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D. Morrowii

Describing palm sizes by container size

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D. Morrowii

I’m having trouble understanding palm sizes as they are commonly referred to by container size. I’ve purchased palms in 4” containers that were larger than ones in 1 gallon even from the same supplier. Is there some general criteria to determine what size you palm is? Or is there a good reference or book that explains maturity stages of a palm? Is it just root space or growth? Reading through the forum I’ve seen it brought up that a 15 gallon palm is a good safe size to plant out a marginal palm or that a certain palm was planted out at 3 or 5 gallons. What are some practical ways to think about this? 

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PalmatierMeg

I don't think there is any official or even unofficial system to pot vs. palm size. You should try to see in photos or in person examples of what a seller offers. I've seen small seedlings stuck in 3g pots and sold as such - buyer beware. I've transferred newly bought palms from 4" pots into 3g because they were so underpotted. Often the grower pots small palms into tiny pots, then leaves them until they are sold sometimes years later. Up-potting takes time, labor and materials that some nurseries don't want to invest. They would rather risk the chance of stunting. Pot vs. plant size varies by location. I've read the size of a 7g palm in CA bears no relation to the size of a 7g palm in FL, esp. in regard to tropical palms. In general you get more palm for your buck here.

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D. Morrowii

Makes sense Meg, I guess there are a lot of variables. I do keep my eye out for how different palms look for their size in different pots but I’m not to the point where I can have a solid opinion on it. The reason for the question is more for my own understanding and being able to better use information that I get from the group here or in books etc. As my collection grows I’m finding myself repotting a lot and wanting to get some in the ground but want to keep my mistakes to a minimum. 

As far as purchasing goes everyone I have bought palms/seeds from has been very easy to deal with and generous. 

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