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Re potting Kentia

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Hi there,

I own a Kentia palm (2 stems actually) which I found in a bin a few years ago and is growing back well. 
I want to ask you guys for advice about the position they are currently growing, which is a bit inconvenient to place in my house.

As you can see from the images they are kind of V shape positioned so the foliages are spreading horizontally more then vertically.
I know that Kentia are particularly sensible about repotting and messing with roots in general so my questions are:
Do you think it possible to split and reposition them in a more vertical manner?
If possible, can you advise me how to deal with the roots and the process?
If it is not a feasible option could you suggest me a technique to "direct" the stems?
Thank you very much in advance for your help,




Edited by Dadocreate

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piping plovers
6 hours ago, Dadocreate said:

I own a Kentia palm (2 stems actually) which I found in a bin a few years ago and is growing back well. 
I want to ask you guys for advice about the position they are currently growing, which is a bit inconvenient to place in my house.

You’ve done a great job rescuing that plant.

To avoid separating them and the risk of root disturbance, you might want to try to straighten the leaning palm. I would use string or wire to tie the two palm plants together more to a middle upright position. You can use a thick bamboo stake as well to help straighten the palms.  Not sure how flexible they are though.  

If that doesn’t work then I would remove the pot, and gently try to separate the two palms. Be careful as possible untangling the roots from each other. I have successfully done this with mine.  Using water to help separate if needed. You will hear different sides to this some saying they don’t really like root disturbance; and some have posted how resilient they are.  

If you can separate them without too much damage, then repot them together close and as straight as the 2 root balls will allow in as small a pot that they will fit. Might be helpful to use string to bind the palms together straight or they will likely lean away from each other when establishing in pot.  Or you can repot separately each to a smaller pot.

Smallest pot possible and well draining potting mix are key to success in my experience.  Remove standing water in any saucer after watering.

Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes!


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Wow, those two are incredibly close. In fact, when I first saw the pic, I thought it was another species (something suckering), but now think it is Howea/Kentia, which IS a solitary species but frequently grown as multiples.  From my own experience, I think they grow better as singles, not multiples.  Having said that, I've read that they are not somewhat temperamental when you mess with their roots.  If you do separate as suggested above (I like the idea or using water, maybe a hose to help with this), I would NOT do this in October, I would wait until the Spring when days are getting longer and it's more humid. It they were mine, it would be in May or June and then they'd go into a shaded protected, outdoor area until they acclimate to the operation. PS., Nice to see it got to a good home!

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