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Just rescued this beauty from a DIY store - help me save her!


xxdaisy2014xx

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Hi all, just rescued this magnificent beauty from b&q, first time palm owner so any pro tips gratefully received 

I've got her secured and propped up, shes in a bath at the moment with some feed, and then I'll probably prune the most obvious parts off. Secure her, find her a decent spot and leave her for a few days to see how she gets on, bottom watering for now as previous rescues have come with gnats ready to burst through the soil and infected other plants in the house 

I've got some gravel, and some gnat stop for use when i do top water but any advice at this stage about watering/ lighting or secret sauce to help her thrive would be amazing as shes an absolute beauty and I'm determined to revive her! 

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4 hours ago, xxdaisy2014xx said:

Hi all, just rescued this magnificent beauty from b&q, first time palm owner so any pro tips gratefully received 

I've got her secured and propped up, shes in a bath at the moment with some feed, and then I'll probably prune the most obvious parts off. Secure her, find her a decent spot and leave her for a few days to see how she gets on, bottom watering for now as previous rescues have come with gnats ready to burst through the soil and infected other plants in the house 

I've got some gravel, and some gnat stop for use when i do top water but any advice at this stage about watering/ lighting or secret sauce to help her thrive would be amazing as shes an absolute beauty and I'm determined to revive her! 

PXL_20240709_150419151.jpg

PXL_20240709_151735620.jpg

 

A bit of neglect has gone on there trim the old dead leaves put it in  a shade house or in a cool shaded place no sun give it a drink of water with some seaweed extract and don’t fuss over it repot it in six months time in warm weather or repot now depending on the roots if they are showing through the drainage holes then you could repot it into the next size pot also give the leaves a good hose down to wash the dust off it will breath a lot better but just let the palm relax in its new home good luck.

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The most important thing you can do is identify which species you have. It's not actually a she so much as a they—looks like two or three in there at least.

Looks like some sort of chamaedorea: a parlor palm, C. elegans, is my best guess, but maybe it's c. microspadix, or c. cataractarum? I gladly defer to others who recognize this one and have a different opinion. 

Knowing the species is crucial because there are a wide variety of palms, and their care requirements can be wildly different. If it's a chamaedorea (again, I'm not 100% sure myself, but it looks like a parlor palm or bamboo palm), it is very shade tolerant as far as palms go. But depending on which chamaedorea, it will be more or less drought resistant, which will be important because it is bound in a pot. Chamaedorea are understory palms in Central America that make fairly good container plants and houseplants compared to palms that need to be blasted by sun and rain and heat to be happy.

I agree with @happypalms above, keep it in full shade as it gets adjusted. If you don't have anywhere outside, treat it inside like an orchid that gets bright indirect light.

Since you're in the northern hemisphere, though, I wouldn't repot until next spring, whenever the days really start lengthening in Scotland. If you repot now, it will be stressed on top of the obvious neglect it's already suffered, and it may not be strong enough going into winter to thrive. Spring and summer as a rule for repotting container palms. 

Also I would strongly strongly advise a PEAT FREE soil for good drainage. This is not always the easiest to find depending on what's available in stores near you, but at the very least no more than 20-30% peat. Otherwise it will get too soggy during its time indoors. But since you probably shouldn't repot until next year, just be careful not to let the soil in the pot get compacted from underwatering, but do not allow it to turn to black muck from overwatering, if that makes sense. 

Best of luck, and please keep us all posted. Welcome to PalmTalk!

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Hey, thanks so much for this. The plant is a Kentia Palm, dont know if that helps with identification?

I bottom watered for a couple of hours last night, still indicating underwatered but I'm not sure whether to do it again or wait. I gave it a prune and used some canes to prop it up a bit. Wiped it all down, its really dirty but I'm worried about being too vigorous so its still got a way to go on that front. 

Im not sure I have any choice about repotting, half the plant was barely in the soil, its the lowest quality and won't be peat free. I've ordered a specialist soil made for the exact plant but will play by ear. The good news is its not really summer here, much more spring like so that might help. I was also looking into an indoor greenhouse, to try and give it a bit more humidity and I can create a temporary effect running a hot shower (scottish summer) and that's worked well before for plants who've needed an intensive boost. 

Some photos attached of the riotous propping up, its definitely perked up a bit overnight and its got some light but not direct light and definitely not sunlight because we've not seen the sun in days. We've also had a wee chat, some words of support and motivation can't go wrong I don't think! 

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you know, honestly, it looks a lot better in those second photos than it did in the first ones you posted haha.

Ah, Kentia, of course! See, I'm not the best at identifying them by leaves alone. Well that's good because kentias are also in the group of palms that don't suffer as much being indoors. If you're making a greenhouse that will help a lot. 

And I think you're probably making the right call on repotting if the soil is that bad. They're native to Lord Howe island, which has a far milder climate than where chamaedoreas come from.  

I don't have a kentia myself (they're not necessarily uncommon in the states but they tend to be pricier than most palms here when they're available). You'll find hundreds if not thousands of posts about kentias on here if you use the search function, or just google "palmtalk kentia palms" or something like that and several threads should come up. Definitely search for any threads about repotting kentias, as I'm sure there are some with good tips.

What a great find! I'm sure you'll enjoy it for many years, as it sounds like you are quickly picking up on the whole palm thing. 

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This is so helpful, thank you. 

She was £100 reduced to £30 (she's forever a she I'm afraid, shes actually called Daphne 😂) but while the cost reduction was good, as soon as I saw her I had to get her out of there. 

We were the centre of attention as she lurched about the trolley, my head popping through the leaves as I needed to grip her quite tightly to stop half the plant coming out of the soil.

Shes heavily propped up, with canes and pot topper stones and the stalks leaning the most are tied up with twine to the healthier parts. I've just finished moving furniture in the living room to get her into a shadier spot where I can control how much light she gets because of your earlier advice, I'll probably top up her water but otherwise leave it for a good few days, shes been through enough. 

I was thinking I might try and split into two pots, dont know what you think about that? I'm still relatively new to house plants, and I've had a kentia palm before which was healthy when I bought but didnt survive living with me.  I've learned a lot though, and actually the last kentia was a victim of another plant from the same shop which had a gnat infestation. It took over half the plants I had because I didn't know anything about infestations and I was so freaked out all the plants got put outside (in Scotland, in October) and either they didnt survive or they were rehomed. 

Shes met my other plants but is being kept away from them just in case, I've done some preventative stuff and I've read up on possible infestations and have a plan in place for dealing with it quickly if necessary. Big believer in chatting to them

Your advice has been really helpful, thanks for taking the time to reply. I will definitely keep you updated! And if you have any thoughts on splitting into two when I repot, I'd be really grateful.

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although not a laurel tree, Daphne is very fitting name

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Below are some helpful threads about repotting, separating, and pot size for kentias.

The most important thing to pay attention to is what people say about root disturbance. Generally, palms do not like their root ball being disturbed, which makes the operation to separate them a bit tricky. Some palms are more sensitive to root disturbance than others.

 

 

 

 

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The good news is that Howea Foresterieana are very hardy. They like water and mostly shade at that age. They will survive for years in pots and indoors as long as they are kept clean . On nice days take it out and let it sit in the shade maybe rinse off any dust. Harry

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