Livistona (lat.Livistona) - a genus of perennials of the Palm family, growing in nature in Australia, Oceania, Africa and Southeast Asia. The genus was named in honor of the laird Livingston - Patrick Murray, a plant collector who was a friend and student of Andrew Balfour.
The genus includes more than 30 species. Some of them are grown in greenhouses, but some of them are liviston and houseplants.
Read more about growing Livistons below.
Livistons are mostly tall trees, growing up to 25-40 m, however, due to their slow growth rate, they are also suitable for home cultivation. The trunk of these palms is covered with dried sheaths of stalks of dead leaves, and is crowned with a crown of rounded fan-shaped, dissected to the middle, or even deeper, leaves with radially folded lobes. Leaf petioles are strong, sharp at the edges, turning into a leaf blade with a rod 5 to 20 cm long. Livistona has axillary inflorescence.
In culture, these palms rarely form a trunk, overgrowing with a large number of leaves. In favorable conditions, the plant forms three leaves annually.
To decorate your home with such an exotic as a liviston plant, it is not at all necessary to buy an expensive adult specimen: you can independently grow a palm tree from seeds. So, how to grow liviston at home? Before sowing, seeds must be scarified, that is, make a small incision on each seed or thin its shell with an abrasive material, so that it is easier for the sprout to pass through it. Sowing seeds is carried out in disposable cups or pots (preferably peat ones), filled by two-thirds of the volume with well-moistened loose soil for seedlings with a pH of 6.3-6.5. The seeds are buried by 2 cm, after which the container with the crops is covered with glass or foil and kept in a bright place at a temperature of about 30 ,C, daily ventilating and, if necessary, moistening the substrate.
In the photo: Livistona in a normal habitat
Seedlings usually appear in 1-4 months and are best grown under bright but diffused light. As soon as the first leaf of the seedlings reaches 2-4 cm in length, they can be transplanted into ceramic pots filled with a substrate for adult plants and kept in partial shade for the first year.
In the natural environment, young plants need protection from direct sunlight, but in dwellings there is practically no such strong sun that could damage Livistone. If you manage to protect the plant from burning rays in the afternoon, the sun will not harm it at any other time of the day, since Liviston suffers primarily from overheating of the glass. That is why in the summertime good ventilation must be ensured indoors with livistona, and if you have the opportunity to arrange a palm vacation in the shade of garden trees, it will be just wonderful. In the apartment, the home Liviston palm tree feels best on the windowsill of a west-facing window.
The most comfortable temperature for a plant is 20-28 ˚C in summer and 14-18 ˚C in winter, however, make sure that the room is no colder than 12 ˚C in winter. In order for indoor liviston to develop symmetrically and its trunk is not bent, rotate the plant around its axis 180 ˚ every two weeks.
You can cut off old Liviston leaves only when their petioles are completely dry. Do not cut off the dry ends of the sheets, as the rest of the sheet will dry even faster.
Indoor Livistona does not tolerate overdrying an earthen coma, therefore, watering the substrate with warm soft water should be carried out regularly, while water should not be allowed to stagnate in the roots of the plant. In winter, watering should be more rare and scarce than during the season of active growth.
Livistona needs high air humidity, which is achieved by spraying the leaves in the warm season, but this is strongly discouraged in cold and cloudy weather. Protect Livistona leaves from hot air currents and drafts, causing damage to the leaves and thereby reducing the decorative effect of the plant. It is recommended to wash the palm tree once a month under a warm shower.
In the photo: Livistona leaves
Fertilizers are applied to the soil by Livistons once every 3-4 weeks only from April to August. The most effective are mineral complexes for palms in the form of solutions, which are poured onto a pre-moistened substrate to avoid root burns. In addition to root dressings, monthly treatments of Livistons with a solution of trace elements on the leaves are necessary. Keep in mind that when the indoor temperature drops below 18 ˚C, the roots of the plant stop absorbing nutrients. The same happens when the pH of the substrate is above 7.5 units.
