Jump to content
ZPalms

First Palm Tree, Need Advice

Recommended Posts

ZPalms

So I bought my very first sabal palmetto and it's about 3 years old, I'll be growing it inside for the majority of the time so it can get a bit bigger so no animals outside will snack on it and nobody runs over it with four-wheelers, I do need tips because I'm a bit lost so for starters I don't know if the pot I put it in was a good choice because its a very big pot and I only put it in a big pot because I thought about future proofing so it wouldn't need to be repotted for a long time but it seems to take a very long time for the water to dry out secondly I think I made a mistake buying miracle grow succulent and palm soil because it has terrible aeration so I'm not sure what I could do to make this better or am I going to need to re-pot the palm into another type of mix or try and work with what I have but I was able to get money back from miracle grow for my issues and I'm scared all the moisture that soil retains will rot the roots. Lastly, I've noticed in the miracle grow soil little tiny bugs are crawling around which are definitely from that soil and I'm not sure if their harmless or they are a bad mite but as far as I know they don't seem to be making webs or care much about the leaves so that just leaves the roots, I'm a bit worried because I don't want root rot or these little bugs to damage the roots of the plant if they are bad. so hopefully somebody can help me out! :greenthumb: 

uYQsQA8.jpgOoAba5P.jpg

This is a video as good as I could get of the bugs, They are so hard to see

Edited by ZPalms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honez

I use the same soil, I add in pumice, clean sand, some small volcanic rocks, and perlite though.  It is notorious for bugs.  I put diatomaceous earth all over the top layers away from the root ball.  I have no bugs anymore because of that. 

I also have 2 sabal palmettos about the same age.  And another 70 germinating in soil.  By Butia's and Trachy's are in the same soil. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PalmatierMeg

Sabals want heat, sun, warm rain and humidity. You should have plenty of that in NC in the summer. So get it outdoors now.

Sabals need deep pots. That pot is too large as palms don't like to be overpotted. Use a good quality, coarse garden soil and add extra perlite and/or coco coir to loosen it up.

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fusca
14 hours ago, ZPalms said:

So I bought my very first sabal palmetto and it's about 3 years old, I'll be growing it inside for the majority of the time so it can get a bit bigger so no animals outside will snack on it and nobody runs over it with four-wheelers, I do need tips because I'm a bit lost

Welcome to PalmTalk!  If you are planning to eventually plant it out in the yard I would not wait long to do so.  Sabals love lots of sun and water and don't like being in a container.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honez

I may sound stupid but why do palms not like to be over potted?  How is that any different than putting it into the ground?  Hopefully my sabals don't mind being in pots for a while.  Is there anything to help ensure they live/thrive?  My soil is literally a just a giant red clay block haha.  Trying to keep all of them in containers as long as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fusca
23 minutes ago, Honez said:

I may sound stupid but why do palms not like to be over potted?  How is that any different than putting it into the ground?  Hopefully my sabals don't mind being in pots for a while.  Is there anything to help ensure they live/thrive?  My soil is literally a just a giant red clay block haha.  Trying to keep all of them in containers as long as possible.

I completely understand your question as it didn't make sense to me at first either.  I believe it has to do with how long the palm's roots are exposed to moisture.  In the ground water can drain away in several directions but in a pot it can only drain through holes in the bottom.  Too large a container can make it difficult to control the moisture.  There are several photos in the main forum of large palms growing happily in containers not much larger than their root ball.  And check out threads with photos posted by @Pal Meir to see how nice palms can look in small pots.  Don't be fooled by how some palms are planted at big-box garden centers as sometimes palms are temporarily put in too large a container in order to make more money.

I also understand your clay soil issue as I bought my first house in Georgia west of Atlanta.  I would advise you to amend your clay with compost and mulch in areas where you plan to plant your palms and let the decomposition of the organic material improve the soil in the time you are waiting to plant.  It won't happen overnight but at least you'll have better soil to work with.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oasis371

Palms recent excessively large containers because they need excellent aeration at their roots, most (but not all), cannot survive saturated soils over long periods.  It's really hard to compare life in the ground to life in a pot (consider how drastically soil temp differ in a black, plastic pot in the sun, to the shaded soils in the ground). Most people use plastic containers and they do not breathe. They just seem to do much better when somewhat underplanted, drying faster and requiring those more frequent waterings.  Also, keep in mind, that palms do appreciate "deep" pots, just not a lot of excessive soil mass. BTW, I also have found that Sabals are a bit of the exception to this general rule,  they don't transplant the best, kinda resent transplanting and seem to resent a snug pot, not sure why.

