Latania - moody velvet palm
Latania is often called one of the most beautiful fan palm trees. And the unique edge on the lobes of the leaves caused the emergence of the popular name of the plant - velvet palm. Without requiring a cool wintering, patching, nevertheless, is one of the most capricious representatives of the palm family. It requires protection against drafts, careful care and cannot boast of high resistance to pests. But the beauty of this architectural, cheerful palm tree can set unique accents in the interior, highlighting patching among other representatives of indoor giants.
Velvet and rare patching
Before a close acquaintance with patches, it is worth immediately clarifying the confusion caused by the similar appearance of different palm trees. Despite the fact that patches are an independent genus of plants, they are often confused with other palm trees - livistones (or rather, with one of the species of livistons), and sometimes these palm trees are even called one species and use these names as synonyms. But to call patching Livistons is a big mistake. And even more so - try to grow them according to one principle.
Not only according to all modern botanical classifications, but also from the point of view of the capriciousness of the plant, the peculiarities of its cultivation, these palm trees are very distinct plants. Liviston needs a cool wintering, but in addition it is considered unpretentious, put up even with low humidity. But patching is much more difficult in culture and much more capricious, they require a warm winter, but it is more capricious in care. And although both palm trees are fan-shaped and are characterized by a rounded leaf shape, outwardly the difference between them is still obvious.
In patching, the leaves in general form are more likely to resemble peacock feathers, are an almost perfect vicious circle with radially diverging lobes, while in livistona their shape is more like garden rakes for collecting dry foliage, lobes form a semicircle or a truncated semicircle.
In the West, latania is known under a very beautiful nickname of velvet palm. Indeed, the pubescence of cuttings and veins on the leaves, a very beautiful reddish color, the incredible scope of the round fans resemble luxurious velvet with their textures. Found only in the east of the African continent and in individual islands, latanias are unusually rare and valuable palm trees.
Latania (Latania) Is a small genus of large palm trees belonging to the Kaprov family. The genus of patching includes only 3 plant species, of which only one species is actively used in room culture - Latania Loddiguez (Latania loddigesii) In nature, it grows up to 10 m, forming powerful trunks, fibrous, with very beautiful growths remaining after the petioles fall. In room culture, patching does not form a trunk, and their height is limited to a maximum of 2-3 m, although patching remains a compact meter palm for a long time. But on the other hand, patches retain a not too positive feature of wild relatives - the ability to produce a few sheets a year, and sometimes a single sheet.
The fan-shaped leaves collected in a sprawling bunch of this plant are velvet, luxurious, close together in an almost perfect circle. Unlike other fan-shaped palm trees, their leaves are much more like peacock feathers, much more spherical. The color of the leaves of this type of patching is always bluish-green, the petioles are fibrous, as a rule, are painted in a contrasting reddish color. In patching, they are convex and very strong, they need to be handled with care: the spikes along the very edge are almost invisible, but they can cause considerable harm. Leaf plates are dissected only at the ends.
Fractions of leaves, as a rule, are perfectly straight and almost lucid. The diameter of the leaves never reaches 1.5 m, characteristic of natural patching, but at the oldest indoor palm trees it is able to get close to 1 m. It is impossible to see the flowering of patches even in greenhouse conditions, and not just in room culture. The plant blooms only in the natural environment, producing surprisingly beautiful magnificent panicles of inflorescences with creamy yellowish flowers, in the place of which a fruit is tied with black, pea-like berries.
Two other species - Lantaroid patching (Latania lontaroides) and Lathania Vershaffelta (Latania verschaffeltii) - are considered cultures that are poorly adapted to the room environment and are less common in the interior, although outwardly they are practically indistinguishable from patching of Loddigez. The main feature of these two types of patching is the limited distribution area and a slightly different shape and color of the leaves. In patching Loddigez, the leaves are more grayish-blue in color, while in patching Lantaroid leaves are reddish, and the Vershaffelt subspecies flaunts with its yellow petioles and veins.
