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Wobbly Butia


Palmlex

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Hello,

I just received a Butia Capitata and I'm not sure if it's shipping damage or the palm being uprooted with very little roots, but I live in zone 7 and I'm not sure if i should leave the palm in the pot for a while to get more established or put in the ground as soon as possible.

I've lost a large Washingtonia before due to root damage after moving it, and I really wouldn't wanna lose this one too.

 

Any input would be appreciated. Here's a video of how the palm wobbles: https://youtube.com/shorts/0nd5pBbS61w?si=Ps6eSfxBAla82yTq

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If you're in z7, you should grow it in the pot at least until next April.

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Thank you. I was trying to avoid this, since the palm takes up like 40 sq ft (4 sqm) and I have other plants that I bring in 🥲

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I would wait for the roots to fill the pot and firm up the trunk.

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I'd hope this works, but I'm not sure I can overwinter this palm in its pot, because winters are very cloudy here, and the soil in the pot doesn't seem to have great drainage (looks just like average store bought potting soil, without any perlite or other coarse materials mixed in)

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Make sure there are drainage holes. Winter time, about 125cc's of water one time each week.

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On 5/30/2024 at 8:52 AM, Palmlex said:

Hello,

I just received a Butia Capitata and I'm not sure if it's shipping damage or the palm being uprooted with very little roots, but I live in zone 7 and I'm not sure if i should leave the palm in the pot for a while to get more established or put in the ground as soon as possible.

I've lost a large Washingtonia before due to root damage after moving it, and I really wouldn't wanna lose this one too.

 

Any input would be appreciated. Here's a video of how the palm wobbles: https://youtube.com/shorts/0nd5pBbS61w?si=Ps6eSfxBAla82yTq

It looks OK to me . I had a Pygmy Date that fell over sideways and I didn't think it would ever recover , but I fertilized it and roots grew out fast and now it's really stable .

I would stake it because any accidental  jolt could set it back while it's regrowing roots .

Will

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Thank you! I'm guessing you had it in a pot, since they're not very cold hardy. I'm thinking of planting it in the ground and giving it a mini greenhouse over the winter, because I'm not sure that it would do better in a pot.

The only spots that are mostly protected by wind are either full shade or full sun, the others being very windy. And for winterizing in a pot, i'm not sure I have enough room inside for it, since it's relatively large and would take up like half of my living room.

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To me it looks like it was just recently repotted into a larger pot and has not rooted fully into the new pot yet, hence the “wobble”.

Butias are very TOUGH Palms you could either wait or plant it straight into the ground and it should be fine either way.

Here in Texas the Butias received blistering and intense FULL SUN and are all happy, so I would advice choose a location that gets lots of sunshine, as much as possible.

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22 hours ago, Palmlex said:

Thank you! I'm guessing you had it in a pot, since they're not very cold hardy. I'm thinking of planting it in the ground and giving it a mini greenhouse over the winter, because I'm not sure that it would do better in a pot.

The only spots that are mostly protected by wind are either full shade or full sun, the others being very windy. And for winterizing in a pot, i'm not sure I have enough room inside for it, since it's relatively large and would take up like half of my living room.

I'm officially an 8A but  25% of my winters are  7B and 7A  (  that's  #5 7B's and only 3 7A's  in that    30 year period )  .

But in a really good microclimate Butias can look pretty good here  .

Below is mine in that great microclimate , and after #4 mild winters here  , with the lowest Low being  14F during those #4  winters . 

IMG_3306.thumb.jpeg.48922a8babe12c1c49131dfa323a047f.jpeg

 

 

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2 hours ago, WSimpson said:

I'm officially an 8A but  25% of my winters are  7B and 7A  (  that's  #5 7B's and only 3 7A's  in that    30 year period )  .

But in a really good microclimate Butias can look pretty good here  .

Below is mine in that great microclimate , and after #4 mild winters here  , with the lowest Low being  14F during those #4  winters . 

IMG_3306.thumb.jpeg.48922a8babe12c1c49131dfa323a047f.jpeg

 

 

Wow, that's huge. Congrats. Mine will have to be protected, since at best I can have a zone 8 winter, and at worst a zone 6.

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21 hours ago, Dwarf Fan said:

To me it looks like it was just recently repotted into a larger pot and has not rooted fully into the new pot yet, hence the “wobble”.

I agree, recently repotted.  The soil in the pot looks mostly organic fiber and not much natural soil with clay, silt or sand.  Perhaps the shippers put the palm in light soil to avoid costs of a more natural heavy soil with clay, silt and sand.

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1 hour ago, Banana Belt said:

I agree, recently repotted.  The soil in the pot looks mostly organic fiber and not much natural soil with clay, silt or sand.  Perhaps the shippers put the palm in light soil to avoid costs of a more natural heavy soil with clay, silt and sand.

Ohh, that makes a lot of sense. I was actually wondering why they would repot a likely field grown palm.

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1 hour ago, Banana Belt said:

I agree, recently repotted.  The soil in the pot looks mostly organic fiber and not much natural soil with clay, silt or sand.  Perhaps the shippers put the palm in light soil to avoid costs of a more natural heavy soil with clay, silt and sand.

^^^ Yup, I noticed that as well.

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@Palmlex, @Dwarf Fan   If the palm had recently been re-potted in "shipping soil", should the palm be re-potted again in better soil or would that be unwise?  I think this question could be put to the Forum to get better ideas from people who have more knowledge.   If the palm was shipped in light shipping soil and such soil is not the best soil to keep a palm in, this is likely to occur more and more often which begs the question.  

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On 6/3/2024 at 3:19 AM, Banana Belt said:

@Palmlex, @Dwarf Fan   If the palm had recently been re-potted in "shipping soil", should the palm be re-potted again in better soil or would that be unwise?  I think this question could be put to the Forum to get better ideas from people who have more knowledge.   If the palm was shipped in light shipping soil and such soil is not the best soil to keep a palm in, this is likely to occur more and more often which begs the question.  

I think it all depends on what you're planning to do with it. If you plan on keeping it outside even in a pot, then I think the soil it's in should be fine. But since I can't keep it in a pot outside during the winter, I think I'll take my chances and plant it straight in the ground, which is a clay soil that I'm planning to amend with compost and gravel.

Does anyone know how deep the hole should be if I'm looking for very good drainage? I read conflicting information online, some suggesting to have the hole pretty much as deep as the root ball, which means the palm would sit on mostly clay and some suggest digging deeper and amending. I'm trying to prevent the bathtub effect, but I'm not sure if the root ball on straight clay would prevent that.

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