Many tropical plants, having spread throughout the world after the development of means of communication, acquired the status of indoor plants. Among them, a native of the tropical forests of Central and South America – an exotic low palm tree Chamaedorea. A flowering plant from the Palm family is popular not only as a beautiful element of room decor – it occupies a leading position in purifying the air from harmful impurities and negative energy. Home care is simple and time-consuming.
Features of culture
In the genus of woody flowering plants – Chamaedorea, there are about 130 species, and only a small part is cultivated as decorative deciduous plants.
In nature, a low-growing palm tree grows in humid tropical forests, in the foothills under the crowns of tall trees, at home it will grow from 1.5 to 2 m in height, crown diameter – 60-70 cm. There are dwarf varieties, the height of which does not exceed half a meter. In appearance, it can be a bush with several erect stems, a tree with a thin trunk, less often a liana. In several species, aerial roots grow in the lower part of the trunk with age.
The word “chamaedorea” consists of the words “chamai” + “dorea”, which means “low (dwarf)” + “gift”. Because of the similarity of stems to bamboo shoots, chamaedorea is sometimes called bamboo palm.
The leaves are long (about 60 cm), or whole, or consist of narrow (2.5-3 cm) alternately sitting segments 10-15 cm long. The surface of the leaf plate is glossy, with clearly visible longitudinal veins; in some varieties, the upper part is bifurcated.
The plant is dioecious, many male flowers are formed, they are small, bright yellow, red, collected in an inflorescence, similar to an ear or panicle. The female flower on the peduncle is single, it can be red, yellow, orange. After flowering, a berry fruit is formed. It begins to bloom at 3-4 years of age, the flowering period is not tied to the season.
Varieties of chamaedorea: H. Ernest-August (Ch. Ernesti-Augusti), H. graceful (Ch. Elegans), H. monochrome (CH. Concolor), H. high (Ch. Elatior), H. metallic (Ch. Metallica ).
Buying a palm tree
Most often, a palm tree is purchased at a flower shop or nursery, where certain conditions have been created for flower crops. When buying, the main criterion is its appearance, so you need to carefully examine the entire bush and soil.
What to look for:
- availability of information about culture, about age;
- the integrity of the sheet plate;
- the sheet should be elastic, saturated in color;
- absence of signs of disease, insects on the plant, soil.
After the purchase, the plant is quarantined for 1.5-2 weeks, placing it separately from other flowers. During this time, it will adapt and, if there is a latent infection, then it will be possible to notice it and take action. There is no need to feed during the quarantine period.
After the quarantine has ended, the palm is transferred to a permanent place and given the opportunity to get used to the new environment. After two weeks, you can transplant it into a new container of larger volume – between the clod of earth and the wall there should be a free space of 2-3 cm. The culture is distinguished by slow growth, so the soil in a large pot will begin to acidify.
When transplanting, use a special soil for palm trees, adding a little coarse sand, or prepare the soil mixture yourself:
- sod land, humus or leaf land (2 parts each) + high moor peat, rotted manure, coarse sand (1 part each) + charcoal (several pieces of medium size);
- humus, sod land, peat (1 part each) + perlite (1/2 part);
- sand, peat, humus (1 part each) + turf soil (3 parts);
- special soil for palm (5 parts) + any baking powder (2 parts): coconut fiber, sphagnum moss, pine sawdust, small brick chips, small pieces of bark or pumice;
- equal parts of fertile turf, humus, peat chips, perlite (vermiculite).
It is not necessary to free the roots from the ground – it is better to transplant in a coma, after watering the plant. Fill a third of the pot with drainage (expanded clay, crushed stone, a mixture of crushed stone and sand), overload the lump, fill the voids with soil, slightly compact to remove air, water abundantly and put the flower in a shaded place for 3-5 days. At first, there is enough moisture for him, so watering is not required for several days. They begin to feed in 3-5 months.
In the future, a young chamaedorea is transplanted at intervals of 2-3 years, choosing a time in the middle or late spring. An adult plant is transplanted when the root system is overgrown and there is little room for it in the pot, when soil replacement is necessary. If an old pot is used, then it must be washed with soap, rinsed with clean water and disinfected with potassium permanganate, chlorhexidine, and drainage changed.
In its natural environment, a low-growing palm tree is in partial shade from tall plants, so at home it needs to choose a place with diffused light, where there is no direct sun. Windows of the western and eastern directions will do, it will be hot on the south window, the leaves in the sun will begin to turn yellow and dry. If there is no other place, then you can put it on a stand near the window. In order for the formation of the crown to proceed evenly, the pot must be periodically turned.
Palm trees are tropical plants, therefore, at low temperatures, growth slows down or stops altogether, the leaves begin to wither and dry out. The minimum temperature that chamaedorea can withstand is + 12 ° C. In summer, the air temperature in the room should be within 27 ° , in winter – from 16 to 22 °.
The soil in the tropics warms up well, and its temperature is almost the same as the air, and in winter it cools down on the windowsill, so the pot should be placed on a heat-saving material, for example, on foam plastic, foam rubber, to prevent drafts when ventilating.
Room palm care
When caring for room chamaedorea, you need to take into account the conditions for its growth in nature – moisture, warmth, therefore, it is necessary to create a similar environment in the room. Care includes regular moderate watering, air humidification, fertilization, and pruning.
