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Cyrtostachys renda semi-hydro experiment

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Hey guys!

I bought a small (7") c. renda seedling from Hawaii about 10 months ago and have been trying to keep it happy here in my Seattle apartment.  It's definitely had some ups and downs but I finally have it in a setup that it actually seems to like and wanted to share it on here. It's been in this new pot and setup for approx. 4 months now and it's FINALLY starting to push out new growth.

I have it potted in a 10" lechuza classico self watering planter.  It's planted in a homemade pon mixture composed of equal parts white pumice, black lava rock, red lava rock, (all of these 1/4" size), akadama, and zeolite.  I keep the reservoir in the planter constantly full with filtered water, and I take out the inner pot weekly to flush the substrate and rinse away any salt buildup.  Once monthly I'll replace the water in the reservoir and add a half strength dose of FloraGro 2-1-6 hydroponic nutrient solution.

I've also added a 6" wide seedling heat mat to keep the root structure from getting too cold (winter in Seattle can be very tricky).  I basically wrapped/duct taped it around the inner lechuza container so it's warming the root structure and ran the power cord out the watering hole. (see picture)  I have it positioned next to my work desk with a mild red/blue grow light directly next to it.

After a bumpy first 6 months it seems like she's finally happy, I'm noticing new leaf spikes on three of four trunks and they are coming in at a decent growth rate.  The red color is also starting to develop nicely on the largest trunk.  Anyway, just wanted to share my grow with you guys!  It's definitely my most intricate/experimental setup, I'll keep this thread updated with her progress over the coming year :D

I always love to see how people are growing this palm indoors so please add pics and descriptions of what has/hasn't worked for those of you who have experience with it!  Thanks for looking :)


Seattle, WA







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Still anxious to see how your Kentias do. Once we warm up, I'm thinking about buying a Bloem window box planter and plopping a bunch of kentia seedlings in LECA and seeing what happens. 

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Hey John, unfortunately the nursery I bought the howea seedlings from improperly identified them and it turns out they are actually areca palm seedlings.  They're doing fine in the leca but aren't actually kentias haha, good thing I like dypsis as well haha.

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