It is no coincidence that the magnificent velvet palm tree patching is called one of the most beautiful representatives of the palm family. This plant is not just difficult to grow, but very difficult. Latania feels good only where tropical conditions with high humidity and heat are created for it. Moreover, stable humidity is important not only in terms of the characteristics of indoor air, but also in the frequency of irrigation.
The requirement to regularly carry out additional procedures and monitor the condition of the plant, carefully monitor its development, as well as the need to handle the palm very carefully during transplantation, make patching a palm, the cultivation of which is only possible for very experienced gardeners. You need to buy these plants at the age of 1 to 2 years, as more adult crops are very poorly adapted to new conditions.
Lighting for patching
Like most plants of African origin, patching is a photophilous plant. Despite the fact that direct rays of the sun can leave burns on the leaves, such a sensitivity is characteristic of a plant only to midday rays, and direct sunlight for up to 2 to 3 hours for a palm tree is quite acceptable. The ideal location for this large beauty are considered locations similar to the eastern and western window sills.
The dormancy period of this plant begins involuntarily, due to reduced lighting and lower air humidity. If patching could provide stable conditions even in winter, then in the cold season in greenhouses it would continue to produce spectacular leaves. Strictly speaking, stable winter conditions maintain plants in the stage of active growth throughout the year.
When choosing a location for patching, it should be borne in mind that the large leaves of this plant form a very ragged crown. For this palm tree, it is necessary to provide free space, it is suitable only for large rooms with a large area. The need for sufficient space for patching is caused by the fact that without normal air exchange, uniform access to fresh air, the palm tree often gets sick. Plants can not be placed directly against the walls, especially so that the sheets rest on any surface, as well as set up next to heating appliances or air conditioners.
Latania belongs to heat-loving palm trees and does not need a cold wintering. In spring or summer, it is able to put up with almost hot conditions, in winter it needs to lower the temperature, but still only to lower "room" indicators. During winter, the air temperature should also not fall below 18 degrees, but at the same time it should be lowered compared with the active period of growth.
During spring and summer, for this palm tree, it is necessary to ensure a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius. Latania tolerates heat well, but during maintenance it is necessary to avoid any sudden changes in temperature and changes in conditions even by 5 degrees.
Latania does not tolerate cold drafts and in winter it needs to be protected in every way during the ventilation of rooms. But at the same time, ventilation is very important, because without access to fresh air, the leaves suffer from accelerated drying. Despite the dislike of drafts, this palm in the summer can be moved under the open sky, to the garden, to the terrace or balcony. The main thing is to find a suitable protected place for patching with partial shade lighting.
Watering and humidity
Latania needs a sufficiently plentiful watering during the active phase of development, especially if the plant produces young leaves. Usually, watering is carried out as soon as the top layer of the substrate in the containers dries. The classic frequency of procedures for this phase is about 3 waterings per week from spring to autumn. Palm does not respond well to the complete drying of an earthen coma, and to its overmoistening. In winter, humidity is reduced, allowing the substrate to dry partially and in the middle layer.
Patches are watered only with settled water, the temperature of which is slightly higher than the air in the room with the plant. During the period of active growth, watering at room temperature is highly undesirable. Watering with warm water satisfies the need for patching in warm and constantly moist soil.
If a sufficiently powerful drainage has been laid for the plant, then you can try to repeat the experience of some greenhouses in which patching is grown by placing the pot with the plant in a large container of water, from which the plant independently “draws” the necessary amount of moisture. This palm tree loves auto-irrigation pots.
Latania can be safely ranked among the most demanding palm trees for humidity. If you want to succeed in growing and not lose more foliage than the plant can produce, then you will have to take care to create truly tropical conditions. The minimum humidity values acceptable for this palm tree are 60%. Higher humidity has a positive effect on the pace of development and beauty of the leaves.
A favorite method of increasing air humidity for patching is frequent spraying. In summer, it is advisable to carry out the procedure about 2 times a day. Other methods of humidifying the air for this palm tree are considered less effective. In particular, patching prefers spraying even to the installation of humidifier appliances. When carrying out this procedure, it is important to make sure that the water used for spraying is not only standing, but also warm.
