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Discouraged

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ZPalms

I'm feeling so discouraged about all my palms. They all look so messy and bad, and they're only in the straps leaves stage and I did something that will probably end horribly even though I was recommended not to. I decided to re-transplant the JXB into another baggy with new soil but the soil is the same as before so that sucks but I did put more perlite but it's so upsetting to me because I had to keep digging it up and switching pots and stuff cause I wasn't sure what soil to use so now it's probably gonna die from all the movement of the roots, and I was super careful with the roots. I also decided to plant it a little higher because I did plant it to low last time, but I'm so annoyed with myself not being able to get my plants the best materials, so they can thrive and I have no idea how to actually get good drainage and not have mucky soil cause all the soils I have access to get mucky.

Also, even though a new leaf opened early on this mystery trachy, all of them are starting to turn brown but as with all my palms I can't water any of the potassium in cause the soil stays moist for weeks and I don't wanna cause any more problems that I can't even fix and even my trachycarpus are having some drying out of the tips and the newer growths are having brown dots and nothing is going right.

 

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JubaeaMan138

Looks like sunburn to

me ??? But I’m not expert . Most of

My seedlings seem to  go through that but I’ve been growing so many from seed lately each species in the 50

to 100 count the way I look at it is some look great some burn to hell . If they make it they will be tough if not they weren’t strong enough for me to grow 

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ZPalms
10 minutes ago, JubaeaMan138 said:

Looks like sunburn to

me ??? But I’m not expert . Most of

My seedlings seem to  go through that but I’ve been growing so many from seed lately each species in the 50

to 100 count the way I look at it is some look great some burn to hell . If they make it they will be tough if not they weren’t strong enough for me to grow 

I feel like all of my palms mainly struggle from my soil quality because I can't give them what they need and it's so discouraging that I just can't relax and I'm having to do guesswork all the time. I'm hopeful that all of my palms will make it through this bump in the road but it's just tough I can't do anything about it. even if they get sunburn and I do think they will most likely recover but I feel like I got all these stressors happening at once.

I have to repot all my washies since the roots decided to grow outside of the bags and I'm hoping I can get some good stuff to make their soil quality better.

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Keys6505

I'm not sure if I understand, are you trying different potting mixes and they're all staying soggy or are you repotting in the same stuff every time and just cutting in a little perlite?  The mix that I learned from people on this site that has worked wonders for me is a 1:1:1 mix of Turface MVP, generic bagged garden soil, and perlite.  I got the turface from a fertilizer store locally, it's relatively cheap.  The other stuff you can just get at the big box stores.  

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
1 hour ago, ZPalms said:

I have to repot all my washies since the roots decided to grow outside of the bags and I'm hoping I can get some good stuff to make their soil quality better.

I wouldn't worry about soil quality for washies , they literally can grow anywhere,  if they aren't looking good in your soil your definitely over watering. The biggest thing to stay away from is potting soil. I also use turface mvp like @Keys6505 mixed with plain ol garden soil. 

T J 

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96720

Washes don’t care how much water they get they grow in my pond I’m always having to pull them out 

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D Palm

Those fan palms grow in the desert out west, sand, clay and boggy swamps of south. Why do you prefer bags? Seedlings and leaf straps get burned easily.  I use 50% cheap ACE compost and 50% knock off black kow. Mix it in a wheel barrel and loads of cheap potting soil for my Royals I sprouted along with other palms/plants. What are your plans for the palms?

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ZPalms
4 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

I'm not sure if I understand, are you trying different potting mixes and they're all staying soggy or are you repotting in the same stuff every time and just cutting in a little perlite?  The mix that I learned from people on this site that has worked wonders for me is a 1:1:1 mix of Turface MVP, generic bagged garden soil, and perlite.  I got the turface from a fertilizer store locally, it's relatively cheap.  The other stuff you can just get at the big box stores.  

All the potting soil I have currently are from different brands and they all get mucky, I have miracle grow (not my favorite but it's accessible to me) and dollar store soil which is more accessible to me and has much better drainage than the miracle grow soil but it holds too much moisturize for far too long where it compacts. I'll look into Turface MVP which ill probably have to order online eventually.

3 hours ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

I wouldn't worry about soil quality for washies , they literally can grow anywhere,  if they aren't looking good in your soil your definitely over watering. The biggest thing to stay away from is potting soil. I also use turface mvp like @Keys6505 mixed with plain ol garden soil. 

