The grace and grandeur
WHEN it comes to grace and grandeur, no plant can match the palm. A favourite plant with gardeners and landscape designers, it fits well into any specific area according to the requirement.
The palm is also a favourite due to its pattern of growth which makes it possible to place it at specific locations that demand disciplined growth. The straight-trunk growth, in most cases, makes it possible to grow them in straight lines in an army parade-like formation. That is why palms find a place at any imaginable location. It is an excellent plant for purposes of indoor display in houses or public places. Its sculpted elegance makes it an amazing plant for emphasising a spot in the garden, whether it is grown singly or in groups. The royal or bottle-palm, placed near the entrance gate or along the boundary wall, gives the house a majestic grace.
Palms grow equally
well as conservatory plants. If the conservatory has an overhead
water-sprinkler system, it can keep looking fresh with shining leaves
(called fronds). The palms flourish in humidity and moisture. If there
is any setback at any stage of growth, especially when they are grown
in pots, the plants seldom recover. For outdoors, the palms look good
growing under the canopy of a tree. Grown with other shade-loving or
ground cover plants, it helps in landscaping.
Most species of the palm are too hardy. When grown in pots, they can grow pot-bound roots for many years, giving the plant a dwarfing effect. The need to do repotting arises only when the overgrowing roots force the pot to split open. The plant with the same earth ball is then shifted to a bigger pot by removing occasional side roots. Fleshy roots are not disturbed in such cases.
Palms are propagated from seeds or suckers. The propagation from seeds may, however, take a long time. The clumps of suckers coming up from the sides can be separated with the help of a sharp khurpa by making a single, straight and vertical cut downwards with a jerk. The plants, thus separated, have some roots and can be planted independently.
Palms do not generally suffer from any
serious attacks by insect, pests or disease. Keep an eye for scale
attacks which stick in large numbers on the upper as well as lower side
of the leaves. These can be removed mechanically or touched with a swab
dipped in alcohol or methylated spirit. Though it is a laborious
exercise, it is rewarding. Such scales also appear on the fine leaves of
cycads too, which start drying if they are not rid of the tiny insects.