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Majesty palm indoors Canada - yes I know it’s impossible


Topiary

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Hi,

First time posting, been reading the forum for almost a year and loving the community. 
 

Found this palm on the side of the road - it was used to stage a house and discarded- it’s now inside, humidifier running as I have other tropical plants, and is raised up out of cat reach next to a North facing window due to space

Apartment has 12’ high ceilings, I’ve also got large windows facing West and potentially a South facing window (if I move my tropics and succulents). 
 

The fronds are browning quite severely and I’m slowly increasing my watering as I don’t want to shock it. It has a new frond coming up and it’s still growing well despite the ice cold temps the night I rescued it (-1 degrees C). 
 

I don’t want to repot it - and have read up on the dangers, but is there a way to dump out the soil and replace is with a well draining tropical mix with orchid bark without disturbing the roots? 
 

The soil isn’t holding any moisture, and drains slower than I’d like. It’s probably dirt cheap from a garden centre. 
 

Please let me know what you guys see in this one, I know it’s essentially doomed because of the climate here but if I can get it to next summer I can use a friend’s greenhouse all summer. 
 

Pictures are a couple weeks old, I drilled new holes into the pot for drainage, added a large mixing bowl inside the decorative pot to elevate the inner pot out of any water. 

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Hi Topiary, welcome to the forum.

I'm not sure what is the best thing to do. But a couple of things occured to me. One if the mix is not holding water it needs to be soaked in a garden surfactant, or a soil wetting agent, like soap. Two, it is unusual that it is not holding water and slow to drain. I think that it will need something better and the sooner the better. It may already be too late. Some would say don't waste money on it. 

is there a way to dump out the soil and replace is with a well draining tropical mix with orchid bark without disturbing the roots? ".... that is repotting. You just do it slowly and carefully.

You will probably get better advice from someone who has actually done it, I have no experience with Majesties.

Please keep us updated.

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Cheers Steve

It is not dead, it is just senescence.

   

 

 

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I think you should remove the soil. It's not so difficult if you take your time. I've spent many an hour untangling seedlings that became 'conjoined' in community pots.

If you have space outdoors, use a hosepipe with a spray gun attachment. Lay the palm on its side, and gently roll it back and forth holding the stem whilst you spray the soil away. You'll be left with a lot of dirt trapped in the centre of the root ball. At this point, I'd put it in a large container or bin filled with warm water and tease the roots as much as you can by hand to help loosen the remaining soil. You'll then have a good idea of the palm's health, as the roots should be nice and white. Losing a few root tips from the root ball is not a big deal considering the upgrade it's going to get, and don't worry if there's still a clump of soil in the centre of the root ball. That will hydrate easily once re-potted.

When re-potting, hold the base of the palm quite high in the pot, almost level with the rim of the pot, and add your soil mix. Rock the pot on the ground to shake the soil down and add more soil up to the rim of the pot, covering the stem base by a couple of inches. Start watering the soil heavily until a constant stream is flowing out the base of the pot. If you do it right, the palm will sink into the pot leaving enough room to add a top layer of soil if needed, as the soil should just sink below the stem base, exposing the roots. You can keep watering until the soil level has completely flattened out, and top up with soil until it's just covering the stem base. 

If you really want to help it, stick the pot on a heat mat to raise the soil temperature to around 68-70F, wrap some old towels around the pot, and secure with plastic food wrap.

Just my 2 cents - and welcome to the forum!

 

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Thanks for your advice gtsteve and John. 

I’ve moved it to a south facing window, but am also getting a grow light after I’ve done some research  I have a floor lamp with multiple bulbs so I can switch one out as a grow light quite easily.

The outside temperature here is below freezing, but I should be able to use a catch basin in my shower to collect the soil (and stop it going down the drain) as I hose off the root ball. 
 

To replace it I am planning to mix tropical soil mix with something else to help increase the aeration around the roots. I have some orchid mix around that has lots of orchid bark included in it. 
 

