So I looked at the top of the soil that I have my Sabal minor in and there is a weird slime. I thought it was mold or something so I put it in the sun (to hopefully kill it) and when I put it in the sun I noticed it looked like it was sparkling, like water in a lake. I looked closer and there are these tiny worm or maggot things in it. Does anyone know what these are and how to get rid of them? Are they harmful?
We planted 12 small Livistona decipiens (formerly decora) in their endemic range here in Australia about 9 months ago with a combination of potting mix and the local good organic/clay soil on a moderately steep slope in full sun. A couple of them show individual palm fronds/leaflets that are quite "ruffled" (see photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/KE6GSVR29h48oRfS9 ). Is this a normal growth variation or indicative of a deficiency such as Calcium or Boron? If a deficiency, what's the best solution?
BTW, we also have a triangle palm in a pot under greywater irrigation in almost full shade with a somewhat similarly ruffled frond/leaflets
(see photos: https://goo.gl/photos/uZUFe5mb8GKmb4HU7 ).
If you know what causes this please let me know.
By Phil Wright
I have a question about the rather dull subject of fertiliser. In particular fertilising palms in containers. Having done a little reading (and confused myself as much as clarified matters) I’ve tried to set out below the problem and what I believe is the answer. If anyone can help I’ll happily summarise the responses so others can learn from this.
I’ve been growing palms in a greenhouse for a number of years now as well as gradually moving them outside and re-potting into large grow-bags as they mature. They’re growing well but don’t seem to be growing at the pace they could be. In the past we’ve used rotted bark as potting mix but have now switched to quality potting mix. I’m also sure we’re not using the right fertiliser (it’s been recommended but I’m doubtful as to whether it’s right for palm trees).
The climate in northern NZ is maritime, warm-temperate (night/day16/24C in summer, 8/16C in winter, rare light frosts, damp and humid). There are two groups of palms (all grown in grow-bags); young palms several years old in 2-15 litre bags, older palms in 40-120L bags. The smaller palms are in an unheated greenhouse, the medium sized palms in a shade-house and larger ones outside with some or no protection depending upon the species. The palms grow well (a little yellow in spring if exposed to frost) but don’t grow very fast. Some of this may be due to water and being kept in small bags for too long (we’re resolving both of these problems) but I don’t feel they’re growing at an optimum speed.
We’ve recently switched from using rotted bark to using a quality potting mix with someone called CAN (Calcium ammonium nitrate). We’re also using Yaramila Complex slow release during the growing season and recently started using Nitrosol liquid fertiliser on the leaves every few weeks. Details on the two fertilisers below.
This is where I get stuck. Fertilising seems to have many complex rules and exceptions to these rules. I’m trying to find a general ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution (albeit with refinements for the age and location of the palm) that I can then improve on over time.
What I know so far has mostly been picked up from Timothy Broschat’s excellent book ‘Ornamental Palm Horticulture’...
· High Nitrogen is required: ideally an NPK ratio of 3:1:2
· Dolomite is needed to release Mg and Ca
· Sulphate forms of Mn, Zn, Cu, and Fe are also required
· Other trace elements required are B, Cl
· It’s practically impossible for the amateur to figure out what trace elements are missing from a sick palm (symptoms of practically all deficiencies look the same to me) so best to ensure a good mix of trace elements.
The fertiliser we’re using is:
· NPK analysis 12-5-15
· Nitrogen (N) 12.4%
· of which nitrate N 4.9%
· and ammonium N 7.4%
· Phosphorus 5.2% (water-soluble P 65%)
· Potassium 14.7%
· Sulphur 8.0%
This seems to have the wrong NPK balance to me.
Nitrosol (liquid fertiliser)
“Designed as a total replacement, one-step fertiliser containing:
· A balanced supply of the major nutrients N. P. and K. (8.3.6.) - all readily plant available to feed through BOTH the foliage and roots.
· The organic matter from blood and bone includes amino acids, albumin, globulin, cholesterol, humates and protein, the building blocks of life.
· A carefully balanced formulation of all the essential trace elements and minerals
· Two naturally occurring growth promotants”
A better balance but I’m not sure we can rely upon this alone. Also, it’s time-consuming to apply.
We’re also considering YaraBela CAN:
· Nitrogen (N) 27%
· of which nitrate N 13.5%
· and ammonium N 13.5%
· Magnesium 2.0%
· Calcium 4.0%
· Bulk density 1.04 kg per litre
No idea about this one but I’ve been told that many growers use high nitrogen fertiliser mixed with other things.
My question is relatively simple; if you were in my position, what one or two things would you do differently? Or, put another way, what’s the one (or more than one!) thing I’m doing that just looks plain wring to you? My guess is that Yaramila Complex isn’t right for palms but I’m happy to be corrected.