Neanthe bell a palm - slow growing, or is there something wrong?

HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)April 1, 2012

Okay, so I have a "parlor palm", I think, that is about half a foot tall. It had a ton of shoots, but I think most of them died...not a good sign...

Anyway, the three remaining ones with developed leaves (a lot more have a tiny bit of "new" leaf) have been trapped in the vortex of time for two years now. NOTHING happens. The old "new" leaves don't change, any brown spots on the leaves don't just sits there, like a sad fake plant that has to be watered.

When I got it, I immediately transplanted with soil from my yard, which is apparently alkaline...whoops. That was probably why they died. Now I water with some orchid food every so often so the ph might this not a good thing to do? I've been told that the fertilizer would burn the roots, but that was after it stopped visibly dying.

Now it gets bright light, the direct light is blocked by some other nearby plants. The pot is terra cotta.

Thanks in advance!

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I know for a fact Parlor palms especially are very slow growing.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 9:05PM
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HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)

Hmm...okay, but even for a slow growing plant, this seems to be taking FOREVER...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 8:52PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Get it out of your yard soil and into a commercial potting mix as soon as you can. Soil from the garden can turn into something really awful for plants, when tossed into a container.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:19PM
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HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)

Oh no! Almost all of my plants have some backyard soil in their pots! They seem to be doing well, should I repot those, too?

Gosh, I really have to research these things more...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 7:04AM
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Hello, HelloPanda, :)

Did you bake garden soil before potting with it?

Bagged soils are 'supposed' to be sterilized, something yard soil isn't.
Yard soil contains insects, disease, and who-knows-what-else, but nothing good. As far as potted plants go.

Garden soil needs to be baked at 375 for 45 minutes..Soil stinks when baked..

Neanthe Bella's are slow-growing.
I don't believe in over-potting, but when roots fill a pot the plant should be placed in a larger container.
Are roots sticking out of drainage holes? How fast does soil dry? If soil dries a day after it's watered, most likely it's root=bound.
If pot is large, 'more than 2" larger than rootball,' repotting isn't needed.

Soil pH for NB should be about 6.0. Slightly acidic. You mentioned soil being alkaline.

If the palm were mine, I'd remove it from its pot. Check roots. Discard old soil. If rootball is tight-fitting, palm would be repotted in 1-2 size larger container, with drainage holes, in fresh, semi, well-draining soil.
Last, leaves would be showered and soil watered thoroughly..until water seeps out of drainage holes.

Oh, before watering, I'd add slow-release, Palm fertilizer pellets and Superthrive.

Then palm would be set in a brightly lit window. East is fine, or a few feet from west or south..

No, it's not good that new growth is dying. There are many reasons new growth dies. Could be because of soil or over-watering.

Palms don't like wet feet, especially during winter months. Moisture in the air is one thing, 'humidity,' but not wet soil.

Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:33PM
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HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)

Well, I replaced the soil (forgot to take pics of roots, sorry!)
At first, I was thinking "Wow, so many roots!" And of course, they were all attached to the dead ones... Are live and dead roots both orange? Or are all of them rotted? I really dont know what to think...

Oh, and it probably was overwatering, as it was just about mud at the bottom of the pot. (somehow it didn't spill out onto me. Hmm...)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:11PM
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