T J 

I went to the store once to see about getting soil that's not made for potting and I looked on the bags and said to not use in pots which confuses me like is their a adverse reason to not use it in pots? but is their a brand that you guys would recommend? I saw it's better to get soils without fertilizer for seedlings but all the bag soil at lowes all have fertilizer

2 hours ago, 96720 said:

Washes don’t care how much water they get they grow in my pond I’m always having to pull them out 

 

2 hours ago, D Palm said:

Those fan palms grow in the desert out west, sand, clay and boggy swamps of south. Why do you prefer bags? Seedlings and leaf straps get burned easily.  I use 50% cheap ACE compost and 50% knock off black kow. Mix it in a wheel barrel and loads of cheap potting soil for my Royals I sprouted along with other palms/plants. What are your plans for the palms?

I'm not too worried about the washies since they seem to be thriving the most without much issue even though the soil I think could be better anyhow cause I would like to water the fertilizer it needs without having the soil constantly wet since it's having potassium problems. My plans are to get them all in the ground next spring! I don't like using these nursery bags cause they are so much trouble and way to flexible and hard to work with and they always need to be against each other so they don't fall over.

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Billeb

Sounds to me like what your using is garden soil for flowers/vegetables etc. That soil holds the water in instead of letting it drain thru. You need to start with some type of cactus mix and add other “ingredients “ from there. I’m my potted plants I use a medium that drains really really well. When I plant out I tend to add the native soil to the recipe to acclimatize it to the new home. As others have said…put it in a wheel barrow and mix up a big amount. By the sounds of it, you’ll likely have to order these. Examples below. 
 

In Pots: 2 parts cactus mix, 1 part Turf n Tee soil, 1 Part Small Orchid bark,  1 part Pumice, handful of slow release fertilizer  

In Ground: 2 parts cactus mix, 1 part Turf n Tee soil, 2 parts Native soil, 1 Part Small Orchid bark, 1 Part pumice (sometimes I throw in some Amend too) 

 

-dale

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ZPalms
4 hours ago, Billeb said:

Sounds to me like what your using is garden soil for flowers/vegetables etc. That soil holds the water in instead of letting it drain thru. You need to start with some type of cactus mix and add other “ingredients “ from there. I’m my potted plants I use a medium that drains really really well. When I plant out I tend to add the native soil to the recipe to acclimatize it to the new home. As others have said…put it in a wheel barrow and mix up a big amount. By the sounds of it, you’ll likely have to order these. Examples below. 
 

In Pots: 2 parts cactus mix, 1 part Turf n Tee soil, 1 Part Small Orchid bark,  1 part Pumice, handful of slow release fertilizer  

In Ground: 2 parts cactus mix, 1 part Turf n Tee soil, 2 parts Native soil, 1 Part Small Orchid bark, 1 Part pumice (sometimes I throw in some Amend too) 

 

-dale

I have been using miracle grow cactus and palm and citrus potting mix but it's bad on it's own and I usually just add perlite since that's all I have access too at Lowes , I'll save this soil recipe. Thanks!

Is turf n tree soil, Like turf and soil specifically for trees?

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Missi
44 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

I have been using miracle grow cactus and palm and citrus potting mix but it's bad on it's own and I usually just add perlite since that's all I have access too at Lowes , I'll save this soil recipe. Thanks!

Is turf n tree soil, Like turf and soil specifically for trees?

It's Turf N Tee (tee - like golf). Give it a Google! http://www.sequoiabark.com/index.php/products/turf-n-tee

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sonoranfans

We all learn from this initially.  Some handle them too much others over fertilize.  If your temps are cool, I'd put a warming pad(they have warming pads for plants under it and keep it moist.  Might be you you can help it heal by keeping it warmer.  Notice warm to the touch not hot.

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palmsOrl

Hey ZPalms, I feel bad that you are feeling discouraged.  All of we palm nuts have been there at one point or another.

I have found that with container growing it is (not surprisingly) all about the soil.  You want to make sure in your climate that you have well drained soil with a good amount of inorganic.

Which palms are you currently looking for?

-Loke

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Billeb
3 hours ago, ZPalms said:

I have been using miracle grow cactus and palm and citrus potting mix but it's bad on it's own and I usually just add perlite since that's all I have access too at Lowes , I'll save this soil recipe. Thanks!

