Newly planted Pygmy Date Palm, fronds turning brown

senore100November 5, 2010

I planted a 7 gallon pygmy date palm 5 days ago. Since then I water it every other day, each time with about 1.5 gallons of water. I know for sure that the soil it sits in is damp, and since now the temperature in the valley has come down quite a bit, I haven't watered it every day.

Before it was planted, I noticed that one frond started to turn brown at the tips. Well, after I planted it, there have been quite a few fronds that started to brown. And the one that was a bit brown now turned totally brown (sorry about the tongue twister!)

Here are a few pictures:

These pictures were taken this morning. And by the time I got home in the evening, it was actually even worse -- two fronds had turned pretty much totally brown.

Could someone please kindly tell me if this is just simply the initial shock, or from too much water, or too little water? Thanks so much!

PS:Just in case the pix don't show, here are the links:

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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Good job posting the links as the embedded pics didn't work for me. Every other day seems a bit much to me if they're in the ground, but it doesn't sound like you're drowning them either. The leaf loss in your pics looks pretty minimal/normal for a transplanted one, especially since they mostly seem to be the older fronds, but let's see what our other members say too.

I'd just just make sure they get lightly dry between watering (mine get watered twice a week at this time of year) and then not to sweat the older fronds yellowing/browning, especially after a recent transplant. I think your plants look pretty good overall.

Good luck and keep us posted,

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 9:23PM
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Many thanks grant_in_arizona!
What worries me most is that the trunk appears to be turning brown, as you can see from this picture.
I went back to Home Depot and took a look at pygmies of a similar size, and their trunks all looked green!
Have already cut down on watering. Just a little bit water (like a cup or two) every day in the morning. I can see that the clay is damp enough.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 1:21PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hmmm...that is a little worrying. There's really not much you can do other than let them get slightly dry between watering. If they were mine I wouldn't water them every single day, but rather give them a good drink and then let them go several days until the next watering (especially now that it's so cool).

Good luck and keep us posted. I think they can be pretty finicky when they get transplanted, but once they are happy they're pretty easy to keep happy.

Take care,

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 1:56PM
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Thanks! I will quit watering every day, and wait a few more days to see how it does.
It was my first time planting a pygmy palm -- well, planing anything, really. lol.
Worse case scenario I will have to dig it out and get another one from Home Depot. It would be such a shame because I really like the shape of this one, and a lot of effort already went into it.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 5:46PM
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Today's the end of the second week after it was transplanted, and the pygmy is still alive! The color of the trunk remains pretty much the same (as in the picture), and the tips of a few fronds have turned brown. But other than that, it seems to be doing OK.
I hope that the initial shock stage is already over now! Still keep my fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 2:33AM
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I don't think you can over them. I have two in my pond year round and i have to replace them every two years cause they grow like a weed. Just get too big for the area.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 10:11AM
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What?! Pygmies in a pond! I thought they love moisture but hate sitting in water! Also aren't they supposed to grow really slow?
Anyway I am so glad that mine is still alive at this point!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 12:28AM
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They only sit in about an inch of water but wet all the time. Didn't think it would work but been doing it for 5 years and they are the greenest ones i have.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 8:50AM
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