-friend42

Drowning in a Giant Pot

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Frond-friend42

I noticed in another stream that juvenile palms and other plants get dead from too big of a pot, for some reason.

How does this happen. Why does too much pot lead to death. I would think you could still give enough water and....oh....thats it. I think the roots aren't clearing the well watered pot quick enough, and so it has a tendency to not dry out quick enough, and literally "drown" in too big a pot with to high water content.

Any other thoughts or theories are welcome of course, as to the negative impact of a too-big pot.

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Ben in Norcal

Your assumption is pretty accurate.  They struggle with root rot, in my experience.

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palmsOrl

Yeah, I think that specifically, the cause is usually root rot, due to the soil being too wet and there not being enough oxygen present as a result.

Generally, the way water, oxygen (and soil nutrients, microbes, etc.) interact and move through the soil in a large pot is much different than how all of these components move through the soil in the ground.  That is why having a palm seedling growing in the ground versus, say, a 50 gallon pot is much different.

-Michael

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gtsteve

Yes mate, as Ben and Michael said, that is often the case, some palms would be more sensitive than others.

My Bismarkia was not worried about the big pot .  PC050003.thumb.JPG.738cf1e36e35ef400e9006a85494da78.JPG

biz.thumb.jpg.387de3f65393985dec9c63d1102959f4.jpg     f

20200726_112924_resized.thumb.jpg.a9fd31c748fec5b9ddcecc4d36d0d83e.jpg  

  Four years later, off to a new home in the ground.

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Frond-friend42

Wow thats beautiful.  Didn’t know Bismarks could be orange at that stage.   

You just needed to water it constantly for the drowning to occur.  

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Jerry@TreeZoo

Most potting soils are high in organic content.  The soil starts to decompose and bogs out, leaving wet, oxygen depleted soil, usually in the bottom of the pot so it cannot drain well.

 

Roots need oxygen just as much as they need water.

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cisco

Large and deep pots I have drilled more holes in the bottom of the pot sides. I glue the hot glue gun to the caps on the bottom of the pot as "feet". The bottom gets a lot of air and this way it dries faster.
My pottingmix is soilless. Seramis, pine bark and crushed leca gravel. The Potting Mix stays in the pot when I put fiberglass tape on top of the holes. The same tape is used when renovating walls. Water can drain freely. I need a pottingmix that dries quickly.
I live in Finland with cold winters. Cold and wet is the worst for palm. 

 

20201005_104705.jpg

20201009_065345.jpg

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Frond-friend42
On 10/8/2020 at 10:04 PM, cisco said:

Large and deep pots I have drilled more holes in the bottom of the pot sides. I glue the hot glue gun to the caps on the bottom of the pot as "feet". The bottom gets a lot of air and this way it dries faster.
My pottingmix is soilless. Seramis, pine bark and crushed leca gravel. The Potting Mix stays in the pot when I put fiberglass tape on top of the holes. The same tape is used when renovating walls. Water can drain freely. I need a pottingmix that dries quickly.
I live in Finland with cold winters. Cold and wet is the worst for palm. 

 

20201005_104705.jpg

20201009_065345.jpg

That is very sleek. But aren't seramis and leca kind of the same thing. Does pine bark contain all the nutrients they need?

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Jerry@TreeZoo
On 10/9/2020 at 12:04 AM, cisco said:

Large and deep pots I have drilled more holes in the bottom of the pot sides. I glue the hot glue gun to the caps on the bottom of the pot as "feet". The bottom gets a lot of air and this way it dries faster.
My pottingmix is soilless. Seramis, pine bark and crushed leca gravel. The Potting Mix stays in the pot when I put fiberglass tape on top of the holes. The same tape is used when renovating walls. Water can drain freely. I need a pottingmix that dries quickly.
I live in Finland with cold winters. Cold and wet is the worst for palm. 

