Planting A Bottle Palm Tree: Tips On Care Of A Tropical Houseplant
The plant species name for the bottle palm (Ceratocamelus excelsa) is “palm” because it resembles a small palm tree. However, unlike other palms, its trunk does not have a single thick branch but rather several thin branches which are all connected with each other.
These branches make up the tree’s trunk and give it its shape. The fruit of the bottle palm tree is called a cactus. They are edible and have been used medicinally for centuries.
A tropical houseplant is one that thrives in hot climates such as those found in the tropics. A tropical houseplant needs lots of light so it will thrive in your home or office.
You may want to choose a bottle palm if you live in a dry climate where it might get too hot during the day.
How To Grow A Bottle Palm Tree From Seed?
To start growing a bottle palm tree from seed, you need to buy some seeds. There are many varieties of bottle palms available online and at garden centers. Some of these types produce fruit while others do not. A good place to look for these seeds is an online site that sells cacti and succulents.
Choose a starter pot that has good drainage. Fill the container with cactus potting soil mixed with a small amount of regular garden loam.
Do not over-water your starter plant as this can cause the soil to become too wet and create the perfect environment for fungal disease organisms to grow.
Plant the bottle palm seeds about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) deep in the soil.
Keep the starter pot in a well-lit area but avoid direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not wet and wait for the seeds to sprout. This can take up to three months.
As your bottle palm grows, transplant it into a larger container once it outgrows its starter pot. Always use a pot that has good drainage and remember to only water the soil when it starts to dry out.
What Size Container Does A Bottle Palm Tree Grow To?
A bottle palm tree can grow to be between 2 and 15 feet (0.6 to 4.5 meters) tall in the wild. It can also grow to be about the same width but the tree’s thin branches twist and turn making it look much narrower than it really is.
How To Take Care Of A Bottle Palm?
The bottle palm tree needs full sun in order to thrive. It will not do well in dimly lit areas. The tree also likes hot weather but can still survive if temperatures dip into the high 20’s Centigrade (low 80’s Fahrenheit).
The tree should be transplanted into a container that has good drainage. Use loam-based potting soil for regular watering.
The bottle palm can grow in dry conditions but it is susceptible to root rot if over-watered.
You can fertilize your bottle palm tree once every three months during the spring and summer using a balanced fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the packaging for the correct dosage.
What Are The Problems Of Bottle Palm?
The bottle palm tree is susceptible to a fungal disease called fusarium wilt. This disease slowly kills the tree and can eventually lead to the death of the bottle palm if left untreated. Fusarium wilt weakens the plant’s vascular system which provides nutrients to the rest of the plant. Fusarium wilt can be treated with an appropriate fungicide but this can only prolong the life of the tree.
Another common disease found in the bottle palm is called necrotic tissue ring spot. This disease causes circular, dark brown spots to appear on the leaves and stems of the tree.
Although this disease does not usually kill the tree itself, it can weaken its overall health. Necrotic tissue ring spot can be treated with fungicides.
Leaf curl is another common disease that affects bottle palms. This fungal disease causes the leaves of the tree to become hard and curled.
Like most fungal diseases, they can spread quickly to other areas of the tree if left untreated. Fungicides can also treat this disease.
Treating diseases with fungicides can be a lengthy and expensive process. Since the bottle palm tree is slow-growing, you may decide to replace the tree altogether if it becomes too sickly.
Sources & references used in this article:
Practical plant nematology: a field and laboratory guide by DL Coyne – 2007 – books.google.com
A guide to collecting palms by J Dransfield – Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 1986 – JSTOR
The origins of plant cultivation and domestication in the New World tropics: patterns, process, and new developments by RW Pohl – Rhodora, 1965 – JSTOR
Appreciating the benefits of plant biodiversity by DR Piperno – Current anthropology, 2011 – journals.uchicago.edu
Tapping women’s knowledge: plant resource use in extractive reserves, Acre, Brazil by J Tuxill – State of the World, 1999 – resilience.earth.lsa.umich.edu