Liviston is transplanted only as needed: young plants are more often, adults are much less frequent, and it is better not to disturb old palms with a transplant at all, just replace the top layer of the substrate 5 cm thick in the pot. What signs will tell you that it's time to transplant Liviston? A transplant is necessary if the substrate in the pot is sour and smells bad, and if the roots have mastered the entire space of the pot and braided with an earthen ball. On average, mature plants are transplanted once every three years. This is usually done in March by the transshipment method.
The optimal pH value for the Liviston substrate is 5.6-7.5 pH. In addition, it must be water-permeable and maintain its structure for a long time. Here is the approximate composition of the soil for Livistona: 2 parts of coarse peat, 2 parts of pine bark, consisting of a fraction not finer than 20 mm, one part of charcoal (fraction about 1 cm), coarse perlite, pebbles or dolomite gravel (fraction 12 mm), and one tenth of bone meal.
Prepare a new deep container, which will be 2-3 cm larger than the previous one in diameter, lay on the bottom a thick layer of drainage material - expanded clay. Remove the plant from the old pot, carefully trim off part of the felt layer of the roots with sterile pruning shears or scissors, and place the plant in a new pot so that after filling the remaining space with substrate, the palm is no deeper in the new pot than in the old one.
Since Livistona grows with one trunk and does not produce overgrowth, it is propagated only by seed. We have already described how to sow a palm tree and care for Liviston during the seedling period. Keep in mind that Liviston seeds are only viable for a year.
Liviston is resistant to bacterial and viral diseases, but from fungal diseases it can be affected by leaf spot, root rot, wilting and sclerotinia.
Spotting is expressed by the appearance of reddish-brown to black spots and streaks on the leaves of Livistona, and most often these formations are surrounded by a yellow halo. With the development of the disease, the spots merge, forming large, irregularly shaped necrotic areas. Sometimes spots appear on very young leaves. Of interest is the fact that mottling does not affect plants whose leaves have not been sprayed with water. Based on this, it is better to increase the humidity of the air in the room in some other way, for example, by placing a flowerpot with Liviston on a pallet with wet pebbles. Lighting is of great importance for the development of plant resistance to leaf spot: it should be sufficient, and even better, maximum.
In the photo: Liviston palm leaf
Putrefactive processes in Livistons are caused by Fusarium, Rhizostonia, Pitium and Phytophthora, and sclerotinia affects the seeds and seedlings of Livistons. It is necessary to fight these fungal infections first of all with preventive measures: keeping the plant in optimal conditions for it, good and timely care, disinfecting seeds before sowing for 30-40 minutes in a solution of potassium permanganate. If the disease manifests itself despite all the precautions taken, it will be necessary to resort to the treatment of Livistones with fungicidal preparations containing copper.
Of the pests of Livistone, one should be wary of scale insects, whiteflies, thrips, mealybugs and spider mites. All of them feed on the sap of the plant, making bites in its leaves. Sucking insects are destroyed with insecticidal solutions, however, worms and adult scale insects must first be removed from the plant by hand using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. After that, the palm tree must be taken out into the open air and treated with an appropriate chemical. Spider mites do not belong to insects, so they need to be destroyed not with insecticides, but with acaricidal preparations. Now in specialized stores you can buy insectoacaricides - agents that can fight both insects and arachnids. These drugs include Aktellik, Aktara, Akarin, Fitoverm and others.
In addition to infections and pests, Livistons have troubles due to improper care and violation of the conditions of its detention. For example, insufficient lighting at low air temperatures and a deficiency of magnesium in the substrate can lead to chlorosis of the lower leaves of the plant, and a lack of nutrients, a too acidic substrate and the absence of elements such as iron and manganese in the soil can lead to chlorosis of young leaves. To solve the problem, create normal conditions for the plant and feed the Livistons over the leaves with the missing elements.
In the photo: Growing Livistons in a pot
With a potassium deficiency in Livistons, the leaves dry: first, translucent orange or yellow spots appear on the old plates, then necrosis of the edges forms, the leaf dries, curls and turns orange.
If small necrotic spots appear on the leaf plates, this is a sign of zinc hunger. With a nitrogen deficiency, the leaves become pale and develop poorly.
