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Width or Depth?


GMann

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What is more important for palms? The pot width or pot depth?

For palms that sucker, does planting them in a wider pot encourage more suckering?

I noticed that most containers for sale have slightly more width than depth (i.e. 20x17 or 13x10). Are those good dimensions for palms?

There are a few though that are the opposite, i.e. tall pots that have more depth than width, how would a palm do in a pot like that?

If you want to encourage palm height and trunking, do you need more depth or width?

 

 

 

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For the vast majority of palms, depth is more important, especially palms that you plan on planting outside in marginal climates.  The containers you mention are plenty deep enough, but the width might encourage overwatering.  The palm's overall health is what you want to encourage, and more depth will usually support that by getting the roots deeper into the ground to protect them from freezes.

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Its a Trithrinax campestris. I want to move it into a bigger container that I can keep it in for a few years to let it keep growing before I put it in the ground.

Not too concerned about freezes because I am in South Florida and trithrinax campestris is pretty hardy.

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@GMannCampestris like wider rather than deeper pots.  They also suffer from "Slow pot syndrome" like Jubaea and sabals meaning that they languish in pots and grow at a fraction of the speed than they do in the ground so I encourage you to put this species in the ground as soon as possible.  

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Thanks. I am keeping it with me and most likely will plant it in my next home in a few years. My current garden is already full up.

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Sorry to jump on, but what about for Archontophoenix?  I need to move up some 5g plants this spring an am wondering what would be better.

Ben Rogers

On the border of Concord & Clayton in the East Bay hills - Elev 387 ft 37.95 °N, 121.94 °W

My back yard weather station: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/hdfForecast?query=37.954%2C-121.945&sp=KCACONCO37

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On 1/12/2018, 1:09:06, GMann said:

Thanks. I am keeping it with me and most likely will plant it in my next home in a few years. My current garden is already full up.

Be very very careful where you plant it!

They're anke/shin/knee/thigh/[private parts]/belly/chest daggers of the worst order.

I suspect you already know that. They're tough as nails, they'll grow in UK, and people won't mess with them.

 

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Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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@GMann, you have asked one of those questions that will cross the eyes of [fill in the religion] wise clergymen, and smarty-pants atheists and agnostics. I think I'll call to @LJG, @BS Man about Palms, @Phil, @Josh-O, @Missi, @PalmatierMeg and others for their thoughts, too.

I've grown literally thousands of potted palms, so I have experience, and some of it is more mindful that others. And, the Palmy Dead rise from their compost pile graves from time to time to make me answer for my sins. Of which, alas, there are many.

There's no simple answer to your question, because there are many variables to consider, which will change depending on: (a) the palm species; (b) where you're at; (c) how much room you have; and (d) your age and spinal column health.

(a) Some palms have really deep roots, and so you want to give them deep pots, at least in theory. These include T. campestris, Braheas, Dypsis plumosa, Syagrus coronata, Phoenix, many drought tolerant palms. Deep pots are better, but think about (d) below.

(b) If you're in a great climate, the pot size likely won't matter because everything roars off in the ground. Marginal places, like Texas and @TexasColdHardyPalmsabode will have a different calculation. Where you are also includes soil. In some places there is soil, or it's "fake soil" like you find in some parts of South Florida, but great soil in others. And, I have great soil, which is one reason why I bought my place. Great soil will cause great root growth; fake soil requires compensation.

(c) Wider pots are sometimes better from some palms that have shallow roots, like Howea, Rhopalistylus, Dypsis baronii, etc. Some plants that like a deep pot, will take a wider one if they have to, which is important because . . . .

(d) The older the gardener the more he or she will HATE, passionately, having to dig deep holes. Most places, including mine, have a layer of dirt that's easy to dig, and digging any deeper has the makings of a nastily creative prison hard labor sentence. In my case, it's about 20 - 24" (50 - 70 CM). Deeper than that, and it gets tough. Stand on the shovel call it [epithet] and it won't go down much, maybe an inch (2.5 CM) at a time. So a 30" (75 CM) deep hole gets to be a real expletive.

If you want to hear the Tale of the Home Depot Garbage Cans Used as Pots, let me know, and I'll tell you.

Otherwise, I'd say go deep maybe 20 -24 inches, then go wide after that.

Hope this helps, and if others have stories and surgeries to share, please do.

