Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

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Dave Brown
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Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by Dave Brown » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:59 pm

At the Living Forest meet last December, Darren (redsquirrel) gave me 1/2 dozen variegated Caryota mitis chitted seed. I was a bit sceptical that you can grow a variegated plant from seed, but was told it was possible although the variegated rate is quite low.

All 6 grew and as expected the first leaf was plain green. I left them on the prop base even after it was switched off, and they grew slowly. All on their second leaf now. :wink:

Due to the demise of my Bigonia luxurians, which was not looking well, I brought it in and put it on the prop base where the humidity is higher. To liven it up a bit I sprayed the Bigonia with a dilute Epsom salts and Chempak No2 solution several times a day over the last week. This really helps green leaves up. Obviously the spray went on the Caryota as well.

Today looking at my Caryota mitis, I could not believe my eyes, :shock: one is displaying distinct variegation on it's second leaf. It is possible that I missed it, but it seems so obvious it is hard to think I would have.

Question :?: .... does the Epsom salts (magnesium) not only improve chlorophyl production, but in doing so, increase variegation :?:

Whole palm showing original green leaf and latest variegated one
20100622 Variiegated Caryota mitis 01.jpg
Close up of variegated leaf
20100622 Variiegated Caryota mitis 02.jpg
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by redsquirrel » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:20 pm

well done Dave,that is an absolute corker icon_thumright i still havent got a leaf out,so glad i passed some on and you cracked them
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:28 am

redsquirrel wrote: i still havent got a leaf out,so glad i passed some on and you cracked them
I must admit they are not the strongest growing palm I have ever tried. Repotted them yesterday, and the root system is still quite small.

'll have to get onto EPS.... not had much chance recently, with work, gardening and here :roll:
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:25 am

November update. .... 1 leaf in 5 months, 3 in a year. So far this is the only one of the 6 showing any signs of variegation. This one is on the lounge windowsill now as the sun has lost a lot of it's strength. Too good to be lost amongst the general plants of the consevatory :wink:

Culture documetation recommends 3000 lux as a light level to aim at. This is a bright window in summer but a sunny window in from November to January.
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2010-11-05 09-01 Caryota mitis variegata.jpg
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by Gareth Davies » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:45 am

I don't know why but it's never occurred to me that palms could be variegated. It certainly looks nice and healthy, you'll just have to make sure it doesn't get a chill as those nice leaves will just go brown. I haven't succeeded with C mitis yet although I've got 3 C maxima Himalaya. I'll definitely have another go at C mitis though.

Lovely looking plant Dave, look after it.


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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by Adrian » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:46 pm

Dave, these came to me through Paul Rose out in Thailand and youre lucky as I did all the nasty work with them, the fruit is quite strong and burns like acid.

Thats a very pretty palm you have there.

I sowed more than anyone, around 100-150, I germinated several but I have just the one with nice variegation, mind you I only wanted the one.
Paul has told me that even strongly variegated palms are prone to losing the variegation at any stage even after making a good size.
Yours is well ahead of mine as I have just two leaves on my best one but I germinate seeds and let them get on with it :roll:

I handed out loads of these and I asked each person to share out the variegated ones (thought to be around 1 in 10) if they had several yet some people had none.
With that in mind, if anyone has a few keep hold of them as I might be after another if mine goes back to green :lol:

I have a load of seeds still bagged up somewhere so they should go back in the airing cupboard if I can find them again.
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by sanatic1234 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:31 pm

but surely just because it may go back to green doesn't mean that you won't ever get variegated colour again on it?, as daves has proved the first leaf was green then the 2nd was variegated, so may be this could carry on that process throughout its growth? just a thought though.
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by Adrian » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:32 pm

No mate, if it reverts then thats usually that.
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by sanatic1234 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:37 pm

Well that is a pain in the a**e aint it. I do like these though, are the seeds easy to get hold of? and what percentage of these out of 100 would you say end up variegated?
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by redsquirrel » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:46 pm

i had 40,2 left growing now,one stuck on first leaf very scruffy and one on second very healthy but green.Daves is a beaut.glad one got in the right hands to grow successfully
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by sanatic1234 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:50 pm

Do the leafs grow with a jaggered egde or has dave's been trimmed at the ends?
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by redsquirrel » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:03 pm

i got them pinking shear edges too san icon_thumleft icon_thumleft
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by sanatic1234 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:06 pm

nice one red :wink: I just went on the jungle seeds website and they sell them on there, but the picture they show for them is just plain green leafs but then again it don't say variegated either.
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:12 pm

Thanks for the info on their history Ade, and all the work you did prior to me getting hold of it. icon_salut

I'll keep everyone informed every 6 months or so as to it's progress.
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Re: Variegated Caryota mitis (Fishtail Palm)

Post by Adrian » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:37 am

They are a 'fish tail' palm Sanatic, the name taken from the leaf shape.
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