Also thinking of adding some cocoa coir. Would it work for this? 
 

My tropical plants liked it when I added it to increase the moisture in the soil but it didn’t harm the roots.

Hoping to get it fixed up tonight or tomorrow, unfortunately it’s my exam week coming up. 
 

Will keep you posted! 
 

Cheers,

 

Topiary

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Coco coir is a great idea. I am in the process of switching over my most valued container palms to a mix heavy on coco coir plus garden soil and perlite. I'm hoping to reduce damping off and promote better root growth. I don't believe majesties are overly root sensitive but they are prone to butt rot if kept in soggy soil. Check roots for health. Healthy roots are white, unhealthy roots brown or black.

Check your palm carefully for spider mites, scale and mealy bugs. Spray the leaves with soapy water (Ivory or castille soap, never detergent) to attack pests.

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Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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Your pics look fine.  That's about what mine look like after their first week outside in the Spring.

Ravenea rivularis are monsters.  You can't hardly kill them, even though they'll look really ugly while you try. 

The only one I ever actually lost was due to crown rot.  And that was because a bunch of crap got into the top and decomposed, taking the growth point with it. 

If your palm isn't down and brown by now, it has probably survived the cold and the rescue.  Its fronds will look like absolute crap until it throws enough spears the replace the old fronds in the new light area.  inside with electric light they'll be flimsier (but longer) and a lighter color green.  I keep mine inside for 6 months of the year; lately an East window, but I did keep one in a north facing apartment with just grow lamps (and before that a basement for multiple winters with no windows, only grow lights, and no problems).  They don't like it, and when they go outside in the Spring they get all snarky with brown tips and trashing out the old fronds for newer, tougher, and greener fronds for the outside weather.  

It will never look completely happy in your climate, but that's fine.  You'll pretty much always have brown tips.  But, you've got 12 foot ceilings, with enough time and a big enough pot it will look amazing anyway.  Who else will have one that big where you live!?  Might take a few seasons, but I got one all the way to trunking before I had to donate it to our botanical gardens (my ceilings at the time were only 9 feet...)

So, repot and water, check for spider mites, give it light, and give it time.  Worst case, it dies.  Medium case, you get to like having a big palm in your living space and even if this one doesn't do well and you can snag a bigger healthier one in the spring at a big box store.  Best case, you'll have a green roommate for as long as you have ceilings high...

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"Ph'nglui mglw'napalma Funkthulhu R'Lincolnea wgah'palm fhtagn"
"In his house at Lincoln, dread Funkthulhu plants palm trees."

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On 11/26/2020 at 2:09 PM, Topiary said:

 

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cute kitty! is that a Mainecoon?

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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On 12/2/2020 at 1:00 PM, climate change virginia said:

cute kitty! is that a Mainecoon?

My money is on Norwegian Forest cat.

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1 hour ago, John in Andalucia said:

My money is on Norwegian Forest cat.

Agree with John. We have a rescue cat that we think is mostly, if not totally, Norwegian Forest Cat. She has all the physical and behavioral traits. We have to have her trimmed in hot weather but it's going into winter and she is in full fuzzy glory.

This is Lizzie

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Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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i have 2 ragdoll kittens

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Thanks for the additional feedback!

That does give me some encouragement for sure that the palm will make it through ok. It's sending up a new frond too which is nice to see! I have some peppermint castille soap, is that safe for wiping down the fronds? There are no live mites anywhere, but it does have some dust and some dark and light discolouration which could be older pest damage if I'm correct?

 

As for the cats:

My cat is a normal domestic medium hair, Maine Coons are over 3ft long when I see them at work (I'm a veterinary nurse). The first time I saw one I audibly gasped, lots of people sell larger DMH's as Maine Coons, which is a shame because they sell for a lot of money even though they're just normal cats with good marketing. 

Lizzie is gorgeous! What a lovely domestic medium hair she is. I love my Arius and his floofy paws, but a Maine Coon is way too much cat for me haha. They can be very destructive and way too smart. 

