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Palm Hydroponics


Pal Meir
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Some thirty years ago I had grown palms also in hydroculture. I regret now that I didn’t take more photos. I found only this one below, taken in 1986, showing seedlings of Chamaedorea elegans, Ch. metallica, Ch. seifrizii, and Caryota mitis.

I remember that among my Syagrus romanzoffiana palms the only one in hydroponics grew twice as fast as the others in soil mix. I think that also Cocos nucifera will be an ideal indoor palm for hydroculture. — Please post your experiences and add many nice pics!

Seven palms, grown up from seeds in hydroculture: Ch. elegans, Ch. metallica, Ch. sefrizii, Ch. metallica; Caryota mitis, Ch. seifrizii, Ch. metallica (December 1986).

56c757b7d6701_Hydroponics1986N12-0134.th

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My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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Very nice! 

I would like to know more about your setup. Did it involve pumps and sensors or just drains?

How often would you change the water, or did you have it recycle? I am transitioning an indoor grow rig into a palm-only rig and I need all the advice I can get!

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26 minutes ago, Pal Meir said:

Nothing at all: Only water + LECA + liquid fert. I changed the water when it smelled strange, but mostly after ca. 2 weeks.

Wow! Very inspiring. Was the fertilizer you used the Osmocote you have mentioned before, and did it have an N-P-K ratio listed?

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9 minutes ago, knell said:

Wow! Very inspiring. Was the fertilizer you used the Osmocote you have mentioned before, and did it have an N-P-K ratio listed?

I can’t remember now, but it was the same N-P-K fert as for normal soil growing, not a special hydroponics fert.

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My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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1 hour ago, knell said:

Wow! Very inspiring. Was the fertilizer you used the Osmocote you have mentioned before, and did it have an N-P-K ratio listed?

Not sure that it helps, but I used to apply osmocote on my water lilies, which responded very well...

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Pal, what are the basics of this setup? I want to guess the following:

1. put seedlings in soil consisting only of rocky strata

2. put seedling pots in larger vessel to catch run-off water

3. water daily; fertilize irregularly...

... or something like that? I've got about 800 seedlings coming up for a repotting in the March/April timeframe, and could see myself experimenting with this.

Thanks,

JT

Shimoda, Japan, Lat: 36.6N, Long: 138.8

Zone 9B (kinda, sorta), Pacific Coast, 1Km inland, 75M above sea level
Coldest lows (Jan): 2-5C (35-41F), Hottest highs (Aug): 32-33C (87-91F)

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Wow, I always thought that palms and hydroponics weren't compatible. Interesting topic, willing to hear more experiences 

08053.gif

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What stops the roots from rotting? I could imagine this is possible with palms that thrive in swampy conditions but not your average palm.

 

Regards Neil

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Most palms which I have experimented with and which I saw in nurseries (e.g. even Lytocaryum weddellianum) don’t grow in swampy environments. (You can grow also cacti in hydroponics.) What you have to do with the water to keep it clean and O2 rich etc. you can read in every hydroculture information, it is not a special matter of palms. Even palms like Phoenix reclinata and Cocos nucifera which grow well with "wet feet" get in their habitats always fresh O2 rich water. — Here pics from the book »Mehr Blumenfreude durch Hydrokultur« (1980) with a photo of Cocos seedlings and a remark to Microcoelum weddellianum with the grading »M. geht sehr gut« = “excellent suited to hydro”:

56c85f33b9731_LytocaryumHydroP1010263.th

56c85f3a827c1_CocosHydroP1010264.thumb.j

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My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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11 hours ago, JT in Japan said:

Pal, what are the basics of this setup? I want to guess the following:

1. put seedlings in soil consisting only of rocky strata

2. put seedling pots in larger vessel to catch run-off water

3. water daily; fertilize irregularly...

... or something like that? I've got about 800 seedlings coming up for a repotting in the March/April timeframe, and could see myself experimenting with this.

Thanks,

JT

1. Not any "rocky stratum", but only LECA (crushed or not).

2. Only plastic pots.

3. Soft water + (±special) fert, but not daily. Same as for other ornamental plants in hydroponics; cf. web or literature to hydroculture.

