The ravanea rivularis is a palm tree native to the arid areas of Madagascar, where it develops near the water courses. It looks like a tuft of long thin stems, arched, rigid, of dark green color, on which develop long ribbonlike leaves, waxy; in a container it has a rather slow development, but in some years it can reach two meters in height. The flowers appear united and develop between the leaves of the plant. In areas with a very mild climate, it can also be cultivated in the open ground in the garden; this palm should be repotted at least every two years, since it develops a conspicuous root system. In addition to the Rivularis variety, there are about twenty species of Ravanea, each with particular characteristics.
Place the ravanea rivularis in a very bright place, but not in direct sunlight; in the southern regions it can be used in the garden, since it tolerates temperatures slightly below zero without problems, in this case it is planted in a sunny area. In regions with cold winters it must be repaired at home, or in any case where it can enjoy a temperature above 15 ° C.
It is necessary to water our ravanea regularly with small amounts of water, without ever exceeding and waiting for the soil to dry very well between one watering and another; the ravanea bear drought periods even very long without problems. From March to October, provide fertilizer for green plants mixed with water for watering.
It likes loose soils, rich in organic matter and well drained; use a mixture of garden soil, potting soil and sand. We must keep in mind that the soil is the main resource for our plants as it is from the soil itself that the plant receives the main nutrients it needs. A wrong soil could damage the plant or at least, lead to an unbalanced and healthy development. As for the fertilization, this must be done in spring and summer about every 20 days. The fertilizer must be liquid and dissolved in irrigation water. Avoid any type of fertilization during the autumn and winter season.
Pruning is usually not done. Only remove dried or damaged leaves from the plant if you want to give a defined appearance and get a garden of great visual impact.
The multiplication of the ravenea rivularis occurs by cuttings. This reproduction technique is among the most used and appreciated as with the cutting, it is possible to obtain new seedlings practically at zero cost, simply by using fragments or branches of the mother plant. Occasionally the plant develops basal shoots that can be detached and repotted in a single container.
Ravanea rivularis: Pests and diseases
If grown in a container it can be attacked by the cochineal; in this case, the parasite, feeding on the sap contained in the leaves, will weaken the plant. In this case, use specific pesticide products. Another possible problem may concern the water quantity of the irrigations. Excessive watering can favor the onset of root rot.