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Hi, we live on the south coast and were hit with a storm last night.  We have a mexican palm that is planted in a large hole in a patio area.  It was there when we bought our house 18 months ago.  Its in a large pot in the ground.  However we did get flooded this winter and I think its a combination of being in water for large amount of time, possibly pot bound (you can see the roots) and the high mph winds last night that its blown over and some of the roots broken.  Is there anything we can do to save it?   We were thinking of building a support for it but long term I dont think its in a good place, mind you its about 5 ft tall and I ve been told its been there for a good 20 years.  Any help or advice much appreciated.   Thanks

Cambridgerose12

I doubt very much it's come to any serious harm LisaGirly. What it suggests to me as a course of action is:

1. buy a larger container

2. mix sand into soil-based compost (John Innes no 3) with a bit of time release fertilizer (it's probably in the pot to ensure good drainage)

3. put pot shards into the bottom about 2 inches deep for said drainage

4. replant palm using the compost mixture and removing some of old compost around it

5. cut back dead leaves and away you go.

If it's survived there for 20 years it will survive 20 yrs more but the pot will be expensive...

Wintersong

Er, I would get rid of it while half the work is done for you, have you seen how fast and huge these things grow?  Unless your patio is some distance from the house or a size and magnificence to warrent the price of a pot?? Planter more likely. ..

then again you may have a dwarf variety like those things exist 

just saying. ..

Dovefromabove

Hi LisaGirly

Just to clarify ... are you saying that the tree has blown over and the roots are still in the ground and therefore a lot of the roots have snapped?


 

 


 

I think these couple of pics might explain our predicament a little better ........ (its being held up by a piece of wood but you can clearly see where its got thin or rotted (not sure) at the base of the trunk)

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Dovefromabove

That's what I thought - I think that if the plant is healthy it will put out some new roots to replace any that have snapped.  You just need to keep it propped up until the roots grow and it has firmed up.  That may take a while. 

Of course, if there is a drainage problem the roots may be rotting off down below and it might be an idea to take this opportunity to dig the container up, improve the drainage and repot in fresh compost  - possibly JI3 with added horticultural grit. 

What do others think?

Cambridgerose12

Hmm, yes, that's a tougher problem than I thought from the way you described it Lisa. It does look like the base has rotted away and perhaps the pot it's planted in has contributed to retaining the water. Amazingly enough the top growth looks very healthy still. So if you decided to keep it you'd def need to dig the whole thing out and sort the drainage issue. 

You know another idea would be to go the whole hog and turn that central circle into a pond?

ha ha, I have 2 golden retrievers so a pond is definitely off the cards!!  I can see the top ridge of a white circular plastic container when I laid the cobbles, but I have no idea if that pot has a bottom or if it might have been used to help retain the shape and encourage the roots to grown down rather than along (because of the patio).  The flooding should hopefully no longer be an issue as we had soakaways and acco drains installed a few weeks ago (think you can see these in the pic).  So hopefully we wont have the flooding over the patio again.   I did think it would be pot bound but as you said, it looks very healthy.  Looks like more digging is on the cards for me!

PS - I put in the weed fabric and cobbles, before it was just soil - would these do any harm to it?  am I better off without them?

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