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Repotting a Butia Capitata

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:20 am
by piechnik99
Over the weekend I am looking at re potting a largish Butia Capitata from a pot into a larger pot (which is going to be plunged into a rasied bed).

I'm not planning on planting the Butia in the ground as although this winter has been good, the previous 3 haven't been great (I live 250 metres above sea level, apparently!) and I've lost 3 large ish Phoenix canariensis_CIDP so I dont want to risk losing this Butia!

Am I right in thinking Butias detest having their roots moved? Normally when transplanting from one pot to another a bit of root teasing wouldn't go amiss - but is this advised with butias? Down the line I'm also looking at the Palmbooster feed for roots to help it restablish.

Any other advise?

Re: Repotting a Butia Capitata

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:57 pm
by GoggleboxUK
I've repotted from a medium to large pot and, with undisturbed roots, it took almost 18 months to get going again.

Last year I decided to move it from the larger pot into the ground. The pot was urn shaped and the roots had spread signicantly in the 2 years the Butia had been in there so I was faced with the choice of damaging the urn to remove it or removing almost all the soil from the rootball in order to lift it out.

I decided I'd remove the soil. While Braheas are extremely root sensitive I'd never heard of Butia being fussy so I preceded to remove all the soil and pulled out the palm with only a couple of root breakages.

I then planted the Butia in a hole with coir matting at the base and backfilled with loose compost which was topped up over the weeks as it settled down.

To my surprise the palm never stopped growing! It opened 3 more spears over Spring/Summer 2013 and has been doing extremely well through autumn and the mild winter too.

I would seriously consider planting it, Butia are a good few degrees hardier than Phoenix canariensis_CIDP, taking -8 as opposed to being killed off around -4/5c, and it's far easier to protect one in the ground than wrapping a large pot if you don't have somewhere you can drag it for shelter in harsh cold.

Re: Repotting a Butia Capitata

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:15 pm
by derrick
How did you protect yours Google ?

Re: Repotting a Butia Capitata

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:23 am
by piechnik99
it's a tricky one.... it would certainly be easier to plant it in this raised bed in doing (about 3 - 4) metres from the north facing side of my house (which gets sun from about 2pm in summer)..... I have noticed that the front 4 metres or so from front don't get ground frost as such (whereas the top part of the garden does)

is your butia in a well drained position? what's the best way you've found if overwintering a large plant?

Re: Repotting a Butia Capitata

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:41 pm
by GoggleboxUK
Yes, I'm lucky enough to have a well drained garden.

When it was in the large urn I wrapped the pot in about 40ft of bubblewrap and covered the plant with 2 large fleece bags which were drawstringed around the top of the pot. I pulled the pot up against the north facing wall, put large polystyrene slabs against the 2 open sides then propped the top of my concrete garden table against them. Pretty well insulated really, perhaps even overkill considering I haven't had lower than -3 here since 2010.

Capitata (or Oderata as they are now known) are the hardiest of the Butia family and now mine is in the fround it won't get any protection unless we get a forecast of -5c or less.

Re: Repotting a Butia Capitata

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:09 pm
by Steph
Mine got repotted and didn't notice, no protection either last winter.