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Coasta

Ravenea Xerophila in Arizona :)

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Coasta

Hello All!! Took a ride out to jungle music this past weekend and oh boy was it pretty awesome! I picked up a Encephalartos lehmannii and a Ravenea xerophila!

 

I'll discuss the Encephalartos lehmannii in the cycad section and will focus on my beautiful new palm.

When I went to jungle music I had my heart on purchasing a spindle palm but after some convincing they showing me their only ravenea xerophila and told me this was be a much better option and how hard it is to come across these! 

I looked at a photo of how they look as they get older and wow, I knew I needed to have it!

I understand that this palm is supposed to do really well in our climate here in Mesa,AZ. 

I also understand there a really slow growing palm. How many fronds does it usually put out a year? 

Can it truly take full az summer sun and our cold nights here? 

I plan to keep it in a pot until I find the home I will grow old in! 

The root that is next to it, how long does that stick around? 

Any tips and help on this palm will be appreciated. I dont want to screw this one up!

 

 

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tim_brissy_13

Once upon a time I had a seedling of R xerophila. After 10 years of ‘growth’ it was actually smaller than when I purchased it. It put out about a leaf per year, but each was no larger than the previous. Eventually multiple trampling events from dogs put it out of its misery. 
 

I suspect you’ll have better luck in your much warmer climate. These tend to have a reputation of being lovers of dry conditions, but I’d be careful in very hot weather. I think it will actually benefit from additional watering as long as you have good drainage. 
 

That root structure is called a heel and remained me exactly of what mine used to look like. It will remain for a long time, keep it partially above the soil line like it is now to avoid rotting. 

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The Gerg

Congrats! I actually had one shipped to me from Jungle Music earlier this year. It’s slightly smaller than yours. Then I went there and saw the slightly larger ones which sort of bummed me out. I almost got another (but didn’t). I expect slow growth but still a great plant. Fingers crossed for our success.

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Coasta

@tim_brissy_13 wow thats so sad!!! I really hope i have better luck and I at least get a few fronda a year! 

Do these go into shock when reporting? 

Also thank you so much for your insight and help on this palm. :).

 

@The Gerg sweet!!!! Fingers crossed. Hoq long have you had yours for? Has it put out any new fronds? 

 

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aztropic

Good choice for the AZ desert! It's a full sun palm,even here. (but will survive just fine too with afternoon shade) Be sure to shield that black pot though before putting it in full sun to avoid cooking the roots. "Planting" the pot might be a good option. It is a slow grower and can be kept in pots for years.Don't overwater or you could rot it out.Think of it more like a cactus.Mine grows about 2 new fronds per year on average. I've found this species to be carefree under our extreme conditions. Again,be careful with the water;especially over winter.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20200928_170334496.jpg

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xoRudy

Looks like you got a lot of room in your back yard!!! Love to see space, my imagination starts to wonder. Running out of space here in Maricopa.

 

 

 

Rudy 
 

Maricopa, AZ

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Coasta

@aztropic thanks for the response!! I knew you would have one and figured you would think this is a mucb better option compared to a spindle. 

How often would you recommend watering here in the summer and how often in the winter time? 

Can these be fertilized during the growing season? 

Will it go into shock if I transplant it into another pot. 

 

@xoRudy lol yes!!! My yard is not done. I am doing little by little until Iuget the yard designed. :)

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aztropic

Transplanting from a pot to a bigger pot generally does not shock a plant as there should be very little root disturbance. This species has very suculant roots and soil can be bone dry for a few days without hurting anything. Biggest problem with this species would be giving it too much love and keeping the soil too wet. In the summer,a thorough soaking every 5 days should be plenty. December thru February,once every 2 to 3 WEEKS! A light dose of fertilizer starting next March would be ok, but you don't want to give it anymore now as the growing season is winding down. Hope that helps.B)

