Houseplants forum→Parlor Palm questions

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(Zone 8b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest
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mgpnw
Jun 17, 2021 4:01 PM CST
Thumb of 2021-06-17/mgpnw/b6048b

Hello!

I'm new to this community, and you all seem very kind and helpful (and I like seeing pictures of your plants)! Smiling

I have (possibly excessive) parlor palm concerns. Not long after I got the plant (maybe 2 or 3 weeks in) I noticed that it looked a bit...crispy? The leaflets had these dents in them that didn't seem healthy. One leaflet had a white spot with a brown border around it, which you can kind of see in the picture on the leftโ€”it's the leaflet closest to the cameraโ€”and there was some strange color variation on other leaflets that didn't seem right. After a good bit of research, I learned that I'd been overwatering (whoops), which might be at the root (no pun intended) of the issue. So I backed off on watering, which I now know I shouldn't do on a strict schedule.

Then, just the other day, I realized that my parlor palm's soil wasn't draining very well. For example, I watered it two weeks ago and the soil is still pretty damp. Concerned about drainage issues, I planned to re-pot it (for the first timeโ€”it's still in the plastic container from the nursery) in soil that drained better. I asked people at the nursery what they recommended, and they advised getting this all-around potting mix that they said would work well in combination with pumice and perlite. What I forgot to ask, however, is what ratio of pumice to perlite to soil I was supposed to use in the potting mix.

I'm very new to houseplants so I'm definitely still learning, and I haven't been able to find any advice about this online (or at least nothing beyond "add pumice and perlite to a potting mix"). What would you advise?

Thank you!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 17, 2021 6:26 PM CST
Hi & welcome! The pic is a little far away to see the blemishes well but it's probably nothing to worry about, mechanical damage.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
California
jasriniv
Jun 17, 2021 11:49 PM CST
I use regular indoor potting soil ( not Patio or garden soil- this is very important ) with a couple of handfuls of perlite for a 6' or above pot size. This should work well for Parlor palms which are generally very easy to take care of. They do not like direct sunlight, so north or east facing is fine. A humidity tray to keep the humidity a bit high helps but is not necessary.
For beginners details on watering, checkout this series :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuIeuchzAos
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
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sallyg
Jun 18, 2021 10:09 AM CST
Welcome! Hi!
I'm not so sure you should even repot. The nurery pot has holes, and the ceramic pot does NOT have a puddle in it, right?
I also don't see any terrible illness going on.
Where is the closest window or what kind of light do they get?

Yes, you would think it should get dry after two weeks. But if it's wet, it's wet. Don't water. Shrug!
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
California
jasriniv
Jun 18, 2021 11:56 AM CST
One more thing- can you check the holes on the pot to make sure there is no blockage and the water can drain ok?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 18, 2021 12:41 PM CST
If a plant is retaining water for too long, then repotting or replacing the soil is the wrong solution. Retailers love to sell more products and are not always a reliable source of information.

How do you determine that the soil is dry enough to need water?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
(Zone 8b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest
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mgpnw
Jun 18, 2021 3:27 PM CST
sallyg said: Welcome! Hi!
I'm not so sure you should even repot. The nurery pot has holes, and the ceramic pot does NOT have a puddle in it, right?
I also don't see any terrible illness going on.
Where is the closest window or what kind of light do they get?

Yes, you would think it should get dry after two weeks. But if it's wet, it's wet. Don't water. Shrug!


Yep, no puddles! It's about five feet back from a very large south-facing window. (Technically it's actually four large windows in a row.) A lot of light comes in through the windows, so I didn't want to put the parlor palm too close to it and risk overdoing it. Maybe I should go ahead and move it closer though?
(Zone 8b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest
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mgpnw
Jun 18, 2021 4:32 PM CST
jasriniv said:One more thing- can you check the holes on the pot to make sure there is no blockage and the water can drain ok?


I can't see anything that would cause drainage issues!
(Zone 8b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest
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mgpnw
Jun 18, 2021 4:36 PM CST
WillC said:If a plant is retaining water for too long, then repotting or replacing the soil is the wrong solution. Retailers love to sell more products and are not always a reliable source of information.

How do you determine that the soil is dry enough to need water?


That's a great point. I've been determining when to water by sticking my finger down about two inches and seeing if the soil is still moist/if it's dry. Please let me know if there's a better way!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Foliage Fan
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purpleinopp
Jun 18, 2021 5:06 PM CST
Pots this small can be picked up to gauge the weight. When it feels lighter than when you just watered, it's time to add more water.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
(Zone 8b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest
Image
mgpnw
Jun 19, 2021 12:14 AM CST
purpleinopp said:Pots this small can be picked up to gauge the weight. When it feels lighter than when you just watered, it's time to add more water.


I'll have to pay more attention to how heavy it feels when I've just watered it! Thank You!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 19, 2021 5:55 AM CST
Because your Palm is in a relatively small pot, it would be better if you were to water it when the top half-inch of soil feels dry to your finger probe.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
(Zone 8b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest
Image
mgpnw
Jun 19, 2021 12:31 PM CST
WillC said:Because your Palm is in a relatively small pot, it would be better if you were to water it when the top half-inch of soil feels dry to your finger probe.


Thank you, this is very helpful! I'm going to go water it now! Thank You!

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