My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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On 2/20/2016, 11:04:10, Pal Meir said:

1. Not any "rocky stratum", but only LECA (crushed or not).

2. Only plastic pots.

3. Soft water + (±special) fert, but not daily. Same as for other ornamental plants in hydroponics; cf. web or literature to hydroculture.

Very interesting Pal,

I have never tried hydroculture...can I use Seramis instead of Leca?

I am thinking with the formula you have 50% pine bark 50% seramis...if there is only seramis then we have hydroculture?

and BTW should we water it daily or put the pot in water immersed completely ?

 

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2 hours ago, Mohsen said:

Very interesting Pal,

I have never tried hydroculture...can I use Seramis instead of Leca?

I am thinking with the formula you have 50% pine bark 50% seramis...if there is only seramis then we have hydroculture?

and BTW should we water it daily or put the pot in water immersed completely ?

Nonono, the soft Seramis is in its consistency totally different from the hard LECA. LECA is more similar to lava and chemically neutral. Seramis is acidic and more like laterite soil and contains many trace elements. Short: Seramis is not suited to hydroponics. — If you are interested in hydroculture you can check the informations on the web or in books which are focussed on ornamental plants in hydro.

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My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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I am growing my Howea's as hydroplants for years now and never change the water, I just fill up the pots when necessary and supply them with liquid plantfertilizer once a month. I also grow Cocos nucifera as a hydroplant and that is doing oke too.

P1010836_v1.JPG

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6 hours ago, wimmie said:

I am growing my Howea's as hydroplants for years now and never change the water, I just fill up the pots when necessary and supply them with liquid plantfertilizer once a month. I also grow Cocos nucifera as a hydroplant and that is doing oke too.

 

Can you share some photos of your Howeas? I'd like to see the pot, strata, and leaves. I have a bunch of seedlings and may try this with some of them.
JT

Shimoda, Japan, Lat: 36.6N, Long: 138.8

Zone 9B (kinda, sorta), Pacific Coast, 1Km inland, 75M above sea level
Coldest lows (Jan): 2-5C (35-41F), Hottest highs (Aug): 32-33C (87-91F)

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7 hours ago, wimmie said:

I am growing my Howea's as hydroplants for years now and never change the water, I just fill up the pots when necessary and supply them with liquid plantfertilizer once a month. I also grow Cocos nucifera as a hydroplant and that is doing oke too.

Beautiful Cocos! Do you fill the pots from above or below? How much of the root mass is still submerged when you add more water?

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10 hours ago, knell said:

Beautiful Cocos! Do you fill the pots from above or below? How much of the root mass is still submerged when you add more water?

This is the principle how a traditional hydroculture pot works (source: Margot Schubert: Mehr Blumenfreude durch Hydrokultur, 7th ed. 1980):

56cc669c19c78_HydrocultureP1010266.thumb

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My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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On 2/23/2016, 4:46:00, knell said:

Beautiful Cocos! Do you fill the pots from above or below? How much of the root mass is still submerged when you add more water?

Like Pal Meir is showing, the hydro-watermeter shows a minimum, a maximum and an optimum position. When the waterlevel is under minimum I just fill the pot to maximum level. You fill a hydropot from above, because the pot is not open at the bottom! Choosing a pot is not a big deal, my Cocos-palm proves that a simple bucket will do! The substrate in the pots consists of grains of (kind of vulcanic) clay of about 1 cm across.

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10 hours ago, wimmie said:

Like Pal Meir is showing, the hydro-watermeter shows a minimum, a maximum and an optimum position. When the waterlevel is under minimum I just fill the pot to maximum level. You fill a hydropot from above, because the pot is not open at the bottom! Choosing a pot is not a big deal, my Cocos-palm proves that a simple bucket will do! The substrate in the pots consists of grains of (kind of vulcanic) clay of about 1 cm across.

Very interesting! I appreciate the simplicity of the setup, as over here the hydro culture seems like a contest to see who can have the most wires and fans and pumps going (although, to be fair, they are not growing palms).

I am adapting a system for palms using LECA in net pots, submerged pumps with TDS/Conductivity / Temperature / pH sensors. A separate panel will control air flow and humidity, and a light cycle in the winter.

