Decora vs Chinensis in 8A and a little environmental protection

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Still a long ways away from placing any of these palms in ground, but I'm planning now-never too early I suppose! Ha. First, I know being in an 8A is a stretch for any 9A palm, but just wanted some advice for how I should place these palms in my backyard when the time comes.

First, I've read up the basics on both of these palms. My question is where I should plant these palms and what would help in terms of their placement. For instance, I have a great spot up against my house that faces east. Winter time it gets less than 2 or 3 hours of indirect sunlight. In the summer time, sunlight time increases a bit, but still mostly indirect sunlight (as it shines through several tall pine trees in my back yard.) I see the Chinensis being a good fit here, yet a bit apprehensive due to the fact that as it's left in the shade most of the time, frost in the winter time is amplified. Despite this, it is shielded from snow, due to an overhang of my roof and gutters and also from wind, due to my backyard deck being directly to the south (10-12 feet away). How does this sound as a spot for a chinensis and what can I expect from its growth pattern if placed here?

As for my Decora, I've read numerous accounts of it loving full sun and others saying it can do part shade like a Chinensis. There is a very safe guarded area in my yard by a fence and my house and a few trees around it. The only thing with the trees is around it is it will make gathering sunlight difficult as it will be spotty and filtered light. Any advice?

Also, what is the general consensus as to why people plant short, shrubby palms at the bases of taller trees? I don't see how that protects them especially if you have a 60 foot pine tree with no short branches to cover anything below it. I have several sparsely placed pine trees in my backyard with significant height.

Sorry if this was long, have been wanting to ask this for a while and finally let it out :) Thanks everybody in advance.

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I've started a reply three times but then lose it when I start googling so I'll break it up.

I'm new to Livistona having planted my first one during our warmer-than-usual January.

It appears to have settled in. I'm pretty optimistic it will do well here. I planted it in the open because I'm running out of canopy.

I would have preferred some shade since it sounds like shade makes for darker, prettier foliage but I'll take what I can.

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On to pine canopy.

I'm quite fascinated by this subject. Coniferous canopy really does seems to make a big difference for marginal palms in colder climates.

I first became aware of this concept while reading the Dictionary of Cultivated Palms a number of years ago and my own observations have confirmed this.

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This might be mostly opinion but a few possible factors to explain the benefits of canopy:

1. The trees act as simple mechanical covers like umbrellas to shield tender foliage from falling condensing ice. Frost blankets presumably function partly in this way but they also probably act partly as insulators as well by trapping air and minimizing convective cooling.

2. Due to their low albedic value, coniferous trees presumably absorb electromagnetic radiation including infrared radiation, possibly leading to local heating. Some of this heat energy could then be transferred to surrounding areas as temperatures fall.

3.Uptake of water by the roots of the larger trees should lower ground moisture levels, leading to less favorable conditions for growth of fungi and other pathologic microorganisms.

4. Terpenes produced by the conifers potentially also have antimicrobial properties.

5. The large surface area of needles allows for considerable condensation of water and frost - exothermic processes which also might lead to local heating.

6. Shading from bright sun which can burn tender foliage.

Regardless of the mechanisms, many palms seem to do better under tall coniferous trees.

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Bob, You're an awesome guy. Very interesting points, especially point #3. With as much as it rains here, I often fear of overwatering. This would be a good way of minimizing all of the excess moisture.

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These are just some of the things I've seen here on PalmTalk and elsewhere over the years that have made sense to me.

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I just caught a big error - I wrote Dictionary, not Encyclopedia, of Cultivated Palms.

I'll edit my earlier post.

That book by Riffle and Craft is great.

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Maybe I can't.

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I can offer my experience with growing Chinensis in zone 8b. I planted mine under a conifer canopy and it did well for two years. This year it got unusually cold (14F) and it defoliated. It's growing back already and does really well under canopy for the most part. I think the spot you have chosen is perfect.

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Sounds like both areas you have chosen might work. If temps get to the bottom of 8a (10 F) all bets are off without supplemental heat. You should be ok with around 15 with pretty significant damage if the freeze does not last too long. I've had a lot less experience with decora but both seem comparable in terms of hardiness.

