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Help with licuala grandis


elena asimakopoulou

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Hello. I live in Greece and i am an owner of 3 licuala grandis. Suddenly one of them folded 4 leaves overnight. I don't know what's wrong. Its near an east window with no strong light, humidity is at about 60 and i water once a week or ten days after i check the first centimetres of soil to be dry. Kept always humid. The only thing that changed is the weather. Its colder. But inside my home the temperature doesn't fall under19 degrees. 2 weeks ago i saw some pests on 2 leaves and i used a cloth with water and alcohol to make them go away. Since then i saw no pests again. I didn't repot and i have this plant at a perfect condition for almost 2 months untill last night. Everything happened in one night. I haven't watered and the soil seems moist but not wet. Also the heater near the plant is never on.Please help

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Edited by elena asimakopoulou
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The fronds can desiccate for a number of reasons, and also damage could have started much sooner and only shown itself now 🥺

You have a grow bulb on them or no? 

 

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I haven't on this one. I have on the other one. Should i purchase a grow light for this one as well? What do you think the problem is?

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My first impression was that the soil seems to be very dry. — I had used for my L grandis a fast draining (mineral rich!) soil mix which needed a constant (daily) watering from above without leaving water in the saucer (wet feet). Humidity was never a problem, but low temperatures with soggy soil may cause root rot. I would not repot the palms now, spring is a better season.

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My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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I have sent you a message pal meir. Thanks for the reply. Please take a look and advice me of what to do next in order to have a chance of saving the palms

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10 minutes ago, elena asimakopoulou said:

I have sent you a message pal meir. Thanks for the reply. Please take a look and advice me of what to do next in order to have a chance of saving the palms. Will a dying palm make it though the winter?

 

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Interesting problem!
So you have received this specimen for only two months? Or for two month in this place?
Do you have the other Licualas for longer? In order to get a feeling what they like.
Thanks

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Hello fotodimatti. Since i didn't have further help, I repotted today in leca (as maximus suggested)and a little bit of seramis. I divided the three tranks in 3 pots after I cleaned by hand most of the soil off of the roots. 2 of them were almost rotten. The first two photos are the new pots. The other licuala on the last photo has probably the same issue. But I didn't touch it yet in case I have further info. What's your opinion on what I did?( Procedure of replanting and leca).I have them for 2 months yes . All of them approximately this long. But I bought them super moist and didn't water for 4 weeks. Thank you 

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Edited by elena asimakopoulou
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Yeah coarse bark/charcoal/perlite and that’s it.  I have to pass water through it every couple days minimum.

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2 hours ago, fotodimatti said:

 

Dear Philly I was told only leca so there is no perlite in the mix. Should i add at the top of leca?Do you think that the division of three tranks in 3 pots with many rotting roots will be saved? As for watering I am not sure if I should water that often . What do you think?

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3 hours ago, elena asimakopoulou said:

Hello fotodimatti. Since i didn't have further help, I repotted today in leca (as maximus suggested)and a little bit of seramis. I divided the three tranks in 3 pots after I cleaned by hand most of the soil off of the roots. 2 of them were almost rotten. The first two photos are the new pots. The other licuala on the last photo has probably the same issue. But I didn't touch it yet in case I have further info. What's your opinion on what I did?( Procedure of replanting and leca).I have them for 2 months yes . All of them approximately this long. But I bought them super moist and didn't water for 4 weeks. Thank you 

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Hi Elena,
Thanks for your info!
Whenever I get a new plant, it is beautiful. But somehow it takes some time that I actually feel that it is my plant. Usually when I make it happen that it grows new leafs.
With palms it is the same. Only that everything takes longer. So, having a palm for two months is just a glimpse in their development.
Often they need a year to grow into a new pot and start growing leafs again.
I am not such a sophisticated Licuala expert. But keeping them dry is definitely no good.
In the Berlin botanical garden, they keep a huge potted Licuala grandis in their hothouse constantly standing in 10 cm of water.
A young Joey palm of mine - also shade and humidity lovers - ended within days of not watering it in hot summer days. It looked similar to yours.
So my guess is that it just suffers of drought. They need it warm, moist and high air humidity.
But its better to see what Licuala experts say.
Thanks and good luck, Matti



 

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Wow. That seems awkward. When i replanted it, the soil was very wet and roots rotten. So  i really can't tell how is it possible to be suffering from drought. Thank you for your reply 

Edited by elena asimakopoulou
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I’m thinking there may be a sunlight issue going on here too. All the pictures posted appear to be very dark in the room. The purple grow light is also too dark. Try placing closer to a brightly lit window or leaving florescent overhead lights (or good quality grow lights) on during the day for 12-14 hours. 
 

