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Can my windmill be helped?


Tom Ace

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Hi folks,

This is my first real post. I’m looking for any help that is out there. I have 3 potted windmills here in zone 6B CT. Last year, I left them outside too long, probably til December. Nights in the 20sF. Anyway, one of the plants had spear pull. Many of the fronds just pulled right out. I poured peroxide in the crown several times. The plant is still alive, but barely. It has put out 2 fronds since December, and they’re very small fronds. If I look at the drain holes in the bottom of the pot (5-7 gallon), I can see roots and I can see that they’re green. Over the course of summer I have had to prune off many more fronds, as they keep browning. The remaining fronds are weak and thin. 

My only thought is to pull it out of the pot, prune the roots, and re-pot it. Or just watch it die a slow death. 

If anybody can offer any help I would greatly appreciate it! 

I will see if I can get a picture posted tomorrow. 

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Definitely get a picture. I have had Windmill Palms spear pull before in the ground and they came back, the lower fronds died. Welcome to the forum! 

PalmTreeDude

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I'm a firm believer in that trachycarpus dont like pots. Every fortunei I have had in a pot was not particularly happy until it went in the ground and if plants could talk it would have said THANK YOU! Fronds get firmer and bigger the palm becomes robust! Have you thought of planting and protecting?

 

Honestly if not clean fresh soil (garden in my humble opinion) might help, but also will shock the palm too much at this point. If it's still growing try an organic spoon feeding like sea kelp or fish fertilizer in light doses and see of it bounces back. Had this work on a chamaerops humilis var cerifera that suffered from a bad case of potting "soil"-itis. 

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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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Thanks everyone for your input.  What a great resource!  

I'm trying to attach but it's saying that the file size must be smaller than 8MB, even though a single photo is 2.2MB.  Thoughts?

For starters with this palm, I guess I'll start by taking it inside and out of the cold.  Yes, I originally planned to plant it out, and will be doing so in spring.  I couldn't find a suitable spot for it this past spring, but since I knew I would soon be putting in a patio, I should wait.  I figure I will overwinter them inside and then plant them out in spring.  Hopefully it will be better then?

Back to trying to figure out this picture situation...

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I uploaded some pics.... please have a look! The spear is definitely solid, but the growth just seems so slow, and I'm concerned with the green roots.  

IMG_2952.jpg

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In my non professional opinion looks like it wants a larger pot. Roots exposed on top and a ton out that bottom hole doesn’t look like much soil down there. But on the flip side. I have had the same results as you from too large of a pot and too much water 

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I would consider transplanting into a larger pot and then fertilizing.   

Zone 8a/8b Greenville, NC 

Zone 9a/9b Bluffton, SC

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Thanks guys.  Compared to my other two windmills - this thing is seriously lagging.  But I guess it's not dying?  Good to know. 

Is now an OK time to repot and fertilize? It will spend the winter in the house in a sunny window.  

 

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I agree with everyone else, repot it, give it a bit of fertilizer, and DO NOT prune the roots (I must have skimmed over this while reading the original post). Windmill palms are one of the few palms I have seen actually actively grow during the winter when the tempature is above 65 degrees F. 

PalmTreeDude

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Pictures worth a thousand words! I agree with everyone to pot it up and feed it. Looks alot better than you described lol. 

 

Just now, PalmTreeDude said:

I agree with everyone else, repot it, give it a bit of fertilizer, and DO NOT prune the roots (I must have skimmed over this while reading the original post). Windmill palms are one of the few palms I have seen actually actively grow during the winter when the tempature is above 65 degrees F. 

 

Albeit SLOW as molasses, I think mine grow as long as its above freezing. They just seem to slow way down. But then again I could be crazy lol. 

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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5 minutes ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

Pictures worth a thousand words! I agree with everyone to pot it up and feed it. Looks alot better than you described lol. 

 

 

Albeit SLOW as molasses, I think mine grow as long as its above freezing. They just seem to slow way down. But then again I could be crazy lol. 

If we get a week of temps in the 60s and higher here during the winter, I notice they will start pushing out fronds, not like the summer, but noticeable growth. They go crazy in the spring, that's for sure. My dream with Trachys is to some day have them seed. 

Edited by PalmTreeDude

PalmTreeDude

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15 minutes ago, PalmTreeDude said:

If we get a week of temps in the 60s and higher here during the winter, I notice they will start pushing out fronds, not like the summer, but noticeable growth. They go crazy in the spring, that's for sure. My dream with Trachys is to some day have them seed. 

 

Me too! My first batch are getting pretty big, with my best one already forming a massive trunk! The still have about half of their pre 2017/2018 winter fronds still, although they are quite tattered lol. I am hopeful that in 1-3 years Ill be able to leave them be for good and one day they will be mostly hardy in my garden. This winter they will be MUCH less protected but I do worry with the winter forcast showing cooler and wetter for our area...

 

Ill be planting slightly bigger trachycarpus on the prime side this spring that will surely do even better.

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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