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Licuala Grandis plant


ny1719

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Hello: In March 2023  I purchased a licuala grandis seedling at the Leu Gardens plant sale in Orlando, Fl. I keep it in a Florida room where there is filtered sunlight. I mist it 3 times a week and water it once a week with 16oz water if dry. It was doing fine until yesterday where the leaves just withered together and if I pull on the top(some call it the heart) of the plant it just comes out. I believe that means it died. Does anyone know why this happened and what I am doing wrong?  I also had purchased Licuala seeds from Ebay and none of those took either. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I guess I have to wait for the next plant sale in March 2024 to get a new one.  Thank you

 

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Photos?

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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Yeah, we need pictures. But i will say this much even without the pictures -- misting plants that live indoors is completely useless and under some circumstances might be harmful. Misting does nothing to increase the humidity. And unless your plants dry up within an hour or two they will be vulnerable to fungal attacks that way. If your indoor humidity is low get a proper humidifier. 

Species I'm growing from seed: Chrysalidocarpos leptocheilos, Licuala grandis, Hyophorbe verschaffeltii, Johannesteijsmannia altifrons, Bentinckia condapanna, Livistona benthamii.

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I am so sorry ny1719! So hard to lose something you worked so hard to keep alive.

I grow these only outside, but certainly have lost palms too.

Although it does not sound promising, spear pull is not always fatal. 


Hydrogen peroxide from the drugstore  poured full strength into the hole where the spear used to be can sometimes help to save a palm. I learned this on PalmTalk.


I lost an L. grandís in the ground from a rhino beetle attack.  These beetles killed lots of roots I am sure. After I killed the beetles who caused the spear pull, the poor palm struggled, but eventually produced a spear to the side of the first and over months it looked perfect again. 

It fits that something killed lots of roots, in your case a watering or lighting or potting mix issue could have been a contributor. Secondary fungus takes advantage. Those who grow in pots know much more than I do.

If you post a photo and it looks like all is lost you can uproot it and inspect the roots and then take a second photo to post which might give more clues. 


As to your seeds, even fresh Licuala seeds aren’t quick for me to sprout. If they don’t rot and sink in water don’t toss them. But since it takes even longer to go from a germinated seed to a multi leaf plant, surely there are others available locally so you can get another with no waiting?

Maybe those in Florida can suggest options? 

  • Upvote 1

Cindy Adair

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Thank you for your reply.  I have already tossed the palm because I was told if the heart which you call the spear comes out when pulled

that means the palm is dead. I will try to germinate some seeds, but not sure how to go about that either because I already tried 2 times

with no luck. Ordered more Licuala grandis seeds. In March of 2024, I will go to plant sale again and try to purchase another one. The roots were

white and I didn't see any signs of fungus. I don't have any photos.

 

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I hope your seeds will germinate and you will also find another lovely L. grandis at the sale!
 

We here look forward to a picture of your purchase and/or seedlings you germinate. 

Cindy Adair

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On 9/17/2023 at 5:32 PM, ny1719 said:

It was doing fine until yesterday where the leaves just withered together and if I pull on the top(some call it the heart) of the plant it just comes out. I believe that means it died. Does anyone know why this happened and what I am doing wrong? 

Did it dry out completely? That would be consistent with very sudden death. Many house plant 'care guides' will tell you to let XYZ 'dry out' before watering, but Licuala spp. and many other tropical palms will not stand for this and will just die very quickly. If it were root rot, I'd expect warning signs like leaf yellowing in the weeks beforehand. Still not much you could do, but the roots do not all rot together at a stroke. If there's no water, though, it is very sudden.

On 9/17/2023 at 5:32 PM, ny1719 said:

I also had purchased Licuala seeds from Ebay and none of those took either. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Were they from Sri Lanka? I've bought those and they were all useless. Also beware apparently domestic sellers who have a seemingly endless supply of seeds—they are probably selling seeds bulk-bought from Sri Lanka too. Look for sellers selling relatively small numbers of seeds from their own plants or get seeds from people on this forum. Sellers who always have seeds available have likely bad seeds; plants are seasonal.

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I agree with what everyone said. Sometimes Licuala grandis seeds come up for sale on PT. Anyone selling on the forum must be a member of the IPS. Common sense told me years ago tropical palm seeds from eBay sellers in Kansas or Minnesota would likely be duds. In the US expect to find fresh tropical palm seeds in SFL, deep S TX or HI. And yes, go for crops harvested in 2022/23, avoid anything earlier. Ordering seeds direct from overseas without proper permits from both countries is like burning cash now that US Customs has cracked down on plant material mailed illegally. Know also that Licuala seedlings are slow growing and may take years to reach impressive size.

By Oct/Nov up to next Mar/Apr the season for tropical plant bazaars and sales fires up in FL. Keep your eyes open for any in your area (which is?). The further south a sale is the more likely you will find the palms you seek. Check out websites of FL botanical gardens for upcoming events. The Edison-Ford Estate in Fort Myers hosts major tropical plant sales 2-3x each year. The most and best sales are on the FL East Coast. I think there is one by the Palm Beach Palm Society coming up in Oct. at Mounds Botanical Garden.

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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  • 3 weeks later...

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