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Pindo Palm Care – A Growers Guide

Pindo Palm Care – A Growers Guide

The Pindo Palm is a hardy evergreen, native to the Minas Gerais and Goias regions of Central and Eastern Brazil. 

It is a highly decorative plant grown for its aesthetic properties. Its thick trunk can grow to 1.5 feet (45cm) in width and around 20 feet (66 m) in height. 

The trunk sports interesting diamond-shaped leaf bases along its entire length which are left over from previous leaves the plant has dropped as it grows higher.

This medium-sized palm produces pinkish-cream flowers from May to June before fruiting between November and February. 

The aromatic yellow-orange fruits are harvested by locals in Brazil and used for juices and liquor. The oil of the tree, which has similar properties to coconut oil, is also harvested. 

Away from its natural habitat, the Pindo Palm is grown for decorative purposes. The slender gray-green leaves of the plant form pointed fronds that arch over into the typical tropical look of palm trees.

So, are you now intrigued in knowing how to take care of this plant? Well, you can definitely continue reading the text below to find out.

 

 

Pindo Palm care

Pindo Palm is hardy plant that copes well in a variety of soil types and conditions. It will tolerate partial shade or full sun, but will not thank you for a fully shaded position. It is drought-tolerant but prefers moist, free-draining soil. Generally, a good watering once a week throughout the growing season will be enough to keep it healthy. If cared for properly throughout the spring and summer, the Pindo Palm is exceptionally hardy and will tolerate winter temperatures as low as 5°F (-15°C). Its ideal temperature, though, is between 65°F-85°F (16°C-30°C). Pindo Palm thrives with the application of fertilizer during spring and summer, but this can cause it to suffer from deficiencies of magnesium and potassium so be sure to keep an eye on the quality of your soil in the weeks following fertilization. 

 

Where to grow your Pindo Palm

Pindo Palm can be grown in full sun or partial shade facing south, east, or west. For longer fronds, a slightly shaded position should be found as this will encourage your plant to reach for the sunlight. 

Pindo Palms given a position in full sun will generally be more compact. It will survive frosts but can be relocated to an indoor position to overwinter if kept in a container.

It’s worth noting that, although Pindo Palms will thrive in containers, they will not reach the height or breadth of plants grown in the ground.

Pindo Palm is quite drought tolerant and will grow well in most soil types but prefers sandy, well-draining soil. 

Heavy, clayey soils which hold moisture will prevent your Pindo Palm from optimum growth so a soil improver should be added to provide more appropriate growing conditions.

You can also check out the best palm tree fertilizers here.

 

Watering

Pindo Palm is drought-tolerant but should ideally be kept in moist, free-draining soil. Throughout the spring and summer months, it will benefit from a thorough, deep soaking once a week.

But, it’s best to be cautious when watering as too much will cause more harm than too little. After a thorough watering, the soil should be allowed to dry to a depth of around 2 inches before any further water is added. 

The amount of rain that falls will affect your watering routine, as will their location. 

The soil around a plant in a shaded area may well dry more slowly than that in full sun. If in doubt, check the moisture level in the soil before watering using a water meter or your finger.

 

Temperature

The Pindo Palm is one of the hardiest palms and will tolerate temperatures as low as 5°F (-15°C) over winter. However, its ability to cope with plummeting temperatures and frost will be determined by its care throughout the spring and summer months. 

Give it plenty of TLC during the growing season and it should reward you by surviving harsh winter weather with no adverse effects. 

If you’re concerned about how your Pindo Palm will survive harsh winter weather, you can apply an anti-desiccant in late fall. This will dry to form a waterproof film around the plant which is flexible and will help prevent water loss. 

Once the anti-desiccant has dried, tie the fronds back using heavy-duty twine and cover them with hessian. Secure the hessian using heavy-duty tape.

Next, wrap hessian around the trunk of your Pindo Palm and secure it using the same heavy-duty tape. For added protection, a layer of bubble wrap can be secured over the top of the hessian around the trunk. 

Do not attach bubble wrap over the hessian covering the fronds as this will prevent any air from getting to them and may cause rot or encourage the growth of fungus.

You can also apply mulch or straw around the base of your Pindo Palm to help protect the roots from freezing temperatures.

The preferred temperature of Pindo Palms grown outside is between 65°F-85°F (16°C-30°C). Indoors, it will thrive in normal domestic temperatures between 65°F -75°F (16°C-24°C).

 

Humidity

Your Pindo Palm will do best in the humidity of around 50%. During long dry spells, your plant might benefit from misting but it is a hardy plant that will cope well with most variations in humidity. 

If you do need to mist your plant, make sure you dry it afterward as standing water can result in fungal infections or rot.

 

Fertilizing

For optimum health, you should fertilize your Pindo Palm during spring, and again in midsummer. Ideally, you should choose a slow-release palm fertilizer with a 12-4-2 formulation. 

The fertilizer should be applied directly to the soil starting with a ring around the base of the tray which is about 2 feet (30 cm) from the trunk. 

Continue applying fertilizer until you reach the trees’ natural drip line – this is the area where rainwater will land when it drips from the fronds. 

