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Need help with soil for Thread Palm

I know I should not have but 6 days ago I bought a thread palm that was being sold off because it was a bit wilted
I then put it in a pot that had been filled with compast for a few weeks that I had not got round to planting up
Leaves now turning yellow and I think it is too wet
I intend to dig it out and mix some sand with the compost
The pot is about 45cm tall and about the same in width across the top. 
In the bottom is one hole, this is in the middle and raised higher than the rest of the bottom ie if pot was empty and filled with water there would be about an inch or 2 of water before it reached the hole to empty out (hope I've explained this to make sense)
If I remember I filled this trench in bottom with gravel before I filled with soil. I get the feeling that this pot retains water
Should I leave this gravel in? Also how much sand should I mix with the compost and is there anything else I can do to encourage good drainage 
Hope someone can help



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  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,479
    I would leave it alone and let it recover, you won't be doing it any favours by moving it again. It was previously neglected and is now reacting to that so it may lose a few leaves before it recovers.
  • Ok I will do that, thanks for your reply.
    Would it be ok to mix a bit of the top covering compost with sand? 
    Also should I cover the top of the soil with something to dry it out a bit and stop it getting even more wet with any rain that comes now?
    I guess I will have to leave repotting till next year now then will I?
    I wish I had thought of all this before I planted it or even not bought it at all
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    edited September 2021
    Trying to mix sand in now would be difficult. The type of sand is also important- not all types aid drainage. Grit is always better for helping with drainage, but that would have needed mixed in when potting up.
    If the mix is right, excess water would drain anyway. 
    If you're worried about it getting too wet, you'll have to locate it somewhere that it'll get some protection - against a house wall is usually sufficient. 
    As @steephill says - it's stressed, so it's better to leave it for now.
    Are these palms hardy in the UK?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you Fairygirl I am in West wales so quite mild weather and plant is supposedly hardy but we do get a lot of rain in the winter
    The sand I have was purposely bought for garden but as you say it is too late now to mix it in
    I was hoping that I could have repotted now and hoped it would recover by Spring but I will take you, the experts advice on board.  I would probably have killed it if I messed with it again
    For the future, is the gravel in the bottom which fills the the moat type dip around the drainage hole in the bottom a good idea or not to help with drainage
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    Personally, I don't like those pots. They're probably good in drier areas as they'll hold water for longer, and the roots can access that like a wick. Not so good in wetter locations, but it also depends on what's planted in them. For something that likes sharp drainage, I wouldn't use it. 
    I have a few plastic ones like that, but I only use them for plants which don't mind being wet. I often make more holes in the base to counteract it. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,596
    So if you want your car transported from Australia and a free plant thrown in, this is your man! 😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    I see there was a spammer @Lyn. They're getting more ridiculous by the day!   :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Desi_in_LondonDesi_in_London London regionPosts: 600
    Others that have responded  @susananwms are considerably more knowledgeable than I am about gardening , but I would just say please raise the pot up on stones/pot feet/ bits of wood/pot caddy / whatever. Sitting solidly on a stone step is going to further impede drainage.
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • Thanks Desi, I have now got it up on a raised thing on wheels
    Still wondering if gravel in bottom is a good idea when I come to repotting
    I do not have room anywhere else in the garden for it so have to have it in a pot
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    It really comes down to having the right mix in the pot, so that any water staying in the base, and potentially having roots sitting in it, is negated to a decent degree.
    Either that - buy a new pot  ;)

    You'll have to keep potting it into bigger pots anyway if it thrives and grows. They become huge in the right location in the ground.
    I don't know if you can root prune them to keep them smaller though. You'll still need to keep potting it on as it grows to get the best from it.
    It'll likely get a fair bit of damage over winter if it's windy. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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