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I can offer my experience with growing Chinensis in zone 8b. I planted mine under a conifer canopy and it did well for two years. This year it got unusually cold (14F) and it defoliated. It's growing back already and does really well under canopy for the most part. I think the spot you have chosen is perfect.

That makes me feel a bit better. How many hours of sunlight does yours receive; direct or indirect? If it isn't too much trouble, do you have any pictures offhand? If not, no big deal. I'm half a zone cooler, but I feel like if I fertilize it as it should and protect it under the extremes like this past winter, it should be fine for the most part.

Sounds like both areas you have chosen might work. If temps get to the bottom of 8a (10 F) all bets are off without supplemental heat. You should be ok with around 15 with pretty significant damage if the freeze does not last too long. I've had a lot less experience with decora but both seem comparable in terms of hardiness.

I agree. This past winter was one of the worst I've ever seen in my entire life. It got down to 11 in my yard. During a typical winter, the overall low would probably be in the mid-teens. Can't remember off the top of my head in my adult life when its gotten in the lower teens besides this past year, of course.

From what I've gathered they are about the same too. Thanks for the info.

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Both of those palms are going to need all of the help they can get in 8a. Southside of the house, close to a brick wall maybe or some other heat retaining structure, Out of the north wind for sure. May need some protection, in which case decora would be easier to protect of the two.

In a hotter climate, I would say both of these palms look their best in partial to scattered sunlight. In you climate hard to say.

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Decora will grow a lot faster and eventually be harder to protect, I would think?

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Decora will grow a lot faster and eventually be harder to protect, I would think?

I guess it depends on climate. I get more growth out of chinensis here in my wet winter/wet summer 9a. But the main thing I was thinking about were the broad thick leaves on chinensis vs the thinner whispier leaves one decora that I thought might be easier to bundle up if need be.

Another concern on decora is that there is a good variation in hardiness. I have two of them. One was literally unaffected by this hard winter here, while the other was mostly unaffected. It may take a few tries to get a truly hardy decora, or maybe luck will be right off the line. Who knows?

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Canopy buys you a lot of protection during radiational freezes. By the time you're in freezes that take you out of 9b into 9a, you're already in the land of convectional freezes where canopy will offer little protection. Going into the 8a realm is even worse. Keith is right on, you need thermal mass like a house for these to make it long term. No needles will save your palms from frying in an 8a freeze.

Ask David what happened to his livistona at 19F last Winter, his palms didn't look very happy after the freeze.

Anyway, to answer your questions: l. chinensis = perfect in shade, looks better and you don't need sun on it especially after or during a freeze. L. decora = full sun, or the most amount of sun you can give it. The less Winter sun, the better. Both are way better off as close as possible to your house. L. decora will outgrow whatever protection you might give it, after which it will too tall to survive in an 8b climate. L. chinensis will take much longer to get there, shade will slow it down, so shade is definitely your friend.

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Decora will grow a lot faster and eventually be harder to protect, I would think?

Another concern on decora is that there is a good variation in hardiness. I have two of them. One was literally unaffected by this hard winter here, while the other was mostly unaffected. It may take a few tries to get a truly hardy decora, or maybe luck will be right off the line. Who knows?

Above was not stated correctly. One had at the most 10% foliage damage, while the other had at the least 50% foliage damage. Quite a variance in cold hardiness.

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Both of those palms are going to need all of the help they can get in 8a. Southside of the house, close to a brick wall maybe or some other heat retaining structure, Out of the north wind for sure. May need some protection, in which case decora would be easier to protect of the two.

In a hotter climate, I would say both of these palms look their best in partial to scattered sunlight. In you climate hard to say.

Interesting. I've always thought Chinensis' were night and day in terms of hardiness. You never knew really what you're going to get. There's a a guy online that says he's grown his in 8B with little to no trouble. Then I've heard other stories of them struggling terribly in 8's and really severe 9A weather. How fast is the growth rate of a decora relative to a filifera?

