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Adi

So I have this coconut seedling I got about a month ago. I have no idea what's going on or what to do and REALLY need help as you will see. I recently transplanted it a week ago from the pot it was sent in. Got from fast growing trees. The soil is a mix of tropical potting mix I got from Walmart, neem cake powder I got from Amazon, pink Himalayan salt because that's what I had and all I had the money for, and loam soil I got from Etsy. It seems like no matter how much research I do it continues to die. Although coconut growing information is really scattered and spotty on the internet. I water it every 4-5 days and watered it after transplanting. I leave it outside, but now do my best to leave it in a shady spot that gets as little direct sunlight as possible. I really really need help. Before I posted this I snipped a leaf that was sun burnt which you will see.  Any help will be much appreciated. I live in GA btw.

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Edited by Adi

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idontknowhatnametuse

I don't know if it's the salt. This happened when I tried putting salt on my coconut, maybe I used way too much salt and the palm burned because of that. The coconut came from Cuernavaca and as far as I know, the soil isn't salty there.

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I had other 3 coconuts that grew fine without salt, I'm no expert but that's my experience.

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Plantking165
1 hour ago, Adi said:

So I have this coconut seedling I got about a month ago. I have no idea what's going on or what to do and REALLY need help as you will see. I recently transplanted it a week ago from the pot it was sent in. Got from fast growing trees. The soil is a mix of tropical potting mix I got from Walmart, neem cake powder I got from Amazon, pink Himalayan salt because that's what I had and all I had the money for, and loam soil I got from Etsy. It seems like no matter how much research I do it continues to die. Although coconut growing information is really scattered and spotty on the internet. I water it every 4-5 days and watered it after transplanting. I leave it outside, but now do my best to leave it in a shady spot that gets as little direct sunlight as possible. I really really need help. Before I posted this I snipped a leaf that was sun burnt which you will see.  Any help will be much appreciated. I live in GA btw.

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Honestly looks like some kind of burn to me the new growth looks better id wait it out give it good growing conditions. I think you burned with salt. Alot of people seem to mistake coconut trees liking salt id only give salt like Epsom salt if there is a magnesium deficiency but other than that never. Coconut palms are salt tolerant meaning they can tolerate it but they don't necessarily like or need it. I'd go with a well balanced palm fertilizer with micronutrients for coconuts over any salt for them. As for your coconut palm I'd honestly repot it with fresh new soil and no salt or fertilizer for a while to allow recovery. 

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Adi

Thank you both for your replies! @idontknowhatnametuse

@Plantking165

Ok. I'll try repotting it very soon. I also just found out about salt being possible to drain the calcium in the soil like a week ago. 

1.) Do you suggest watering it right after transplanting it?

2.) On average how long do would you expect for it to take to recover or see recovery with your suggestion?

Thank you

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Patrick

A lot of times with houseplants they begin to fail because of salt buildup in the soil over time, from the small amounts in tap water. I have no experience myself on adding salt, but it seems like something I would avoid- especially in potted plants. I've tried dunking the entire pot in a volume of water and leaving it for a few hours, in order to leech the salts out of the soil. It's something that some folks do every few years as a regular maintenance item on their potted plants. This may help if you wish to get 

Edited by Patrick
added a bit for clarity.

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Plantking165
3 hours ago, Adi said:

Thank you both for your replies! @idontknowhatnametuse

@Plantking165

Ok. I'll try repotting it very soon. I also just found out about salt being possible to drain the calcium in the soil like a week ago. 

1.) Do you suggest watering it right after transplanting it?

2.) On average how long do would you expect for it to take to recover or see recovery with your suggestion?

Thank you

I would personally rinse the roots off with water then repot it recovery will only show on the new leaves as the damaged old ones will stay damaged and yes water and coconut palms need full sun the love heat and sun all day long.

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Blueman

As a Floridian, I never add salt to my coconuts.  Neither do the vast majority of people here who plant them in their yards.  As PlantKing said, they can tolerate salt but don't require it.  I'd rinse, repot, & keep it moist in moderate light for a while.  It's had a big setback and needs to recover.  

