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SeasideRooftop

Root-pruning Chamaerops humilis?

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SeasideRooftop

Hi everyone,

I have a small c. humilis that had been growing in a 18 liter ( about 4.7 gallon) pot. I recently repotted it to a 42 liter pot (11 gallon) because he was starting to push up out of his pot.

 

When I did this I saw the roots had become much bigger than I thought at the bottom and were starting to circle around on the sides. Sorry I didn't take any pics during the process to show you. I am attaching a before and after.

At this rate, I suppose I will need to repot it again next year. I could go up to about 60 liters but that will be it. I am surprised, I thought c.humilis were slow-growing, I didn't expect root development like this. I am in Malta (zone 11) so perhaps he just really likes it here.

I am gardening on my rooftop and I can't just keep getting bigger pots, it will get too heavy. I don't have anywhere to plant him in the ground.

I considered root-pruning, but I heard the roots of c. humilis are sensitive, so I didn't do it during the repotting process. It would be a big advantage if I could root prune in the future though.

Is it safe to root-prune chamaerops humilis?

GridArt_20220128_094639431~2.jpg

Edited by SeasideRooftop

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Darold Petty

Welcome to Palmtalk !  :)

Since Chamaerops is known to tolerate digging and transplanting, which damages roots, I would assume that some, judicious root pruning would OK. 

This is a common technique for bonsai specimens. 

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SeasideRooftop

Thank you @Darold Petty

It would be great to be able to root prune next year. 

Ideally I would like to remove about a third of the rootball next time, or maybe a little more.

In Bonsai, yes, root pruning can be even more agressive. But I don't know if people are making bonsai with C Humilis.  I obviously don't want to kill it!

Does anyone here grow C.Humilis?

 

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Fusca
20 hours ago, SeasideRooftop said:

Thank you @Darold Petty

It would be great to be able to root prune next year. 

Ideally I would like to remove about a third of the rootball next time, or maybe a little more.

In Bonsai, yes, root pruning can be even more agressive. But I don't know if people are making bonsai with C Humilis.  I obviously don't want to kill it!

Does anyone here grow C.Humilis?

 

Darold is right.  In fact check out this thread from 2016 where a member from Germany shows his bonsai efforts with Chamaerops humilis.  I grow both the standard green and the blue var. argentea.  Very tough palms easy to dig and move.  I even have a seedling of Chamaerops 'vulcano' which is my favorite form but I don't do the bonsai.  :)

 

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SeasideRooftop

Wow, thank you so much @Fusca !!

I hadn't found that thread, this is perfect! If C. Humilis can handle that much root pruning, it will definitely survive what I had in mind.

This is really great news: I will be able to keep him on my roof for years to come. Very happy! Thanks again!

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