Canopy buys you a lot of protection during radiational freezes. By the time you're in freezes that take you out of 9b into 9a, you're already in the land of convectional freezes where canopy will offer little protection. Going into the 8a realm is even worse. Keith is right on, you need thermal mass like a house for these to make it long term. No needles will save your palms from frying in an 8a freeze.

Ask David what happened to his livistona at 19F last Winter, his palms didn't look very happy after the freeze.

Anyway, to answer your questions: l. chinensis = perfect in shade, looks better and you don't need sun on it especially after or during a freeze. L. decora = full sun, or the most amount of sun you can give it. The less Winter sun, the better. Both are way better off as close as possible to your house. L. decora will outgrow whatever protection you might give it, after which it will too tall to survive in an 8b climate. L. chinensis will take much longer to get there, shade will slow it down, so shade is definitely your friend.

Agreed. Pine needles wont help. One question, I don't get the "less sunlight" in the winter time? Wouldn't this be beneficial to keep it warm during the cold months? And in your estimation also, what is the Decoras growth rate compared to a Filifera?

Also, if anyone is interested, I attached a picture of my house from googleearth. I labeled the areas, with "A" being the place I would put the Livistonas and "B" being the place I'd put the Decora. Just for a better picture of what protection it could offer, my fence is a normal ~8 foot fence. My house is brick.

Sadly, during the time this image was taken, there were no palms in my yard : ( Although there is a set of very healthy Sabals in the upper left corner. I always marvel at those. Tallest palms in my neighborhood at maybe ~20-25 feet.

post-7943-0-58483800-1396396472_thumb.pn

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Well, make that a 6 foot fence. Had to go outside and eye-measure it Haha.

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Both of those palms are going to need all of the help they can get in 8a. Southside of the house, close to a brick wall maybe or some other heat retaining structure, Out of the north wind for sure. May need some protection, in which case decora would be easier to protect of the two.

In a hotter climate, I would say both of these palms look their best in partial to scattered sunlight. In you climate hard to say.

Interesting. I've always thought Chinensis' were night and day in terms of hardiness. You never knew really what you're going to get. There's a a guy online that says he's grown his in 8B with little to no trouble. Then I've heard other stories of them struggling terribly in 8's and really severe 9A weather. How fast is the growth rate of a decora relative to a filifera?

Canopy buys you a lot of protection during radiational freezes. By the time you're in freezes that take you out of 9b into 9a, you're already in the land of convectional freezes where canopy will offer little protection. Going into the 8a realm is even worse. Keith is right on, you need thermal mass like a house for these to make it long term. No needles will save your palms from frying in an 8a freeze.

Ask David what happened to his livistona at 19F last Winter, his palms didn't look very happy after the freeze.

Anyway, to answer your questions: l. chinensis = perfect in shade, looks better and you don't need sun on it especially after or during a freeze. L. decora = full sun, or the most amount of sun you can give it. The less Winter sun, the better. Both are way better off as close as possible to your house. L. decora will outgrow whatever protection you might give it, after which it will too tall to survive in an 8b climate. L. chinensis will take much longer to get there, shade will slow it down, so shade is definitely your friend.

Agreed. Pine needles wont help. One question, I don't get the "less sunlight" in the winter time? Wouldn't this be beneficial to keep it warm during the cold months? And in your estimation also, what is the Decoras growth rate compared to a Filifera?

Also, if anyone is interested, I attached a picture of my house from googleearth. I labeled the areas, with "A" being the place I would put the Livistonas and "B" being the place I'd put the Decora. Just for a better picture of what protection it could offer, my fence is a normal ~8 foot fence. My house is brick.

Sadly, during the time this image was taken, there were no palms in my yard : ( Although there is a set of very healthy Sabals in the upper left corner. I always marvel at those. Tallest palms in my neighborhood at maybe ~20-25 feet.

The reason that shade is better during the Winter is that sunlight will stress a plant that is struggling with cold temperatures. If it freezes hard at night, an abrupt warm up from sun will cause far more tissue damage than leaving the tissue frozen and letting it thaw out gradually. Winter sun is beneficial generally only if it's heating soil on a south facing slope and for some rare exceptions such as the gingerbread palm which can't handle any extended periods of cold. But in those cases, the difference is between a USDA 10a palm and a 9b climate, there really aren't many cold hardy palms below 9b that benefit from Winter sun.

