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Avatar for kinghernandez
Jun 6, 2020 4:59 AM CST

Hey!
I have recently repotted a group of areca plants. Since i killed a group areca plant last year for having repotted in with just a peat moss (leaves turned dry in just one night).
So for the first time this year, i tried to experiment what went wrong and t learn from mistakes.

4 days ago, i started to experiment repotting a new group of arecas with a mix of:
3 part peat moss
1 part river sand
0,5 part of potting mix (w/ compost material)
0,5 part of wormcasting

but the day after, same thing is happening with 3 out of 10.
For avoiding to lose all of them. Today i tried a new composition and risked to repot them again for the second time.

3,5 part peat moss
2 part river sand (1mm - 3mm)
0,6 part Worm casting
1 part potting soil

so im here to ask for a tip from people who has more experience.

I expected to see a good drainage adding river sand, but it actually took minutes to flush the excess water. Why leaves turn dry? I added sand to increase aeration. Do you think, i should've used coco coir?
Why these things occur? Is low draining mix bad? What is the ideal mix?


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Last edited by kinghernandez Jun 6, 2020 6:50 AM Icon for preview
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Jun 6, 2020 5:52 AM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
Sand does not increase drainage. It compacts and makes it harder for water to drain. Unless your substrate is all fine sand, which is what is in my Florida yard....that drains like a sieve.

Palms indoors should be potted in a mix of peat, perlite, and some organic material. A good quality bagged potting mix amended with some more perlite and something like fir bark or even some cypress mulch would be good.

Your plants look like seedlings. Did you grow them from seed? They also look over potted. Areca palms (Dypsis lutescens) and most of the Dypsis species grow in tight clumps. I would reduce the size to the container to only large enough to hold the root balls of the plants.

Areca are clumping palms. Each one you get to survive will eventually multiply itself. That is when you will need a larger container
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Jun 6, 2020 6:09 AM CST
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Ponds Organic Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida
Hummingbirder Hibiscus Fruit Growers Region: Florida Dog Lover Container Gardener
I think you will always see some browning of leaves when the roots of any plant are disturbed. Four days is not enough time to determine if a plant is going to live or not.
However, I am concerned with the white spots I see on the palms in your photos. Could that be a scale insect or mealy bugs?
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Avatar for kinghernandez
Jun 6, 2020 7:26 AM CST

Hello Gina! No i didn't, i bought them all together in a pot and the new pot where i transplanted them is 2 cm bigger than the older one. The river sand i bought is quite fine, but i think wormcasting and peatmoss is the probably the cause not fast drainage.

Hello Ardesia! These plants have mealy bugs but the white spots you see in the pic is the dust of the river sand.

However, do guys think peat coir alone has a faster drainage?

Thanks for you answer guys!
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