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Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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I Google what the roots of the species look like and pot accordingly. :greenthumb:

Naples (inland), FL - technically 10a but more like 9b in the winter :hmm:

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On 14/1/2018 19:29:28, Ben in Norcal said:

Sorry to jump on, but what about for Archontophoenix?  I need to move up some 5g plants this spring an am wondering what would be better.

My small experience with Archontophoenix is they grow too fast and fill the pots in a few months.

Last April i was moving a tuckeri to a bigger pot and in October, was necesary to repot other time.

The pot, not too deep, not too wide.

The first and second picture was in April and the last picture, today.

IMG-20170402-WA0032.thumb.jpg.a3be9bc2c0IMG-20170402-WA0025.thumb.jpg.82e3eca79015161916443671691588818.thumb.jpg.d006f7

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As @Monòver notes, Archies grow fast. This is one of the few plants you can seriously overpot and have them grow faster as a result.

I'd recommend big enough pots to accommodate the roots, that are shallow enough to keep Mr. or Mme. Spinal Column happy while you are planting them. (And after.) @Monòver, is your plant from the free seeds?

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So, why repot all the time? Why not just start out in a bigger pot and save yourself the trouble?  After all, putting it in the ground is like putting it in the biggest pot possible and doesn’t everything prefer to be in the ground?  

I hope these questions are close enough to initial discussion so as not to be seen as hijacking the thread. :D

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Corpus Christi, TX, near salt water, zone 9b/10a! Except when it isn't and everything gets nuked.

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3 minutes ago, Xerarch said:

So, why repot all the time? Why not just start out in a bigger pot and save yourself the trouble?  After all, putting it in the ground is like putting it in the biggest pot possible and doesn’t everything prefer to be in the ground?  

I hope these questions are close enough to initial discussion so as not to be seen as hijacking the thread. :D

Great question!

Usually, potting soil is far richer in humus than reguar dirt, so it's more likely to cause rot and other problems, at least for some plants.

And, not everything is best planted in the ground right away. Plants of questionable hardiness should go in when they're large enough to have a chance. (Exactly how large that is varies.) And, more important perhaps, larger plants don't get stepped on by lummoxen.

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Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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Just now, Monòver said:

Not Dave, this was bought in nursery when it was a small two leaves seedling.

Almost like sprouting seeds. They're a bit fragile when small, alas.

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Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.

Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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11 hours ago, Xerarch said:

So, why repot all the time? Why not just start out in a bigger pot and save yourself the trouble?  After all, putting it in the ground is like putting it in the biggest pot possible and doesn’t everything prefer to be in the ground?  

I hope these questions are close enough to initial discussion so as not to be seen as hijacking the thread. :D

See this was my theory too given that you properly water and have the right soil composition for the plant.

 

11 hours ago, DoomsDave said:

Great question!

Usually, potting soil is far richer in humus than reguar dirt, so it's more likely to cause rot and other problems, at least for some plants.

And, not everything is best planted in the ground right away. Plants of questionable hardiness should go in when they're large enough to have a chance. (Exactly how large that is varies.) And, more important perhaps, larger plants don't get stepped on by lummoxen.

Isn't this why some folks augment the soil of potted plants? My grandma uses sand and other things on her potted and in ground plants and they always look good.

Edited by mdsonofthesouth

LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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@mdsonofthesouth, this is a complicated equation at times.

Soil inside, is one thing, soil outside, is another.

Inside, there's no wind, and little direct sun. (Unless the house has a Redneck/Beruit/etc Skylight).

Outside, there's both, sometimes a lot, unless your pot is under a Canopy of Doom.

So, for indoor plants, a more austere approach is best. Outside, in general, less so, but how much less so isn't always easy or even possible to say.

Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.

Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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I'm a potted plant newbie, at this point I just use a decent potting soil and am careful about watering. Helps that I am OCD about the plants so I'm constantly checking the moisture levels and general health of the plants. 

LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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2 minutes ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

I'm a potted plant newbie, at this point I just use a decent potting soil and am careful about watering. Helps that I am OCD about the plants so I'm constantly checking the moisture levels and general health of the plants. 

Your observations matter too.

Yes.

 

Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.

Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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Yeah the ones I have potted now are the first I have had in a long while and unlike the last one I had are slated to be planted outside ultimately. 

LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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