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Katie C

Help - Very unhappy Ravenea palm

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Katie C

Hello,

I have a very unhappy Ravenea palm in a pot. It's positioned near a window and is getting new fronds but all of the other fronds are turning brown and dying and one has just today completely bent in half. One of the new fronds seems to be brown in colour and is unopened. I'm not sure what the issue is with it. Some people seem to say too much water, others not enough! Any help would be much appreciated as I'm afraid soon it will be completely beyond help. I have photos but am unsure how to post them from my phone as the only option seems to be to add a URl. 

Thanks,

Katie

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petiole10

Hi Katie - whereabouts are you?    Without any pictures its difficult to say in the absence of not being able to see the palm, the pot it is in, and also the composition of the soil. Drainage could be an issue - these palms do like regular watering but the environment they are kept in helps determine this regime and they need an optimum balance between light, temperature and water.   From what you say, it sounds as if you are watering the palm so maybe its too much rather than too little? You should be aiming for the soil to dry out a bit between watering which you can test by gently pushing a thumb into the top layer.

Indirect sunlight/bright filtered light for indoors suits them better   Too much fertiliser could be a factor along with too much water - in the winter with much lower natural light levels it is better to let the palm 'rest' and not do any feeding and restrict the watering more.  A pot is a self contained environment and roots can become too saturated and start to rot especially out of the growing season. Again, the freedom of drainage is a factor. Salts also quickly build up if tap water is used rather than fresh rainwater and these will damage the roots with time.

Depending where you are, these are palms that definitely appreciate time outside in the growing season to make the most of optimum temperature, warmth and daylight under a canopy with good light. From my own understanding these make better outdoor palms in a warm climate with steady moisture - though they can be sustained in the home in the right environment.

At this time of year however in a colder climate, the options open in a situation where the palm is obviously not happy are less - but checking the soil medium is a good start and I would take the palm out of the pot and check the roots. They should be firm and white in colour and not soggy and browning. Putting in fresh well drained soil/compost might be a good thing based on its degree of deterioration. and there is nothing to lose at this stage by doing so - especially if the soil is found to be heavy, cloyed and too saturated. Some perlite added to fresh medium will help drainage.  If the roots are in a bad way, this might not be enough in time, but you will see soon enough if you gently tip it out.

The fact that one of the new fronds/spears is brown in colour does point more and more to some kind of soil/watering root shock/damage problem.  Too much fluctuation of temperature is also not a good thing alongside some of the other factors mentioned. A steady warm room temperature would be better for an indoor situation, but not large diurnal ranges from night-time to day-time.

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PalmatierMeg

Agree with @petiole10. Photos are a must.

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Philly J

And honestly everyone’s R.rivularis will have been kept in different nursery conditions with different needs.  I have been keeping these beasts happy in a completely windowless office with very little red/blue grow light time, but my overhead broad-ish (lol) spectrum are on 24/7.  Now maybe because of the lack of truly natural light, they have been absolute pigs for water.  At least 3 gallons each day for each of them.  Insanity.  But here they are with no pests, minimal brown tipping, and spear growth clocked at 1 inch per week so I don’t know.  :hmm:

B7ED5C86-CEDF-46E6-B8B2-DB2B4B2C87FE.jpeg

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