How fast does Phoenix Sylvestris grow?

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by TonyLoco, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Florida
    How many feet per year will Phoenix Sylvestris grow?

    Is it more spikey than Phoenix Canariensis?

    Are the leaves shorter as well?

    I have seen some palms that look like Phoenix but they have many short spiky leaves, giving them the overall appearance of a bushy tree rather than a palm. Is this the Phoenix Sylvestris or is this something else?
     
  2. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Tony, Here in my area of Fl I got a couple of feet of trunk on my Sylvestris a year until it started to flower and then it slowed to about a foot a year. For ID a picture will be helpful as there are lots of hybrid Phoenix.
     
  3. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Sylvestris ! This photo was taken 8yrs after planting from a 2' trunked palm.
    IMG_6984.jpg
     
  4. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Florida
    OK here is a picture of one of those strange looking Phoenix palms that look more like a bushy tree:

    IMG_1165.jpg

    Is this a Phoenix Sylvestris? If so how can I make sure mine never ends up looking like that?
     
  5. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Tony, It looks to have some sylvestris genes, but probably a hybrid of. Fronds look to short and to upright for a pure P. sylvestris. I have also never seen a sylvestris hold on to so many fronds. Don't worry about yours looking like that, as that one is one in a million.
     
  6. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Florida
    I finally got my Phoenix Sylvestris, 2 of them.

    Here is a pic:

    IMG_1262.JPG

    Any tips on keeping them in good health? The nursery told me to water them everyday for 2 weeks.

    They also said to keep the support beams on them for at least 3 months, but then suggested that I may as well keep them on through hurricane season as well, which would mean keeping the support beams on them for almost a whole year.
     
  7. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Tony - the sylvestris "hybrid" looks like it could possibly have some Phoenix pusilla genes.

    Your landscaper is correct, keep it watered for two weeks. Then once a week after until the rainy season. Do not over water them.

    As far as growth, your newly installed palms won't do much vertically the first couple of years. It will expend the majority of it's energies redeveloping its root system. Then you will see about 1 ft. a year in my opinion.
     
  8. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Yep - What MooseMan said.

    I always thought how neat it would if soil was transparent, and we could walk out and admire our palm's growth under the ground as well as on top. :)
     
  9. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Florida
    Is it me or is my newly planted phoenix sylvestris starting to lean over to the right? See picture below:

    IMG_1333.JPG

    Could this be because the supports are pushing it too much on one side? If so should I try to loosen them?

    Or is it normal that it leans a little bit?

    Also the leaves are looking a little more yellow than when they were first planted. They were planted 3 weeks ago and I have been watering them more or less everyday since then.

    Maybe I am just being over cautious, but they weren't cheap so I want to make sure I do all I can to keep them healthy. So any advice would be appreciated...
     
  10. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    13,861
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Hard to say since we didn't see it at first from that angle. You are the best judge. But most palms curve a little.
    I'm assuming these were dug up out of the ground? How big a root ball if it was? And IMO, water every day for that palm is too much, especially after week. And it is also important as to what kind of soil you have, and how good the drainage is - and also, what kind of weather and temperatures are you experiencing. Maybe someone with more experience with Florida conditions can chime in.
     
  11. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Too wet in my opinion. I'd cut back to once a week. Stick your finger down about 6 inches on the side where the root meets the new soil. If moist - don't water. A local guy, Albert Livingston, installs big field grown palms. He told me he has a lot of problems with customers who over water newly installed Phoenix.
     
  12. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Florida
    Thanks for the replies guys. I will cut down on the watering to once or twice a week. It has been raining quite a bit recently anyway.

    They were originally field grown. But I bought them straight from the nursery in containers that were about 4 1/2 feet in diameter. I know for a fact that they were sitting in those containers at the nursery for at least 3 weeks (I had visited before) and I expect longer. They were actually a real bargain, only $1,550 for 2 of them with delivery and installation included (they have 6 and 7 ft. clear trunk). Albert Livingstone wanted to charge me more than twice that price.

    Thanks for the input, I will cut down on the watering then. But also remember that these are Phoenix Sylvestris, from the Monsoon climate of India, they are not desert palms like the Phoenix Dactiferya.

    This is the most frustrating thing about gardening, it is so hard to know if you are over-watering or under-watering....

    Not sure what soil I have, but I think its pretty well drained. When they installed the palms they dug craters around each palm and said I should fill them with water each day. On the big palm it takes about 8 minutes to fill it to the top with water from my hosepipe, on the littler one it takes about 5 minutes. But all that water drains out completely within 15-20 minutes (even after the sun has gone down).


    Can't really tell if the soil is "moist" or not. It is not muddy, but its not like sand either. It just feels like regular soil, not sure if that means its moist or not. Sorry I do not know much about soil.
     
  13. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    13,861
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Stay tuned - I can't do it tomorrow, but I have intended to do a short photo essay on what is known as "marking the spear" to check for palm growth.

    It is obvious you care a great deal about these two guys and they make a nice statement. I wouldn't worry too much about a little yellowing on the older fronds, but I am convinced more plants are killed by over watering than under watering - palms included. But there is a lot to consider such as soil temp, air temp, soil consistency, and amount of roots. It seems as if you had no real idea how big of a root ball was dug, or if you noticed any new healthy roots when the boxes were removed - all clues as to the necessary amounts of water. It should be remembered that freshly cut roots are more susceptible to rooting from over watering than unmolested roots.

    So - I'll put together a little instructional on a tip to monitor growth. Give me a day or two. I'm off on a palm buying excursion tomorrow.
     
  14. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,861
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
  15. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Florida
    Thanks for that useful tip. I can use that on some of the smaller palms in my backyard.

    However for these Sylvester Palms, they are too tall and full of very sharp thorns to be able to get anywhere near the spear to mark it.

    My wife did a video of them planting these trees, so I could post some screenshots of that so you guys can see the size of the root ball.
     

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