Because of the saline soil, first the tips of the lower leaves turn brown, and then the leaf plates darken completely. The appearance of brown and yellow spots on the leaves in the summer, the curliness of the leaf plate is evidence of excessive illumination. With insufficient moisture in the substrate, the tips of the leaves die off, and Liviston dries up. The process starts with old leaves. And when waterlogged, the plant darkens, and soon signs of decay begin to appear.
In room culture, the following types of livistons are found:
Palm tree with a height of 10-12 m and a trunk diameter of 40-50 cm from South China. The lower part of the trunk has a jagged surface, while the upper part is covered with fibers and remnants of dead petioles. The leaves of this species are fan-shaped, drooping, consisting of 50-80 folded segments, deeply cut at the ends, located on wide petioles up to one and a half meters long, the lower part of which is seated with short, straight and sharp thorns. The axillary inflorescence of Chinese Livistona can reach over one meter in length.
In the photo: Livistona chinensis
Or livistona rotundifolia grows on the coastal sandy soils of Java and the Moluccas. Its trunk is up to 14 m high and up to 17 cm in diameter, Leaves are green, round, fan-shaped, glossy, up to one and a half meters in diameter, two-thirds of the length are dissected into folded segments. They are located on petioles up to one and a half meters long, densely covered with thorns in the lower third. Yellow flowers are collected in axillary inflorescences up to 1.5 m long. It was the care of Liviston round-leaved that was described in our article, since this highly decorative plant is found in room culture more often than other species.
In the photo: Livistona rotundifolia
It was brought from the humid subtropical forests of eastern Australia. Its columnar trunk reaches a height of 25 m and a diameter of 40 cm. It is thickened at the base and covered with scars and remnants of leaf sheaths. Fan-shaped, radially folded, split into small lobes with double-cut ends, glossy leaves are dark green and are located on petioles up to 2 m long, dotted with frequent, sharp, almost brown thorns along the edges. The branched axillary inflorescence of southern Livistona reaches a length of 130 cm.
In the photo: Livistona australis
Slow growing single-stemmed palm up to 12 m high and up to 25 cm in diameter with fan-shaped leaves divided into drooping segments with numerous veins. The leaves are dark green on the upper side, grayish-waxy on the lower side, small teeth on the leaf petioles.
In the photo: Livistona decipiens
A large plant, reaching a height of 30 m in nature. The trunk of the tree is gray, thickened at the base and covered with the remnants of leaf sheaths. On petioles up to 2 m long, there are fan leaves of the same length, dissected into drooping linear lobes, which are painted in a pinkish-red hue at a young age. Then they turn bronze-red and eventually bluish-green. Light yellow or cream-colored flowers are collected in simple paniculate inflorescences. The fruits of this palm are spherical, glossy, black, up to 2 cm in diameter.
In the photo: Livistona mariae
In addition to those described, in room culture, you can find beautiful Livistons, Easton and other, less studied species.
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Hamedorea (Chamaedorea) or bamboo palm is an unpretentious shade-tolerant palm that grows well in indoor conditions. This palm is native to the mountainous regions of Mexico, South and Central America. In nature, these are small graceful palms up to 2 meters high and up to 3 cm thick stems.
Among the wide variety of indoor plants, this particular type of palm is very popular.Hamedorei can be found not only in an apartment, these palm trees often become an adornment of a large hall, office space with high spacious rooms and a winter garden.
Its very original large leaves that look like umbrellas. They can grow up to 50-90 centimeters long and about 40 centimeters wide. They are green and have the form of longitudinal, thin leaves merged with each other, the ends of which hang freely, forming characteristic "claws". Umbrella, semicircular leaves grow on long, rigid petioles covered with small thorns, which are connected at the base with a rough root zone. All this looks very picturesque, mentally bringing closer the hot, seaside beaches in exotic countries. Due to the shape of the leaves, the plant is sometimes also called chinese palm.
Due to its high requirements, it will not always grow well at home. A cool, poorly lit room is not suitable for her. Livistona Chinese loves the sun, all year round she needs a room temperature in the range of 18-24 ° C, although in winter it can withstand 16-18 ° C.
