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cainester

Trispinosis advice

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cainester

My trispinosis looks weird on the growth point. All the fronds started dropping and browning. I cut them off and they were loose. Any ideas. It’s been in it’s planted spot for about a year and a half.  Any ideas or if I should be worried. Thanks. 

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Tracy
1 hour ago, cainester said:

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I don't like the way that the frond seems to be dying at the caudex end as opposed to the leaftip.  How much sun and water does it get?  Overhead irrigation or drip?  Any soft spots on the caudex?  Based on my questions, you can probably see where I'm headed, which is to avoid overhead watering and if its in a lot of shade, maybe its getting too much water for this time of year.

Just out of curiosity, how old was that flush that came off?

1 hour ago, cainester said:

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I assume those are the E trispinosus's roots that are exposed.  Normally I like to see roots like that buried with only the coralloid roots exposed.  It's a little hard to tell in the photo if those are some coralloid roots mixed in.

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cainester

Hi Tracey thanks for chiming in.  I normally used to pick George’s advice but we lost him. I do overhead watering. It got lots of sun till early March when I built a second story so now it’s only getting afternoon sun. Roots were covered but with the watering dirt seems to always move. So do u think I should dig her up or just limit the watering. I don’t do much now that it’s winter. Thanks. 

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cainester

This flush is about the same time I put her in the ground. Caudex is hard as a rock

Edited by cainester

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Merlyn2220
2 hours ago, cainester said:

My trispinosis looks weird on the growth point. All the fronds started dropping and browning. I cut them off and they were loose. Any ideas. It’s been in it’s planted spot for about a year and a half.  Any ideas or if I should be worried. Thanks. 

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My smallish ~6" caudex Trispinosus is doing the same thing on the older leaves.  Random leaves on each frond are dying off.  It's been doing this consistently for ~2 years in the ground through multiple flushes. so I figured it was "normal."  Mine doesn't get any overhead watering, but we do get 50-70 inches of rain per year here in Florida.  It is in mostly full sun in the summer, but in the winter other stuff has grown up around it and shaded it, probably too much.  I'm planning on digging mine up and potting it permanently, like I did with my small Lehmannii.  I'll snap a picture tomorrow when it's light enough to get decent detail.

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Tracy
57 minutes ago, cainester said:

Hi Tracey thanks for chiming in.  I normally used to pick George’s advice but we lost him. I do overhead watering. It got lots of sun till early March when I built a second story so now it’s only getting afternoon sun. Roots were covered but with the watering dirt seems to always move. So do u think I should dig her up or just limit the watering. I don’t do much now that it’s winter. Thanks. 

Yes, we lost an asset and friend with George's passing, trust me there have been many times over the last few months I wanted to ask him a question or for advice.  I would say cut back on the watering for starters and maybe add a little dirt to the exposed roots for good measure.  You probably recall that many Encephalartos from George had a heavy dg mix in the pot, so I wouldn't hesitate using a little dg to cover those roots.  It might stay in place better than our native soil.  Back when George was still digging dg from his hill I brought some home to use to build some of my front garden mounds here in Leucadia because the sandy soil wanted to slump down over time. 

My little male E trispinosis only gets mid-day through afternoon sun due to a fence to the east of it and holds a couple of flushes all the time.  Bottom line, I wouldn't jump to moving yours too soon.   I especially wouldn't want to disturb it right now given the leaf loss and heading into winter soon.  It's good to hear that the caudex is firm, so hopefully this coming spring you will get a nice replacement flush.  Good luck and keep us posted.

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Merlyn2220

Here is my Trispinosus, about a 5 inch caudex that's been in the ground there since June 2019.  The two new leaves are the fully green ones to the left and right, one completely covered by an agave Desmettiana leaf.  The next oldest leaves are the part-green/part-brown ones at the top and bottom.  And the oldest that I haven't trimmed off are all brown.  Mine is in 100% filtered light right now, due to the encroaching Desmettiana and a big Cycas Rumphii/Thouarsii that's just out of the picture on the top side.  It definitely needs more sun.  I'm not sure if the browning is normal or not, it has done this on all the older fronds as it prepares for a new flush.

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Edited by Merlyn2220

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tinman10101

When in doubt, dig it out of the ground.  By digging it out you can tell by the roots what the exact problem is.  I had cycads in the past that started to die off like this and i would dig them out and plant in pure pumice, water heavily (if roots are soft and rotting), and do not water again for at least a couple of months.  It would be tragic to loose a cycad with caudex at this size.  Plant back in the ground after one or two flushes in the pot.  

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Tracy
On 11/23/2020 at 12:07 PM, Merlyn2220 said:

The two new leaves are the fully green ones to the left and right, one completely covered by an agave Desmettiana leaf.  The next oldest leaves are the part-green/part-brown ones at the top and bottom.  And the oldest that I haven't trimmed off are all brown.  Mine is in 100% filtered light right now,

I suspect that the color of the leaves is the plant letting you know the shade is too deep since new flushes should turn a nice blue on E trispinosis.  The other clue that it isn't happy is the small number of leaves per flush for a 5" caudex of almost any species of Encephalartos.  For a 2" caudex to only be pushing out a couple of leaves on a flush might not be surprising, but at 5", I would expect at least 5 leaves and some will push out several more at that size.  As tinman10101 points out, if you dig it and there are signs of root rot, potting it in a really well drained soil like pure pumice makes sense from the standpoint of giving it an environment to recover.   I would consider planting future blue cycads on mounded soil, in positions that will retain more sun exposure in your climate zone with substantial annual rainfall. 

The way that you are seeing leaflets browning on older flushes isn't in and of itself unusual.  When leaflets brown close to the caudex and work their way to the tips is more indicative of a problem than random leaflets browning or the pattern starting at leaf tips and working back toward the caudex in my experience.  Older flushes dying is a normal process so the concerning thing about cainester 's post and plant was the new flush dying, and many leaves appearing to start the leaf die off closer to the caudex.

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GeneAZ

Smell the caudex at the apex.  It shouldn't smell like anything at all when healthy.  If you smell a diapery smell or bad potato smells, you're in trouble.  The good news is that there is no oozing anywhere on the caudex.

I'd apply Daconil powder to the crown and don't water for a month at least.  Also no more overhead watering to cycads.  I suspect you have a fair amount of ambient humidity that traps too much moisture in the caudex interspaces when you add the overhead water.

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