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Alp80

Help. Palm not growing

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Alp80

Hi all,

I am not only new to this forum, but also to gardening activities.  (I don't even know whether the palm I am writing about is Pindo, Seafortia or Imperial)

I live in Buenos Aires Argentina (subtropical climate) and planted in Jan/Feb 2020 (summer) a palm into a rather big pot. I understand that palm trees in pots do not grow indefinitely. But before that, the palm was in a much smaller pot. So I expected it to grow for a certain time before it reaches its limits.

What happened over the last 14 months or so: basically nothing. The spear in the middle is still in the same place, i.e. not one new leaf grew.  I believe that the trunk is getting bigger, but I am not entirely sure about this.

What could be the reason for that? I believe that it should have sufficient water (once a week at least). The patio does not have a lot of direct sunlight, but the other palm trees I have do grow. Could it be that I planted the tree with too much soil (i.e. too deep into the soil)?

And lastly, is there still hope that after 14 months of no new leafs? The two leafs seem to be quite ok as far as I can tell.

Thanks for your input!

Palm1.jpg

Palm2.jpg

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Steve Mac

Hi mate welcome to the forum, I don't know what it is either but I hope that someone else can help you.

The palm does look happy and healthy. Some palms do slow down a lot when they are moved.

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John2468

Have you fertilized it? It could be that the soil is lacking boron. Otherwise your palm tree looks healthy.

Edited by John2468
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lzorrito
On 3/11/2021 at 5:04 PM, Alp80 said:

I live in Buenos Aires Argentina (subtropical climate) and planted in Jan/Feb 2020 (summer) a palm into a rather big pot. I understand that palm trees in pots do not grow indefinitely. But before that, the palm was in a much smaller pot. So I expected it to grow for a certain time before it reaches its limits.

Buenos Aires is 10a to 9b zone, you have some cool wet winters. If you repotted it into a "rather bigger pot", your palm is most probably still rooting and acclimating. First of all, you must be patient, it's a palm. Btw, can you post some pics of the pot, the all pot, and stem base? The pot seems to be huge...

On 3/11/2021 at 5:04 PM, Alp80 said:

What happened over the last 14 months or so: basically nothing. The spear in the middle is still in the same place, i.e. not one new leaf grew.  I believe that the trunk is getting bigger, but I am not entirely sure about this.

Albeit new spears aren't moving, or they seem like that to you, they look quite healthy. I advice you to spear mark to assess its growth. You're currently on your high growth season, so you must spear mark, fertilize and water.

On 3/11/2021 at 5:04 PM, Alp80 said:

What could be the reason for that? I believe that it should have sufficient water (once a week at least). The patio does not have a lot of direct sunlight, but the other palm trees I have do grow. Could it be that I planted the tree with too much soil (i.e. too deep into the soil)?

And lastly, is there still hope that after 14 months of no new leafs? The two leafs seem to be quite ok as far as I can tell.

Your palm is photosynthesizing with only 1 and half leaf, in a shady patio, this conditions for sure slow down its growth. What kind of potting soil did you use? Did you fertilize? If so, which fert did you use? As for the palm being planted in too much soil or too deep, we sure need to see some pics of the pot and stem base.

Yes, the leafs do seem fine.

Edited by lzorrito
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Alp80

Hi all

many thanks for your input.

Here are some more pics:

Palm10.jpg.0c1bbd856fcd053a72198902988b9b30.jpgPalm9.jpg.a14a85867e44b791663b3e8c3ad56304.jpg

As you can see it is indeed a big pot (probably 4 times the volume from the previous plastic pot I got from the palm vendor).

Indeed it is pretty shady (however, the other palms - although not in pots - are growing without any problems).  As soil I used "tierra fertil", I am not sure whether this is translated correctly as "fertile land" (it was just some deep dark soil i bought at the local gardener).  Now I also put some compost soil at the top. In the past I also used some fertilizer, but I am not sure what exactly it was. Is there some specific fertilizer I should use? And would you dig out some soil or leave it as it is?

At least there still seems some hope for this palm, so I will try to keep patient .... :-) Many thanks!!

 

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lzorrito

That's not a big pot, that's a gigantic pot! Your Palm is seriously overpotted, but let us look on the bright side. 

It looks like your palm is an Archontophoenix, probalbly alexandrae. They handle a lot of water...that's probably why it still "resists" on that pool. I assume that downsizing the pot is not an option now. The root system is probably all over the pot, although not yet established (it has been working on it, that's why there's almost no visible growth), so I think it's not safe to move it due to the high risk of root damage. I would leave it like that, and I sure hope that pot has some good drainage holes.

The most visible concern now is the thickness of the crown and the need to preserve the leafs, and new spears, you got one that's opening and another one emerging. How many leaves has it lost since you own it?

Made a search on your potting soil, did you use the regular (yours looks like normal peat based soil) or the specific "Palmeras y Helechos"? Notice that it looks and it sure is too soggy. The base of the trunk is completely wet, there's too much moisture on that compost. Soil temperature, aeration and moisture is not the ideal. You must slow down the water schedule. Do you water too often?

You used some compost soil at the top, that's not a good option. King palms do appreciate a topsoil that dries fast. Note that potting soil, for most palms, must have good drainage.

You should fertilize often. As for the fertilizer you should use a slow release one (pellets or coated), 3-1-3 NPK range. I use a NPK 19-7-18+2MgO+TE, but there are plenty of them to choose. Make a custom search on the forum and you'll find lots of information on potted palms fertilizer.

Yes, there's hope, you must be patient and take good care of it.

Edited by lzorrito

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