Jump to content
  • WELCOME GUEST

    It looks as if you are viewing PalmTalk as an unregistered Guest.

    Please consider registering so as to take better advantage of our vast knowledge base and friendly community.  By registering you will gain access to many features - among them are our powerful Search feature, the ability to Private Message other Users, and be able to post and/or answer questions from all over the world. It is completely free, no “catches,” and you will have complete control over how you wish to use this site.

    PalmTalk is sponsored by the International Palm Society. - an organization dedicated to learning everything about and enjoying palm trees (and their companion plants) while conserving endangered palm species and habitat worldwide. Please take the time to know us all better and register.

    guest Renda04.jpg

Phoenix Sylvestris Advice and Progress


JRVL

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, 

I have a Phoenix Sylvestris being shipped to me as we speak from California and I should have it in the ground this weekend. I've searched around the forums for a lot of information but I have a few questions I haven't been able to answer. So I'm gonna see if anyone can help here. 

 

I've seen several people say not to fertilize the first year to make sure the roots grow strong, so I'll be doing that. But I was wondering if anyone has any idea how much to water a brand new Phoenix? We get a decent amount of rain where I am, especially in spring, so I was just wondering if anyone had some advice about how many times a week etc?

I'm ordering some copper fungicide to apply to the tree but I haven't really pinned down how often one is supposed to apply it. Is it every time after it rains or just when it's been wrapped for winter?

And finally, does anyone know when one can start cutting the boots to be more aesthetic? Does the tree need to be several feet long or anything like that beforehand? I'll post a picture the seller sent me of what it looks like right now.

 

Anyways thanks for reading this long post! I'll post more pictures of the tree here as it grows 

IMG_0690.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In general, the advice here is to wait around a month before fertilizing and to use a slow or controlled release fertilizer.  That's just to avoid accidentally burning new roots.  A year's wait is too long.  In your area the "Florida ratio" of 8-2-12 is probably reasonable.  PalmGain or a similar brand is a good choice.  

I don't have experience with wrapping trees in the winter, but i do know that copper-based fungicides can be "phytotoxic" if used too often.  You can read about "Bordeaux" mixture and limitations on use. Other good surface fungicides are Daconil, Mancozeb, and aluminum tris (Aliette, Fosetyl-al, etc.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a photo of my 15 gallon tree.  Just planted yesterday. 

20240304_173930.jpg

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking really nice!

Zone 6b maritime climate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phoenix sylvestris is a tropical species (so it likes moisture)  in the genus Phoenix.  Based on my personal experience I would not mind at all about the rainfall (I have a specimen planted in semi shade and during current, very rainy winter remains lusher than ever) but I would about soil properties (acidic, rich in organics).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Phoenikakias said:

Phoenix sylvestris is a tropical species (so it likes moisture)  in the genus Phoenix.  Based on my personal experience I would not mind at all about the rainfall (I have a specimen planted in semi shade and during current, very rainy winter remains lusher than ever) but I would about soil properties (acidic, rich in organics).

Awesome, good to know! Do you prune a frond once the entire thing is brown or do you do it earlier?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, JRVL said:

Awesome, good to know! Do you prune a frond once the entire thing is brown or do you do it earlier?

That depends on several factors. In small/young specimens I avoid removing still green leaves, while in larger, mature specimens I often follow this practice, in order to create more free space, because older leaves spread horizontally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 2/28/2024 at 7:31 PM, Merlyn said:

In general, the advice here is to wait around a month before fertilizing and to use a slow or controlled release fertilizer.  That's just to avoid accidentally burning new roots.  A year's wait is too long.  In your area the "Florida ratio" of 8-2-12 is probably reasonable.  PalmGain or a similar brand is a good choice.  

 

When it's time to fertilize, where should I put in in the area I have my tree? I was searching around and saw caution about burning the roots. Just wondering since my tree ring is fairly small if I need to go on the grass outside of it.