The plant should be watered regularly and the substrate should not be overdried. However, do not pour it in and do not leave water in the stand, otherwise the leaves will begin to dry, and the roots rot. Livistona also needs relatively humid air, so you cannot place a pot with a plant near heating radiators. Due to the lack of the required humidity the ends of the leaves can dry... In order for the plant to grow well, it is necessary to use all available methods to ensure an increase in moisture. It is a good idea to set the pot on constantly damp balls of expanded clay, regularly sprinkle the leaves with water, and place a humidifier or open aquariums near the pot.
In summer, Liviston Chinese can be displayed on a sunny terrace or balcony, where it will feel good until autumn. With the repeated transfer of the plant to the apartment, you should not hesitate, because a drop in temperature to about 10 ° C can have a bad effect on the plant. Liviston should only be transplanted when she clearly needs it, as she does not like root disturbances. The most suitable soil for it is a mixture of compost-clay mixture with the addition of sand. You can also purchase a ready-made mixture, intended for growing palm trees... Since the plant does not like residual water at the bottom of the pot, a good drainage layer is needed, for example, in the form of expanded clay balls. Such balls have the ability to absorb excess moisture and slowly return it to the substrate. At home, Liviston Chinese sometimes blooms, but it happens in very good conditions. The flowers, however, are not decorative, so they can be removed.
Livistons are one of the most decorative fan palms. Young plants can be a wonderful decoration for any interior.
Livistons grow mainly in countries with a subtropical climate, on poor sandy and well-moist soils. Many species are able to endure short-term temperature drops below 0 degrees with a possible loss of decorative effect. They prefer to grow in places open to the sun. Most of the species are tall plants, up to 25-40 m, and are often cultivated outdoors in countries with warm winters, they can also grow on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus.
Due to their slow growth rate, these palms are also well suited for potted households. Young specimens usually have not so deeply dissected leaves as in adult plants, but this does not in the least reduce their decorative effect. Livistona southern, Chinese Liviston are most often grown as potted plants. It is necessary to mention also about Liviston round-leaved, which, on the basis of DNA research, is now assigned to another genus called round-leaved saribus. Caring for this plant does not differ much from caring for Livistons, but saribus is a more thermophilic palm tree, originally from the tropics, so winter temperatures should not fall below +18 o C. Read more about the features of these and other species on the Liviston page.
Illumination. Young plants in their natural habitat require protection from direct sun. But when grown on windowsills, such a bright sun almost never happens. In the summer noon hours, protection from intense light is required not so much as from overheating of the leaf blades. The leaves do not suffer from sunlight, but from overheating through the glass. Therefore, in the summer they must be sure to provide good ventilation. It is useful to take the plant out into the open air in the light shade of trees in the warm season.
Watering. In open field conditions, mature palms can easily survive short periods of drought, their deeply growing taproots are able to provide plants with water. When growing at home in pots, Liviston does not tolerate overdrying well. Water the palm regularly with soft, warm water, avoiding stagnant moisture. In winter, when the content is cool, watering should be slightly reduced.
Temperature. The optimum temperature in summer is about + 20 + 24 ° C, in extreme heat it is necessary to ensure good air circulation near the plant and increase the air humidity. In winter, it is advisable to provide the palm tree with coolness, keep it at a temperature of about + 15 ° C and in the brightest light.
Air humidity for Livistons, an increased one is required. In a warm room, frequent spraying is desirable, especially during the heat. Regular warm showers are helpful. In cool conditions, at temperatures below + 18 ° C, spraying should be canceled. It is always necessary to ensure that there is good air exchange in the room, but in winter to exclude cold drafts.
Soils and transplants. As a substrate for Livistons, ready-made soil for palm trees is suitable. It should contain coarse sand and perlite, this will ensure good drainage of the soil throughout the volume and will not allow water to stagnate. The Livistons are quite sensitive to transplants. Palm trees are transplanted as the roots fill the entire volume of the pot and only by careful handling.
Top dressing. Livistona does not require large doses of nutrients; fertilizer for palm trees, which include the necessary trace elements, is suitable for dressing. Some species cannot tolerate high doses of phosphorus. Top dressing should be applied only during the active growing season, in the spring and summer.