Edited by oasis371
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Thank you everyone for replying, eases my mind knowing that my palm will hopefully be ok when I can get it into the right circumstance and out of these bugs and horrible soil! I would love to plant it outside if that's the best thing to do now but do wild bunnies care for palm leaves because they roam around here and eat pretty much anything that looks like grass or should I protect it somehow? As of now before I can move it outside will the palm be ok in this pot if I don't water it as often because I've been scared to water it because how long it takes for the water to dry. It does need to get water but If I give it a little bit will it be fine? Hopefully over the weekend I can get the new soil and prep the area where or if ill be planting it outside!

Edited by ZPalms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NC_Palm_Enthusiast

I've been able to make the miracle grow palm/cactus mix work by mixing in large amounts of perlite and soil conditioner.  It makes the mix much more well-draining.  I've currently got about a dozen palmettos potted in it and they're growing well without issue. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honez

Glad to see so many people here from my home state of NC haha.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide on soil with the palm in it or keep it away from the palm? Having tons of fungus gnats spawning up in the soil. Hoping to plant it outside tomorrow

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Is neem oil safe to use on soil with palmetto? I bought diatomaceous earth to place around the pot for tomorrow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Collectorpalms

Fungus gnats are from the soil surface being wet. I would bottom water or let the surface dry out between watering.

Sabals will grow much faster in the soil, but yours is small enough your ok for another season. Sabals are bad indoor plants. 
 

Use chicken wire outside to protect it while young if you have so many critters.

Edited by Collectorpalms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
22 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Fungus gnats are from the soil surface being wet. I would bottom water or let the surface dry out between watering.

Sabals will grow much faster in the soil, but yours is small enough your ok for another season. Sabals are bad indoor plants. 
 

Use chicken wire outside to protect it while young if you have so many critters.

I'm trying so hard to get it outside but I'm just doing what I can to keep the soil pest at a minimum until I can prepared the planting area and bottom watering is kind of tough since the pot is so deep and heavy and I really regret putting it in this pot but I was given this pot and thought it was the best thing in the moment, Luckily I do have chicken wire when I do get it outside. Is neem oil safe to use on or around palmettos and will diatomaceous earth ruin the soil?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honez

I have never known diatomaceous earth to ruin soil.  A lot of gardeners here use it, I learned about it from back home in NC.  Insects can't build up a resistance to it, and the soil seems fine.  I believe it is basically just a silica, like sand.  Watering can push it down, so it's safe to re-apply a few times a year.  I use neem oil all the time if I see any issues.  Doesn't seem to have harmed anything either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
55 minutes ago, Honez said:

I have never known diatomaceous earth to ruin soil.  A lot of gardeners here use it, I learned about it from back home in NC.  Insects can't build up a resistance to it, and the soil seems fine.  I believe it is basically just a silica, like sand.  Watering can push it down, so it's safe to re-apply a few times a year.  I use neem oil all the time if I see any issues.  Doesn't seem to have harmed anything either.

I saw a tik tok that it made their potting soil using diatomaceous earth very mucky but maybe they are using too much of it too often? I'll sprinkle a generous amount around the tree and my other plants and hopefully that helps but before I do that ill spray some neem oil on the soil first! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honez

Not sure how crushed silica makes anything mucky since it does not break down or take in liquid.  And a lot of people use it to avoid using chems.  Maybe someone else knows, my soil seems fine.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Finally planted my sabal outside after a month of being indoors and put this fence around it to stop wild rabbits from snacking on the leaves B) also put diatomaceous earth around it to discourage bugs

image0 (4).jpeg

image1 (1).jpeg

image2 (1).jpeg

Edited by ZPalms
  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

I just wanna be sure that my sabal will be ok so I just wanna be sure and see if anyone who knows more than I do but I thought about how I put it in the ground and I'm not sure if I put it in with enough height because I noticed when watering that the water likes to run into the center which kind of has me worried that when it rains will the rain drown it or will it be ok, If I need to put more soil in to raise it then I can do that or will it be fine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Well apart from maybe not burying it high enough, Looks like it's beginning new growth after being planted outside for 4 days because it looks like to me the leaves are starting to shift for new leaves since the middle leaf used to stand straight up but now has a stem

 

IMG_5455.jpg

Edited by ZPalms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Got to thinking and I think I can dig a trench on the lower side of it so when it rains the water will go to that lower level and not fully drench the tree because I'm tired of disturbing the roots and lifting it up

Edited by ZPalms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NC_Palm_Enthusiast
On 5/18/2021 at 3:40 PM, ZPalms said:

I just wanna be sure that my sabal will be ok so I just wanna be sure and see if anyone who knows more than I do but I thought about how I put it in the ground and I'm not sure if I put it in with enough height because I noticed when watering that the water likes to run into the center which kind of has me worried that when it rains will the rain drown it or will it be ok, If I need to put more soil in to raise it then I can do that or will it be fine?