Edited by JRVL
Fixed quotation and post
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome JRVL, phoenix sylvestris does well in sandy soils in our wet season but looks unhappy in low drainage clay here.  I have seen 4-5 in our neighborhood planted in clay(lakefront is clay) and it isnt pretty.  They look great in sandy soils away from that lake.  They looed even better in arizona with adequate water, I think they are more silver in lower humidity environs.  Didnt see this thread before you planted it but if your soil is clayish and you water grass around it frequently, elevating it in a mound could make all the difference in how well it grows and looks.

Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

Welcome JRVL, phoenix sylvestris does well in sandy soils in our wet season but looks unhappy in low drainage clay here.  I have seen 4-5 in our neighborhood planted in clay(lakefront is clay) and it isnt pretty.  They look great in sandy soils away from that lake.  They looed even better in arizona with adequate water, I think they are more silver in lower humidity environs.  Didnt see this thread before you planted it but if your soil is clayish and you water grass around it frequently, elevating it in a mound could make all the difference in how well it grows and looks.

Hey thanks for the insight! I don't water my grass at all really. Even in the summer we typically get good enough rain to satisfy the grass around here. Hopefully this will be okay. I didn't realize it could be elevated, I thought the RIZ needed to be just below the soil around it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL generally you want the RIZ to be about at the level of surrounding soil.  However, it's totally fine to "mound" the soil up nearby to get the RIZ elevated a bit.  In a palm that likes it swampy (Licuala comes to mind) it's not a good idea.  But in a more "desert" type palm like Sylvestris it's totally fine.  Especially, as sonoranfans mentioned, if you have dense clay soil.  Here's a good read on the idea, written by one of the IPS directors and PT member: http://www.marriedtoplants.com/palms/palm-tree-growing-tips-mounding/

My soil here is more or less pure sand, so I don't worry about it.  :D  If your ground drains away from the Sylvester then it might work just fine as you've planted it.  If it's a flat or a low area, then mounding may be a good idea.  I don't really know how to judge if you should or shouldn't, to be honest. 

As far as fertilizer goes, I'd use something like a half a handful of 8-2-12 PalmGain (or similar ratio in a slow release formula), sprinkled evenly in that ring area.  At the moment all the roots are still in that pot-shaped area, and will take several months to really reach out into the surrounding soil.  Later this spring you can add more, out to about the canopy diameter.  As a general rule of thumb it's 1.5lb of 8-2-12 for every 100sqft of canopy.  So if you have a 6' diameter canopy that's 28sqft / 100 * 1.5 = 0.42lb per dose.  Obviously it's a ballpark anyway, but that should give you a reasonable idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Merlyn The ground is slanted slightly towards to road so hopefully this will be okay, if very much like to not have to dig this up lol. I don't notice any pooling here when it rains at least.

 

Thanks fors all the help! I'm sure I'll pop back here in the future and ask something else lol

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL here is a Sylvester in AZ that I've had in the ground for almost 3 years. It is planted in Clay and watered once a week during the summer. Planted in full AZ sun and loves it. 

20240309_131433.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@AZ_Palm_Guy Nice specimen! Mine came shipped with some brown spots and brown tips. I see that yours doesn't really have that at all. Is the brown tips something to be concerned about?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, JRVL said:

@AZ_Palm_Guy Nice specimen! Mine came shipped with some brown spots and brown tips. I see that yours doesn't really have that at all. Is the brown tips something to be concerned about?

@JRVL Thanks! And up close mine has a few brown spots and tips. But in all honesty no real concerns for things like that. Just some advice, i wouldn't freak out so much if you notice a little change. It's usually when we tend to baby them we end up doing more harm than good! Yours looks perfectly healthy! Just mind your watering schedule and what type of soil you have and you should be good!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

@Merlyn Hey there I have yet another fertilizer question. My yard guy came and fertilized the grass today and I neglected to tell him to avoid the tree area. I just got palm gain in today and was gonna use it next week. I've picked as many of the granules out of the soil area around the tree as I could see but I'm certain there's probably more under the mulch. Do you think it would be wise to just wait a few more weeks to use palm gain or just use a bit less than I planned initially?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL I am guessing that the grass fertilizer is a fast release "weed and feed" type.  But it could be a 10-10-10 type, or a 30-0-10 type.  Either type is not great for palms, and could cause fertilizer burn to roots or fronds.  So keeping them off the mulched area is a good idea.  In sandy soil here I'd flush out any remaining fast release turf with lots of water, but that might not work for clay soil.  I really don't know, as I've never grown anything in clay.