Growth rate slow, in good conditions, Liviston gives 3 leaves a year.
Reproduction - seeds. In a warm place, the seeds germinate for 1.5-3 months. For successful cultivation, it is better to sow seeds one or two in one pot, so as not to dive in the future - Livistons do not like root damage very much. It is advisable to regularly treat young seedlings with fungicides, they are susceptible to fungal diseases.
Pests. They are affected by mealybugs, scale insects, ticks. Read in detail about the measures to combat these pests in the article Houseplant pests and control measures.
Possible growing difficulties. Livistons are very sensitive to insufficient watering, even a short overdrying can lead to drying of the leaves and death of the plant. The tips of the leaves become dry from low humidity.
To disinfect the substrate, it is moistened and placed in a microwave oven or oven, or heated in a water bath. In extreme cases, the mixture is spilled with a solution of potassium permanganate (1 g / l).
The disinfected substrate is poured with a slide on the drainage layer. The black (rotten) roots of the wound are removed from the plant cleared of peat and sprinkled with ground charcoal, ash or aluminum powder. Before planting, it is advisable to dip the roots into a thick chatterbox of soaked loam - the clay will stick to the roots, and they will not be injured when replanting and compacting the soil in a pot.
The roots are straightened so that they are evenly distributed in the pot, and, by ramming moderately, they are covered with substrate. The distance from the edge of the pot to the surface of the substrate for possible abundant watering should be within 3-5 cm. The root collar of the plant should be at the level of the substrate. With excessive deepening, the butt of the stem may rot. If the plant staggers at first, it should be secured with support sticks, trellis or stretch marks. As the roots grow, the palm will anchor in the substrate and the supports can be removed.
Trachikarpus Fortune is the most popular species of this family. The plant has a straight trunk, reaching a height of up to 12 meters and a diameter of up to 17 centimeters. Young crops grow up to 3 meters. The trunk of the palm tree is covered with a thick, coarse-fiber pile. The leaf plates are large, dark green above and silvery below. They have a finger-dissected shape and are located on a long petiole. The inflorescences of the culture are racemose, large, fragrant with a bright yellow hue. After flowering, fruits begin to form, resembling clusters of small dark blue grapes.
Wagner's trachikarpus - This type of palm is quite rare. It is cultivated in Japan and Korea. The plant has strong, large and resilient leaf plates, dark green in color. The culture grows up to 3 meters in length and has a straight trunk with a dark brown pile. Inflorescences racemose yellow with a pleasant aroma.
Trachikarpus Royal - palm tree grows in China. The culture has a single, thin trunk that grows up to 9 meters in height. The leaf plates of the trachycarpus are practically round, finger-dissected, cup-shaped. From above they are dark green, and from below they are gray-gray due to the wax coating covering them. The culture of this variety is distinguished by an average growth rate and is able to tolerate only light frosts, in contrast to more frost-resistant varieties.
Trachikarpus Shirokodolny - a plant grows in India, in Sikkim. In the wild, culture is on the verge of extinction. The palm got its name from its wide leafy lobes. The tree has a single, straight trunk, reaching a height of up to 12 meters. The leaf plates are rounded, finger-dissected, bright green in color. Inflorescences are yellow, fragrant, racemose. Fruits are brown, small, elliptical.
Trachikarpus Martianus is an upright palm tree that grows up to 20 meters in length. The trunk is covered with rough, brown hair. The leaf plates are dark green, fan-shaped, located on long petioles. Inflorescences are long, white in color with a pleasant aroma. Assam and the Himalayas are considered to be the birthplace of culture.
Trachikarpus Oreophilus - grows in the mountains of Thailand. The stem of the culture is even, thin, single, reaching a length of 9 meters. It is naked, since the leaf plates are located only on the crown. They are large, round, pinnately dissected, leathery, dark green. Inflorescences are yellowish, racemose. After flowering, dark blue fruits appear, similar to small grapes.