The hardest part is finding fertilizers that are not slow release that I can use... right now I have a blend of kelp meal, bone meal and micros but Im researching more on blending NPK individually.

Does anyone have experience with hydro palms grown under Na halogen lights? Those are what is most readily available for me.

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On 2/23/2016, 4:14:56, JT in Japan said:

Can you share some photos of your Howeas? I'd like to see the pot, strata, and leaves. I have a bunch of seedlings and may try this with some of them.
JT

Here are two photo's of my Howea's, a cluster and a single one.

IMG_20160225_175759howea1.jpg

IMG_20160225_175609howea2.jpg

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On February 26, 2016 at 3:21:19 AM, wimmie said:

Here are two photo's of my Howea's, a cluster and a single one.

IMG_20160225_175609howea2.jpg

Now that's some serious, good-looking growth.

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Shimoda, Japan, Lat: 36.6N, Long: 138.8

Zone 9B (kinda, sorta), Pacific Coast, 1Km inland, 75M above sea level
Coldest lows (Jan): 2-5C (35-41F), Hottest highs (Aug): 32-33C (87-91F)

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What a great topic and detailed examples from Pal.

How is O2 "added" to system? is there running water or a oxygen generating stone like aquariums have attached to a air hose?

 

I have to think those of us that primarily have to keep our palms in pots loose most of our palms to soil and over watering.

 

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2 hours ago, sashaeffer said:

What a great topic and detailed examples from Pal.

How is O2 "added" to system? is there running water or a oxygen generating stone like aquariums have attached to a air hose?

 

I have to think those of us that primarily have to keep our palms in pots loose most of our palms to soil and over watering.

 

For my system the pumps that create the water flow for the fertilizer cycle add more than enough DO to the reservoir (air stones would be a boost but arent critical for small setups), but for bucket-bucket systems I would guess that temperature of the water is most important, trying to keep it as close to 20C as possible.

Rain water is also oxygen rich if you can snag some and add it to your tank, but stay away from adding peroxide, it doesnt help alter DO in a positive way.

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I have only coconut trees and grows using bonsai technique.... some of them grow in hydro-culture together with small fishes in aquarium....   

 

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224317_1678399894103_5450780_n.jpg

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218030_1678403694198_4580039_n.jpg

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All very cool pics!  And what kind of palm is that again? some sort of dwarf cocoanut?

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  • 2 weeks later...

this is red malayan hybrid after 1 year with the same fishes.....

12790889_10203934444281560_7763311143339027944_n.jpg

Edited by Coco Bonsai
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  • 7 months later...

I don't understand how it is possible to grow Coconut this small. :huh: It's really space saving palm for small flats! :yay: But it's very interesting. Does it get direct sunlight or it's only in shade? I think if liquid firtilizer will be added the fish will die.

P.S. What about growing Lodoicea Maldivica bonsai like? :indifferent:

Edited by 555
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  • 3 years later...

Does anyone know if hydroponics would work for a majesty palm? I am trying to find someone who has kept their majesty palm in leca, but with no luck. I know it works for parlor palms. I am inheriting a majestic from my cousin. She has been having trouble with it. I want to convert it to leca, but can’t find any supporting evidence that this is a good idea. 

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  • 2 years later...
On 4/10/2020 at 7:15 AM, ElaineB said:

Does anyone know if hydroponics would work for a majesty palm? I am trying to find someone who has kept their majesty palm in leca, but with no luck. I know it works for parlor palms. I am inheriting a majestic from my cousin. She has been having trouble with it. I want to convert it to leca, but can’t find any supporting evidence that this is a good idea. 

Majesty can grow in standing water so if you do hydroponics for it then I'm sure it would be fine as long as the roots are oxygenated

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4 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

Majesty can grow in standing water so if you do hydroponics for it then I'm sure it would be fine as long as the roots are oxygenated

I doubt she cares anymore.  She hasn't been on here in 2 years.

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2 minutes ago, Reyes Vargas said:

I doubt she cares anymore.  She hasn't been on here in 2 years.

I didn't even notice, I'm gonna try hydroponic majesty myself though B)

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59 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

I didn't even notice, I'm gonna try hydroponic majesty myself though B)

Search for @wimmie and their hydro Kentia

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