Ask a Question forum: Dwarf date palm

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New jersey
Meema
Nov 17, 2017 10:00 AM CST

Just bought Pygmy date palm to be an indoor plant. I've read that these plants should be replanted every two to three years in late spring/early summer. The plant I bought seems to be very crowded in its current pot and when I water it, the water runs straight through it and some of the leaves are browning. Should I repot it now (November)?

Thanks,
Meema
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Nov 17, 2017 11:43 AM CST
Hi Meema,

Ignore advice that suggests repotting or almost doing anything else on a pre-determined schedule.

Date Palms have substantial root systems that normally fill the pot with healthy roots. When water runs straight through, there are several reasons why that can happen.

If the soil is already saturated, it cannot absorb any more water so it runs through.

If the soil has gotten completely dried out, it may shrink inside the pot and the water simply runs around the outside of the rootball and out the drain hole. None of it gets absorbed. In this instance, let the pot sit in several inches of water for about an hour so the water is wicked up by the soil.

If neither of the above conditions applies, then it may be ready for a pot one size larger. Date Palms are tropical and non-seasonal; so they can be repotted at any time.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
New jersey
Meema
Nov 17, 2017 2:33 PM CST
Thank you so much WillC!
New jersey
Meema
Nov 23, 2017 11:03 AM CST
Ok, so I repotted the dwarf palm on Monday and now the outer-most leaves are turning black. What am I doing wrong?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Nov 23, 2017 12:43 PM CST
Meem - A photo would be helpful. A lot can go wrong when repotting is done inappropriately and incorrectly. Roots can be easily damaged and the chances of inadvertent overwatering increase after repotting. Of course, it may be that the frond discoloration is a delayed reaction to whatever else occurred prior to the repotting.

I'm sorry I don't have a simpler and more definitive answer, but that's that way it often is with plants. Photos and more information are always helpful.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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