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Fresh planted Archontophoenix cunninghamiana issues


Boba

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Hi guys, your advices are highly appreciated. 🙏

We have planted Kings almost 3 weeks ago. Some signs of wilting appeared during the fist week, then a lot of dry tips of fronds during the second. At the begging of the third week some leaves got yellowish. 
 

Weather: SoCal, Los Angeles, ~1 mile from the coast. Humid night/morning air. A lot of hot sun after 10am till 3-4pm. Nigh temp is 58-62F, daytime is 75-80F.

Watering: I’m trying to find the balance. The first week like daily 3gal manually. Then, after the drip system was set up, 20mins over a day. Read that top inch of the soil needs to dry. Changed to 50mins with 3 day interval. Got soil moisture meter. Probed daily for a week.  12inch deep daily, it says “wet”, top layer 1inch “moist”

Photos made 3days ago. Since I do not see dramatic changes, probably a bit worse. 
 

What can you say? 

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Edited by Boba
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22 minutes ago, Boba said:

Hi guys, your advices are highly appreciated. 🙏

We have planted Kings almost 3 weeks ago. Some signs of wilting appeared during the fist week, then a lot of dry tips of fronds during the second. At the begging of the third week some leaves got yellowish. 
 

Weather: SoCal, Los Angeles, ~1 mile from the coast. Humid night/morning air. A lot of hot sun after 10am till 3-4pm. Nigh temp is 58-62F, daytime is 75-80F.

Watering: I’m trying to find the balance. The first week like daily 3gal manually. Then, after the drip system was set up, 20mins over a day. Read that top inch of the soil needs to dry. Changed to 50mins with 3 day interval. Got soil moisture meter. Probed daily for a week.  12inch deep daily, it says “wet”, top layer 1inch “moist”

Photos made 3days ago. Since I do not see dramatic changes, probably a bit worse. 
 

What can you say? 

IMG_1506.jpeg

IMG_1500.jpeg

IMG_1501.jpeg

IMG_1502.jpeg

IMG_1505.jpeg

IMG_1504.jpeg

IMG_1503.jpeg

IMG_1507.jpeg

IMG_1509.jpeg

IMG_1508.jpeg

Welcome to the forum, might take a look at this recent thread..
 

 

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Archontophoenix cunninghamiana are semi-aquatic palms. They will live very happily in a swamp as many do in their natural habitat. King palms will often brown out a bit soon after planting since they are usually used to the growing conditions where they were shipped from which is often very close together and often in shade houses. Just keep yours well watered and they will improve with each new frond. I have 50 of them on my property up here. I even have a few growing like weeds in stagnant water right up to their trunks 365 days per year. 

Edited by Jim in Los Altos
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Jim in Los Altos, CA  SF Bay Area 37.34N- 122.13W- 190' above sea level

zone 10a/9b

sunset zone 16

300+ palms, 90+ species in the ground

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Thank you @Jim in Los Altos. Will try to increase watering. It looks like succulents nearby was a bad decision 🤦‍♂️. Also I have 2 plumerias on the same irritation line, planted the same time. They are looking healthy now. How hurtful do you think the “swamp conditions” will be for them?

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8 hours ago, Boba said:

Thank you @Jim in Los Altos. Will try to increase watering. It looks like succulents nearby was a bad decision 🤦‍♂️. Also I have 2 plumerias on the same irritation line, planted the same time. They are looking healthy now. How hurtful do you think the “swamp conditions” will be for them?

Plumeria are not fans of wet soil conditions especially during late autumn and winter. They rot easily. Even in summer they like some drying out before next waterings. Many succulents can handle regular watering however. I have a lot of them in certain areas of my landscape mixed with plants with higher water needs and they like the extra water since the soil drains nicely. Even in the winter when weather can be quite wet and chilly. 

Edited by Jim in Los Altos

Jim in Los Altos, CA  SF Bay Area 37.34N- 122.13W- 190' above sea level

zone 10a/9b

sunset zone 16

300+ palms, 90+ species in the ground

Las Palmas Design

Facebook Page

Las Palmas Design & Associates

Elegant Homes and Gardens

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17 hours ago, Boba said:

Thank you @Jim in Los Altos. Will try to increase watering. It looks like succulents nearby was a bad decision 🤦‍♂️. Also I have 2 plumerias on the same irritation line, planted the same time. They are looking healthy now. How hurtful do you think the “swamp conditions” will be for them?

