Palm "superfertilizing"

What to use? When?

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lucky1
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Palm "superfertilizing"

Post by lucky1 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:53 am

Fertilizing in Fall?

Interesting reading, halfway down this page:

http://www.angelfire.com/bc/eucalyptus/ ... neral.html

Anybody know of follow-ups to this?

Barb


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Post by TerdalFarm » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:36 am

Barb,
I don't know of any follow-ups but I would sure be interested. I stop fertilizing each Summer just when it seems the palms are growing well. I would love an excuse to keep 'em growing.
--Erik

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Post by lucky1 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:50 am

I wouldn't dare fertilize in fall.

But...if palms are different, as the article says, maybe the technique could be used on palms in barely-heated enclosures.
I wonder if they'd be too "tired", though, to grow in the summer.

Obviously something for the scientists/researchers...just won't nominate my 33+ year old Trachy for the experiment.

Barb
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Post by hardyjim » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:08 pm

Good info-however,I think this is a more effective technique in warmer areas.
By about Nov here(sometimes late,sometimes earlier)the soil temp dips below 50(F)which is the temp(4" down)that I have noticed my palms
begin to wake up/go to sleep.Why waste the fertilizer,as he says they don't use it past a certain temp.
I usually fertilize for the last time in late Sept/early Oct with potassium and epsom salts.
These results can be modified as in the case of good old Bill and his heating cables,using them changes the game significantly!
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Post by lucky1 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:22 pm

as in the case of good old Bill and his heating cables,using them changes the game significantly!
maybe also a heated hut large enough that surrounding soil never dips below 50F?

Heaven forbid, though, if the power goes out!

Barb

PS--here's a Seattle WA site that recommends fertilizing in Spring and Fall. :shock:
http://www.palmsnorthwest.com/
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Post by TerdalFarm » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:22 pm

[quote="hardyjim"]I usually fertilize for the last time in late Sept/early Oct[/quote]
Maybe I've been too conservative. I stop fertilizing in August despite soil temps that stay warm a lot longer than up in Iowa. What do you all think?
--Erik

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Post by turtile » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:45 pm

Palms will be hardier in the winter in they are fed optimum levels of a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. Where I live, Aug-Oct yields the most growth which requires the most nutrients. During this time, I apply the heaviest fertilizer. When the temperature falls, palm growth slows. When the temperatures fall below 50F (daytime), the plants require very little nutrients which means that fertilizer only needs to be applied very lightly if at all.

By applying the optimal amount of nutrients late in the growing season, you keep the plant healthy which increases its ability to take on adverse weather. As long as you are not applying excessive amounts of nutrients, the growth from the palms will not be weaker than the growth produced during the summer. This is commonly confused since plants like Oaks, Maples etc. go dormant. Fall fertilization can cause these plants to start growing again, weakening them against cooler temperatures. Palms don't go dormant.
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Post by hardyjim » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:55 pm

Erik
You could probably go later but I would move away from ferts high in N



Barb
You could do that but you would need to put some tyvek/styrofoam down about 2 feet in the soil
to provide a thermal break.
My question is why?
Your palm is not receiving enough light(I'm guessing) to put out the growth you would want.

My palms in their clear umbrella g-houses don't move at all,maybe in a warmer winter like we had before the last three winters.
FYI-My large g-house* being 10' across and 25' long stays around(4" down)42-44(F) the smaller ones are in the 34-37(F) range.
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Post by TerdalFarm » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:58 pm

Thanks! I'll do that this coming late Summer/early Fall. --Erik

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Post by Stevea07 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:09 pm

A few inaccuracies in that article. Also, he is talking about growing palms in zone 9b in which the number of hours below freezing are very limited. In colder zones temperatures drop and are unable to photosynthesize therefore N is not necessary in the fall and winter for palms in the ground. K deficient leaves get worse late in the year as new growth struggles to find sufficient nutrients. Therefore, a late summer to early fall application of k-mag is a good idea, particularly if one's palms are showing a deficiency.

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Post by hardyjim » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:50 am

I agree Steve,I noticed that too-this guy lives in a warm area and is talking about 2-3F increase in hardiness
in temps of 26-30f..


That does not come close to being enough for my palms (Trachys,Sabals etc) which will see some single digits!

I also believe newer growth IS more cold resistant to a point because it is more elastic but at the
point the spear pulls this is irrelevant.

