How Fast?

Moose

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10/09/09
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The Moose was fortunate enough to acquire a rooted cutting of Monarch earlier this year. Reportedly a slow grower. Question: Once a Monarch establishes a nice root sytem and makes it into the ground, how long before does it take to attain a fooot of growth? Just curious about others' experiences with this cultivar. Any suggestions about how I could "push" Monarch? :confused:
 
Ron,

Liquid Peter's Special (is it still available?) or Miracle Grow will help push the slow Monarch. Mine is about 2 feet tall and has not set any speed records in the 4 or so years it has grown here. To its credit, it did not defoliate 2 years ago (26F) so it is a hardier cultivar in my experience.

Ray
 
The only thing I can think of besides fertilizer would be to acidify your water with some vinegar....
Most tap water is in the 7-8 pH range, and it is the pH of the solution around a plants roots that is critical to nutrient uptake more so than the pH of the soil, and when you use tap water with a high pH it can affect a plants growth.
The effect is quite dramatic in cacti between using tap water versus tap water + vinegar, and most cacti are not known for being acid loving plants, so I'm curious as to how crotons might respond...
I intend to find out soon as I'll be setting up an injector for adding vinegar to my hose water for crotons...
http://ralph.cs.cf.ac.uk/cacti/Cactus and Alkalinity.pdf
 
Ron,

Nice!!! You now have one of the "Holy Grails" in my opinion. This croton will give you years of enjoyment watching it grow, producing some of the biggest leaves anywhere.
 
I thought my leaves would be larger than this by now. Photo taken 01/01/2012 at sunrise. Really trying to push this one ... :(
 

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Moose, I'll have to look up the vinegar dosage, but I think it's low, something like one teaspoon of vinegar per gallon of water, depending on the pH of your water.
Typical commercial white vinegar is 5 - 10% acetic acid and has a pH around 3 give or take a few tenths of a point...
Here's a few quick google search results:
http://www.centralarizonacactus.org/plantinfo/plants/An Acid Trip For Your Plants.pdf
http://ralph.cs.cf.ac.uk/cacti/Cactus and Alkalinity.pdf
And yes I believe it is cost effective for treating high pH tap water, though on large scales a more concentrated acid would be a lot cheaper, but more dangerous...

Ray, I believe this works on any acid-loving plants, but I really don't know much about palms, and again, it all depends on what pH water you are using.

Moose, that Monarch is looking good, but probably still a bit young for pushing some really large leaves...
 
Ron,

Don't expect much in growth now, especially larger leaves. I did get lots of good growth right up through November on mine. But just wait until next spring/summer. Wheee doggies!!!!



PS....a few days ago, I got a nice surprise on a grouping of these plants. I found a spike that had got pollinated and there was approx. 25-30 seeds on the spike. So, I bagged them. I have no idea what the male donor was, but I figured with the mommy plant being a Monarch, there's real good possibilities of some nice seedlings!
 
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