As for the speed of decora, few palms can grow as fast as a washingtonia, so if you're asking about decora versus filifera, filifera wins by a big margin.

Looking at your house, option B looks like the most protected, but I'd put the palms where you're gonna enjoy them, not the side of the house where you won't see them. Save the side of the house for palms that can get large in your climate so they can offer a nice back drop. But honestly, the first thing I'd do is talk you out of growing these things and stick with butia, needles, trachys and sabals. I'd bail on the decora and filifera and I'd try to grow a livistona nitida instead, and possibly a brahea clara, which can take the mid teens if it's dry. If you had some canopy against the house like a nice hardy sabal riverside or louisiana, then I'd put a livistona chinensis below it where it's really protected.

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I can't speak to the true cold hardiness of either species since my normal low is 28-32*F with an ultimate low of 20-22*F every 5 to 7 years like what happened this winter. That location sounds like the best you can offer for both species. You mentioned frost, but it seems like a good environment for no frost fornmation. Both species do well in full shade. Many are planted under live oaks in the New Orleans area and grow nicely before breaking through the canopy, which might take 20 years. My 4 Decora palms have grown almost twice as fast as my 5 Chinensis palms. The Chinensis are burned in the mid-20's while my Decora and Saribus have no damage from this harsh winter. There are some Chinensis planted on property near my farm, which got down to 10*F this winter. I am interested to see if they survived. At a minimum, you might get 5-7 tears of good growth until we see another winter, but Mother Nature could surprise us.

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I can't speak to the true cold hardiness of either species since my normal low is 28-32*F with an ultimate low of 20-22*F every 5 to 7 years like what happened this winter. That location sounds like the best you can offer for both species. You mentioned frost, but it seems like a good environment for no frost fornmation. Both species do well in full shade. Many are planted under live oaks in the New Orleans area and grow nicely before breaking through the canopy, which might take 20 years. My 4 Decora palms have grown almost twice as fast as my 5 Chinensis palms. The Chinensis are burned in the mid-20's while my Decora and Saribus have no damage from this harsh winter. There are some Chinensis planted on property near my farm, which got down to 10*F this winter. I am interested to see if they survived. At a minimum, you might get 5-7 tears of good growth until we see another winter, but Mother Nature could surprise us.

When those Livistona seed don't forget me.

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Which ones do you want Keith? I was on the ladder trimming the Saribus the other day and saw 20-30 seedlings growing in the trunk. I didn't have the heart to remove them. I have hundreds of volunteer Chinensis seedlings that need pulling. The Decora seeds fall in the grass and get mowed, but there might be a few in a nearby bed.

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Which ones do you want Keith? I was on the ladder trimming the Saribus the other day and saw 20-30 seedlings growing in the trunk. I didn't have the heart to remove them. I have hundreds of volunteer Chinensis seedlings that need pulling. The Decora seeds fall in the grass and get mowed, but there might be a few in a nearby bed.

Decora/Decipiens. My saribus are good, but the decora have the most potential of the two, in my amateurish mind, at least. Can't wait to start some in the shade along the bayou side. Seems they would flourish there.

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mine have iced over several times, one thing I did notice is that they didn't really have much actual damage after thawing.

post-9983-0-02109600-1396492808_thumb.jp

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Both of those palms are going to need all of the help they can get in 8a. Southside of the house, close to a brick wall maybe or some other heat retaining structure, Out of the north wind for sure. May need some protection, in which case decora would be easier to protect of the two.

In a hotter climate, I would say both of these palms look their best in partial to scattered sunlight. In you climate hard to say.

Interesting. I've always thought Chinensis' were night and day in terms of hardiness. You never knew really what you're going to get. There's a a guy online that says he's grown his in 8B with little to no trouble. Then I've heard other stories of them struggling terribly in 8's and really severe 9A weather. How fast is the growth rate of a decora relative to a filifera?

