How to grow and care for Weddell's Palm (Syagrus weddelliana) Indoors


Weddell's Palm, Weddell's Palm

Botanical name: Syagrus weddelliana
Synonym: Cocos weddelliana
Family: Arecaceae
Tribe: Cocoseae
Common names: Dwarf Coconut Palm, Queen Palm, Weddell's Palm

Description

Syagrus weddelliana commonly called Weddell's Palm, Queen Palm or Dwarf Coconut Palm is one of the most attractive of all the Indoor Palms which is closely related the Coconut Palm.

Weddell's Palm is much smaller and more tolerant to cold than the Coconut Palm. However, it requires high humidity and constantly moist free-draining soil.

Dwarf Coconut Palm does not have the hardiness of the popular types and it is difficult to grow under room conditions.

Queen Palm produces small edible fruits that resemble and taste like coconuts.

Size

The Weddell's Palm has a single trunk stem and has a small stature, only growing to a height of 6 ft with a trunk diameter of about 3.5 ft

Origin

Syagrus weddelliana is native to the State of Rio de Janeiro in southeastern Brazil where it thrives in the humid shade of the rainforests.

Weddell's Palm, Weddell's Palm

Photo Credit: RHS.org.uk

Syagrus weddelliana Care Indoors

Weddell's Palm (Syagrus weddelliana) thrives in very bright light, moist soil, humid environment, average warmth and free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Continue reading for a more detailed account.

Light Requirements

Weddell's Palm grows best in very bright light with as much sunshine as possible. It can also grow under a grow light.

Turn the pot regularly to ensure that the Queen Palm receives light on all sides for uniform growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering

Water Weddell's Palm liberally and keep the soil moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season and allow the soil to slightly dry out between waterings.

Like all palms, Queen Palm is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water, therefore water with chlorine-free water only. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Avoid getting the base of the Weddell's Palm wet as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of the palm.

Do not allow the Dwarf Coconut Palm to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the palm.


Temperature

Weddell's Palm prefers warm to cold conditions (up to a minimum of -40C). Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Weddell's Palm requires high humidity inorder to thrive. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the mature leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Weddell's Palm with a balanced, liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

To prevent fertilizer build up which is indicated by leaf burn and brown spots, regularly flush the soil. Run a stream of water through the soil until water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow the stream of water to run for some time and repeat the process several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Weddell's Palm requires to be repotted once every year at the beginning of the growing season.

Repotting in the first one year after germination is not be necessary as the plant obtains its nutrients from the nut.

Use a pot 1-2 sizes larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Soil

The best soil for Weddell's Palm should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal. Buy quality Potting Mix for Queen Palm from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Weddell's Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain the palm neat and tidy.

Where seeds are required for propagation, allow the fruits to mature and drop then cut away the spent flower stalk.

Where Queen Palm seeds are not required, cut away the flower stalk immediately it begins to form to prevent the palm from wasting energy on developing the flowers and seeds. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Weddell's Palm (Syagrus weddelliana) propagation can be done from the nut and it is not easy.

How to propagate Weddell's Palm from the nut

Bury the nut halfway in moist, free-draining soil. Place in a warm place and keep the soil moist through out.

Germination may take upto 6 months. For the first one year, the Weddell's Palm gets its nutrients from the nut therefore there is no need to repot it. It is advisable to start germination in a slightly larger pot.

Weddell's Palm, Weddell's Palm

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Syagrus weddelliana Problems Indoors

Weddell's Palm (Syagrus weddelliana) problems indoors include brown leaf tips, browning leaves, yellow leaves, pests and diseases among others. Continue for remedies and solutions.

Brown leaf tips

Weddell's Palm brown leaf tips are due to four possible reasons. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors to maintain the palm neat and tidy.

One reason for Queen Palm brown leaf tips is dry air (low humidity). To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second reason for Dwarf Coconut Palm brown leaf tips is underwatering. Water the Palm thoroughly and keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

The third reason for Queen Palm brown leaf tips is cold draughts. Protect it from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

The fourth reason for Weddell's Palm brown leaf tips is damage by touching. Place the Palm from the line of traffic.

Yellowing leaves

Weddell's Palm yellowing leaves are caused by underwatering. Water the palm thoroughly and keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Brown leaf spots

Weddell's Palm brown leaf spots are due to two possible causes. Remove the affected leaves and discard to keep the plant neat and tidy.

One cause of Queen Palm brown leaf spots is overwatering or soggy soil. Water the palm thoroughly and keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Also, ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

The second cause of Dwarf Coconut Palm brown leaf spots is sudden decrease of temperature due to cold draughts. Protect the palm from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

Browning leaves

The lower leaves of Weddell's Palm may turn brown and droop due to age; remove by cutting and not pulling.

If the browning of the leaves is general and accompanied by rotting, the reason is root-rot disease due to soggy soil.

Totally discolored or spotted leaves

Magnesium, Manganese and Iron deficiency are the cause of totally discolored and spotted leaves in Weddell's Palm.

Feed the Queen Palm regularly with a good fertilizer which contains micro-nutrients. Provide ocassional pinches of Magnesium and chelated Iron for the palm.

Declining growth

The cause of growth decline in Weddell's Palm is low light but not inadequate nutrition. Queen Palm prefers very bright light with a lot of direct sunlight.

Move the Dwarf Coconut Palm to a brighter spot where it can receive very bright light with a lot of sunshine or instal a grow light if the natural light is inadequate. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Diseases

Pseudomonas is a common disease in Weddell's Palm which is indicated by brown and wet lesions that run parallel to the leaf vein.

Isolate the affected palm to prevent spread to other houseplants or discard the plant as no cure is effective.

The other common disease in Queen Palm is Leaf Spot disease; treat the palm with a copper-based fungicide.

Pests

Weddell's Palm pests are Spider Mites, Scale Insects and Mealy Bugs.

Regularly check underneath the palm's leaves for these pests. Isolate the affected palm to prevent spread to the other houseplants.

Is Weddell's Palm toxic?

Weddell's Palm (Syagrus weddelliana) is non-toxic to both humans and pets. It is safe to grow indoors.

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