household palms

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by jo s lloyd, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. jo s lloyd

    jo s lloyd Member

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    Clayton, NC USA
    i have what i believe to be a butterfly palm and it is dead or almost dead. it is about 5 ft tall. all of the fronds are like straw. the base appears to still be green--can i cut it all the way back and start over?
     
  2. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Can you post a photo of the plant while it was healthy? The most common palm known as the "Butterfly Palm" is known to most growers as the Areca Palm. At one time most growers thought the plant was Chrysalidocarpus lutescens but in recent years there has been a great deal of discussion among palm experts and it now thought to be a different species.

    Typically they need full direct sunlight or direct light for most of the day to stay healthy and despite the fact they are commonly sold as a "House plant" rarely live longer than a year in a home. Somewhere in my files I have one of the recent discussions on the species and they also require a great deal of fertilizer but some in South Florida are now recommending they not be grown, even in a yard. We once had a discussion on this forum about that plant but I'd have to search for the thread.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I just found some of the info from palm expert Buddy Poulsen in Naples, FL:

    "The palm known as the common Areca is really Dypsis lutescens. They grow like a weed using up all the food and then become deficient rapidly turning yellow. If you must have one, the palm needs Sul-Po-Mag (already mixed together) or sulfur potash and magnesium on top of a palm blend of fertilizer with a ratio of 4-1-4 w/minors and put it on every three months at a rate of one pound per caliper inch. The soil must be sand, pine bark, Florida or Canadian peat with no wood in the mix. The palm need lots of room to grow and as soon as it is out of room it will let you know by turning yellow unable to maintain a steady diet. They are good in a pot through about 10-12 feet, then they need a very large pot or put it in the landscape. "

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Be careful in cutting it back. Palms have only one growing tip from which new growth originates. Its removal means no further growth.
     
  5. jo s lloyd

    jo s lloyd Member

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    thanks for everyone's help! i think it is a lost cause. i don't have a pic while it was healthy. it was in a storage building for a while (during a cold snap--don't ask!!) and my husband thought that since it was still green, it was still alive. thank you, again!
     

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