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maskedmole

11 year old stunted needle palm.

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maskedmole

Bought this when I was 15 on eBay it was a tiny twig about an inch high maybe and pinkie width trunk. Now I’m 26, 11 years later it’s trunk is about a little bigger than the fat end of a baseball bat. I have transplanted it from my parents to my house now and transplanted it another time. All in all it was transplanted twice. A year or 2 ago I brought it over here. I left the mulch on too long into spring from winter and it was looking rough and barely sprouted leaves. Now since last year or so it sprouted very short leaves and only one of them looks okay. It hasn’t really grown any so far this year. I have looked inside and can’t tell if a new leaf is sprouting. Will it ever grow long leaves again? It went through a few winters defoliate because I had it planted out in the wide open and barely ever protected it but since last year or so I’ve tried to take care of it. I poured a crap ton of hydrogen peroxide in the trunk last year when it was growing out short leaves with blackened edges. I think I got rid of most of the black rot stuff last year. It’s best leaf doesn’t look so bad and has stayed mostly green. Sorry this is probably kind of hard to follow. Back in it’s prime maybe 2014 it’s leaves were maybe waist height. I hope it’s not permanently stunted now. Surely if it was going to die it would have died by now. I think it will live. It has looked rough over the past couple or so years I guess. Hasn’t gotten that cold but I guess that year I left mulch on until rainy April rotted it out some.

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LeonardHolmes

Looks like it's coming back.  Feed it well with a palm fertilizer that includes micronutrients and be sure it is at least partial getting sun.   Maybe clean out the competing vegetation too. You shouldn't need to cover it with mulch in the winter in your zone after the first year or two.

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Fusca

Palms that have suffered from internal rot (most often from wet winter cold) will push deformed fronds while recovering.  After that it will resume normal frond production.  I haven't grown one but based on your timeline these must not grow very fast so it will take some time before looking normal again.  Another factor that affects the frond appearance is the amount of sun in it's new spot.  Shade often causes stretched fronds.

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Fusca

Here is a recent example from my yard.  As I'm sure you already know, we had a historic freeze back in February and I had a few palms spear-pull and I ended up cutting the trunk.  First pic is the first deformed frond from my Livistona chinensis and second shows normal fronds that have come up later.

 

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JohnAndSancho
On 6/19/2021 at 7:18 PM, Fusca said:

Here is a recent example from my yard.  As I'm sure you already know, we had a historic freeze back in February and I had a few palms spear-pull and I ended up cutting the trunk.  First pic is the first deformed frond from my Livistona chinensis and second shows normal fronds that have come up later.

 

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I'm gonna show this picture to my Chinesis and try to shame it into growing faster. 

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SeanK

There are 3general phenotypes for Rapidophyllum. 

1. Mostly Male

2. Mostly Female

3. Short ones with many small heads

The first two change sex every few years. Yours fits none of the above. It is either starved or has root damage. Dig it up and move it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fusca
1 hour ago, SeanK said:

@Fusca - Nice Licuala.

Thanks, I was thinking it had that Licuala look when I snapped that pic!  :lol: Deformed leaf doesn't look too bad!

2 hours ago, JohnAndSancho said:

I'm gonna show this picture to my Chinesis and try to shame it into growing faster. 

:floor:

It's chugging along that's for sure.  I love the look of these when they are juveniles.  It's not exactly back to normal yet but it's getting there... 

I hope State will keep winning and face my Vols at some point!  We didn't look so good on Sunday though.

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JohnAndSancho
52 minutes ago, Fusca said:

I hope State will keep winning

Sancho approves of this part of your post. 

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maskedmole
On 6/18/2021 at 9:51 PM, LeonardHolmes said:

Looks like it's coming back.  Feed it well with a palm fertilizer that includes micronutrients and be sure it is at least partial getting sun.   Maybe clean out the competing vegetation too. You shouldn't need to cover it with mulch in the winter in your zone after the first year or two.