Canopy buys you a lot of protection during radiational freezes. By the time you're in freezes that take you out of 9b into 9a, you're already in the land of convectional freezes where canopy will offer little protection. Going into the 8a realm is even worse. Keith is right on, you need thermal mass like a house for these to make it long term. No needles will save your palms from frying in an 8a freeze.

Ask David what happened to his livistona at 19F last Winter, his palms didn't look very happy after the freeze.

Anyway, to answer your questions: l. chinensis = perfect in shade, looks better and you don't need sun on it especially after or during a freeze. L. decora = full sun, or the most amount of sun you can give it. The less Winter sun, the better. Both are way better off as close as possible to your house. L. decora will outgrow whatever protection you might give it, after which it will too tall to survive in an 8b climate. L. chinensis will take much longer to get there, shade will slow it down, so shade is definitely your friend.

Agreed. Pine needles wont help. One question, I don't get the "less sunlight" in the winter time? Wouldn't this be beneficial to keep it warm during the cold months? And in your estimation also, what is the Decoras growth rate compared to a Filifera?

Also, if anyone is interested, I attached a picture of my house from googleearth. I labeled the areas, with "A" being the place I would put the Livistonas and "B" being the place I'd put the Decora. Just for a better picture of what protection it could offer, my fence is a normal ~8 foot fence. My house is brick.

Sadly, during the time this image was taken, there were no palms in my yard : ( Although there is a set of very healthy Sabals in the upper left corner. I always marvel at those. Tallest palms in my neighborhood at maybe ~20-25 feet.

The reason that shade is better during the Winter is that sunlight will stress a plant that is struggling with cold temperatures. If it freezes hard at night, an abrupt warm up from sun will cause far more tissue damage than leaving the tissue frozen and letting it thaw out gradually. Winter sun is beneficial generally only if it's heating soil on a south facing slope and for some rare exceptions such as the gingerbread palm which can't handle any extended periods of cold. But in those cases, the difference is between a USDA 10a palm and a 9b climate, there really aren't many cold hardy palms below 9b that benefit from Winter sun.

As for the speed of decora, few palms can grow as fast as a washingtonia, so if you're asking about decora versus filifera, filifera wins by a big margin.

Looking at your house, option B looks like the most protected, but I'd put the palms where you're gonna enjoy them, not the side of the house where you won't see them. Save the side of the house for palms that can get large in your climate so they can offer a nice back drop. But honestly, the first thing I'd do is talk you out of growing these things and stick with butia, needles, trachys and sabals. I'd bail on the decora and filifera and I'd try to grow a livistona nitida instead, and possibly a brahea clara, which can take the mid teens if it's dry. If you had some canopy against the house like a nice hardy sabal riverside or louisiana, then I'd put a livistona chinensis below it where it's really protected.

Expounding on the discussion on the "stress" of a plant. Hm, so let me get this straight: Basically, in this theoretical scenario, lets say temperatures went down to 20 degrees for several hours. Now, lets say that During the day time the temperatures slowly rose to the low 40's. This scenario would better as opposed to the temperatures staying at 20 for several hours and it heating up to say, 60 degrees and full sunlight? Basically, any drastic temperature/sunlight changes while the plant is already coping with freezing temperatures will cause even deeper complications after the fact?

Thanks for the honest advice... I've definitely thought long and hard about the future of these palms before purchasing the seeds this past fall. With my job, there's always the possibility to move to the South Carolina coast where the filifera and the decora will fair significantly better, as I think everything from Charleston and down to Hilton Head is upper 8B's possibly 9A.

With decoras being my greatest hurdle, I beg to differ on growing filifera's in the Columbia area. I just recently have started making a compilation of photos of filiferas around the Columbia area as there are more than you'd think. There are 3 filiferas that I have pictures of where they are more than 30 feet tall; thick based trunk and full crowns. There are 2 other very old filiferas in the parking lot of a fairly nice hotel outside of the city of Columbia that I still need to swing by and snap some pictures of. With the hellacious winter we had, all of them are fried, but will be fine based on historical evidence of them toughing out even lower temperatures in the 1980's. But yeah, 95% of the palms grown around here are the Butia Capitatas, needle palms, sabals and of course the trachys, predominantly the waggy's and fortunei. The other 5% would certainly be the filiferas.