Is turf n tree soil, Like turf and soil specifically for trees?

If you want to add even more pumice to the mix, it’ll drain even better. I’m personally not a fan of perlite as it seems to break down a bit and get mushy :sick:  The pumice is obviously more of a rock and is never breaking down. I’d stick with the Miracle grow cactus mix as a base. Sounds like your on the right track. 
 

Yes, as @Missi stated, it’s Turf & Tee. May be hard to get in your area. You can likely use something else in that genre. 
 

The recipe is not my own but handed down by another. Pass it on :shaka-2:

-dale

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Scott W

I've lost many cycads and palms in pots due to too wet of a mixture.  Some palms though, as others have stated, seem to grow in whatever.  You'll find what works best eventually, but hopefully in that process you don't lose too many palms, especially the hybrids....

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PalmatierMeg

I've made a major change to my potting mix by rehydrating blocks of coco coir and mixing it with coarse garden soil (Sta Green brand ATM) and perlite. Coco coir permits better drainage and reduces muckiness. Pumice is almost unheard of on the east coast but I use it for small, valuable cacti. I have to get it in 15 lb bags from General Pumice in CA. I go through 8-10 bags per year.

Try not to be discouraged. We've all faced steep learning curves in the beginning. And I can attest we never stop learning. You'll always find advice and encouragement here. 

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sonoranfans

Seems like drainage could be an issue and timing of watering events.  I mostly want to water after water has drained down and oxygen gets into the soil for a dry cycle.  This dry cycle depends on many things like soil composition, humidity, rain, and sun(heat).   I think for a beginner with small palms the use of turface mvp, a calcined clay pebble ammendment is useful.  I now put about 20-30% turface into my palm and cactus soil with 0-10% perlite.  Both turface and perlite improve drainage but perlite has minimal moisture retention and no cation exchange for your soil.  Perlite drains well and limits soil compaction.  the calcined clay also retains moisture like organics but drains much better.  The calcined clay will also remain as cation exchange medium long after your organics have dissolved in the potting soil due to microbe action.  A long term palm in a container strategy for me is using that 20-30% calcined clay to ensure a more consistent dry cycle.   Also a part is knowing your palm species.  Dypsis pembana doesnt mind being wet all the time.   I suspect that anything with jubaea blood in it wants a drier soil, one that goes dry regularly.

I had a (BxJ)xJ seedling for years and it was never happy until I stopped watering it a few years ago.  It is in high drainage soil(30% perlite) and I water it ~ monthly in the dry season, in the wet season, I just let it rain.  Different palms want a different level of care.  On this board you will find someone with the information you need for whatever species you get.

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Chester B

These palms you are growing thrive on neglect. Have you heard the phrase “Killing them with kindness”?  Your soil sounds fine, I think you need to stop repotting, overwatering, over fertilizing, etc and generally stop fussing over them.  Put them in a nice sunny spot and forget about them. Go check on them once a week and stick your finger an inch or so down in the soil. If it feels damp don’t water. If it feels bone dry water.  You get summer rain so I expect you will not need to water much. 
 

And don’t forget these are palms they tend to grow pretty slowly at small sizes. It may take 2 years or more before they’re ready to go into the ground. 
 

More potted plants die from excessive human intervention than just about any cause. 

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Joe NC
5 hours ago, Chester B said:

These palms you are growing thrive on neglect. Have you heard the phrase “Killing them with kindness”?  Your soil sounds fine, I think you need to stop repotting, overwatering, over fertilizing, etc and generally stop fussing over them.  Put them in a nice sunny spot and forget about them. Go check on them once a week and stick your finger an inch or so down in the soil. If it feels damp don’t water. If it feels bone dry water.  You get summer rain so I expect you will not need to water much. 
 

And don’t forget these are palms they tend to grow pretty slowly at small sizes. It may take 2 years or more before they’re ready to go into the ground. 
 

More potted plants die from excessive human intervention than just about any cause. 

Exactly what Chester B said!!!

Also, plants we really want to grow often just die.  Sometimes on their own, sometimes we accidentally murder them with too much care. It is all just part of the learning process of gardening/growing. 