I love their ear furnishings, and their paws are as big as the palm of my hand.  Norwegian Forest cats have the thickest coat, it's deceptive though like a polar bear - there's a thick undercoat and then just sparse long hairs over it that give the fluffy appearance. 

 

https://www.cca-afc.com/Breeds/Default

https://www.cca-afc.com/Breeds/Default

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Well this thread took a sharp left turn, I love this place... always learning... something. :D

I can't understand why we have not seen Dave's cat here yet. :P

I am posting a picture of my potted palm, the Burman is only there for Scale. His eyes are blue and he doesn't like bright light.

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Cheers Steve

It is not dead, it is just senescence.

   

 

 

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Hey neighbour I live in southern Ontario’s tobacco belt belt and grow hundreds of palms what your doing is not a massive challenge if you follow some steps. Drainage warmth and some light. If you stick your finger down into the soil up to your knuckle and the soils moist don’t water. Espescially indoors where water sits more in the soil and can cause root rot. I have a YouTube channel called. Southern Ontario palms and marine fish and I do a ton of how to vids on what and what not to do for your palms. Lol and fish. Coco coir and perlite. Works great for us. Also watering all the time doesn’t work. Unless you have heat and air movement.  Good luck 

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Oh my goodness what a beautiful Birman! He is such a stunner. 
 

Almost done my exams, then I’ll be able to fully address all the needs of the palm friend. 
 

I’m leaning towards larger perlite pellets, mixed with cocoa noire and some tropical soil mix. 
 

Neat Rickybobby. Maybe I’ll check out the channel if I have a moment. 
 

if anyone else knows of other resources to learn from let me know, because of studying biology I can handle academic sources too. :) 
 

Also, saw this palm in an East facing shop window that only gets partial sunlight. Apart from some trimming of the fronds it looked really good!

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So did an excavation and the roots are brown for the most part. 
 

As a last ditch, going to trim off some of the dead root, give it a good shower and plant in cocoa and tropical mix high in its pot the way the commenter earlier said to, and see what we got. 
 

Even with the brown root there are little white root bits growing off, that’s what I’m counting on to see if it wants another shot at life or not. 
 

No mealy bugs, aphids or live spider mites, did see a couple fruit flies. 

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Came across this company, they’re close by and seem to be experienced with palms better suited to Canadian weather  

Out of their selection, which one do you guys have experience with/think is a good fit for indoors?

In the summer we get 20-30 degrees C weather and sometimes up to 40 C, and I’ve got 10-12’ of height as a possibility based on our apartment  

- Windmill

- Pindo

- Mediterranean Fan Palm 

- Sabal Palmetto

- Dwarf Palmetto

- Needle Palm

- Saw Palmetto

- Mule Palm

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.niagaratropics.com/cold-hardy-palms-1.html

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I gave the roots a nice soak, left a humidifier and heater running for all the plants for a couple hours in my bathroom and today I’m putting the palm in cocoa noir and tropical mix. After the soaking the roots looked more white than they did before. 
 

So we’ll see if it wants to keep living or not. 

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Topy, I have no experience with the palms that you have selected, I am guessing that they will all be fine with the appropriate conditions, and that may vary a bit.

But what I noticed is that they will vary in their speed of growth. So in your decision in purchasing also consider the speed of growth.

It would be very frustrating to buy a small slow growing palm, or a tall fast growing one.

Oh, one more thing, in my decades of hating waste, liking to save and recycle everything, plants, tools, cars, string....   wanting to save every palm or seed that I saw,                                             well I am, more or less, over that now. The most disappointing part for me was, when I realized that I taken too long to see that I was flogging a dead horse.

 

Cheers Steve

It is not dead, it is just senescence.

   

 

 

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You know when I was biking around the neighborhood I saw someone with majesty palms on their window inside for the winter or it was just a houseplant I don't know I have to ask them

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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