I would wait a few weeks to add any Palmgain.  If there's any risk of fertilizer burn from the fast release, you don't want to compound the damage with more fertilizer.  Essentially there's no real risk to waiting on the Palmgain, but a definite downsit to adding it now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@MerlynAwesome thanks for the help again. I'll do one more pass through and try to pick out any remaining granules I can find and hope for the best then. I've definitely gotten everything off of the actual root ball area for sure.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a month you could do some fish emulsions and Palm nutritional spray. I usually wait 3 months before applying granulars. 
 

Good looking Palm!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The oldest fronds are starting to look like this. I just wanted to check with everyone and see if this is normal aging or signs of transplant shock or something else. The newest fronds don't seem to be having any issues and it's currently throwing three spears.

20240329_091305.jpg

20240328_164723.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Palm seems happy. It is now opening new fronds which is good. Wouldnt worry about any spotting on the fronds unless it gets worse.

  • Upvote 1

Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 1 W. bifurcata, 4 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 2 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 3 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 1 P. canariensis, 1 BxJ, 1 BxJxBxS, 1 BxS, 3 P. roebelenii, 1 H. lagenicaulis, 1 H. verschaffeltii, 8 T. fortunei, 1 C. humilis, 2 C. macrocarpa, 1 L. chinensis, 1 R. excelsa, 1 S. bermudana, 1 L. nitida

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL the spotting is normal for old fronds, especially after planting and after winter.  A lot of palms get "spotting" after cold fronts, even if they are truly hardy enough for that temp.  I've seen it called "potassium spotting" too, since a lot of times it shows up as yellow tips on the oldest fronds.

Phoenix palms also tend to get fungal spots on older fronds, especially after winter.  It's considered "cosmetic" unless it's really severely affecting the leaflets.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone know about how long the life of a frond is on a sylvestris? Or at least one this size? About five of the oldest fronds have all started to go brown in what feels like a pretty short time after planting. I'm hoping this is just a bit of shock exacerbated by the cold fronts that has been discussed here.  Like I've said it's growing four new fronds, I'm just curious if what I'm experiencing is common. 

 

My two trachy fortunei don't seem to share this issue as of yet, though they were planted later and didn't experience as much cold. 

 

Looking forward to the day I can actually help answer questions here and not just ask them lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

@JRVL once a Sylvestris is established, fronds may live 2-3 years before they are "eaten" by the palm to power new growth.  On a small palm (especially a new planting) I'd expect it to only hold "2 ranks" of fronds.  What that means is that it's probably putting out 2-4 new spears now.  It'll probably hold the existing 2-4 fronds while it's growing the new ones...and then as it starts the next set of spears the oldest will probably show signs of browning or nutrient deficiencies.  By the end of the summer I'd expect it to be rooted in pretty well, and it may start holding fronds that droop to the ground. 

I'd definitely leave the old fronds on there until they are fully dessicated and brown.  It won't look great, but the palm is actively pulling nutrients out of them to grow the new fronds and new roots.  If you chop them off while still green you will deprive the palm of those nutrients.  You can replace that with fertilizer, but that's only on an established palm.  New ones won't tolerate adding *extra* fertilizer to compensate for early chopping of fronds.

As an example, I moved the below Sylvestris from the back yard to the front.  I chopped off some of the fronds so I could dig it out and move it, and balance root loss with leaf surface area loss.  Here's before:

P1090452Sylvestrispretransplant.thumb.JPG.bf66caf2c3094a396991cea792b14d48.JPG

Here's after the move, with frond trimmed up and diamond cut:

P1090460Sylvestristransplantfinished.thumb.JPG.26afa7ca4d817959d81282bc437b66a2.JPG

And 2 months later it had "eaten" about 6 or 7 fronds. 