In addition to the actual measures to increase the level of humidity, patching will not refuse from the very frequent washing of leaves. It plays not only the function of a measure against the accumulation of dust and allergens, but also acts as an important preventive step against pests. If the palm is compact, then instead of rubbing the leaves, you can simply immerse the crown in water.
Feeding for patching
For a velvet palm, an atypical approach to the feeding regimen is needed. Fertilizers for this plant are applied throughout the year, however, during the resting period, top dressing should really be minimal. But during the period of active growth, top dressing should be quite active, with a frequency of 1 time in 10-14 days. Latanians adore organic fertilizers, although conventional complex mixtures are suitable for them. From mineral-organic compounds it is best to choose special fertilizers for palm trees.
Palm leaves gradually die off, dry out, need pruning. But if you cut off an unattractive leaf before it dries completely, you start the process of even more accelerated dropping, the palm leaves will literally dry out one after another. Cutting of the patch of patching is possible only after the entire leaf plate is completely dry and always leaving a dry cut strip 3-4 mm thick.
Latany transplant and substrate
For patching, it is necessary to select a very light and nutritious earth mixture. Ideally suitable for this plant are special purchased substrates for palm trees, but you can make up the soil yourself. For patching, a substrate is usually prepared on the basis of sheet soil and sand, but a soil mixture consisting of equal parts of sheet and turf soil and half less sand is more suitable for it. The substrate should have a slightly acidic or neutral reaction (acceptable pH values are from 5.0 to 7.0).
The patching procedure is rather complicated not only because of the large size of the plants, the spreading shape of leaves or prickly petioles, but because of the extreme fear of mechanical damage by a voluminous and rhizome rhizome. This plant is transplanted as necessary, only when the roots fully absorb the available substrate. Annual transplantation will be needed only for young patches, adult plants are transplanted much less frequently, with a frequency of 2 to 5 years. The optimal time for transplantation is spring, although you can carry out the procedure at any time of the year, except winter.
During the procedure, it is very important to lay a high drainage layer at the bottom of the container. The free roots of this palm tree, which come out of the holes and are free of soil, are laid in rings on the bottom of the container, but no work is done around the main earthen lump, they do not remove free soil, trying to carefully remove only the contaminated top layer of the substrate. The level of penetration for patching must be kept the same as in the previous pot. Depth of the root neck during transplantation can lead to a serious risk of death of the palm.
Immediately after transplanting, patching is carried out with very restrained watering, and the usual procedures are resumed only after the plants get used to the new conditions. The palm for 2 weeks after transplantation must be installed in the shaded location to accelerate adaptation and provide it with very plentiful spraying.
In order to provide the plant with more space for development and reduce the frequency of transplants, the pots need to be increased much more than for the rest of the palm trees, at least 7-10 cm in diameter. The shape of the container should be classic, with a height exceeding the diameter.
Diseases and pests of latania
Latania is hardly a pest resistant palm. If there is a violation of care and deviation from the recommended growing conditions, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects often settle on the plant. With stagnant waterlogging of the substrate, the plant is threatened by root rot, and it can only be combated by completely drying the earth (an emergency transplant for this palm tree is unacceptable and always leads to the death of the plant). Pests are best controlled with insecticides.
Common problems in growing latania:
- the appearance of spots on leaves in dry air, temperature spikes, drafts or insufficient watering;
- drying of greenery, drying out of leaves literally one after another with improper pruning of a dried leaf;
- the appearance of brown tips on the leaves with dry air or waterlogging of the substrate.
Reproduction of patches
This palm can only be propagated by seeds, although it is not easy to get them. Sometimes other palm trees are sold under the name of latania, and to buy the seeds of a velvet palm, you need to carefully check the Latin name of the plant. Germinate the seeds of this palm in shallow containers and in a nutrient substrate.About two months they must be kept in a room with a temperature of at least 25 degrees (the optimum temperature is about 28-30 degrees heat), under a film and with daily ventilation. Under normal conditions, seeds germinate after approximately 60 days.
Vegetative propagation methods for this palm are unacceptable.