It started out when I first planted it as about full sun or somewhat part sun. The first transplant I planted it in a mostly shady area and figured that was bad so I transplanted it into it's spot now which is about the sunniest area of my immediate yard that gets sunny most of the day. Thank you I want to look into fertilizing it, I don't think I ever have. I will try to clear out the weeds too they pop up so quick. Thanks for the advice I will try to stop babying it. 

I got a little excited when I saw the tiniest frond emerging. It is so tiny I had to squint my eyes. Hopefully this frond will get bigger. 

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maskedmole
On 6/21/2021 at 6:13 PM, SeanK said:

There are 3general phenotypes for Rapidophyllum. 

1. Mostly Male

2. Mostly Female

3. Short ones with many small heads

The first two change sex every few years. Yours fits none of the above. It is either starved or has root damage. Dig it up and move it.

 

The problem is I have already moved it twice and afraid this last time will outright kill it. First it was in sun, then I moved it to mostly shade and figured that was bad so I moved it again and this time it is in full sun, about the sunniest spot in my yard that would be practical to me. It gets sun nearly all day. I couldn't think of a better spot really. I think it is probably both starved and maybe got root damage from moving it or something else. Do you think fertilizing could possibly save it? There is the tiniest frond coming up I just noticed the other day, do you think I should see how it turns out?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by maskedmole

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maskedmole
On 6/19/2021 at 2:53 PM, Fusca said:

Palms that have suffered from internal rot (most often from wet winter cold) will push deformed fronds while recovering.  After that it will resume normal frond production.  I haven't grown one but based on your timeline these must not grow very fast so it will take some time before looking normal again.  Another factor that affects the frond appearance is the amount of sun in it's new spot.  Shade often causes stretched fronds.

See the odd thing is, it has never gotten that cold in recent years.. The winter it came out of looking bad, it only got down to maybe 10 or 14 degrees. But it didn't really show as much decline until later on in the Spring. It sure did get wet though. I think I got this needle palm from Florida, maybe it is not the hardiest selection I could have gotten? It's new spot is about the sunniest in my yard. Before it was in mostly shade and before that mostly sun. It kept looking bad and I figured this newest spot with extra sun would help it recover better. It seemed to grow leaves a little faster but all short.

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maskedmole
On 6/21/2021 at 6:11 PM, JohnAndSancho said:

I'm gonna show this picture to my Chinesis and try to shame it into growing faster. 

Beautiful Chinese fan palm. I tried growing one of those as a teenager here. It survived for a year or two but always defolitated during winter and ended up getting completely destroyed one cold wet winter. Same happened with a Mexican fan palm I tried growing also. I mulched them a bit but that wasn't enough. Those just won't hardly grow here. I have only gotten needle palms, windmills, sabal minor to grow here successfully. Although, I never tried growing another Chinese fan or Mexican fan after that. I could have put in more effort to protect them but had better teenage stuff to do at the time I guess.

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Fusca
10 hours ago, maskedmole said:

Beautiful Chinese fan palm.

Thanks. 

10 hours ago, maskedmole said:

See the odd thing is, it has never gotten that cold in recent years.. The winter it came out of looking bad, it only got down to maybe 10 or 14 degrees. But it didn't really show as much decline until later on in the Spring. It sure did get wet though. I think I got this needle palm from Florida, maybe it is not the hardiest selection I could have gotten? It's new spot is about the sunniest in my yard. Before it was in mostly shade and before that mostly sun. It kept looking bad and I figured this newest spot with extra sun would help it recover better. It seemed to grow leaves a little faster but all short.

Since your needle had been moved recently it wasn't as hardy to the cold as an established one would be.  I've seen small windmill palms spear-pull at 15 degree temperatures which had just been planted 6 months previously.  Once established they would laugh at those temps.  If you move it again now it will need protection again this winter.

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maskedmole

Update - It is growing a pretty nice spear! I don't think it will be very big but still it looks better than some of the old spears it grew in the past and it looks like a healthy leaf with no black. It's still surviving. Hopefully with this new leaf it  will gain more energy to grow larger healthier leaves.

