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Help reviving indoor Licuala grandis


PsyPalm
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Haha yes it is fairly sizeable....sink definitely wouldn’t be an option but I could perhaps drag it to the shower if you think that would help?  This leaf has a little brown on the underside also but apart from that and the lower leaves it does just seem to be the edges..... really hoping I haven’t killed it as my husband made such an effort to get this for my birthday.  Is there a new frond in here? Thanks again for your help. My orchid myst comes tomorrow! 

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1 hour ago, Clairebell83 said:

My Licuala seems to be deteriorating and some of the previously healthy looking leaves are now drying and folding over :( 

You changed the potting mix right? Send a picture from the whole plant. Maybe the roots suffered from repotting. 
But you have a new spike too. What potting mix? No soil and all fast draining? 

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Hi Claire,

Does the pot feel heavy when you lift it? If so I would hold on wattering for a week or so. The sudden changes (from the grower to your house, repotting in winter, dry central heating, etc..) are not good for tropical palms. Rule of thumb: the more tropical of origin the palm is, the less easily it will adapt to sudden changes. Ideally you would buy a palm like L. Grandis in the summer, and let it adapt slowly to it's new environment. Repotting is also best done in spring or summer, but in your case, I believe you had little choice. Hope it pulls through.

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That's the problem with root rot. It looks exactly like a plant drying up. If it feels really light, then it probably needs water. If that's the case, I would rinse thoroughly, but be sure it's not standing in water afterwards. I usually rinse my plants (size permitting) in the sink, and let them leak out for half an hour or so in the sink. Or you can set the pot on some kitchen paper towels afterwards, to see if there's still water comming out the bottom. How often have you been watering since the repot?

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Thankyou. Only once per week, when I repotted the roots did look nice and creamy/healthy didn’t see any brown or mushy roots at all. I have just watered it until it ran through and it’s sitting in the bath to ensure any excess water drains. It definitely hasn’t been left to stand in water 

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Since you changed potting mix to fast draining they have to be watered mostly every day to 2-3 days depending how warm it is in your place. They like moist , not wet and drying out is a no no! . I know it’s overwhelming but important she stays moist. Root rot can’t happen in your new potting mix, so don’t worry. Water should just run through after a few seconds you watered it. 
 

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There is a new spike coming, that’s a good sign. Don’t worry about the older leaves, once dried off you can cut them. She will push out at least 3 leaves in spring. I had to cut down one of mine , I had done a couple of wrong things thinking to do right. I burned about 4 leaves. They don’t like any nutrients sprayed on the leaves. Instead a good liquid fertilizer mixed in water will probably do best for indoor. They are in general easy, don’t drive yourself crazy and let her adjust to your environment! 

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Oh no...I did that too with the orchid myst...I sprayed it into the mix and lightly over the leaves...ooops....we live and learn I suppose. Thanks so much for your help again and yes think you are right...I am thinking about it too much, just really want her to pull through....

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  • 1 month later...

Hello! I just got a small licuala grandis as a Christmas gift. It was doing great until about two days ago, and I don’t know what to do. The leaves have shrunk into themselves (kind of like closing a fan) and are drooping. Not really any kind of browning. 

It’s misted everyday and watered once a week. I tried moving it to a new place in my kitchen where it’s a bit warmer, but I’m stuck. Anyone have any tips? 
- may

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So, from the thread starters pictures. The withering fronds....from too much or too little water?

I've had palms with fronds that did the very same thing and knew it had to be water related. Although most of what I get already come in the soil/media they had been growing in anyway.

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Soooooo, my licualas that have been sitting outside in soil that literally REFUSED to dry since about November once my back porch received less light + it got cooler had root rot. I knew this was going to happen, but somehow fooled myself into thinking the soil would start drying out soon, despite what my gut was telling me. This soil was 33% palm / citrus soil, 33% perlite and 33% bark/charcoal/lava rock but it just wouldn't dry out. I use the same soil on all my other palms with zero issue, but for anything on my back porch, its soil-less mixtures from now on.  Their foliage showed no sign of issue (my grandis is only lacking fronds because I scorched the you-know-what out of them with neem oil last fall despite following package directions, using it at night, and washing them off after an hour so I had to cut them off) so I was able to fool myself into thinking everything was okay. I'm hopeful that since they never lost any fronds and had no yellowing presented, that they will be fine and recover speedily. 

They're now in a mix that is 33% perlite, 33% leca, and 33% bark. (Only had about six thorn-pricks in the repotting process..... haha) Also using terra cotta pots to aid in air circulation to roots. I ran out of the small bark after I potted the peltata var. sumawongii so I had to use larger pieces I had laying around for my larger palms / plants that go into larger pots, so I hope that is fine. Pulled them out of their old soil prior, and there was probably a 25% loss of roots. There were some dead, dark, soft roots but also a lot that were just dead and not rotted yet. Then soaked both in a systemic fungicide solution for a few minutes. Then potted them and let them sit in the dry mixture for an hour for good measure. Then watered in my shower and gave them plenty of time to soak of steam + warmth after all the cold weather they've powered through. 