I wouldn't worry about it.  These palms grow wild in swamps and along rivers.  You can't really overwater them once they're in the ground 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
1 minute ago, NC_Palm_Enthusiast said:

I wouldn't worry about it.  These palms grow wild in swamps and along rivers.  You can't really overwater them once they're in the ground 

Thank you that gives me peace of mind! :shaka-2: I do have one more question but when I dug the hole I filled it with good soil for but their is sand and sort of clay below the good soil. Will it be fine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NC_Palm_Enthusiast
Just now, ZPalms said:

Thank you that gives me peace of mind! :shaka-2: I do have one more question but when I dug the hole I filled it with good soil for but their is sand and sort of clay below the good soil. Will it be fine?

It will probably be fine,  again sabal minors are very tough palms and are not very picky about soil type.  The thick red clay in my neck of the woods doesn't bother them at all,  and they're native to the sandy soils in the coastal plain.  However,  when planting in the future I would recommend just mixing the native soil with some soil conditioner and using that.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
2 minutes ago, NC_Palm_Enthusiast said:

It will probably be fine,  again sabal minors are very tough palms and are not very picky about soil type.  The thick red clay in my neck of the woods doesn't bother them at all,  and they're native to the sandy soils in the coastal plain.  However,  when planting in the future I would recommend just mixing the native soil with some soil conditioner and using that.  

Thank you again will definitely take that advice since I will be getting 2 more sabals eventually next month, feels good to get that off my mind! :greenthumb:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SeanK

There is some consensus that Sabals grow better if they're a bit root-bound. Grower's usually keep them in 10" pots until they bust through. I think that yours will grow better in a hot, damp spot. Easier outside in NC.

Edited by SeanK
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
4 hours ago, SeanK said:

There is some consensus that Sabals grow better if they're a bit root-bound. Grower's usually keep them in 10" pots until they bust through. I think that yours will grow better in a hot, damp spot. Easier outside in NC.

Funny enough I left the roots exactly how they are, I let the roots do what they want but they weren’t bounded anywayB)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Anyone have any recommendations for slow release fertilizer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Reyes Vargas
21 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

Anyone have any recommendations for slow release fertilizer?

A lot of palmtalkers swear by PalmGain 8-2-12 Plus Minors.  I haven't tried it myself but am going to buy some once I finish the one I have.  It's not slow release though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
12 minutes ago, Reyes Vargas said:

A lot of palmtalkers swear by PalmGain 8-2-12 Plus Minors.  I haven't tried it myself but am going to buy some once I finish the one I have.  It's not slow release though.

I always see people talking about slow release being important, does it actually matter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Reyes Vargas
4 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

does it actually matter?

Only if you want to apply and forget about it for a few months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
2 minutes ago, Reyes Vargas said:

Only if you want to apply and forget about it for a few months.

Ah Thanks, Do you prefer regular to slow release?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Reyes Vargas
11 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

Ah Thanks, Do you prefer regular to slow release?

I actually prefer the regular.  I like that it gives what the palm needs quickly.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
Just now, Reyes Vargas said:

I actually prefer the regular.  I like that it gives what the palm needs quickly.

Awesome thanks, ill get some PalmGain a try then!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NC_Palm_Enthusiast
20 hours ago, ZPalms said:

Anyone have any recommendations for slow release fertilizer?

It's not generally recommend to fertilize palms until they've had a full growing season to get established.  You can use liquid kelp right away though which helps promote root growth

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms
1 hour ago, NC_Palm_Enthusiast said:

It's not generally recommend to fertilize palms until they've had a full growing season to get established.  You can use liquid kelp right away though which helps promote root growth

Oh i had no idea, I'll definitely get some liquid kelp thanks!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Just curious to know if I planted my sabal deep enough since I've seen pictures of others who only have the leaves showing unless this is normal cause I read somewhere not to bury them too deep and it's ok to expose just a bit of root if that is what this is but I usually cover it with a bit of soil, I'm assuming it's ok cause the leaves look like they've grown

IMG_5505.jpg

IMG_5504.jpg

Edited by ZPalms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NC_Palm_Enthusiast
2 hours ago, ZPalms said:

Just curious to know if I planted my sabal deep enough since I've seen pictures of others who only have the leaves showing unless this is normal cause I read somewhere not to bury them too deep and it's ok to expose just a bit of root if that is what this is but I usually cover it with a bit of soil, I'm assuming it's ok cause the leaves look like they've grown

IMG_5505.jpg

IMG_5504.jpg

That looks fine

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZPalms

Is their a reason why people clip browning ends on sabals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PalmatierMeg
14 hours ago, ZPalms said:

Is their a reason why people clip browning ends on sabals?

Appearances mostly.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...