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Will Simpson

My Washy is about the same age but is 7 feet to the tip of the highest frond and very fat . I don't know what is wrong but if it were mine I would check and make sure it isn't planted too deep  . I would also move it to a new hole where I would loosen up the soil very deeply and wide so it would get a great start in that new spot . Fertilize , water , mulch , and then because it is not thriving , protect it this coming winter and turn on supplemental heat from a light bulb  on the nights below 20F or so .  That way cold isn't a factor as it goes into the next growing season . 

Will

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maskedmole
On 7/31/2021 at 1:09 PM, Will Simpson said:

My Washy is about the same age but is 7 feet to the tip of the highest frond and very fat . I don't know what is wrong but if it were mine I would check and make sure it isn't planted too deep  . I would also move it to a new hole where I would loosen up the soil very deeply and wide so it would get a great start in that new spot . Fertilize , water , mulch , and then because it is not thriving , protect it this coming winter and turn on supplemental heat from a light bulb  on the nights below 20F or so .  That way cold isn't a factor as it goes into the next growing season . 

Will

Well it might have been planted too deep in it's first planting spot and the second planting spot maybe. But it's been in this new spot like a year maybe and I made sure to plant it as correctly as I could this time. I spent probably an hour at least or even hours planting it as perfectly as I could. It seemed to have a root growing from the middle of it's trunk so I think it was planted too deep but in this new spot I made sure to have the roots close to the soil. I looked up the best way to plant it and was really meticulous. This spot I also made sure had more sun. Since it has already been transplanted twice and is under stress and I also like it's spot it's in, I don't think I can risk moving it again. I haven't fertilized it yet but I'm going to soon. I have this stuff called mericle grow plant food made for palms. Is that considered fertilizer?

I looked up fertilizer on amazon for palms and this is what it suggested. Is plant food the same as fertilizer? We get serious amounts of rain here in Tennessee. We get on average about 56 inches of precipitation a year. In recent years we have gotten more like 80 inches or more a year. It seems like it has rained here nearly every day or other day for 3 years straight.  I don't even bother with watering any of my plants except on very rare occasions I may water some of my more sensitive plants when it stops raining for a like a week which rarely happens. I have rarely fertilized any of my palms also but I am going to try to start fertilizing them some.  I always give my palms some protection during winter. Usually I mulch them and in the most serious cold events like below 20 or the teen degrees, I usually will throw a blanket or 2 on top of my palms and they rarely ever defoliate when I do that and usually do fine through winter.  In fact, I think the only times my palms have been damaged in winter was when I did little to no protection and it was bad winters, but they have always done really well when I do make some effort to protect them. 

Anyway I'm thinking about fertilizing it either tonight or this weekend. I'm a little confused though because it says to put out only so much within the drip line but my palm tree's leaves are only maybe 8 inches high or so at most so do I go by that? I know this palm tree in it's prime maybe 2014 it had leaves that were about a foot or so long. So would I fertilize it based on it's current growth which is practically nothing or it's potential height that it used to have? Also I'm pretty sure I quite severely damaged it's roots when I transplanted it the first time and quite possibly the second time. I know the first time I have to cut that son of a gun's root that was stuck very far underground that I couldn't get out. It had so many roots but I possibly cut a few areas. So this likely has factored into it's poor growing position now. Hopefully it will get a chance to start growing more roots again soon.. It hasn't been in this new spot super long. The mericle grow has a diagram that says for example for palms with 4 foot drip line give them like 6 tablespoons or something. And for potted palms like 6 inch drip line give them a smaller amount like a quarter tablespoon, something like that.

I have treated this poor palm terribly over the years, I'm surprised it's not dead but I am trying to make up for it now. 

Edited by maskedmole

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Jimhardy

I think it has root damage.

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maskedmole
6 hours ago, Jimhardy said:

I think it has root damage.

Oh yeah I was rough on the roots when I transplanted it 2 different times. I even cut some to just get it out the first time because it was the only way to get it out. Do you think they will ever recover?

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