New Silver Joey Palm owner! Any tips?

patchyjack(10a)June 11, 2014

I got hold of a seedling Johannesteijsmannia Magnifica (what a name!) a few months ago.
It hasn't grown at all since I got it.
I've been keeping it indoors in bright, indirect light at a temperature of about 20 C / 70 F, give or take a few degrees. The humidity varies between 50% and 70% - it takes several days for this kind of change to occur usually.
Sometimes in the mornings the plant gets direct sun.

I don't know what the soil is like, since I heard that these plants really don't like to have their roots disturbed. When I got it, it still had some growing space in its tree tube, so I left it alone.
Judging by the weight of the pot though, I think the soil retains moisture well. Is that good?

I got the plant in autumn and now it's winter (here in Australia) and I was wondering if that's why it hasn't grown?
To be fair, none of my other palms are growing much at this time of year.

I'm just very keen to get this beauty up to a good size. It's probably the most exciting plant in my collection!

Any tips would be much appreciated!
- Sparkey

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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I'm in s. florida usa so my experiences may not be useful for you??
I started from seed took 27 months to germinate!! Almost
2 years to complete 3 fronds lol Was started in 2000 and still less than 4 feet. Very sensitive to cold and drying while still neeeds good drainage .and shade.
I donated the plant to the local zoo ,they have an indoor rainforest .Seems happier but is still setting on speed records lol
At one time had all 3 species but all but magnifica were wiped out by wind storms..
Good luck!! Maybe your experience will be more positive?? gary

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:52AM
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Not sure where you'd have to be in Melbourne to be zone 10a, at best I'd have thought 9b. I've been wanting to get one for ages but no luck so far. Would love to know where you got yours. I've had to satisfy my self with researching them in the hope one day I might be able to put that information to good use. There's a big one in the Flecker Gardens in Cairns, closest I've come to one so far. Gary's experience with them is really worth taking note of. But remember, they come from rainforest. That means the temperatures don't get too low, but neither do they get too high. And humidity is consistently high. I managed to get a J. altifrons seed to germinate but didn't get the moisture balance right and it eventually rotted. Still got some seeds left, have at least another 12 months before giving up on them. Good luck with yours (and please do tell where you got it).

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:03PM
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Thanks for your information, both of you!
Gary, that's still helpful! Thanks for responding!

I've put my Joey closer to some of my other plants to keep the humidity higher. I'll also take care not to overwater it, especially since the pot is a bit big.

Tropicbreezent, I'm near the yarra river in Melbourne, surrounded by golf courses. The minimum air temperature we've had here is 0 C on clear winter nights. I think all the vegetation moderates the temperature a bit.
I don't even want to think about growing a Joey outdoors here though! The air and ground are way too dry.

I got mine on eBay, from a collector in QLD.
My advice for obtaining one would be to set up a saved searches for both "Johannesteijsmannia magnifica" and "joey palm" on eBay, and have it email you as soon as anybody makes a listing. I've gotten hold of several rare and interesting plants that way.
It should only be a matter of time before something comes up, since these plants are becoming more popular (apparently!) - best of luck in your search!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:18AM
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Thanks Patchyjack. I'm not on Ebay, but I'd pretty well sell my soul for a silver joey, so I might even think of going that bit further and joining Ebay. Give us an update on how yours is going from time to time.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:25PM
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No problem! I'll post a picture when (or if) my joey starts doing anything!

I would seriously recommend an eBay account to anybody interested in collecting unusual plants. I've picked up some absolutely terrific species and cultivars that way.

Just make sure you're not looking at international listings. Seeds can be sent from overseas, but live plants can't without loads of pain, unsurprisingly.
The eBay site doesn't always seem to realise this, however.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 2:03AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

There are several palm nurseries that sell them here but are very expensive The magnifica was started from seed while I bought the other two as seedlings. Got them for under 10 dollars as the nursery was going out of business.
Here is the formula the nursery gave me for the pottting mix.. Coir and fir bark fines which I used but mine were exposed to rain. They warned me that they resent root disturbance so they suggested I over pot
and keep on the drier side. along with an ammended slow release fert. As to cold they will tolerate down to frost but resent frost on fronds But I kept mine above 50 and under 85 Found they burned easily so kept them in heavy shade .
Couldn't pin them down on "Slow growing,slow to germinate " Still think 27 months couldn't be normal ?? lol. Could find almost no specific info on the internet and very few personal experiences
Only mature one I've seen (altafrons) though I don't think it's ever seeded is at Fairchild gdns in Miami. They kept it in a GH even there . Never seen one as a yard plant
Note on the internet most of the pix are from habitat.
Even the palm societies have very little specific info.
tropic Would think you'd have a good chance ??
Think I'd find one that is out of the seedling stage as most palms are more delicate at that stage at least in my experience. get a second mortagage on the house?? lol
Good luck to both of you!! Certainly one of the worlds most magnificent plants!!! gary

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 5:26AM
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My problem would be persistent heat. On average we get over 350 days per year of temperatures over 30C. I have Amorphophallus titanum outdoors all year, but they show stress during the build up, our hottest period.

This is one at the Flecker Gardens in Cairns, took that photo nearly 5 years ago. Was there again about 18 months ago but didn't get another photo. Didn't seem to have grown any bigger.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 6:50AM
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They have a lot of J. altifrons planted out.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 6:51AM
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Hey, thanks for the info on the mix, Gary!
I'll clip that for when I eventually need to repot it.

Unfortunately my plant is a very small seedling, but it still looks happy and healthy, so I think I'm doing something right!
I've moved it out of the reach of any direct sun. Now it just gets bright filtered light all the time - a bit more than you'd need for an African Violet.

Tropic - oh gawd! Look at those palms! They look like they were invented by M. C. Escher. They're just amazing. I really hope I can get mine to look like that!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:57AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Certainly glorious aren't they?? have any guess on how old the large one is ?? I figured the slow growing would be an advantage for me as it would always need some protection at one time or another.
Do they have any J. perekensis , "Joey on a stick"??
Have yet to see one except in habitat pix
At the nursery they told me it was a bit hardier BUT was even more slow
Don't know how the one at fairchild is doing but the "Rare plant house" ,greenhouse, was badly damaged during a hurricane .Couldn't find it on the index catalog but haven't looked in a long time.
They certainly live up to" Understory palm" Always under heavy growth in pix.
last year I found a seedling of Kerriodoxa elegans and have been pleasantly surprised it is already starting mature fronds and under 2 years old!!! I recently moved it up and it never slowed at all. My kind of understory!!!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 6:48AM
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These palms are a real struggle out here in California, even in the rare zone 10bs that exist in certain pockets... truly are tropical species. But every once in a while someone plants one in the right spot and they do well. One of our master growers, Louie Hooper, managed to grow one of these to a pretty good size (for California)... has it in is courtyard so gets minimal wind, good cold protection, only partial day sun and plenty of water.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Here's one of the biggest ones I have seen in person (Floribunda Palms in Hawaii)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:56PM
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Here's one I saw in Singapore that was a lot larger, but this is sadly the only pic I got of it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:57PM
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this is probably the largest Joey perakensis (again in Hawaii) I have seen in person... these get tall trunks, at least relative to other Joey species, so they eventually become even more spectacular

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:59PM
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and the largest J lanceolata I have seen (this one in Singapore, least I got a better pic of this one). This thing is nearly 6' tall.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 5:01PM
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Oh wow. They are so lovely! The one from Hawaii is really something!

Gary, Kerriodoxa elegans is pretty fine as well! Congrats on it!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Spectacular palms!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:46AM
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