I have killed soooo many plants just learning what not to do.  Just don't spend a ton of money or get really attached to anything while you are new to growing and still figuring it all out.  Stick with it, and soon you will have more palms than space.  I promise.

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amh

I'm in a less humid 8A area, but still have trouble with rain and humidity. For cycads and palms from arid areas, I generally make a potting mixture that is primarily peat moss with small amounts of perlite and potting soil(5:1:1). The mixture is low in nutrients, but drains well and is not prone to fungal issues. Keep your pot volume to a minimum, so that there is not excessive moisture.

 

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D Palm

I would be wary about coco coir. I used it when I was an Ag Science teacher for my hydroponics because it did not need to be inspected by the FDA if we donated food to the cafeteria(ground grown veggies must). It was a mixture of Pine bark also. Great medium, but retains 0 nutrients which isn’t a big deal for the verti-grow system I had in place. The system pumped nutrients efficiently on a timer down the stacked pots so the nutrients were constantly being fed. It also has about a 6-12 month life before breaking down.  Another benefit is almost no chance for soil born diseases, which I don’t think plague palms like citrus, peaches, etc. Good to see the knowledge of it passed around.

Edited by D Palm
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ZPalms

Thanks everyone for the advice, I'm scared to lose my only hybrids but I think the only thing I can do as of right now is just decrease watering and watch the rain until I'm able to afford anything else since I don't make any money. But will definitely be saving the drainage recipes and try and get the things I need when I can before I sprout anything new cause I don't want no more stressing about potting soil.

I always see the use of coco coir and I googled it a couple times and I've seen people say it holds water or is that not true? All the different bricks are confusing to me or what purpose they serve unless I'm just overcomplicating it and not understanding it?

I really do try not to over baby the plants but it's hard to not when they have problems appear after problem and I can't fix any problems because of soil that stays damp for weeks, so It's like I'm always in a dilemma of pest (Catilpillers and gnats though luckily the caterpillars I think are done) moisture and nutrients.

18 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

Hey ZPalms, I feel bad that you are feeling discouraged.  All of we palm nuts have been there at one point or another.

I have found that with container growing it is (not surprisingly) all about the soil.  You want to make sure in your climate that you have well drained soil with a good amount of inorganic.

Which palms are you currently looking for?

-Loke

I appreciate it, I'm not currently looking for any palms, just me over worrying about the ones I currently have :blush2:

 

17 hours ago, Scott W said:

If you're looking for a Turface MVP supplier go here....

https://www.turface.com/find-a-distributor

It's how I found my local distributor.

 Awesome thanks, just looked got one not too far that I can order from, when I can!

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palmsOrl

Good luck with them!  Your best luck while they are small is to reserve a room in your house to stay between 70-80F with lots of winter sunlight and or supplemental light.

-Loke

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DCA_Palm_Fan
21 hours ago, Chester B said:

These palms you are growing thrive on neglect. Have you heard the phrase “Killing them with kindness”?  Your soil sounds fine, I think you need to stop repotting, overwatering, over fertilizing, etc and generally stop fussing over them.  Put them in a nice sunny spot and forget about them. Go check on them once a week and stick your finger an inch or so down in the soil. If it feels damp don’t water. If it feels bone dry water.  You get summer rain so I expect you will not need to water much. 
 

And don’t forget these are palms they tend to grow pretty slowly at small sizes. It may take 2 years or more before they’re ready to go into the ground. 
 

More potted plants die from excessive human intervention than just about any cause. 

@ZPalms THIS, up there ^^^^^^  100%!    Killing them with kindness / love is one of the more common ways plants die in human care. 

 

If you are worried about your soil / potting mix and water retention,   Make your own.  I will give you the formula that I have used for nearly 2 decades with great success, and it is not all that expensive.     Basically, mucky soil is an indicator of a smaller particle size in your potting mix.    Not only can it retain moisture, but it can literally form a small lake / puddle in the bottom of your pot that take much longer to dry out, and sometimes may not ever dry out with frequent watering.  damp / moist is one thing, sopping soggy wet is another and that is bad.     This is called the "perched water table" .  This is the "lake" or "puddle" of water i mentioned that sits in the bottom of your pot.  Small particle size in potting mix promotes this and causes it to be much higher in the pot as the surface tension of the water has far more to hold on to to stay in place.   With larger particle sizes, this lessens the depth / amount of water that is held in the potting column.  