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

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PalmatierMeg

I got mine about 10-11 years ago. At the time it was claimed only nine palms survived in the wild. Probably none by now. It does grow very slowly, so slowly I realized I have only a few photos of it over the years. Now it is getting more sizable I'll have to be more diligent. I do remember that we planted it very carefully at the edge of the rocky drain field of our now-defunct septic system so it would get optimum drainage. When planting, be careful not to damage those large succulent roots. Don't figure on ever transplanting it. Mine grows on the highest part of the front yard above the driveway next to my oldest Sabal miamiensis in our Caribbean front garden - yes, it's an interloper. Instead of mulch I laid a "donut" of rocks around the stem to protect it from rot due to wet organic material or dirt. If it is happy you should have little trouble with it. Mine plugs along peacefully. Sometime the Sabal miamiensis gets a bit rowdy and pushy so I have to trim its fronds away from the xerophila.

Ravenea xerophila, Nov. 2009, Cape Coral, FL

342853252_Raveneaxerophila0111-22-09.JPG.25c043467e8a6f2ef5202e9698c7d3f7.JPG

Ravenea xerophila, Dec. 2012, Cape Coral, FL

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Ravenea xerophila, May 2020, Cape Coral, FL

721495213_Raveneaxerophila0105-02-20.thumb.JPG.04c884f5a60821bbe9a6aecd06f63128.JPG

Ravenea xerophila, Sept. 2020, Cape Coral, FL

637984449_Raveneaxerophylla0109-04-20.thumb.JPG.9254f66bb098bb2d1ec726257af02ad0.JPG

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mike in kurtistown

This one shouldn't be that tough or slow. Here's mine on the rainy side of Hawaii Island (maybe 150 inches of rain a year). It's in near full sun (shaded by the hibiscus bush in late afternoon) on the crest of a hill. Planted from a one- or two-gal pot in October 2010. Seeds from RPS in June 2002. Orange bucket is 5-gal.

xerophylla_MLM_100620.thumb.JPG.bf77926ce122637eaac9f7600341361d.JPG

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Coasta

@aztropic that is so helpful! knowing me i would have drowned the poor palm lol.

Thank you!! 

 

@PalmatierMeg thanks PalmatierMeg!! You have such a nice speciman. I currently have mine in a pot and plan to keep it there. 

From what I understand it can be in a pot for quite some time? 

@mike in kurtistown

Very nice!!! Thats helpful to see for what I should expect in about ten years lol. 

In your opinions how rare is this palm?

Also the pot I currently have it in which is a 5 gallon pot, can it stay in there for a few years if I wanted it too? 

 

Thanks so much to all of you! 

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mike in kurtistown

I have not seen offerings of seeds or plants of this species for many, many years. I would certainly like to know why. I don't think that RPS or Floribunda has carried it for years. Jeff (FB) has a nice specimen much like mine in his garden, but being a Ravenea, there would need to be "two to tango".

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The Gerg
On 10/5/2020 at 7:18 PM, Coasta said:

@tim_brissy_13 wow thats so sad!!! I really hope i have better luck and I at least get a few fronda a year! 

Do these go into shock when reporting? 

Also thank you so much for your insight and help on this palm. :).

 

@The Gerg sweet!!!! Fingers crossed. Hoq long have you had yours for? Has it put out any new fronds? 

 

I’ve only had it a few months and I think it had a newly opened leaf when I got it. So no, no new leaf openings since I got it and not anytime soon. My guess is it will perform better for you than for me though.

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PalmatierMeg

Give it a deep pot so it has plenty of room for those succulent roots. And very well draining medium.

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Coasta

@mike in kurtistown from what I understand there aren't a ton of seeding specimans in thr US, and if there were, finding a male and female would make it even harder. 

@The Gerg maybe yours will speed up! Do you have it planted in thr ground, or in a pot? So far, mine has put on about 2 inches of growth since I purchased it. I put a little sharpie dot to see the rate. 

@PalmatierMeg that sounds like a plan! I was told I should probably wait until the spring to repot the palm as we are approaching winter. Do you concur with this? 

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Coasta

@GottmitAlex i have had her for about three weeks now and here's the current growth. A little under 2 inches. My expectation was that it was going to be much slower than that. Maybe it's a little faster when it has a near spear? 

