I hate Majesty palms!

subtropixMarch 13, 2012

Okay, I have been trying to love this one for quite some time now. Just got one a coupe of weeks ago. Today, it looks limp. I don't get it! Only thing I can think of is that the tight soil ball is not getting access to the soil moisture in the new larger pot as I did not break up the root ball. Will work on it tomorrow and actually set it in water for a few hours. Might be the sun and heat in the garage so now it's outside in the shade. The coconut palm came through the winter looking fab by comparison.

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The same thing happened to one of my majesty palms last year. All the fronds starting getting very curvy and it just didnt look good. I put it to a corner in the yard where no one would see it and it did come back and look good by the end of the season. I have had my largest majesty palm for 2 winters now and that one does fine. It gets a little bent out of shape indoors, but nothing that some time outdoors doesnt help. I give it shade from sunrise to about 3 pm in the day. In my experience, majesty palms hate sun and dry soil at any time so if yours was dry and/or in full sun, that might be a problem.

My coconut palm actually didnt do that great indoors this year. The Tall variety did amazingly, the dwarf one lost a frond or 2, but is still alive and healthy. I think it needs to be repotted. Its outside right now getting some needed fresh air!

Hope your majesty palm comes back for you! Its a great palm because it's so cheap that you dont have to feel guilty if you cant bring it indoors.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 8:02PM
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HardyPalmFreak((7b)(Bronx, NY))

I hate them too lol - simply because that's the palm they love selling here at the box stores. However, they are beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 8:03PM
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jaynboro(7 TN)

I sat mine in the shallow end of the fish pond. It loved all the moisture. If you do the same, just be sure to keep the top portion up above the water line. During winter I kept the pot in a bucket or tray with water in it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 9:47PM
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My understanding is that majesty palms love moisture and they shouldn't be allowed to really dry out. Technically these palms naturally thrive in full sunlight. However, they are taken out of their natural element and trained to grow indoors with indirect sunlight. I've tried them without success and am convinced they are not meant to be indoor palms. Somebody prove me wrong though so I can try them again too. :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:46PM
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There are several people that have chimed in in the past that have gorgeous specimens of this palm and have it indoors half the year... not sure exactly how they do it, but in general, most people have similar experiences to above... not a great indoor palm (there are so many that are, you should concentrate on those).

check out these down the street from me (these like it outdoors here in California)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 12:33PM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)

here, here,
Well stated lzrddr,

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:43PM
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Indoors or out, same result--death. It must be their extreme intolerance to any dryness. As a sidenote, relative humidy outside has been like Vegas--8 percent. I have other palms--most in fact, just also a challenge. Guess it means I'll try once again until I discover te secret.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Great majesty palms! Those look even better than the ones I've seen in Florida. Another plant that is often sold for indoor use (that I'm convinced is a death wish) is Norfolk Island Pine. Go with phoenix robellini...these are fantastic and easy to care for indoor palms.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:28PM
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Wow lzrddr, beautiful majesty palms. They really are beautiful palms but few people actually get to see them grow to become that size. They don't really do that well in Florida either probably because of the soil, Cali is the only place where I have seen them thrive, but Im sure there are nice specimens in other places.

Heres my majesty palm. It always looks a little beat up after being indoors all winter, but I think it looks pretty good and it usually grows well during the summer! It's now going into its 3rd growing season, but ironically enough is shrinking in size because when I bought it the fronds were shade grown and very long, but now it is in more sun and the fronds are getting more compact now (I like the compact look better anyways!).

And PJ, I have terrible luck with robellini's indoors. I killed one completely and the other had spear pull but recovered after going outdoors. Its my fault because they were in terrible potting soil, but either way, it wasnt a great experience with those palms. I got a Solitare palm to replace my Robellini and it does great indoors and out so far for me. Its pretty tall though which might be a problem in the near future.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 11:05PM
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I have three Phoenix roebellini. One is seven feet tall and flowers every July now--it's a boy apparently. I love Date palms--they are EASY. The freakin', common Majesty is the challenge!:) Norfolk Island?--No problem, I have one that is....real tall.. Easy plant!--No comparison to the difficulty of these dang Majesties.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 11:09PM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)

As usual, good information Alex.

NJOasis, I agree date palms are easier. Just a helpful note, its good to be receptive to feedback about your palms from people like lzrddr who know more than us about certain palms. I learned so much here from others about palms. Its good to be of a teachable spirit so we grow in knowledge of palms and even in life.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 11:48AM
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How am not of " a teachable spirit"? I posted with the intent of getting useful info on growing this palm as an indoor/outdoor palm. Your prior posting is baaffling to me. If I did not think I could learn (or teach ) from this forum, I would not frequent it.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Lrzddr,, those palms are so gorgeous, it inspired me to try once again. I was really annoyed when the last one just seemed to go limp overnight. I had brought it recently, repotted it, watered it, placed it in my garage-turned greenhouse and it just went into sudden decline. I just got another one that is sitting in a shallow saucer of water. I view it as a challenge--much as I do tree ferns. Both of which share a love of water and an intolerance of drought. But another question comes to mind. How do these water lovers seem to thrive in arid Calif?--Water bills must be enormous to sustain them, no?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 6:16PM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)

lrddr said "not a great indoor palm (there are so many that are, you should concentrate on those)."
And NJOasis said "Lrzddr,, those palms are so gorgeous, it inspired me to try once again.."