After applying fertilizer, water thoroughly to allow it to be taken deep down the roots and to ensure an even application. 

Allowing too much fertilizer to accumulate in one area of the root can be counterproductive as it will burn the roots.

If you live in an area where temperatures regularly fall below freezing over winter, your Pindo Palm will benefit from another application of fertilizer in early fall to help prepare it for the cold weather to come.

Pindo Palms kept indoors may not need fertilizer at all so keep an eye on your plant for signs it is distressed and only apply fertilizer if necessary.

 

Air circulation

Pindo Palms require good airflow to stay healthy. When kept indoors, they will benefit from a good dose of fresh air once in a while. 

This could be via an open window or by taking them outside occasionally during the spring and summer months. 

Plants grown outside in pots or in the ground will not require any manual intervention in their airflow.

 

Propagation

You can propagate Pindo Palms from seed. You can buy seeds but it is just as easy (and cheaper) to harvest the seeds from your existing plant if you have one.

Once you have collected the fruits and removed the seeds, lay them on the ground and tap them gently with a hammer or mallet to crack open the outer hull. 

Inside the hull, you will see small brown seeds. You will need to remove the seeds and then sow them immediately. 

Pindo Palm seeds should be sown in 2-inch pots (1 seed to each pot) in a 50/50 mix of potting compost and perlite which is moist and free-draining.

Place the seeds in the potting mixture leaving a little of them exposed. Then cover over with light sand.

Next, water the soil to ensure it’s moist. Then place the pots in an area where they will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight throughout the day. 

A porch, windowsill, or greenhouse are all good choices of location.

Place the pots in an area where they will get bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours.

Check the soil daily throughout the germination period. It should remain warm and moist but not wet at all times. 

You can place a clear plastic cover over the pots if required to help keep in the warmth and retain moisture.

Once your seedlings appear, wait until they have produced at least 2 leaves before transplanting them to 4-inch pots with a fresh potting mixture. 

If you’re planning to reuse potting mix, better do a thorough read first on the topic.

Your plants should remain in the 4-inch pots until they are large enough to be moved to their permanent position. This will usually be in late spring or early summer.

Take care of your baby Pindo Palms as you do with houseplants or plants grown in greenhouses until late in spring or early summer. 

 

Common problems with Pindo Palms

Pindo Palms are hardy plants but are susceptible to some common pests and diseases – usually as a result of an inappropriate care regime. 

Too much water will cause the root or trunk to rot. This could be as a result of overwatering or poor soil. 

If you suspect your plant suffers from rot, better check the soil. If it is excessively wet, try adding in some sand or soil improver to help with drainage if the plant is growing in the ground. 

For plants grown in pots, your best course of action will be to remove our plant from its container, cut away any black, mushy roots and then repot it in a fresh 50/50 mixture of potting compost and perlite.

If the trunk has become rotten there is very little that can be done and you are best advised to get rid of the plant.

If kept in dry conditions your Pindo Palm may suffer from infestations of mites and insects. To avoid such problems, make a point of checking the underside of the leaves regularly – at least once a week.

If caught early, these types of infestations can often be treated with the application of rubbing alcohol. Left untreated, though, infestations can cause, at best, aesthetic harm. 

If nutrient levels are not maintained, the leaves of your Pindo Palm may turn yellow or brown. This is often an indication that your plant’s deficient in magnesium or potassium. 

You can add magnesium to the soil by the application of lime or Epsom salts. Before deciding which to use, you should check the pH level of your soil. 

Adding lime will increase the level of magnesium while also raising the pH level. pH levels above 7 can harm the plant further so Epsom salts may be a better option if your soil is around or above pH7. 

Potassium can be added to the soil by applying potash. Alternatively, wood ash or banana skins will help increase potassium levels.

 

Frequently asked questions about Pindo Palms

 

Are Pindo Palms poisonous?

While there are palms that are considered toxic to both humans and animals, Pindo Palms are entirely safe. The fruits of the Pindo Palms are edible and are popular sources of food for many garden animals.

 

Are Pindo Palms invasive?

Pindo Palm is a slow-growing plant and would not generally be considered invasive. It propagates naturally via seed dispersal so by harvesting the seeds at the end of the season you can minimize the risk of Pindo Palms growing where you don’t want them.

 

What is the black diamond-shaped fungus on my Pindo Palm?

Stressed Pindo Palms can be affected by diamond scale, a fungal infection that manifests itself in dark, water-soaked lesions that turn black. Healthy Pindo Palms should avoid this disease but if it takes hold, affected parts of the plant must be removed.

 

Conclusion

Pindo Palm is quintessentially tropical. The long arching fronds, slender trunk, and laidback architecture of this plant evoke images of hot sunny days and tropical holidays. 

It is a plant regularly seen in homes, offices, and shopping malls as it is low maintenance and brings joy to the soul.

The combination of form, texture, and color means the Pindo Palm has a little of everything we tend to look for in decorative plants, but there is no doubt that this plants’ crowning glory is the tropical feel it brings to any location.

It has become a staple for anyone looking to create a tropical feel inside or out due to its striking aesthetics and simplicity of care. 

If you’re looking to ramp up the sunshine in your home or garden, this may well be the plant for you.

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