The leaves that are always in the best shape on mine are the ones that are mature/not the oldest
and not the youngest but the ones in their prime :D

These would be the leaves that are not pointing up still(petioles) and not pointing down,
the ones that have 'recently dropped down for business,2-3 o'clock,t be specific :?
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keep fertilizing Palms indoors?

Post by lucky1 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:55 am

I've brought warm-winter palms into the house.

Based on this topic, and since palms "don't go dormant", I'm thinking to keep fertilizing Bottle Palm, Triangles, etc. as though it was summer.
Anybody tried this?

I mist them daily anyway, the only "iffy" factor is light levels.

What do you guys think?
Barb
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Post by BILL MA » Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:15 pm

I'm not really into the fall fertilizing idea since most of it wouldn't get absorbed anyways like Steve said. K mag is a great product to use in fall, plus it eliminates the need for epsom salt.

As for winter fert inside, I do it at half power with liquid mix. It's always worked fine for me.

Bill

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Post by lucky1 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:53 pm

Why half power?
Palms are warm, soil is warm, they don't go dormant, so...why not full strength like it was summer?

I'm just trying to get my head around this...I used to always wait until February to start fertilizing again, when daylight is a bit longer and there's more sun coming in the window.

But I want them to grow more than they have been...
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Post by TerdalFarm » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:24 pm

I've always done like Barb and waited to do any fertilizing until day length increases.
I'll be nursing some not-so-healthy palms this winter and will use lights. Maybe fertilizer, too?

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Post by lucky1 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:46 am

Erik, it's probably an old adage, but gardening books state "don't fertilize a sick plant".
My question, though, is "so what are you supposed to do to get it healthier?"

Maybe that's when it's appropriate to go easy on fertilizer.

I don't know...wish I did.
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Post by hardyjim » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:30 am

My palms grow so much faster outside.

I also would not want to encourage weaker growth inside during winter
on anything except seedlings and they definitely benefit from 1/2 strength fertilizer.
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Post by lucky1 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:18 pm

You do make sense, Jim, but what if the palms will never overwinter outdoors?
What would weaker growth matter then?
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Post by hardyjim » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:53 pm

Not sure what you mean.


If your asking about fertilizing outdoor palms in winter,I think it's a waste
and encourages softer growth that is more suseptable to cold damage-
I think that is proven north of the Mason/Dixon line for palms that survive there.


As far as fertilizing inside palms etc,my house doesn't stay warm enough to see much growth.

I think as a good rule of thumb if they are growing why not fertilize? 8)

You don't drink a cup of fertilizer..err,coffee before resting do you :D

Unless you can't sleep :shock: :wink:
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Post by lucky1 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:01 pm

Most of my palms spend summers outdoors and then are in the house over winter.
Since palms don't go dormant, was going to keep fertilizing as though it was summer.

I brought Bottle Palm, Triangles and Spindle Palm in the house.
Are they really going to rest now?
Or would they like more fertilizer AND KEEP GROWING because it's almost as warm indoors as it was outside in the summer.
:P

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Post by BILL MA » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:44 pm

I wasn't trying to discourage you from fertilizing your indoor palms, I was just telling you what I've done with mine over winter. If you have the proper light for them juice away, my light is just ok in the winter for my indoor palms and others, only so many south windows on my house :wink:

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Light

Post by TerdalFarm » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:09 pm

Bill gets to my conundrum. I put palms by windows and have lights on timers, but it doesn't get close to outdoor light levels.
I assume palms are so nearly dormant that they don't need fertilizer. This past winter, Washy and Chamaedorea grew a little regardless, so maybe a little fertilizer wouldn't hurt?
At least I can put this off a couple more weeks as it is staying warm. Only the new Caryota is indoors, and that is for wind. --Erik

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Post by lucky1 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:34 pm

Triangles and Spindle are putting out a new frond, so I will fertilize them.
But Bottle Palm has virtually stopped and it has a 10 foot wide 7 foot high south window :?

Trial and error, here I come (again).

Bill, you don't have enough house (let alone windows) for 150 palms :lol:
But that greenhouse will be great to see going up.

Erik, I think you guys are right...if they're growing, they could use some fert.
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Too much N = Potash deficiency

Post by lucky1 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:34 am

Thinking my palm special fertilizer 12-4-12+TE has too much N, a slight frizzle showing up at tips of older leaves.
Also some telltale small necrotic/orange round spots.

That points to Potash deficiency even though 12% seems ample.
Or too little Sulphur.