Watering the palm tree is necessary taking into account the temperature and humidity of the environment, the season. If the air is dry, it is hot in the room, then it is watered more often than at low temperatures. The main criterion for determining the rate of watering is moist, but not wet, soil. In summer they water when the topsoil becomes dry, in winter the soil should dry out by 3-4 cm.
Water for irrigation is used settled, heated to room temperature. In the cold period, it is recommended to alternate water – once pour water at room temperature, the next time with water at a temperature of about 30 ° C.
The required level of humidity is maintained by humidifying the air using a stationary humidifier, water containers placed nearby. Moisture enters the plant and through the surface of the leaf, so the plant is sprayed daily, every two weeks the leaves are wiped from dust. When it is at rest, spraying is not recommended.
The first feeding after planting (transplanting) is carried out after 3-5 months, using complexes for decorative deciduous crops, special fertilizers for palms (for example, “Palma”). The frequency of application depends on the season – from spring to autumn, they are fed every 2-3 weeks, in winter – once a month. With foliar feeding, the concentration of the solution is reduced by 8-10 times.
Sometimes, in order for the green mass to grow faster, feeding is carried out twice a week, but the following conditions are met:
- application duration – two months, best of all April, May;
- use the same fertilizer without changing the dosage;
- the recommended dosage should be halved.
Sanitary pruning consists of removing dry, damaged and starting to turn yellow leaves. The yellowing of the lower leaves is a natural process. They must be cut off with a sharp instrument so that the capillaries do not “jam”; the cut must be treated with a 1.5-2% fungicide solution to prevent the penetration of infection.
If you do not like the shape of the crown, then you can cut off poorly or crookedly growing shoots, leaves. There is no need to fear for the condition of the plant – tissue regeneration occurs quickly. Also, the palm tree will not suffer if you cut off the inflorescences that spoil the decorative appearance.
chamaedorea propagates by seed and with the help of daughter shoots, which distinguishes it from other types of indoor palms. Vegetative propagation is more popular, since it is difficult to get fresh seeds, and after even a short storage period, germination decreases. If, nevertheless, you decide to grow a palm tree from seeds, then, when purchasing them, you need to pay attention to the shelf life.
Each month of storage reduces germination by 10%, so after 10 months the seeds are not suitable for use.
You can get high-quality fresh seeds at home if you have a male and female plant. Pollination is carried out with a brush. If it went well, then fruits-berries with seeds are formed. When a branch with berries falls very low, sometimes almost to the ground, it means that the berries are ripe and the seeds can be removed.
The freshly collected material is not soaked, and purchased in a store must be kept in warm water for 3-5 days, adding a few drops of iodine to it, a growth stimulator, for example, Zircon. The sowing substrate can be prepared independently: equal parts of steamed sawdust, coarse sand and moss or equal parts of turf, moss, sawdust, coarse sand.
How to sow:
- fill a low capacity with a substrate, moisten;
- evenly distribute the seeds, deepening by 1-1.5 cm, do not fall asleep;
- cover the container with foil, glass, put in a warm place, where the temperature is 25-32 ° C and the light is diffused;
- regularly moisten the soil, open the foil for ventilation.
Seedlings can appear in a month or six months. You can start diving if you have a leaf that has reached a length of 4-5 cm. Mixture for planting: turf soil, coarse steamed sand (2 parts each) + humus, leaf earth, humus (1 part each). Saplings are grown in a greenhouse, greenhouse, or kept in a room with a temperature of at least 24 ° C.
Dividing the bush
It is convenient to combine division with a transplant, so as not to injure the plant once again – exposing the root system negatively affects its condition. The method is not difficult, but the survival rate of the planted bushes is low.
- remove the bush from the pot, free the roots from the ground, rinse with clean water;
- cut off dry, rotten, damaged roots;
- unravel the tangled roots and divide the plants into separate shoots – there should be 3-4 roots on each division;
- plant delinking (4-5 pieces each) in a separate pot filled with potting soil (the options are listed above), water;
- put the pot in a warm (30-32 ° C) place with diffused lighting;
- care consists in moistening the soil after drying the top layer, spraying;
- if the seedling has taken root within 1-1.5 months, then six months later it is transplanted by the transshipment method.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Although the chamaedorea palm is considered an unpretentious crop, sometimes problems arise related to the growth, development, and condition of the leaves. They are caused by disorders in care, some external reasons.
Possible problems and solutions:
- Dry leaf tips – low indoor humidity. Regular airing, spraying is necessary.
- Yellowed or brown leaves – the plant stands in bright light, hard water is used for irrigation. The pot is transferred to another place, tap water is defended, softened with citric acid crystals.
- Leaves lose their elasticity, wither, become pale due to excess moisture in the soil, which affects the condition of the roots. Regulate the mode and volume of irrigation, more often loosen the soil, if necessary, carry out a transplant with a complete replacement of the soil and pruning of decayed root areas.
- A darkened sluggish leaf plate – it is cold in the room, the plant is transferred to a warm place.
- The shedding of the lower leaves is a natural process. The leaves that have begun to turn yellow are cut off almost at the very stem.
- A grayish-white bloom on the leaves and stems appears when a mealybug is affected. A small amount of the pest is removed mechanically – the leaves, the stems are washed with a soap solution with a sponge, then rinsed with clean water, the soil is treated with an insecticide. The procedure is repeated a week later. If there is no result or there is a lot of pest, then insecticides are used.
- A spider mite lesion is signaled by the appearance of a thin silvery cobweb on the leaves, in the leaf axils; small brownish plaques on the leaves indicate an invasion of the scale insect. Treatment is similar to that for ticks.