 

9 hours ago, Jim in Los Altos said:

Plumeria are not fans of wet soil conditions especially during late autumn and winter. They rot easily. Even in summer they like some drying out before next waterings. Many succulents can handle regular watering however. I have a lot of them in certain areas of my landscape mixed with plants with higher water needs and they like the extra water since the soil drains nicely. Even in the winter when weather can be quite wet and chilly. 


While it is true you'd want to keep them on the drier side during the cooler months,  ..or not water them at all during that time ( should be leafless / dormant at that time anyway, unless an evergreen cultivar )..   there are numerous cultivars that are considered water lovers, and will actually die if kept dry. 

On the other hand, most species Plumeria, from the Caribbean / Mexico esp,  incl. " Singapore ",  will croak if not kept very dry, all year.. Only needing a deep soaking once every 6-8 weeks May - late September / early October..  They too need really well drained soil. Some literally grow out of the cracks on hot / dry rock ledges in habitat where they might not get a drop of water for 6-8 months and bake in the sun..

If your Plumeria aren't directly next to the Kings ( not seeing any in the pictures ) and you can access them,  you may be able to put a plug on the emitters directed to your Plumeria for the winter months.


Agree w/ Jim that many leaf succulents,  ...many CA natives / those from Madrean Pine / Oak Woodland areas of Mexico esp... can tolerate quite a bit of moisture.  Many can be found growing on shady rock faces inside the splash zones directly below waterfalls or next to drippy, perennial seeps.  Same with some of the cacti from those same areas in Mexico.   As long as the soil they're growing in drains well,  your plants should be alright..

Succulent stuff of African origin can vary ..Know Crassulas,  like Jades, some Aloes,  and Aeoniums will tolerate fairly moist soil w/ out much issue.  Some other stuff from there can definitely rot in cool / moist soil, even if it drains well.

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If your soil drains well, mangaves will take a lot of moisture and fill in quickly. They have diverse genetic heritage, but I think most are amenable to moist conditions.

We have Aeonium bordering a moist recessed (but well-drained) area and they're fine.

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I think these are Graptoveria below, but not sure. Same conditions.

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Dudleya are my favorite, but they're all high and dry.

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Agave bracteosa will take some moisture and is a beautiful and different species, but I wouldn't put it in the wettest area or anywhere without sharp drainage.

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Good luck

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Chris

San Francisco, CA 

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  • 3 months later...

Hey guys, there is an update for my kings. So it’s 2 months since my original post. I increased watering that time.  A month later (late Nov) I have found that they are yellowish and added “Miracle Go” palm tree food. But I think I have used 50% less than expected fearing to burn them. Some new fronds appeared on two trees. But their color is a not a vivid green. And trees are still yellow.
This winter in So Cal a bit dry. We had maybe only 6 rainy days. My watering is weather sensitive. The soil is always wet under my palms. 
There are a lot of Kings in neighborhood, some are HOAs, some are private. Most of them are quite green. But a couple of households have pretty yelowish ones. 
What do you think?

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Edited by Boba
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Archontophoenix cunninghamiana are endemic to where we live. Under canopy they are stunning palms, cultivated in full sun they seldom look good. I’m growing all the other species within this genus and can say they tolerate sun much better than Bangalows.

Edited by Jonathan Haycock
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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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49 minutes ago, Boba said:

Hey guys, there is an update for my kings. So it’s 2 months since my original post. I increased watering that time.  A month later (late Nov) I have found that they are yellowish and added “Miracle Go” palm tree food. But I think I have used 50% less than expected fearing to burn them. Some new fronds appeared on two trees. But their color is a not a vivid green. And trees are still yellow.
This winter in So Cal a bit dry. We had maybe only 6 rainy days. My watering is weather sensitive. The soil is always wet under my palms. 
There are a lot of Kings in neighborhood, some are HOAs, some are private. Most of them are quite green. But a couple of households have pretty yelowish ones. 
What do you think?