Here is mine growing under a screened-in patio. It never gets any direct sunlight, but enough indirect lumens to keep it growing happy. Also, I keep the soil very damp and humidity outdoors in central florida are always high. 
 

 

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Thank you fishinsteeg for your answer. One problem is surely rot. I saw the roots rotten. I have all the licualas near a window. Although my house is shady. I bought this grow light the purple one recently. How can you tell that there is a light issue?

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@elena asimakopoulou I am no expert at growing indoors, but my past failures were usually contributed to the lack of sunlight. I know there are many others on here with better knowledge than me growing tropicals indoors. However, Tropical palms need the proper combination of water, heat, humidity, and sunlight to thrive. If any one of these criteria are not met, the palm will display the signs of decline. Ideally, you want to try and replicate the conditions indoors as close as possible to the conditions outdoors where the palm originates growing in the wild. If the palm is not receiving enough sunlight, it cannot grow, therefore not absorbing the moisture in the soil, leading to root rot. 
 

My outdoor growing conditions are most likely very different than yours, however my potted tropicals grow happily outdoors year around unless the temps approach 40F degrees, at which then I move my patio squad indoors. I’ve attached a few photos of my patio squad to show an example of the growing conditions mine are liking, and maybe you can make some adjustments to your conditions.
 

I keep the soil wet and water about 3x weekly and I keep a saucer with some standing water at the bottom and refill when it dries (I don’t recommend this indoors). If I receive a bunch of rain and the saucer water cannot evaporate, then I will dump it out so the water does not become hypoxic. But the feet are usually always wet. This is replicating swampy conditions licuala’s love. The sunlight is never direct, but dappled through the oak canopy. Heat easily comes with my zone at 9b/10a boarder. These outdoors palms are all water lovers. The only indoor palm I now grow is a Kentia, due to its ability to withstand low light and low humidity conditions. I hope you can get your grandis back on track quickly. 
 

pics shown on ledge include:

Areca Vestaria “maroon”, Cyrtostachys renda, Areca catechu “Alba”, Areca catechu “dwarf”.

pics on ground include:

Chrysalidocarpus cabadae, Licuala ramsayi, Kentiopsis oliviformis, Hyophorbe lagenicaulis, Hydriastele beguinii “Obi island”.

 

-Alex in Orlando 

 

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Thanks for the reply. By the way your licuala in the pic.... So lovely. Here in Greece we mostly live in apartments with small balconies, so most of the plants are kept indoors. I knew that licualas love shade and moisture. I see that the soil is moist and watering is not frequent. I repotted one of them with 3 tranks in 3 different pots with leca only as i was advised to in order to save the plant. What do you think of that? Also, what type of soil do you use for licuala outdoors? I am sure that when kept indoors something must be different concerning the soil mix

Edited by elena asimakopoulou
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Elena,

What is the temperature there? The palm is from Vanuatu. During August, the coldest month, temperatures run from 15° to 27° Celsius. To me, it looks like the metabolism is shutting down from lack of heat. Also, if it's too cold, it won't need water.

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The temperature in the house is now 20 degrees celsius. It doesn't drop from 19.I haven't watered for two Weeks. Going to three. I will reduce watering. Expept for those replanted in leca. They seem to be dry. What do you think?

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1 hour ago, elena asimakopoulou said:

The temperature in the house is now 20 degrees celsius. It doesn't drop from 19.I haven't watered for two Weeks. Going to three. I will reduce watering. Expept for those replanted in leca. They seem to be dry. What do you think?

They should all be in bark/charcoal/seramis or something like the leca the other one is in and you should be running water through the containers almost daily.  Up on a stand with a tray underneath and nothing will ever rot. 👍🏻❤️

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Living in a tropical climate L. grandis is a pretty easy grow for us. They can grow in pots for many years, but do require some basic conditions. I’d have to say the two most critical requirements would be humidity and fast draining soil. Recently we had a drought of four weeks and the potted Licuala received no watering, it wasn’t deliberate, we happened to be off island. Other than a few dry leaf tips, the palm looks fine primarily because of the high humidity which avererages 70% and above just about all the time. The palm is in full sun for about half the day and honestly, should look better, but while I figure out what the plants future is, it’s been a bit neglected.

Incidentally, my soil mix is mostly just garden soil with some store bought compost and maybe a handful of black cinder. I do fertilize occasionally, but not often. I have some in-ground specimens which are 7 or 8 feet tall, (2-2.5m), and look pretty good.

Tim

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Tim

Hilo, Hawaii

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Thank you all for the answers. Now that i have repotted exclusively in leca, how often should i water? I see the plants dry every day. As for the other plant that is still in moist soil, should i replant it as well?

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Yes that other mix it’s in is too mucky.  Here is what I have all 22 different species in.  Water runs out right away, it’s perfect 👍🏻🌴❤️

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