This explains it well.
http://www.dolinsgardencenter.org/palmfert.htm

Barb
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Post by Stevea07 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:08 pm

Barb,

I just saw your post on IPS. The recommendation of one ounce to one gallon water is MUCH too high for potted plants, which is 950 ppm nitrogen. One teaspoon per gallon water will give you 158 ppm N, which is fine for adult palms in the active growing season. I use 25% of that rate for the cool season and slow growing seedlings at every feeding.

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Post by lucky1 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:58 pm

So good to get your reply, Steve.
Wow...

You use 25% of one teaspoon per gallon at every feeding?

So that's 1 teaspoon per 4 gallons?

Will the rust marks eventually disappear?

Why on earth do they recommend 1 oz?
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I even emailed Growth Products, and got no reply.
I felt nobody could help with this...Appreciate it very much!

Barb
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Post by Stevea07 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:07 am

Barb,

I believe they figured the rate of application on the 2% Ammoniacal Nitrogen only! I quit reading the recommended rates of application years ago and just do my figuring on the active ingredients. You are correct in your measurements. Palms do very well with frequent, lower rates of nutrient applications. The spots and fried leaflets are symptoms of toxicity and fertilizer burn which are permanent. If the leaf tips continue to dry up and turn brown further up the leaflets, I would recommend flushing the excessive accumulated salts through the bottom holes of the pots.

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My 2 cents on winter feeding

Post by tropicman » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:47 am

I think it depends on the palm.
A under story palm,grows on a lot less sunshine,which would be a palm that good use winter feeding,as it is in active growing mode,I think the chameadorea family is one that can benefit from some winter feeding,as there are use to growing in a lot less sunshine,which is what is needed to turn fertilizer in to food,chlorophyll,so the palm can take in the food it needs to continue growing.
My green houses are set up to get about 50% sunshine,as I have so many plants,if I had more sunshine,I'd be watering all the time,I just want them more or less stay alive and not growing,because the winter sun just isn't enough anyway for good growth,ant growth I get is very weak and tender,which is difficult to acclimate come spring,when I take them outside.
I do have some palms in a southwest picture window,that gets 4 good hours of sunshine a day,if it isn't cloudy,which is about 50% time anyway that I do feed with pond water only.These palms continue growing,but at a very slow pace.
I'm trying several varieties of palm here,Xmas palm,Carpoxylon macrospermum,Bottle palm,Howea forsteriana and Queen Palm,these are all growing spheres now,and getting water and feed twice a week with pond water.
I don't know how much fertilizer is in this water,but enough to keep the palms really green,as if they were still growing outside.
These palms all have a about a foot of trunk or more,I'm really wanting some large specimens of these,so I decided to try to keep these growing,but with only 4 hours of sunshine,there just not going to grow that much,they have put on one new frond so far,and a new sphere now,in 4 months,other than the queen,these palms are slower growers at best anyway.
So what I'm trying to say,if there ain't no sunshine to change the food into feed,why feed?It Might just make the plant sick and weak,if it can't get enough sunshine to change it into food,so the plant can take it in!Now all my water is well water,which probably has some amount of nutrients in it already,I know it has enough to keep my plants good and green all winter long.

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Post by lucky1 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:55 am

Steve,
Excellent observation you've discovered on the fert label.

I really should've known myself ... gut feeling I ignored.
The smell of ammonia/humic acid when I opened the jug almost knocked me over, but I figured it's a palm special, that maybe it should smell that strong.
Opening a long-buried septic tank is the analogy.
If the leaf tips continue to dry up and turn brown further
Yup seems to be progressing further so will do as you suggest.
If I don't flush, they'll die?
Everything's indoors, so flushing will involve placing--and removing--large tub to catch water. Oh man!

Interestingly enough, I used the SAME app rate for the one-year old Wodyetia seedlings, and not a hint of damage on them. :shock:

With all that N, what's the chance I've severely lowered pH, making Potash even less available to plants than before?
I won't even attempt to raise it with lime right now, but probably could use it in summer?

Thanks a ton, Steve! And I mean a ton!

Don, the first hints of this problem occurred this summer with the first fertilization outdoors in full light when they were actively growing...I should'a known
better as these aren't young plants. Had 'em for years and years, the CIDP might be 20+ yrs old. But obviously the baby Wodyetias didn't mind...yet!
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Post by Stevea07 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:01 pm

Barb,

I would not worry about the fertilizer changing the soil pH with only 1-2 applications since 99% of your liquid fertilizer is water. If your water pH is relatively neutral, you should be fine.

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Post by lucky1 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:46 am

Encouraging, Steve, as the water pH is about 7.2 if I recall, same as my property's soil.
Thanks!
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