The ravanea rivularis is a palm native to the arid areas of Madagascar, where it develops near the water streams. It appears as a tuft of long, thin, arched, rigid, dark green stems, on which develop long ribbon-like, waxy leaves; in a container it develops quite slowly, but can reach in some years the two metres of height. The flowers appear united and develop between the leaves of the plant.
In areas with a very mild climate, it can be grown even in the open air in the garden; this palm tree should be repotted at least every two years, as it develops a conspicuous radical system. In addition to the variety rivularis, there are about twenty species of ravage, 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, because it can bear temperatures a little below zero without any problems, in this case it should be planted in a sunny area. In regions with cold winters, it is to be sheltered in the house, or in any case where it can enjoy a temperature above 15°C.
It is necessary to water our ravines regularly with small quantities of water, without ever exceeding and waiting for the soil to dry very well between one watering and the other; ravines can withstand without problems even very long periods of drought. From March to October provide fertilizer for green plants mixed with water of watering.
It likes loose soils, rich in organic matter and well drained; use a mixture of garden earth, 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 fertilization, this must be done in the spring and summer about every 20 days.
The fertilizer must be liquid and dissolved with irrigation water. Avoid any kind of fertilization during the autumn and winter season.
Pruning is usually not carried out. Only remove dried or damaged leaves from the plant if you want to give it a defined appearance and obtain a garden of great visual impact.
The multiplication of ravenea rivularis is done by cutting. This technique of reproduction is among the most used and appreciated because with the cutting, it is possible to obtain new seedlings at practically no cost, simply using fragments or branches of the mother plant. Occasionally, the plant develops basal suckers which can be detached and repotted in a single container.
Ravanea rivularis: Pests and diseases
If cultivated in a container, it can be attacked by the cochineal; in this case, the parasite, nourishing of the sap contained in the leaves, will weaken the plant. In this case, use specific pesticide products. Another possible problem may concern the amount of water in the irrigation system. Excessive watering can lead to root rot.