Ask a Question forum→Washingtonia Robusta in UK garden

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UK, West Sussex
elpaso
May 11, 2020 4:08 AM CST
I just bought washingtonia robusta few weeks ago. I'm in UK and i repotted it into a slightly bigger pot as suggested by the store and put it in the garden where it gets plenty of sun (when it's sunny). Few weeks actually it was pretty hot here, however, there were strong winds too. And now my palm leaves are breaking and it looks dry and leaves turn brown a bit Sad i brought it home now as wind is strong and not sure what to do! any suggestions would be appreciated! it is about 80-90cm tall.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 11, 2020 9:47 AM CST
Washington Palms are best used only outside in warm semi-tropical climates. That is not an option for you. Indoors, they do not hold up well because they require a tremendous amount of direct sunlight all day long. They also don't tolerate sudden changes in their environment or soil that gets too dry.

I am not optimistic that you can salvage your plant.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 11, 2020 9:53 AM CST
Yes, Washingtonias are not good indoor plants. Yours is actually 3 in the same container, which makes it even less likely they will do well. They need a lot of space in a container. Maybe a single stem in that pot would be okay (for a while) but I don't think the 3 stems will like it. So the prognosis is not good.

Welcome!
UK, West Sussex
elpaso
May 11, 2020 9:54 AM CST
WillC said:Washington Palms are best used only outside in warm semi-tropical climates. That is not an option for you. Indoors, they do not hold up well because they require a tremendous amount of direct sunlight all day long. They also don't tolerate sudden changes in their environment or soil that gets too dry.

I am not optimistic that you can salvage your plant.


As said. It is always outdoors on the most sunny place that i have. i put it indoors just for some hours because the wind was wild. In UK here in south you can see plenty of these growing around in gardens.
UK, West Sussex
elpaso
May 11, 2020 9:56 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Yes, Washingtonias are not good indoor plants. Yours is actually 3 in the same container, which makes it even less likely they will do well. They need a lot of space in a container. Maybe a single stem in that pot would be okay (for a while) but I don't think the 3 stems will like it. So the prognosis is not good.

Welcome!


thanks! So you suggest replanting these in 3 separate ones? it is the way it was delivered and i put them in a bigger pot (the one on picture)
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 11, 2020 10:20 AM CST
Once they get to a certain size, it's really hard to separate multiple seedlings growing close together. The roots get tangled around each other and you have to break a lot of them to get the plants apart. The reason you got the plants this way would seem to be that the grower decided it was too much effort to try and separate the individuals, actually. So yes, you can pull them apart but you need to do it as carefully as possible and with as little damage as possible, and then give the plants a period of recovery afterwards in a protected place.

I wouldn't attempt the maneuver though, given the plants are showing signs of stress and looking peaked.

I had a Washingtonia in a large pot for several years (as well as 2 in the ground) and it did okay, not great, despite good conditions and attentive care. In my opinion there are many other palms which would be better candidates for container culture. I realize you already have the plant, so I'm not trying to be all doom and gloom here, just provide a bit of a reality check. Enjoy your Washingtonias while they last, but temper your expectations.

When they seem to have recovered from the wind or whatever made them weak, put the pot out in the sun again. Maybe provide a period of gradual accomodation over the course of weeks, gradually ramping up the sun so there's no shock if the plants came out of a greenhouse or something. But you cannot provide too much sun to your plants, the more the better. They come from an arid climate with seasonal rainfall, and they grow in arroyos (dry canyon beds) where their roots have lots and lots of space to burrow into the sandy soil. They will do best if you water deeply and then wait for the soil to dry out most of the way before watering again.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 11, 2020 11:10 AM (+)]
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