IMG_2429.jpeg

IMG_2432.jpeg

IMG_2433.jpeg

IMG_2434.jpeg

I would say they are just trying to acclimate to their new conditions. Keep in mind, the other trees you see around have had a lot of time for their roots to establish and are easily pulling the nutrients they need to look as good as they do. Your's haven't established strong root systems yet and also, they were planting right before winter. This explains the yellowing, they're just a bit starved for nutrients (despite the fertilizer you put down.) When the soil temps are below 60 the nutrient uptake isn't very efficient. Lastly, the sun may be affecting them a little too. Stronger root systems mean more water uptake and so they will tolerate the sun better, later on. 

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As @BayAndroid said, it takes months and months for them to really grow roots out into the surrounding dirt.  Even after close to 4 months after planting, I'd bet if you dug one out you'd find a pot-shaped rootball with only a handful of decent-sized roots extending outwards.  So if you fertilize, you'll need to do it near the trunk or the palm won't get any.  A good handful of something like Osmocote near the trunk is a good idea, just avoid doing that with anything fast release.  As far as the pictures go, they do look a bit more yellow than back in October.  One thing to check is the coloring of *new* fronds vs the *old* fronds.  In the lowest photo it looks like the newest frond is a bit greener than the older, lower ones.  Here are my spreadsheet notes on nutrient deficiencies:

  • Nitrogen - Older fronds turn light green uniformly, new fronds remain dark green until deficiency is really severe
  • Potassium - Older fronds get translucent yellow/orange or dead spots on leaves, especially at the tips. Caryota and Arenga get random splotched dead spots in leaves. Sometimes tips are curled or frizzled. Always starts at tips of oldest leaves, moving inwards
  • Magnesium -Yellow ends on oldest leaves first, transitions to solid green at the base of each leaf.  Does not cause leaf tip necrosis until really severe.
  • Iron - Many times caused by overly mucky soil and root rot. Starts with new spear leaves with yellow-green or even white, possibly with spots of green. EDDHA works up to pH of 9, 3-5oz per 100sqft
  • Manganese - Lengthwise necrotic streaks in NEW leaves with dead and curled leaf tips.  Similar to bands showing Magnesium deficiency.  Mn is NOT mobile, so it can't be stolen from old leaves.
  • Boron - Bent or necrotic or distorted leaf tips, distorted or bent spear, bands of dead spots on new fans, spears that won't fully open, stunted fronds
  • Water - Underwatering brown at the edges first, later followed by yellowing of the whole leaf. Overwatering can be drooping fronds turning yellowish and losing color
  • Calcium – New leaves are stunted and necrotic, eventually growing only petiole stubs.  Deficiency is rare.  High pH from adding calcium can induce Magnesium, Manganese, Iron and Boron deficiencies.
  • Dolomitic Lime or Azomite - Magnesium Carbonate – reduces acidity/raises pH – slower release and adds Magnesium, helps avoid Potassium deficiencies in Cuban Copernicias. 5Lb per palm on full-size Copernicias and a bit less on Kentiopsis Oliviformis
  • Garden Lime - Calcium Carbonate – fast release but works well. 5Lb per palm on full-size Copernicias and a bit less on Kentiopsis Oliviformis
  • Sulfur - Elemental sulfur powder or prills reduces pH, 1/2 ounce per cubic foot in sandy soils
  • Sunburn - Orange/Red/Brown streaks on surfaces facing the point of hottest sun, typically the worst case is around 1-4pm.  Sun tolerant species will adapt and grow out of it. Shade loving species may never adapt.

In general it's tough to ID deficiencies, especially in winter.  Some palms will go yellowish or pale, or get yellow-brown spotting during the winter.  Based on the pictures I'd guess a combination of Nitrogen and Potassium, as it looks like there are a few brown dots on the older fronds.  But that's only a guess.

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All is not lost your palms are just sulking and going through transplant shock it could be humidity sun burn water stress but don’t panic your palms should live to be as good as the ones in Australia 

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