 

Notice the little black dot.

16032046887625512227976503568267.thumb.jpg.ae1c81bf15a33582e30b36cc08c9d38c.jpg

 

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PalmatierMeg
8 hours ago, Coasta said:

@mike in kurtistown from what I understand there aren't a ton of seeding specimans in thr US, and if there were, finding a male and female would make it even harder. 

@The Gerg maybe yours will speed up! Do you have it planted in thr ground, or in a pot? So far, mine has put on about 2 inches of growth since I purchased it. I put a little sharpie dot to see the rate. 

@PalmatierMeg that sounds like a plan! I was told I should probably wait until the spring to repot the palm as we are approaching winter. Do you concur with this? 

Unless it is busting out of the pot, I would wait until spring. Just be very careful not to overwater it. Keep it on the dry side as R.x. is drought tolerant. Don't treat it like a rainforest tropical.

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Coasta

@PalmatierMeg thank you!! I will wait for the spring time. From what I understand, since I purchased my xerophila,  I have been watering once a week. I do notice that the soil is still a bit wet if I put my finger in the drainage holes. Hopefully that is okay. 

Once we hit December I will cut back dramatically based on some advice I was given. How drought tolerant are these palms? Can they survive without water for a long time. 

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PalmatierMeg
1 hour ago, Coasta said:

@PalmatierMeg thank you!! I will wait for the spring time. From what I understand, since I purchased my xerophila,  I have been watering once a week. I do notice that the soil is still a bit wet if I put my finger in the drainage holes. Hopefully that is okay. 

Once we hit December I will cut back dramatically based on some advice I was given. How drought tolerant are these palms? Can they survive without water for a long time. 

If it's still "a bit wet" hold back the water until soil is dry. Be sure your soil mix is coarse and well draining and never let the pot sit in a tray of water. If you find your soil holds water for an excessive time, you should consider repotting with a looser mix. I've begun reformulating my potting soil mix to 1/3 coco coir, 1/3 coarse garden soil and 1/3 perlite. It is much lighter than potting soil, has less tendency to turn mucky and easier on growing roots. Jury is still out on the results. Some of my potted seedlings were struggling in heavy soil mix and I hope they will be less likely to damp off.

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Meangreen94z

I have a larger and two smaller Xerophila in containers. The 2 smaller are for sale. 

248085DE-C843-44FA-9F72-80416304A0C1.jpeg

6A8759F4-1AA1-4D3C-80B9-B7B7BD0F6E0C.jpeg

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Coasta

@PalmatierMeg thank you for the information.  I watered it today, and right away water drained out if the holes at the bottom. It looks like there is a ton of pumice in this mix along with some other things. It may be staying wet because I have it in the shade mostly all day. I am going to stop watering once a week and spread it out a little more, at least until December, then from what I understand it's best to water every 2 to 3 weeks.

I do wonder if I let the soil completely dry out, if that would hurt the palm, or can they truly take drought.  In the spring I was thinking of planning in a good quality cactus mix with about 50 percent pumice. From what I understand, I want for some moisture to be retained? 

 

Thanks palmatierMeg!

 

@Meangreen94z very nice xerophilas!! Are you typically seeing about 2 fronds a year? 

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Meangreen94z
On 10/20/2020 at 11:41 PM, Coasta said:

@PalmatierMeg thank you for the information.  I watered it today, and right away water drained out if the holes at the bottom. It looks like there is a ton of pumice in this mix along with some other things. It may be staying wet because I have it in the shade mostly all day. I am going to stop watering once a week and spread it out a little more, at least until December, then from what I understand it's best to water every 2 to 3 weeks.

I do wonder if I let the soil completely dry out, if that would hurt the palm, or can they truly take drought.  In the spring I was thinking of planning in a good quality cactus mix with about 50 percent pumice. From what I understand, I want for some moisture to be retained? 

 

Thanks palmatierMeg!

 

@Meangreen94z very nice xerophilas!! Are you typically seeing about 2 fronds a year? 

Yes, I think it flushed twice this year.

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