P1090605Sylvestristransplant2monthslater.thumb.JPG.ce819a677b05977495acd2d2b44f8640.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Merlyn Thanks again for the info! And what a great looking tree! I don't think I'm anywhere near to time to worry about it but out of curiosity what tool do you use to diamond cut it? I figured I'd use a circular saw whenever the time comes.

 

And also can you give me your opinion on whether these pictures are signs of over/underwatering or something else? I think I initially wasn't watering enough and expected rain to do more than it actually can and just watered when my moistitmeter said dry. I've since started watering with a soaker attachment every other day for 20 minutes but I noticed last week that the newest spears have brown tips as well. Right now I'm assuming I wasn't watering enough previously.

 

 

20240416_114950.jpg

20240416_114938.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL I used a reciprocating saw with a carbide blade. 

I'd agree with the watering comments.  Usually people here recommend every day for the first ~2 weeks, then every other day until it's established, or you are getting enough semi-daily rain.  It'll take months for the roots to get outside the pot-shaped clump they are in, so make sure you are watering the existing pot-shaped area.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL it was originally planted in April 2018 as a palm a bit larger than yours.  They are not rocket ships!

P1030429cropped.thumb.JPG.7eb6ae18acc05bc3c8194e067c5cd76b.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Merlyn That's great! I'll have a lot of time with it before it may inevitably get too tall for me to protect in the event of crazy cold weather lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Would there be any issues running an oscillating sprinkler for about an hour on weeks with no rain? I can't imagine how it would be different than rain but I see some people post about sprinklers causing issues for palms.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL the common knowledge response is "nope, no sprinklers."  However, if you visit most commerical palm-growing nurseries, they are using overhead sprinkler irrigation.  Chances are pretty high that your palm was grown in a pot in a shadehouse with overhead sprinklers.  All of my seedlings and up to 7g palms are with sprinkler heads-on-a-stick covering a large area.  As far as I can tell there are two big differences between "yard sprinlers" and "nursery overhead irrigation:"

  • Many nurseries are on well water, so they don't have chloramines.  Some have big filtration systems to take out the chemicals that might hurt plant growth. 
  • The overhead systems are generally similar to rainfall, i.e. a broad fan with a deflector that makes it mostly "fall" on the plants instead of being "sprayed at" the plants. 

IMO low pressure sprays are probably fine for palms.  High pressure has been known to rot away trunks and damage the growing point.  I saw a 30+ foot tall Pindo get killed by a nursery's oscillating sprinkler.  It had been in the ground there for at least 20 years.  Nearly half of the trunk had been cut away by a sprinkler that was about 10 feet from the palm.  If your sprinkler is a reasonable distance and a low pressure distribution, I personally wouldn't worry.  But if the water hitting the palm is a dense stream at high speed...definitely not good!

But, as The Dude says,

image.png.8ccd4fd233dbbd2729361c229407fa9c.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL, yeah I think those would be okay...as long as you don't have it 2 feet away shooting streams right at it.  :D  Just keep it a good distance away so the water is mostly just falling from above, I doubt there would be a problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Ddoesn't look too different, but once the temperature started heating up I could tell it was ready to grow. Pushing what looks to be four new spears right now. 

20240611_121107.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Merlyn 

Would you say that trachys follow the same sort of situation as the Phoenix? As in holding on to a few ranks of new fronds and absorbing the others? After being newly planted that is. 

I planted two fortunei back in April. One has a nitrogen deficiency I believe, which I'm taking care of. But the one I posted pictures of has seemingly overnight started drooping many lower fronds and the centers are turning yellow. 

It's all the oldest fronds so far it just happened very suddenly. There was also a pretty heavy storm a week ago that damaged some of the leaves.

20240612_183703.jpg

20240612_183707.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JRVL as far as I know all palms will "eat" the oldest fronds in times of stress.  That could be from transplant, lack of water, lack of fertilizer, too much sun, too much cold, etc.  I can't grow Trachies here due to nematodes, but I'd expect them to do it too.  I can only guess that the recent May heatwave is the reason for the sudden drooping.  2 months after planting seems reasonable for it to start eating old fronds.  It could also be related to the nitrogen fertilizer you put down?  What did you use and how much?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...