Palms can be great and add a tropical and exotic look to your home, but they do require different care than other types of plants that you may have inside or outside your home.
Still, Licuala Cordata is a fantastic choice for those who want to try out a palm because it has a distinct appearance that many believe is the prettiest of the entire genus, but it is a little difficult to care for, especially if you do not live in an optimal region with a tropical climate.
This article covers:
- What Licuala Cordata is and what it looks like
- How to take care of it properly for healthy growth
- Some common pests and problems and what to do
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What is Licuala Cordata?
Licuala Cordata is a small fan palm that grows naturally in rainforests in Sarawak on the island of Borneo. You may have seen Locuala plants called Ruffled Fan Leaf Palms before, and you may even find that the Cordata variety is also labeled as such sometimes.
The leaves are undivided and shaped similar to an elongated or flattened heart, but can also appear circular and rounded so that the blade overlaps at the base.
The neat pleated appearance is unique and attractive, which is why people love placing Licuala Cordata plants around pools, porches, and inside their homes.
The leaves can get quite large as the plant matures, up to 1 meter in diameter! However, it does not grow overly fast, which is why it is a great option for growing in pots for a long period of time.
It also does not get any higher than 4 meters tall and the leaves are a brighter green than other Licualas, so it has a happier appearance according to some gardeners.
To see more of what Licuala Cordata looks like, check out this awesome video:
How to Care for Licuala Cordata
Licuala Cordata is not the easiest plant to care for, but if you know how then it can be healthy for years.
The palm is particular about the amount of sunlight and the temperature, but also requires the right soil, water, and other factors for healthy growth.
Let’s look at how you can create the perfect conditions for your Licuala Cordata.
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Whether you grow Licuala Cordata inside or outside, it has to have the right amount of light. You need to provide it with indirect sunlight and a lot of it, but the leaves can be harmed by direct sun rays.
They can be placed inside of windows, but not too close so that you prevent burning of the leaf surfaces. Outside, partial shade works quite well, but even full shade during a large portion of the day is fine.
Direct sun is mostly a concern for younger plants. While you always want to avoid it if possible, it may be more resilient when more mature.
Direct sun can also dry it out more, which can make it harder to provide the correct amount of water for color, growth, and health.
Licuala Cordata needs a lot of water, especially during the Summer. Typically, you will want to follow a schedule of twice a week during the later Spring through the Summer months and once a week the rest of the year.
This is typically enough when grown in optimal indirect sunlight and high humidity. However, dryer climates may create difficulty in keeping the watering optimal.
When the top half to a full inch of soil dries out completely, it is due for another watering. However, even though the plant does need sufficient water at all times, you want to avoid overwatering as well.
If you are unsure, then you can mist the leaves a few times a week in addition to once to twice a week watering.
Well, draining soil is necessary for Licuala Cordata and if you are using a pot, then you want terracotta or plastic ones that have holes for proper drainage.
A light substrate of 50% black peat, 30% perlite, and 20% earthworm humus works quite well for the growth and development of all Licuala varieties, including Licuala Cordata.
While the plant is not exceptionally picky about the type of soil, you do want soil that is high in organic matter.
Clay or loam soil works well, but the pH is not a significant cause for concern because Licuala Cordata works fine with neutral, acidic, and alkaline soil as long as it has adequate draining properties.
Licuala Cordata grows slowly, but to keep it managed for steady growth, fertilizer is a beneficial option. During the growing season, you can use a slow-release fertilizer to stimulate growth and maintain lush foliage.
A formulation of 15-5-10 works best for these types of palms and you never want to fertilize during the Winter. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer as well so that it doesn’t burn the plant.
Temperature and Humidity
A Licuala Cordata palm loves tropical and subtropical environments and conditions, but it can withstand cooler temperatures as well.
You never want to try to grow the palm in temperatures below freezing though, so you want to avoid outdoor plants in regions where the weather drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius.
Any frost will kill the plant so if you plan on having the palm outside, you may have to move it indoors during the Winter.
If you want to grow it outdoors, then it needs to be warm during the Spring and Fall and hot during the Summer for proper growth.
However, many people find that it can also grow in mild climates as long as it has optimal conditions for water, humidity, and soil. If you live in a dry climate, then you will want to spray the leaves with moisture in between waterings as well.
How to Repot Licuala Cordata
Licuala Cordata is slow-growing, which means that you shouldn’t have to change pots or transplant the palm very often. Typically, it will be fine in the same pot for 3 or 4 years, as long as it was the proper size to begin with.
When you do have to repot the plant, you want to do it during the warm weather of Spring. This is because it is more likely to recover from the process.
You should also plant these palms in a garden during the warm season for the same reason. When repotting, you should also replace the potting mix so that it is fresh and full of nutrients as well as airy and oxygenated.
How to Propagate Licuala Cordata
It is possible to propagate Licuala palms using suckers that are produced and planting them just like you would plant the entire species, but it doesn’t always work as planned.
The best way to propagate Licuala Cordata is to simply use the seeds. They are not very easy to germinate, but once they do then the rest of the procedure is simple for healthy growth. Germination time is generally 3 to 6 months from seeds.
It is best to sow the seeds during Spring or Summer and you can use transparent plastic bags with hermetic closure filled with coconut fiber or vermiculite.
Then, make sure that these bags with the seeds are near a heat source. This will speed up the process so that it shouldn’t take more than 2 to 4 months for germination.
Common Problems with Licuala Cordata
There are some common problems to keep an eye out for when growing your Licuala Cordata. Knowing what to do if you encounter them is important so that the foliage stays healthy and beautiful throughout all seasons.
These are very common pests for all Licuala palms. They are white, fluffy insects that look like cotton on the leaves of the plant. They will grow in population and suck all the nutrients and sap out of your lovely palm.
You can usually get rid of them with Neem Oil Treatment products, but for more serious infestations you may have to use rubbing alcohol.
These are detrimental to the health and welfare of your Licuala Cordata palm. They are small and hard to notice but can cause speckled leaves and yellowing around the edges.
You can use Neem Oil or insecticidal soap to remove them. Neem Oil can also prevent them in the first place, which is important if you have other infected plants nearby.
Round yellow spots or other discoloration are often signs of fungal infection. You should sharply regulate your watering schedule to control the spread of infection. You can also remove the portions of the plant that are already infected as well as the areas directly next to them.
Drooping leaves are often a sign that the palm has too much water. This can lead to worse problems as well like root rot. Just make sure that you let the surface of the soil completely dry out in between waterings.
You can also wait a little longer without causing harm to the plant so that you ensure that it doesn’t drink too much fluid.
Final Thoughts on Licuala Cordata
Licuala Cordata is a great palm that can be grown indoors and outdoors as long as the conditions are right. While it cannot survive frost and cold temperatures, it isn’t super hard to care for when you know how. Just keep an eye out for the most common problems and keep it well fed and watered!