The mix I use is as follows:  

5 parts Palm / cactus potting mix, or 5 parts peat.  (for palms I use the palm/ cactus mix)  1-2 parts pine park fines or orchid potting mix ( which is smaller bark nuggets), 1-2 parts pearlite.    If made in the 5-1-1 format, you will achieve a pretty fast / well draining potting mix.  5-2-2 is even more course and will drain even faster and retain even less water.      Of course you can alter this how you like based on your needs, but for palm purposes I have found that  this mix has done  amazingly well for me.    The only real drawbacks here are you will need to fertilize a little more, and, during dry season, or dry spells in rainy season, you will need to water a bit more.   

 

If you'd like Im happy to message you with photos of the brand I use and have had success with.       

 

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PalmatierMeg
21 hours ago, Chester B said:

These palms you are growing thrive on neglect. Have you heard the phrase “Killing them with kindness”?  Your soil sounds fine, I think you need to stop repotting, overwatering, over fertilizing, etc and generally stop fussing over them.  Put them in a nice sunny spot and forget about them. Go check on them once a week and stick your finger an inch or so down in the soil. If it feels damp don’t water. If it feels bone dry water.  You get summer rain so I expect you will not need to water much. 
 

And don’t forget these are palms they tend to grow pretty slowly at small sizes. It may take 2 years or more before they’re ready to go into the ground. 
 

More potted plants die from excessive human intervention than just about any cause. 

I agree wholeheartedly. Resist the urge to mollycoddle them. Don't repot them over and over.

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Chester B

I also forgot to mention that I have killed a ton of potted seedlings and still do, but hopefully less nowadays.  If you start a 100 seedlings guaranteed you won't be ending up with a 100 near planting time, there are just too many variables.  That's why I always start more than I need, if I have extra I can give to friends, sell, etc.

I find plants are so much easier in the ground.  

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ZPalms
4 hours ago, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

@ZPalms THIS, up there ^^^^^^  100%!    Killing them with kindness / love is one of the more common ways plants die in human care. 

 

If you are worried about your soil / potting mix and water retention,   Make your own.  I will give you the formula that I have used for nearly 2 decades with great success, and it is not all that expensive.     Basically, mucky soil is an indicator of a smaller particle size in your potting mix.    Not only can it retain moisture, but it can literally form a small lake / puddle in the bottom of your pot that take much longer to dry out, and sometimes may not ever dry out with frequent watering.  damp / moist is one thing, sopping soggy wet is another and that is bad.     This is called the "perched water table" .  This is the "lake" or "puddle" of water i mentioned that sits in the bottom of your pot.  Small particle size in potting mix promotes this and causes it to be much higher in the pot as the surface tension of the water has far more to hold on to to stay in place.   With larger particle sizes, this lessens the depth / amount of water that is held in the potting column.  

The mix I use is as follows:  

5 parts Palm / cactus potting mix, or 5 parts peat.  (for palms I use the palm/ cactus mix)  1-2 parts pine park fines or orchid potting mix ( which is smaller bark nuggets), 1-2 parts pearlite.    If made in the 5-1-1 format, you will achieve a pretty fast / well draining potting mix.  5-2-2 is even more course and will drain even faster and retain even less water.      Of course you can alter this how you like based on your needs, but for palm purposes I have found that  this mix has done  amazingly well for me.    The only real drawbacks here are you will need to fertilize a little more, and, during dry season, or dry spells in rainy season, you will need to water a bit more.   

 

If you'd like Im happy to message you with photos of the brand I use and have had success with.       

 

This actually sounds more accessible to me from my box store than turface even though I'm interested in getting some eventually!!

Would love if you could send brand photos!!

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ZPalms
2 hours ago, Chester B said:

I also forgot to mention that I have killed a ton of potted seedlings and still do, but hopefully less nowadays.  If you start a 100 seedlings guaranteed you won't be ending up with a 100 near planting time, there are just too many variables.  That's why I always start more than I need, if I have extra I can give to friends, sell, etc.

I find plants are so much easier in the ground.  

I wish I could start seedlings directly in the ground cause it's hard to maintain pots at least for me, my sabal has been a breeze since I put it in the ground.

Also potting stuff is expensive and not economical or sustainable at least for me since I don't make money but I wish I could plant 100 different plants at the same time, but I don't have the resources :blush2:

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