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Licuala mattanensis Becc. (Mapu Palm)
Appearance: The Mapu Palm is a small to medium-sized palm tree with a single slender trunk, which can grow up to about 5 to 10 meters (16 to 33 feet) in height. The trunk is usually covered with the remains of old leaf sheaths.
Leaves: The most striking feature of this palm is its fan-shaped leaves. Each leaf is large, reaching up to about 1.5 meters (5 feet) in diameter, and is divided into several segments that radiate from the centre like the spokes of a wheel. The leaf segments are green and glossy, giving the palm an attractive and elegant appearance.
Growth habit: Licuala mattanensis has a slow growth rate, and it typically forms a clump of leaves, which gives it a bushy and dense appearance.
Sunlight: In its natural habitat, the Mapu Palm thrives in shaded or partially shaded areas of the rainforest. When grown as a houseplant or in a garden, it requires similar conditions, avoiding direct, intense sunlight.
Temperature and Humidity: This palm prefers warm and humid conditions, typical of its native rainforest environment. It is sensitive to cold temperatures and should be protected from frost.
Soil: Licuala mattanensis prefers well-draining, fertile, and slightly acidic soil. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and loamy soil can be suitable for its growth.
Watering: Adequate and consistent watering is essential for the Mapu Palm. It prefers consistently moist but not waterlogged soil. During the growing season, ensure the soil is kept evenly moist, but avoid waterlogging. In winter or cooler periods, reduce watering slightly.
Fertilization: Regular fertilization with a balanced liquid fertilizer can help promote healthy growth. Feed the palm during the growing season (spring and summer) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Repotting: As a slow-growing palm, Licuala mattanensis does not require frequent repotting. However, it’s a good idea to repot the plant when it outgrows its current container or becomes root-bound.
Propagation: Propagation of the Mapu Palm can be challenging and is usually achieved through seed germination. Fresh seeds have a higher chance of success, and they should be sown in a well-draining, moist substrate.
Due to its slow growth and unique appearance, Licuala mattanensis Becc. is a prized ornamental palm, but it may require some specialized care to thrive successfully outside its natural habitat. If you decide to grow it, make sure to research its specific care needs to ensure its health and longevity.
$125.00 $136.25 (Including GST)