They're now indoors where they will stay until its warm + nice out. They'll probably be going back outside for a stint soon, because we're entering a brief warming period here in Central FL. 

How do I know when to water this mixture? I've never used a truly soil-less mixture for palms, and since it holds onto so little water, I don't know how often I should re-wet it. It feels sort of damp, but doesn't necessarily leave my hand wet after I dig around and check for moisture. It holds so little moisture that I'm afraid I made the mix wrong somehow. I realize not holding onto moisture is a good thing for now, but are these palms really okay with their roots being wetted upon watering and then sitting in a barely-moist mixture until they've completely dried out at which point they are re-watered? I know I don't want them to be water-logged, but I know licualas grow in wet environments in the wild and as such, I'd imagine they don't necessarily want to be dry either. 

Also, given the lack of soil in this, how does fertilization work? I'll let them be until their roots can establish for a bit, but I imagine slow-acting will be a MUST with this soil since instant would likely wash out in 1 watering or less. 

Grandis: (Bark in soil mix only appears to be disproportionately high, because on the top layer its larger size makes it much less homogenous since the perlite + leca sifts through easily) 

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Peltata var. sumawongii: (It only gets direct light like this for 1 hour max at around 8:00am, and it was getting afternoon direct sun for about the same duration when it was outdoors so I'm not worried about that) 

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Edited by chad2468emr
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Former South Florida resident living in the Greater Orlando Area, zone 9b.

Constantly wishing I could still grow zone 10 palms worry-free, but also trying to appease my strange fixation with Washingtonias. 

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It's too bad these palms are expensive as it would be easy to do some experimentation.

Have tried and failed with Christmas palms.  Either bought with soil and pot to bare root and same result slow or quick death indoors except.........

A trio that I bought mail order from Florida, shipped bare root and are in 100% #4 perlite   I have had them now for going on 3 years and I don't want to use the word "fast" but they are strong steady growers BUT they must be watered once a week without fail.  One time when I was going to be out of town and it meant a 10 day stretch between watering I came home to find many fronds on all 3 plants dried up so thought I was going to loose all of them. First thought spider mites(which is always a issue with these indoors) was the problem but close examination showed little activity.  I cut the dead fronds off and gave it a good watering and never missed a beat since. 

I have had similar luck with Verschaffeltia splendita as I have many of those in either 100% perlite or tiny lava rock. These are still borderline indoors over the winter though.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Hello, I just recently got this licuala from a friend who doesn’t have the time to take care of it. She bought it online and said it didn’t ship well. I noticed the soil was very wet so I repotted with a much chunkier mix of charcoal, bark, and perilite. Waiting for leca to arrive in the mail. The roots looked okay but there was a slight smell of rot. 
I have it near a humidifier. Do you think it will pull through? 

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If I were you I would treat it with hydrogen peroxide. Regular solution with half water, preferably once the soil is dry.  But maybe that's wrong. :bummed: Its just what I would do.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay same. I repotted today. But I fear mine may be too long gone. I also read somewhere about not using tap water. But I’ve been using that for quite some time. I need a lot of help because I don’t want him to die 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Following all of these! Bought a L. Grandis - Vanuatu Palm last year. Had some browning on the edges of the fronds as we got used to each other. Noticed the nursery had it in very dense sound with water retention. Updated the soil after many of the fronds started getting dark leaves in spots and dry areas. It’s exposure is east morning sun from about 10’ away from windows. Bright but not direct. 
Kept having more browning on and off but new frond pushing up after I changed soil out to states mix in previous post. However, I think I’m battling the pot size it came in. Too wide, root ball was healthy and white, but very small for the pot it was in. Now, we have doubled down in bad reactions. I was trying not to restock her but I’m at the point I have to repot again. Cross your fingers and say a prayer for me! 

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  • 3 months later...

I too have recently acquired my first Licuala Grandis. Has been about 3 weeks now, and have some concerns about a few things:

1. Position. I am in Melbourne, Australia. We have an enclosed deck, facing north, gets very tropical. Other tropical plants thrive, quite humid. Dropper system waters all surrounding plants - have excluded the Licuala so it dries between waterings. Shaded by hanging plants above, gets momentary rays of sun throughout the day but not for long, and it’s filtered through the roof. Very bright otherwise. Has developed these spots - could this be sunburn from the transitional sun? Or are the plants above dripping causing these spots to burn when the sun hits them? Any suggestions? The lower leaves seem to be fine. 

2. Potting mix. It came from the nursery in a mix that feels quite soil-heavy, and seems to retain water. Was shipped to the nursery from the tropics, so perhaps that’s fine there, but should I consider reporting? It’s up on a block inside the larger pot, so never sits in water. We do get quite chilly over winter, but rarely below 5-10 in the deck area, and definitely no frost in there. I could always bring indoors, too. I’m reluctant to repot too soon - I’d like the relocation to be the k of shock the plant has to deal with for now!

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