Washingtonian home care may seem a bit tricky. But this is only at first glance. In fact, to get a magnificent plant with a spreading crown and an attractive "skirt" around the trunk, you will not have to make any special efforts. If all the required conditions are met, your Washington will fulfill its mission - it will become the best decoration of the interior.
Choosing a Place
The lighting for Washington should be natural - she likes the bright ambient light that windows oriented to the southwest and southeast are capable of providing. If it is a veranda, then it is obligatory with winter heating.
In order for Washingtonia leaves to develop evenly, as it grows, it must be regularly turned to a light source!
In hot weather, the plant should be protected from direct sunlight, moving a little further away from the window. In winter, on the contrary, make sure that the palm tree receives an optimal portion of light every day and does not suffer from sources of artificial heat.
If Washington is constantly in a closed room, then it is useful for it to arrange air baths - to take it out for a few hours on the balcony or just outside. It is better to do this in late spring, when the air is already warm enough.
The optimum temperature of Washington content varies between + 18-21 ° C.In this case, some deviations are possible, for example, in summer time the maximum mark should not exceed + 24 ° C, and for successful wintering the plant requires lower values - about + 10-18 ° C.
Washingtonia prefers a dense clay-sod soil with a weak alkaline index. The ideal option would be a ready substrate for growing palm trees. But the soil can be prepared independently. You will need:
- turf ground - 2 parts;
- leaf ground( humus) or wet peat - 2 parts;
- perlite or coarse sand - 1 part.
We mix everything up and plant Washingtonia in the resulting soil. At the same time it is desirable to choose a pot high with a hole in the bottom.
The best time for transplanting is considered to be spring, when the plant has already left the state of rest.
Young Washingtonians are transplanted every year, after reaching the age of 3 - once every 3 years, after 5-6 years - once every 5 years. As for adult palm trees, whose age is more than 10-15 years, in the case of them the transplant is replaced by a change of the top layer of soil. The need for this procedure is usually reported by the root appearing on the surface of the substrate.
And remember that with each next transplant you will need a tub somewhat larger and wider than the previous one.
When taking care of Washington at home, do not forget to periodically feed it - in spring, summer and autumn 1-2 times a month soluble fertilizers for palm trees are applied to the ground.
One of the worst enemies of Washington is a dry substrate, so you need to constantly monitor its condition and water the plant on time: in the summer, copiously a couple of times a week, in the winter when it is at rest, poorly, once in 10-14 days.
In winter, the ground should be barely wet!
Do not forget that excessive watering, exactly as the drying of the soil, can adversely affect the health of the plant. When over-wetting the substrate, the root system may fade, which will subsequently lead to drying of the leaves.
In addition, when irrigating Washington, it is important to take into account the size of the tub and the humidity in the room. For optimal growth and development of plants, the humidity should be from 55 to 75%.However, if this condition is fairly simple in the summer - opening the windows, then in winter, when the heating system is operating, the air should be moistened artificially. To do this, usually used spray, sprinkling with it and the plant itself, and the soil surface. If such a measure seems inconvenient for you, then you can install a household humidifier. In winter, it is recommended to additionally wash the leaves with clean water at room temperature. Just do it carefully, so as not to hurt your hands on the thorns.
The basic rules for watering are as follows:
- young plants, unlike adults and old ones, do not need abundant watering and moisture;
- never place a container with water under the pot - the ground always absorbs a lot of moisture, which is unacceptable for Washington;
- for irrigation it is desirable to use soft water - it can be bottled or real rainwater.
What should I remember?
In general, taking care of Washington at home is easy, but there are certain difficulties that you should know:
- This palm tree can grow to quite impressive size, so before making such a purchase, you should take into account the size of the room,where you are going to place it.
- Washingtonia is not able to resist the attacks of some pests, such as worms, aphids, spider mites, and scutes. For this reason, it is important to regularly inspect the plant and prevent the appearance of parasites.
- If watering is insufficient, the leaves will quickly turn yellow, when the air is too dry, their tips will turn brown, at a low temperature the leaves will wither, and the light dry spots on it will indicate an excess of light.
With proper care and timely implementation of the procedures described above, there are no particular problems with growing Washington.