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Merlyn

Coconuts need sun, water, and reasonably well-draining soil.  They do not need salt, and grow happily hundreds of miles from the ocean with no salt in the soil.  Adding salt to a seedling is a great way to burn the roots and kill it.  I'd flush out all the salt leave it alone in an AM sun/PM shade area with every other day watering.  A soil mix of 50/50 potting mix and perlite is a good start, but they can tolerate rich soil to pretty much pure sand.  The only thing they can't handle is temperatures under freezing.  Keep it simple and ditch the salt.

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PalmsandLiszt

I think someone posted a research paper on here somewhere which suggested that coconuts grow better with a certain optimal level of salt, although I don't know whether this was conclusive or has been replicated. But even if this is true, all palms hate sudden chemical changes and no coconut in nature is going to be exposed to Himalayan pink salt, anyway, which will have a different chemical profile to sea salt. A coconut that, say, sprouted on a beach will be metabolically adjusted to the presence of salt from the point of germination, whereas your nursery-grown one certainly won't be.

I'd try to get it out of this salty medium and put it in a free-draining sandy-loam (also, don't buy loam off etsy—the planet is covered with the stuff! I'm sure you could find somewhere to get a pot-full for nothing; almost everything on etsy is a rip-off).

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Adi

@PalmsandLiszt @Merlyn @Blueman @Patrick @Plantking165

 

After rinsing off the roots. I have repotted with 50/50 potting mix from Walmart and loam sand. Sprayed a bit of neem oil to keep pest away because it had a spider on it, but besides that I also watered it. I will leave it to get Am-sun/Pm-shade. If anyone has any other points or suggestions. PLEASE! All knowledge and information is useful. Even the smallest bits. Please teach me masters! Seriously though I will post pictures in some time to show if their is progress or not. I also water with Crystal Geyser water from the bottle because I believe it does not have salt in it and it is the cleanest water I have access to. THANK-YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR ADVICE AND HELP! I also think I will take some time to read and research some old forums based on key words for my plant.

 

ALSO, Do you all think it still has the ability to produce fruit?

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JohnAndSancho
4 minutes ago, Adi said:

@PalmsandLiszt @Merlyn @Blueman @Patrick @Plantking165

 

After rinsing off the roots. I have repotted with 50/50 potting mix from Walmart and loam sand. Sprayed a bit of neem oil to keep pest away because it had a spider on it, but besides that I also watered it. I will leave it to get Am-sun/Pm-shade. If anyone has any other points or suggestions. PLEASE! All knowledge and information is useful. Even the smallest bits. Please teach me masters! Seriously though I will post pictures in some time to show if their is progress or not. I also water with Crystal Geyser water from the bottle because I believe it does not have salt in it and it is the cleanest water I have access to. THANK-YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR ADVICE AND HELP! I also think I will take some time to read and research some old forums based on key words for my plant.

I used to water with distilled water - it's ideal, but it got expensive as my collection grew. I bought a cheap ~$40ish water filter for my kitchen sink and palms are happy. I mean, it's a little more up front than the bottled water but way cheaper in the end, less plastic waste, cleaner dishes, ad nauseam. 

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Merlyn

@Adi regular tap water is generally okay, though the chloramines in most tap water isn't the greatest for palms.  One of those water pitcher filters would do a great job for palms, as JohnAndSancho said.

Neem oil can cause leaf burn if you spray it on the leaves in full blazing sun.  I made that mistake once on a sago...I sprayed some to help cure a scale infestation, and put a bunch on around noon on a bright sunny day here in Floriduh.  The oil droplets utterly torched the fronds.  Applying during the shady part of the day is ok, just not in the middle of the sun!

The key to a good potting mix is moisture retention but fast draining.  There are a number of threads on here about favorite potting mixes, but generally avoid sand.  My current mix is equal parts generic topsoil, perlite, and coarse pine bark.  For palms that like it dense and wet/mucky (Licuala and others) I add only a small amount of perlite.  For palms that prefer neutral to basic soil I add some Sakrete Paver Base, which here in FL is crushed limestone gravel.  For agaves, aloes, and cacti I use about 50% perlite, 25% paver base, and 25% generic topsoil.  The reason why sand *can* be a problem in pots is that it tends to compact over time and prevents drainage.  Here's one of many threads on soil mixes:

 

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Johnny Palmseed

@Adi I believe you are over thinking this experience of buying and growing a coconut. As a recently germinated coconut, it needs very little to survive. Water, soil and sunlight are the only things it really needs. The coconut itself is providing the nutrients it needs to grow. The plant would prefer to have as little change in its growing conditions as possible. Unfortunately, the addition of salt is unnecessary and may have caused harm that you now have to rectify. As was stated earlier, salt is tolerated but probably not necessary to be added. Using bottled or filtered water is also not required unless you have really poor tap water in your area. High chlorine levels or a water softener can cause issues with sensitive plants but probably not a coconut. As far as producing fruit, no it will never be able to do that in Georgia.