First of all, it should be borne in mind that Livistona is still a palm tree. Consequently, it will need enough room for growth and development. This place should be not only spacious, but also well lit. Almost all types of Livistons require good lighting with a share of direct sunlight. Some conditional exception may be Chinese Livistona, which is considered more shade-tolerant. These palms will grow best by either east or west windows. They feel very good at south-facing windows, provided they are protected from the scorching midday sun. In the summer, if possible, it is better to take it out into the fresh air, in a place protected from wind and burning sunlight.
When growing livistons at home, it is very important to observe the optimal temperature regime. At high temperatures, the tips of its leaves will begin to dry out and this process can spread to a significant part of the leaf. The most acceptable temperature for keeping Liviston indoors is in the range from +18 to +20. These frames can be slightly expanded upwards, subject to regular ventilation and frequent spraying. In winter, the palm tree should provide a cool resting environment. During this period, the temperature should not exceed +16 degrees. The lower limit for the wintering of Livistons is +10 degrees.
When watering, special attention should be paid to the quality and temperature of the water. It must necessarily be separated and have a temperature of at least +30 degrees, regardless of the season. From the middle to the end of summer, it is advisable to water the liviston so that the water falls into the palm arrow. Such watering is carried out only in the morning, especially if it is kept outside at this time. The frequency of watering will depend on the rate at which the soil dries out. Before the next watering, the topsoil should dry out slightly. After that, the Liviston is watered abundantly, until the water flows into the pan. Do not immediately drain the water from the sump. Wait a couple of hours, and if there is anything left to drain, drain. With the beginning of autumn, watering is gradually reduced. During the cold wintering of plants, watering is reduced significantly, but not until the soil is completely dry. This must not be allowed!
Livistona is very demanding on air humidity. Dry air is categorically contraindicated for her! In the warm season, regular and frequent spraying with warm water is required. In winter, you can spray less often, and with a cool content, it is better to replace them with any other way of humidifying the air. Along with the traditional humidification of the air, periodically bathe the palm under a warm shower and moisten the leaves with a damp sponge.
Liviston palm has been seen to be a fast growing plant. Therefore, a large amount of nutrients are also required. During the entire period of active growth, feed it three times a month with specialized or organic fertilizer. In winter, it can also be fed, but not more often than once a month after watering.
This palm is transplanted as it grows and the roots fill the volume of the flower pot. Since the roots of young plants very quickly fill this entire volume, an annual transplant will be required. As the plant grows, the periods between plantings are shortened. The need to transplant an adult Liviston may arise only after 5 years. In the intervals between full transplants, it is advisable to change the topsoil. This plant does not like when its roots are disturbed, therefore, it must be transferred to each next pot with a lump of earth, filling it with fresh soil.
Livistons are transplanted in mid-spring. The pot is preferable high and not wide. Each subsequent transplant pot should be only slightly larger than the previous one. For transplant, you can use a ready-made mixture for palm trees. You can cook it yourself. At the same time, the earthen mixture for a young Liviston should be somewhat lighter than for an adult plant. It can be composed of equal parts. compost, leaf, light turf and sand... Mature palms will grow in a heavier and more nutritious earth made up of equal parts humus, leaf, turf, compost soil and sand... When transplanting Livistons, it is imperative to create good drainage.
If Livistones are kept in a too warm or dry room, the leaves may gradually dry out, starting from their tips.But this also happens with normal maintenance, which is a natural process. If the process of leaf drying has begun, then you should not rush to remove it. Premature pruning of the entire leaf can provoke the onset of drying of the adjacent leaf. The leaf can only be removed after it is completely dry. So that the dried tips of the leaves of Livistons do not spoil its appearance, they can be slightly trimmed.
In the presence of an adult plant, this palm tree reproduces by forming basal offspring. They are separated during a planned transplant. During the separation of the palm children, special care should be taken not to damage the roots.
Liviston is propagated by seeds much less often. The seed planting technology is simple. They are sown into light soil to a depth of 1 centimeter and placed under a polyethylene or glass cap. The seed germination process is quite long, up to three months. But, given the rapid growth of Livistons, in three years the seedlings will develop and turn into a beautiful palm tree.