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help with fishtail palm

Jack Vanderwerf vdfsamba at webtv.net
Sun Mar 11 16:15:25 EST 2001

Thanks Len, 
You pointed to many suggestions that are often times taken for grantit,
and overlooked.

Often times with plants that are root bound, they will develope a
pecular matt on the surface of the soil, being the roots with nowhere
else to go but up. As whether or not such an appearence be typical for
palms, that may not be typical, (I don't know) but the plant shows no
indication that a root bound condition exist's. Good suggestion.

Spidermites do thrive in dry conditions., The misting, humidification,
and aquarium, excellent suggestion..... addiquate humidity - proper
growing conditions are always the best defense against molds, fungei,
and infestations. Not having the background and experience to know how
to approach the care and handling of palms, absolutely, it is real easy
to underlove- or overlove the thing. As for furtalizers, I would
imagine, especially when dealing with a plant under stress, it is real
easy to overdo watering, and burning the roots with furtalizer.

This palm is now showing signs of real growth. I have imposed an
isolation of the plant from the other folliage. I have imposed a
regiment of bug spraying every 10 days to two weeks, which along with
better position for light, I beleave has been the jumpstart I have been
watching for. I have trimmed back some of the worst leaves, some of the
worst stems and will watch for further deterioration or a further
stimulation toward new growth.

As for the soil, I have never been a fan of a peat based potting soil.
It has always appeared to me, that other than the ability to retain
water, that mixture has alway's been lacking. For those plants, like a
philedendrum that is more than happy to live it's life from cutting to
maturity in a jar of stinky water, most other plants need more. Again ,
I don't have the experience with palms to fall back on to know for sure. 

I just applied some schultz's iron green to the water for the first time
yesterday, so, we shall see if the color changes and if the plant starts
to perk up,
Thanks len 


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