Ask a Question forum: SOS: Palm needs reviving!

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Name: Ashley
Orange County, CA (Zone 9b)
Dec 15, 2017 10:51 PM CST

I recently rescued a palm from a dumpster in my apartment complex (sad!)

It looks like the previous owner cut off a bunch of the brown leaf tops and some whole fronds before giving up on it.

I threw it in the biggest pot I could find, but I think it may still need a deeper one.

I lost two more fronds today, completely brown and limp.

Any tips for saving this guy's life would be appreciated!!

I'll attach some photos. He's pretty sad looking at the moment.

Thumb of 2017-12-16/Ayydoubleu/7b3ed5
Thumb of 2017-12-16/Ayydoubleu/941e92
Thumb of 2017-12-16/Ayydoubleu/53c021
Thumb of 2017-12-16/Ayydoubleu/820b11

Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tomato Heads Hostas
Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums
Dec 15, 2017 11:36 PM CST
I'm not very knowledgeable on palms, but I love when folks rescue plants! Its always a miracle when they start thriving again. Smiling
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Dec 15, 2017 11:50 PM CST

It doesn't need a bigger pot so maybe it was the 'throwing' part. Smiling

Why do you think it needs a bigger (deeper?) pot? Did you break up the old root ball? What kind of soil did you use?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Dec 16, 2017 3:08 PM CST
It is already in a pot that is too large. Bigger is not often better when it comes to pot size. All the extra soil is like a sponge that absorbs and retains moisture around the roots for too long thereby increasing the chances of root suffocation. You will have to allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry before adding just enough water so that the soil reaches that level of dryness again in about a week. The roots need oxygen as much as they need water. Hence, they need to dry out regularly.

Keep your Palm close to a moderately sunny window where it will get lots of very bright indirect sunlight. Palms are slow growers so be patient.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Dec 18, 2017 2:27 AM CST
Light light light!

I love that you saved this! And this does not look that bad... and I can see sunlight flooding in behind its place in the photos - put it there.

let it dry between watering - palms grow in warm sunny places- water well once a week and let us know how it goes.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Dec 18, 2017 2:22 PM CST
Hello Ashley, I don't see a need to increase container size. I agree with the comments about watering, light and warmth. Give it time to adjust to your new set-up, keep it as warm as you can with lots of bright light access. You can also add more pumice too, to further increase air flow at root zone. Your container is glazed and growing the plant indoors, it takes longer for water to dry at root zone.

If you are in doubt if your soil is still wet, use bamboo skewers, stick it in the soil and pull it out, if it comes out wet delay watering.
Name: Scott
Tampa FL (Westchase)
Tropicals Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bromeliad Plumerias Dog Lover
Foliage Fan Orchids Cactus and Succulents
Dec 18, 2017 4:59 PM CST
Ashley, Your rescued palm looks to be Chamaedorea cataractarum and can be a easy to grow indoor palm. A sunny window will work fine for this palm and this palm needs more moisture than others. Water the palm enough to keep soil moist, but not soggy. The overall health problems of the palm were likely caused by dry soil and or dry air. Misting the leaves a few times a week will also help. To much fluoride in the water will also cause overall health problems and should be watered with distilled water.

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