How do I stimulate root growth?

islandbreezeMarch 14, 2010

I just purchased a nice sized windmill palm from someone. It's about 5 feet tall with 3 feet of overall trunk. The leaves and spears look very healthy and the trunk is firm, but the roots look dessicated and seem dried out. I don't think it's root rot because it has been in a garage all winter and the soil was very dry.

Could this be lack of water? Will they recover? Can it generate new roots from the trunk base? Can I save it?

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I'd recommend root hormone. I've used it successfully with many dug-up pine trees up at the cabin and on basjoo pups. All with roots cut up badly. Every one made it! I wish I'd had some on hand when I planted my large trachy though. I bet I would have got a lot more growth/better establishment that first summer in ground. Shultz Take Root. It is cheap, Home Depot has it. It's widely used for cloning plants also.

Good luck, sounds like a nice big trachy!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 11:01AM
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Should I cut off the old dried out roots? Will it regrow roots from the trunk? Should I put it out in the sun or will the sun just dessicate the foliage?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 12:52PM
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I would not cut anything off. Make sure they are moist, even mist it real good then sprinkle root hormone generously all over the root area when you plant it. I'd gradually introduce it to sun. Maybe shade cloth or keep it in the shade for a few days first. That's my 2 cents but maybe those with more experience will chime in here too? Good luck! (I hope you are talking about that nice trachy that was recently for sale...)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 1:49PM
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If you messing with the roots on any plant it should never see full sun. I would put it in an area that gets filtered sun or use shade cloth. If you have to put it in full sun I would put a drip line on at all times.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 2:08PM
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Hey Mike
Just wanted to let you know I got the palms yesterday!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 3:49PM
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Thats great jim did you get the washingtonia filifera seeds too? There pure filifera.

Brian or anyone else who might be interested I am getting rid of my unused portable green house. I had 2 this one is in the boxes still. Its 20x8x12ft high. It has front and rear zipper doors 1 1/2 galvinized poles and side pull down anchors.

Looks like this one

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 6:49PM
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Thanks guys. This is a beautiful tree and I don't wanna lose it. I've heard of certain palms like sabals and washingtonia being dug up and the roots dying back, but then regrowing from the base of the trunk again, so if these roots are dead, I'm hoping thats what will happen in this situation.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 10:41PM
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Was this tree living in a pot long-term, or was it just recently dug up and potted? How did you notice the roots looking a little sad? If this is the certain palm I'm thinking of, it looked like it had been potted for a while. Or did they pull it from the pot to reduce its weight for transportation?

Speaking of that, the two larger trachys I have experience with which were pot-grown, they did just that in order to ship them to me. Both came with very little roots, obviously cut to lighten the shipping. Both trees recovered eventually once planted in the ground. They required a little TLC (epsom salt, transplant shock treatment, etc) and a full season to get re-established but both are alive after spending a Minnesota winter in the ground. Good luck with it, I'm sure it will be fine. MAybe take it in the house until planting time? Let it warm up and stimulate it?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 7:29AM
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I was told it was potted for a few years, and spent the winter in the garage. I'm hoping maybe the roots are just dessicated and need to be watered. That would be an easy fix. It was pulled from the pot and the dirt removed to reduce weight. When you say transplant shock treatment, what do you mean?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:15AM
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There is a liquid "transplant shock treatment" that I used when I planted my larger trachy in ground. It did work eventually over time. I did not have any of the powder root hormone on hand when I planted that tree though. The powder works really good in my experience with other plants and trees, probably better and faster. I'll try to find the bottle of the liquid stuff and post the brand name. I bought it online. Using epsom salt is recommended also.

You are in zone 6 it looks like. I think that if you are planning on planting in ground you could probably do so safely by about the first of April. You should have all the stuff on hand and ready to go for when you do it. If I was in your shoes, get Shultz "Take Root", some epsom salt for continued treatments after planting, and some (spelling probably wrong) michorizzal fungi. I believe that fingi made a difference with mine also. I bought it from a place called Fungi Perfecti. This fungi is why all the Monrovia brand plants are so nice and grow so fast. It's what they use and advocate. I have a Monrovia trachy that is about 4.75 feet tall now and it is going in ground in the front yard this spring. I bought it at a garden center last year at only about 3 feet tall. It has put on at least 10 new fans and about 6" more trunk in the year I've had it potted. Its outside now. It came in the 3-season porch in mid December. It's had snow. It's about fully conditioned now... The thing is perfect!

Another thing I learned with my bigger trachy is not to worry about over-watering it (in ground). When newly planted water the heck out of it. Water it a bit every day for a while. They really need a lot of water in that condition and it will make a lot of difference. Just make sure you plant it correctly with good, well-draining soil, etc. I'm actually going to be planting another large trachy this spring so my other one has a "friend" in the same planter. about 4' of trunk and about 8' tall overall. I'll be employing all the methods/products I described. I've worked with the grower to send it to me with more soil and roots than my last one came with. The extra shipping cost is well worth it in that case. Good luck with yours! Please keep us posted as to how it is doing.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 7:22AM
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Islandbreeze, How is the windmill doing now?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 3:58PM
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All of my windmills are doing great! The one I got from you was actually re-transplanted yesterday. I planted it mounded up too high the first time. It is growing, although slowly. The spear is growing nicely, and it hasn't lost any leaves. I just put tree fertilizer spikes around my 3 windmills yesterday as well. My largest windmill is also growing slowly. I expected that since both are recent transplants. My smallest windmill that has been in the ground since spring of 2009 is growing pretty quickly now. Working on opening up its 3rd leaf of the year. Maybe it will have some time to catch up to the 2 larger windmills. I'll have to post some pics of my yard soon.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 10:07PM
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