I'm seriously considering the Nitidia. Why haven't I spotted this one before? Every post and opinion I've read is that the Chinensis is the most cold hardy of all the livistonas. The brahea would probably drown to death around here... 44+ inches of rain annually and this past year we were very close to 50 inches.

I can't speak to the true cold hardiness of either species since my normal low is 28-32*F with an ultimate low of 20-22*F every 5 to 7 years like what happened this winter. That location sounds like the best you can offer for both species. You mentioned frost, but it seems like a good environment for no frost fornmation. Both species do well in full shade. Many are planted under live oaks in the New Orleans area and grow nicely before breaking through the canopy, which might take 20 years. My 4 Decora palms have grown almost twice as fast as my 5 Chinensis palms. The Chinensis are burned in the mid-20's while my Decora and Saribus have no damage from this harsh winter. There are some Chinensis planted on property near my farm, which got down to 10*F this winter. I am interested to see if they survived. At a minimum, you might get 5-7 tears of good growth until we see another winter, but Mother Nature could surprise us.

Full shade, eh? Wow! Makes me feel a bit better about that tree that would theoretically block some/most of the sunlight from reaching my decora (If I ever even plant it). As far as the temperatures go, those are a lot better numbers than I thought. If I can get a decora that can make it through a 20 degree night, I might be okay. It's just that frost is what really killed my palms this winter. Heck, my sabal minor even took a beating. Still alive, but not a pretty sight, that's for sure.

mine have iced over several times, one thing I did notice is that they didn't really have much actual damage after thawing.

I hope this is the case for me also! Not very confident, though.

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I have some Copernicia Alba that have also been covered in ice. They get some cover from other other trees but not a whole lot, the Ribbons are in the wide open.

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post-97-0-57073600-1396531007_thumb.jpgpost-97-0-33511300-1396531071_thumb.jpgpost-97-0-70305000-1396531118_thumb.jpg

My 3 decora after this brutal winter. Estimate 80% frond lost. They are planted in the open with no protection.

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post-97-0-36562800-1396531354_thumb.jpgpost-97-0-83940100-1396531399_thumb.jpg

2 small Chinensis with sheets and canopy. Others around town with no protection fared about the same as my decora. Overhead protection is crucial for these to look good after a hard freeze. You will have almost 100% leaf damage to unprotected specimens. But they survive low temps into the teens.

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post-97-0-56686300-1396531759_thumb.jpg

L. nitia fared the best with about 40% damage caused by the cold. This is a fantastic palm with a beautiful trunk. This should replace Washingtonia's IMO in the future. More cold hardy, nicer trunk, and no ugly shag of leaves to maintain. Solid palm, wish I had bought more.

Keith, I have all the L. decora seedlings you need in community pots of 5. Free when you come to visit.

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Alice, thanks for the pictures. Still can't believe I haven't come across the nitida till now... They seem the way to go for me. Although, I'm still going to try with my Decoras- what have I got to lose?

How do your chinensis do in your sandy soil? Also, does the nitida have thorns on the trunk like the decora?

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Chinensis does well around here, no problems with sandy soil. Nitida has tiny little saw tooth type armament, not as pronounced as decora.

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How would a Nitida do in clay? Or mostly clay soil? My backyard, unfortunately, is made up of mostly clay (with some sandy areas, funny enough). The palms I've planted I've usually just put a mix of potting soil (non-fertilized), peat moss, vermiculite (sp?) and perlite. I try to put a good amount around the rootball. Is this something that is recommended or is it good to let the palm try to adjust to the natural elements around it?

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Well how about it, I found a person that sells an assortment of palms including a Nitida right down the road from me. She even has a mature Nitida in her yard that she took a picture of: http://www.pennyspalms.com/livistona-nitida.html

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Wow, SC gets 44+ inches of rain annually? That is quite a bit more than I would have expected. Seattle averages 38 inches annually, by comparison. However, we probably have many more days of drizzle with less actual rainfall on individual days. I'm guessing the type of rain you get down there is more monsoon-like?

