A neighbor family relocated to a new home a short distance away. The former home needs such major repair that it may instead be demolished and replaced. For now, it remains abandoned. I collected a few plants from the abandoned garden so that some could be relocated to the new home. So far, only two Philodendron selloum and one Mexican fan palm went. The rest remain here, and may actually go to other homes.

1. In all my career, I have never seen a trunk of a palm shrivel from desiccation like this. All of the now absent roots were desiccated also. I seriously doubt that this queen palm will survive.P00418-1

2. It got canned anyway. Without significant roots, it certainly did not need all this medium. It only got a #15 can so that the shriveled trunk could be buried, sort of like a weird palm cutting.P00418-2

3. This lemon tree was almost left behind because it is so mutilated. It looks a bit suspicious too, sort of like shaddock understock of a formerly grafted tree. Actually, it is ‘Ponderosa’ lemon.P00418-3

4. The smaller of two Mexican fan palms got canned into a #5 can until it starts to produce new roots and foliage. Actually, only the queen palm and the big Mexican fan palm got larger cans.P00418-4

5. This bigger Mexican fan palm got a squat #20 can because the trunk is wider than a #5 can. There are not very many roots in there yet. It got left here to divert traffic around the garden.P00418-5

6. These three Philodendron selloum were all I originally wanted to salvage. One lacks foliage for now. The other can that seems to be empty contains bare tubers of an unidentified heliconia.P00418-6

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:



18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Moving Day

    1. Thank you. I do not expect the queen palm to survive, and the Mexican fan palms will need to go through their ‘wheat’ phase before they recover, but I am pleased that they were not bulldozed. I just hope that they guy who took the smaller palm and philodendrons does not get discouraged by their recovery process, and discard them anyway. I told him that they would be ugly for a while.

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      1. I have seen uglier tops recover, but I have never seen such a bad trunk. I will not give up until it is completely dead . . . even though I have no home for it if it survives. I will worry about that later.


    1. The Mexican fan palms will go through a ‘wheat’ phase, in which all the green fronds that are visible now dry up like wheat. That are only left for to provide a bit of sustenance for as long as possible, and also because it is not good to cut so close to the bud. The newest frond that is still folded up within should be the first of the new growth. After it emerges, the palms should continue as if nothing ever happened.

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    1. I could not bear to discard the queen palm until it is completely deceased. The foliage of the Mexican fan palms will dry up as the weather warms, but should then be replaced by new foliage that should look as good as the old by next winter. ‘Shaddock’ is a type of citrus that is used only as understock for grafted dwarf citrus. (It provides the roots, and the scion variety above the graft union grows into the desirable citrus tree.) It sometimes grows from below the graft union, and overwhelms the desirable (scion) part of the grafted tree, or grows from the roots of a citrus tree that got cut down. It is just like the suckers of grafted roses or other fruit trees. It is wickedly thorny, and makes huge but useless fruits. The lemon tree looks sort of like shaddock, although the thorns are not quite as big. When I grew citrus years ago, ‘Ponderosa’ lemon was considered to be a hybrid of lemon and shaddock, but was later identified as a hybrid of pomelo (ancestor of grapefruit) and citron.

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      1. So I guess it’s some sort of wild citrus species? Thanks for taking the time to give me the info – very interesting. I do love those Mexican fan palms!

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      2. Well, it is not exactly wild. It is a cultivar like any other citrus. When I grew citrus, we used ‘Cuban’ shaddock as the understock. We had a few unused stock trees of ‘Red’ shaddock as well, just in case we wanted to grow something that was more compatible with it than the ‘Cuban’ shaddock. A few people actually wanted shaddock trees for the weird big fruit. Apparently, the watery juice is used for cooking. It is not something I would want in may garden! I worked with the stock trees professionally, so I know how nasty they are. Those thorns are wicked!

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    1. We recycle what we can from the landscapes; although this is the first time I recycles material from one of the homes. I am please with the remaining philodendron (that still lacks foliage), the heliconia, and even the weird ‘Ponderosa’ lemon, but do not expect the queen palm to survive, and will eventually need to find a home fo the Mexican fan palm! There are plenty of places to plant it, but I want it to be in the right place where it will not need to be cut down later, or look out of place.


    1. Once germinated, it should be fine. It does not grow very fast while young, and may take a few years to launch (when the trunk gets as wide as it needs to before growing vertically), but does not need much more than warm sunlight and regular watering.

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    1. I liked queen palms when I was still in school, and they were uncommon. They started to become stupidly common shortly after we graduated. Although I never grew them, I learned to dislike them from my arboricultural work, in which I inspected MANY that were planted under high voltage cables. They were so common and so cheap, and very popularly planted along back fences of urban back yards, right under the utility cables. I can take them both ways. My colleague down south has SEVEN on his small urban parcel, but they are strategically placed, and happen to fit the style of his VERY stylish landscape very well. There are not other palms that would have worked out so well. However, in other situations, queen palms can make a landscape look dreadfully cheap. Someone near hear disliked the bulky trunk of a massive redwood in the yard (which should have been a good reason to not purchase the home), so planted a grove of queen palms about two feet apart from each other around the redwood! I can not imagine what that will look like as it matures. If this one recovers, it must get a good home, in a landscape where it fits in well.

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