 

20201005_104705.jpg

20201009_065345.jpg

When making your own pots out of garbage cans and similar containers, remember that a few big holes in the bottom are better than many small holes.  Also, tall pots drain better than low wide pots.

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Frond-friend42

I also just learned that rocks in the bottom don't help drainage. Planttuber Epic Gardening guy explains why this is a bad idea. 

Basically it has to do with the cohesive forces in a column of water. The water actually adheres more stubbornly to the soil when you add a special flow barrier breaking up the columnar forces that hold it together.

I believe this is also why, when you do water (only when soil is dry down to more than 2 inches, is my sense), it is advised to water completely so that the water is flowing completely out the bottom, which i think also draws water out of the bottom of the pot, so even though you are adding more water, in the end you have less water accumulation. You have to do something with all that excess water, of course.

Dump out the tray or let it drain somewhere over a drain or sink or something. 

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chad2468emr

I came here today to make a post similar to this, but I’ll just jump in here since it ties in so nicely.

I live south of Orlando. Needless to say, it’s humid here. I have a lot of palms (and other plants) on a back patio that faces NW. I moved here in early August, and when I got here my plants were getting 3 or so hours of slanted sunlight each afternoon just before the sun went behind the trees across the street. Given that the earth has shifted heading towards the winter equinox, that is now limited to maybe an hour or so each afternoon. 

What I’m noticing is that NOTHING is drying out anymore. I mean it can be WEEKS before my soils start to even sort of seem dry. I use a very well-draining mix of 50% perlite, 30% palm soil, 20% bark/charcoal/lava rock/more perlite orchid mix. This is a generalization as it tends to vary since I eyeball it each time I mix new soil. See photo of my soil below. Even my monstera out here that’s in 80% bark, 10% palm soil, and 10% perlite has edema because it can’t transpire enough water fast enough since it’s so humid.

I’m starting to become concerned for root rot. I need to water enough to run water out, and it sure does run out, but then I feel like my palms are water-logged. I’ve got mostly water-loving palms out here (Kentia, l grandis, l sumawongii, majesty, d pembana, r excelsa, a vestiaria, a cunninghamiana, c macrocarpa) but even so, I know they have their limits. Nothing has shown any signs of issues YET, but I know that can change in a second, and it’s only going to get cooler outside and cool temps + wet roots = no bueno.

What can I do to speed up drying rate? I really don’t want to have to repot everything into terra cotta pots, but I’ve considered it. I also really don’t want to have to repot everything with new soil because I know we are about to get MUCH cooler outside and there’s less sun which is stressful for them. Any thoughts? 

0C27D40D-067B-4F55-9A70-73DC8720B11B.thumb.jpeg.0a7642ba6991ebcac1758320b9663c9d.jpeg

Edited by chad2468emr

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Frond-friend42

I also just learned that rocks in the bottom don't help drainage. Planttuber Epic Gardening guy explains why this is a bad idea. 

Basically it has to do with the cohesive forces in a column of water. The water actually adheres more stubbornly to the soil when you add a special flow barrier breaking up the columnar forces that hold it together.

I believe this is also why, when you do water (only when soil is dry down to more than 2 inches, is my sense), it is advised to water completely so that the water is flowing completely out the bottom, which i think also draws water out of the bottom of the pot, so even though you are adding more water, in the end you have less water accumulation. You have to do something with all that excess water, of course.

Dump out the tray or let it drain somewhere over a drain or sink or something. 

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Frond-friend42

Whoops. Not sure why my post reproduced itself.

Chad it seems your big problem is with light and heat.

I'm also thinking that swapping out some of that organic matter chips with seramis might help. Or some leca balls. But it's hard to alter soil without repotting. 

Aside from that just wait as long as it talks for the dry I'd say.

Best of luck,

Ben

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Fallen Munk

@chad2468emr  You might consider just swapping the pots out to fabric pots of about the same size.  I had some seedlings that I "overpotted" that were drowning, but I didn't want to disturb the roots, so I swapped out to the fabric pots and that fixed it.

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