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I wouldn't go overboard in making a fancy mix to add back into the hole, palms are pretty adaptable to a wide variety of soil conditions. I know in my somewhat limited experience with livistona they seem to appreciate a heavy soil I have decora, chinensis and australis, muelleri growing in some light sandy loam and some decora, chinensis and a saribus growing in some quite heavy clay.

Edited by Umbrae
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Here you go: The first photo is damage after the first ice storm. The second one is new spring growth, and the last one is a photo of how it looked three years before this winter. I never protected this palm and it's directly under some tall loblolly pines. They are as cold hardy as washingtonia robusta, but they grow slower so it takes longer to recover from defoliation.

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Wow, SC gets 44+ inches of rain annually? That is quite a bit more than I would have expected. Seattle averages 38 inches annually, by comparison. However, we probably have many more days of drizzle with less actual rainfall on individual days. I'm guessing the type of rain you get down there is more monsoon-like?

Yep, that sounds about right. It really doesn't seem like it's that much, though. We have moderate droughts throughout the summer despite all the rain. I think this past year it got close to 50 inches in my area. Coastal SC gets close to 50 inches on average, annually.

That's what I've heard about Seattle and the massive amounts of rain is really a misconception that many people outside of Seattle hold. Not entirely sure I can accurately conceptualize what a monsoon is... I don't think that's what we experience here. It's mostly unpredictable rain. There could be 10% chance of precipitation and then all of a sudden you get hit with a 5 minute, heavy rain thunder storm in the dead of summer. Afternoon and evening rain is very common and is pretty typical for the deep south in the summer time. Personally I don't mind the rain either way, but since I've started my palm hobby, it gets in the way of those hot and dry growing type of palms and definitely poses some issues. That's why I went the Ribbon palm route and hopefully soon, will get my hands on some Nitidas to experiment with.

I wouldn't go overboard in making a fancy mix to add back into the hole, palms are pretty adaptable to a wide variety of soil conditions. I know in my somewhat limited experience with livistona they seem to appreciate a heavy soil I have decora, chinensis and australis, muelleri growing in some light sandy loam and some decora, chinensis and a saribus growing in some quite heavy clay.

Very cool stuff. I wont be quite so apprehensive if it comes down to planting my chinensis' in a little bit of clay.

Here you go: The first photo is damage after the first ice storm. The second one is new spring growth, and the last one is a photo of how it looked three years before this winter. I never protected this palm and it's directly under some tall loblolly pines. They are as cold hardy as washingtonia robusta, but they grow slower so it takes longer to recover from defoliation.

ah man that's awesome, thanks for sharing the pictures. Such a deep and pretty green color. Hope your Chinensis pulls through and lets hope for future mild winters like we've had in the recent past.

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Interesting note about heat after a freeze. I covered my jubaeopsis this winter under basically a black foam blanket. I did not uncover it quickly though in full sun. Ultimate low was 23 F. It had spear pull and I chunked it Maybe the daytime radiation heating of the sun fried it?

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While the chinensis and decora seeds are still germinating, I decided to go small and plant these guys in the shade next to my house (formally known as option "A").

Oh, and please excuse the "ghettoness" of my backyard- we've actually come a long way with it believe it or not! Haha.

My two natida seedlings. I wound up getting these two from the guy I mentioned that was local. He said these survived the winter blast we had next to a barn/shed sort of building. Can't remember whether or not he said they were covered or not. He trimmed off the bad fronds and here they are today. Looking good despite the terrible winter we had. Notice the beautifully fried rhododendron behind haha.

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Chamaedorea radicalis

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And here's a Microspadix I also bought planted between the two radicalis'

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Are these two planted too close together? I understand the microspadix is a clumping type... Didn't know if I should have spread them out anymore or not.

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Also, these chamaedoreas withstood the crazy temperatures too. He had them underneath the canopy of an ENORMOUS Butia. Can't remember what else he said he did in order to protect them, although he must have done something since they received snow and ice as well.

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I got a santa Catarina queen and a

Mule from that guy. He has good deals.

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