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Re: Fishtail Palm

Don't know, Andrea. Might try repotting it; it could be root bound. Most palms behave differently in pots than they do in open ground because most of them have big tap roots. My seedling Bismarckias put down an 18-inch tap root before they put out anything above ground.

Never paid much attention to fishtail palms--but your question sent me to the books. Apparently, there are three fairly common ones--Caryota mitis, C. rumphiana, and C. urens. C. mitis is a small clustering palm, often used as a house plant; the other two are large [40 to 60 feet] solitary palms. Interesting thing--all three are short lived; once they flower and fruit, they die. The fruits are the handle-with-care type; they contain calcium oxylate crystals and can be extremely irritating.

All three are also "toddy" palms. They have very sugary sap that is used to make alcoholic beverages.

On Aug 26, 2005, at 10:00 PM, hodgesaa@earthlink.net wrote:

Jim, I have a Fishtail palm that's in a pot. The leaves are turning
brown and crumbly on the ends. It's been doing that for a while and it
was in the house so about a month or so ago I put it outside on the
porch, cut off most of the bad stems and fertilized it with Palm
fertilizer. It's still doing it.

Care to venture a guess on what's wrong? It's getting lots of humidity now and no AC draft.

Andrea H
Beaufort, SC

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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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