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JohnAndSancho
3 hours ago, Johnny Palmseed said:

@Adi I believe you are over thinking this experience of buying and growing a coconut. As a recently germinated coconut, it needs very little to survive. Water, soil and sunlight are the only things it really needs. The coconut itself is providing the nutrients it needs to grow. The plant would prefer to have as little change in its growing conditions as possible. Unfortunately, the addition of salt is unnecessary and may have caused harm that you now have to rectify. As was stated earlier, salt is tolerated but probably not necessary to be added. Using bottled or filtered water is also not required unless you have really poor tap water in your area. High chlorine levels or a water softener can cause issues with sensitive plants but probably not a coconut. As far as producing fruit, no it will never be able to do that in Georgia.

This. 

 

Man, I don't wanna be rude. I don't want to discourage anyone. But you were given lots of really good advice on this forum ie add sand, don't cut the sunburned leaf, don't add kitchen salt, water the crap out of it, etc etc. 

 

I mean, it might pull through, it might fall under the guise of a Teachable Moment. All of us on this forum have learned a lot of lessons the hard way. @DoomsDave once said if you ain't killing you ain't growing. But, and I mean this without any disrespect - trust Palmtalk. If they say do it, do it. If they say don't do it, don't do it. 

 

This whole hobby is a live and learn and piss away money experience. Again, I say this with respect but learn from everyone who's pissed away time and money. 

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Plantking165
9 hours ago, Adi said:

@PalmsandLiszt @Merlyn @Blueman @Patrick @Plantking165

 

After rinsing off the roots. I have repotted with 50/50 potting mix from Walmart and loam sand. Sprayed a bit of neem oil to keep pest away because it had a spider on it, but besides that I also watered it. I will leave it to get Am-sun/Pm-shade. If anyone has any other points or suggestions. PLEASE! All knowledge and information is useful. Even the smallest bits. Please teach me masters! Seriously though I will post pictures in some time to show if their is progress or not. I also water with Crystal Geyser water from the bottle because I believe it does not have salt in it and it is the cleanest water I have access to. THANK-YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR ADVICE AND HELP! I also think I will take some time to read and research some old forums based on key words for my plant.

 

ALSO, Do you all think it still has the ability to produce fruit?

I agree with part shade fornow but after a couple weeks I'd start moving it into a little more sun each day and harden it off to full sun. Full sun will kick it into gear and get it growing faster. After a month or 2 I'd give a half does of palm fertilizer to help it grow new fronds quickly. Your looking for a palm fertilizer with broad spectrum of micronutrients, plams tend to get deficiency In those micronutrients. Also look for the nitrogen and potassium numbers to be the same or close to the same number. As fir fruiting in Georgia that's a no it probably won't unless you have some really tall greenhouse about 25ft and a good heating source for the winter. But if you keep it potted and bring inside when it gets really cold you may keep it for so many years. If it ever did fruit in a pot it would be severely stunted and fruits wouldn't be full size but it's very unlikely to happen. 

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PalmsandLiszt
12 hours ago, Adi said:

Sprayed a bit of neem oil to keep pest away because it had a spider on it

Don't worry about spiders. All spiders are carnivores and are either harmless (to the plant, that is; I don't know what medically-significant spiders you have in Georgia) or on your side. Worry about spider mites, which are difficult to see without magnification, but create very fine webbing around the base of leaflets that can superficially resemble spiderweb, and will cause yellow-brown spotting on leaves and generally suck the life out of the plant in large enough numbers. Neem oil will probably help, but also simply things like putting it outside during a summer rainstorm will help dislodge them and wash them away, along with various other pests.

But spiders are your friend (unless it's one dangerous to humans, which few are). Similarly, things like ladybugs, lacewings and hoverfly larvae are only interested in eating pests.

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