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 2:43PM
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To me, watering lawns is a huge waste of water... few plants here in southern California require more water to look good than lawn... but if you insist on growing a lawn, might as well fill it with Majesty Palms... can't overwater them outdoors, that's for sure!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 9:22AM
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If you can find the Ravenea Hildebrandtii, that was a good indoor palm in the victorian era. J.D Andersens have em at the mail order department. A 1G for $10 with shipping of course.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:05AM
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I have stayed away from the majesty mainly from threads like this. IDK if I want to put in the work to try and keep one alive. I really have enough plants that are cry babys and demand my attention 100% of the time. I don't think I need another.

njoasis you grow tree ferns? I just picked up a small cooperi on my green house expedition the other day and am working on gettin a 3 ft dicksonia imported at the moment. What kind do you grow

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 4:26PM
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Mike, my tree fern went into a loft garage turned cold greenhouse back on the eve of Hurricane Sandy--along with everything else not tied down. Unfortunately, it died in the aftermath as there were other priorities--mostly involving chainsaws. But I can answer your question. Tree ferns need near constant moisture. I can't tell you how any I have lost! If you think Majesty palm is difficult, be warned, tree ferns ain't easy. Best is just to keep their containers in a saucer that always has some water in it. Also, cooler is better but cooperi cannot handle deep frost--though it grows faster. Of the two you mentioned, I like cooperi more. A couple of years ago I purchased a larger Dicksonia at HD. The thing started to burn outside in a shaded position, in a very humid summer when we had a record rainfall of 80 inches of annual rainfall. Dicksonia can handle drier air, more direct sun and more cold than cooperi. I believe I have read some people develop minor dermititis from contact with the fronds but I never had that problem.
Right now, the only 'tree fern' I have is in the genus 'Blechnun'. Mine is all green but there is one from Brazil that has red fronds on new growth and is very attractive. Both seem much easier than the ones you mentioned, but can be hard to find. Eventually, in the Spring, I will add some more tree ferns.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 5:19PM
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I swear your HD is a wonderland..palms and tree ferns we get nothing like that here. the cooperi I have is small but its comming along. hope to add a DA soon. I must find the one with red fronds sounds to cool. The heat is going to be the only problem here with normal temps in mid summer around 90-100 and 80% or better humidity IDK if they will like that to much no hurt in trying though.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:19PM
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I am actually having much better luck with Majesties since I posted this originally.

Mine goes outside April to the end of Oct. then goes into a bright basement that stays at around 70 f.. There is a fan on down there so good air circulation and fairly humid. Oh, and I keep it moist by keeping it in a saucer of water. The reason you see this plant sold so much is that it is cheap, and it is cheap because it grows fast. But it demands a lot of water and fertilizer. If kept too dry at he soil or w.r. to humidity, it gets prone to bugs, especially scale.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:18PM
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Tree ferns are NOT easy! I grow majesty palms without any problems (I let the one in my picture above die this year and brought 2 other smaller ones inside since those are greener). My majesty palms dry out pretty often and as long as they get a good soaking before it's too late, they dont mind at all. With tree ferns if it's not always moist (but never standing in water) then it will die.

I also have a hard time finding tree ferns here (the good local nurseries have them at expensive prices) so when I went to San Diego and found a beautiful Dicksonia antarctica for only $20, I had to get it. It was really expensive to ship so I made sure that it was getting the best care I could give it. October came and it was mild and dry and I forgot to water it for 2 days. I figured it wouldnt be a problem because it was in full shade almost all day long, but it declined fast! I thought it was going to die, but it started making fronds again last spring and now the fronds are slowly getting back to their normal size. I'd imagine that they are a lot easier to care for in the ground than as potted plants, if you ever do get a tree fern make sure you keep them well watered. They are great plants though so I do recommend giving them a try!
Here was my Dicksonia Antarctica at it's best back in the summer of 2011. It is much smaller than this now, but hopefully it will look like this again by the end of this summer!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:27AM
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orchiddude(+7b ALabama)

These are really good palms for a beginner if you just remember to keep it wet, feed regular, and give plenty of sun light. They like bugs so keep a fan on them during the winter. I grew one once that got to about 6 inches of trunk, after that I experiemented on it to see how many ways I could try to kill it. It lasted a long time, the lack of water was what did it in. They can give you a tropical look for the least amount of money. They do like scale which could be a problem.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:30AM
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