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Small vs Larger palm for zone pushing

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Ok sorry if this topic has been beaten to death, but I am coming up short with google queries. Late last summer I planted a 3 gallon chamerops humilis I bought on a whim at HD that has been nearly unprotected (incandescent rope light around the soil not touching the plant and mulched up a little) in my zone 7a. Its doing very well and actually never stopped growing through winter. It saw brief lows bellow 15F and one extended sub 20F for a couple days with some minor burning but no pull and good growth. So a 3 gallon grown in Miami did well in z7a which seems to contradict some peoples theories. 

 

Well fast forward to last week I bought, again on a whim (see a theme? lol), a Livistona chinensis again from HD and again grown in miami. Well it was on sale and at least 4-5ft tall and might be a bit of a push compared to the chamerops, but is also much larger. Some people seem to think larger are better suited for cold and some say the best way is to put a seedling in and protect it and acclimate over its life (going to do this with some sabal palmetto seedlings my grandma brought me). Either way there will be protection for the first 2-3 years and even protection for freak cold snaps that come after that point. Also will be buying trachycarpus fortunei regular and Bulgarian which is where Im conflicted. I can order 3.5in potted bulgarians for $20 grown in Northern NC (very close climate to mine) or I can spend alot more on 3-4ft established trachycarpus fortunei that were seeded in Alabama (same ground frost depth, but ultimately milder in winter) but sit on the Delmarva peninsula the rest of their lives. 

 

So here I am first day of spring and I cant make up my mind on whether to buy 6 3.5 in potted vs 1 larger specimen. Im not in it to get instant gratification, rather I want the palms to survive and be best suited for long term plantation. So which would yall recomend, smaller or larger plants for zone pushing?

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Welcome to Palm Talk!  Your'e in the right place for sure.  

 

Without knowing where on the DelMarVa you are in MD, and not knowing which zone exactly you are in, (7a or 7b) it makes it a little tougher to help.  As far as your Chermrops,  Unless you keep that protected each winter, or it is near the south side of a building, I would not count on it having a long life.  A hard winter will likely zap it.  The farthest north I have seen these successfully tried outdoors is VA Beach, and they are not bullet proof there either.  They are marginally less cold hardy than T. Fortunei. but not so much that they are not worth a try where you are.  In your zone I would also site T. Fortunei along the south side of a building.  I don't think Windmills are fully hardy in open areas all alone until  you get down to far southern tip of DeMarVa, and the whole tidewater Va area.  If you were to do one out in the open you could prob get away with minimal protection most winters and have it do fine. There are some exceptions to this depending on location though, even as far north as the DC area, but even then I have never seen them ore than 10-15' out from a structure of substantial size.  Near a building on the south side no protection needed at all where you are.    The two species that ware likely bullet proof for you are Sabal Minor (Dward Palmetto)  and Rhapidophyllum Hystrix. (Needle Palm) 

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Posted (edited)

Im not on Delmarva, rather thats where I might buy my trachycarpus. Im actually deep in the Piedmont region of Maryland in a solid 7a zone. I'm pushing my chamerops for sure, but as you see in my avatar that's my palm and how it looked for 95% + of this past winter. I know we have had our mild times, but we also have had record setting lows and more cold than most admit. Bellow is a better picture of how its been for the majority of a western howard county winter! It never stopped growing btw! Honestly I chalk it up to the fact that we have long hot humid summers (LOTS of sugar build up!) and most temps in the winter are above 25F, but again it saw bellow 15F and quite a few teens and low 20s as you see it in the picture. Reason why it was exposed to such low temps is because I got caught off guard while out of town and the wife reported the temps....I thought it would be toast being the first year in ground. 

 

The other picture in my garage is the Livistona chinensis that i got from HD and the final picture is the one sent from the nursery in Salisbury, MD of the size Im considering for the trachycarpus. I am just wondering if I should get seedlings and work them up or buy established plant and protect them for the first few years. Ill continue to mulch and rope light wrap til the end of time but REFUSE to perma wrap my palms, as well as Ill do a green house setup for my hard zone pushing palms (e.g.  Livistona chinensis, chamerops humils and sabal palmetto) when it drops bellow my comfort zone. 

 

Last image are the sabals my grandma brought up from Leesburg where she reports several freezes each year to me. These will definitely be protected more aggressively. The only reason the Livistona chinensis is in the garage now is it was terribly dry and I am trying to nurse it til I plant here in the next day or so...thinking friday might be the day it gets put in the ground! Oh btw all these palms will be within 10 feet of my house with semi optimal placement. The euro is on the northwest side so totally not ideal yet after what its seen I have a newfound respect for this little guy...especially for $20 at HD on a whim! Hoping to get more if they have them in stock as well as some blue ones. 

 

So do yall think I should get a whole mess of small palms and work them up or buy larger palms and acclimate them?

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Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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Welcome to PalmTalk. I applaud your interest in palms for your area. I grew up in No. VA and lived there over 40 years and remember the climate well. Your area of western MD has much colder winters than I grew up with. You say you are 7a but my son in Rockville is in borderline 7a/6b. S. minor and needle palm might survive where you live long term but may need protection during the coldest part of winter. L. chinensis hasn't a prayer of a chance against your winter - better to keep it as a house- or conservatory plant during winter. S. palmetto is not as hardy a S. minor but is so slow growing that you can protect it for years. I can't speak for Trachycarpus as I can't grow that genus but it has possibilities for you. Good ahead and experiment.

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Posted (edited)

I used to work in fairfax county and its about the same there as here from my experience, save for snow. We might get a inch or too more but not much colder. The coldest we got this winter was 12F for a few hours with most weather being 22F-25F and above. The last 3 or 4 winters here in the piedmont have been record setting cold which worries me, but the euro fan pulling through is a huge motivator to push some palms farther. But I can tell you after living in a 6B part of my county that despite getting slightly more snow my current house is very much a 7A and milder/warmer in comparison. Its actually astonishing monitoring the temps as I go west. I see the temp at my 7A work and 7A home the same while 60% of my drive its noticeably cooler.  

 

I do plan on getting either plain trachycarpus or the Bulgarian variation which some say are hardy to 7a. These are the palms I plan on doing little to no protection for once acclimated with the 8a palms getting more protection and being watched like a hawk on cold snaps. I have heard that Livistona chinensis doesnt start to burn til teens or low 20s which is fine since Ill likely protect it at those temps and really those arent very common and almost always nighttime lows. 

 

Still wondering about seedlings vs grown specimens for hardiness and zone pushing if anyone has insight on this.

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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The thing to remember about zones is that they are not guarantees but variables. I'm listed for zone 10a. This last winter I measured z11a. Great deal, right? Well, yeah, except in 2010 I experienced several nights of z9b, including one after a day of ice cold rain. I lost 30+ species of tropical palms that winter. My gardens were decimated. Ever since I keep my uber tropicals in containers on rolling dollies on my back lanai. I haul them indoors when forecasts are below 40F. They will never be planted because some year those 9b temps will clobber me again. As I said, have fun and experiment but know someday the polar vortex will send you greetings.

As for seedlings vs larger plants, that depends on your patience, cash flow and willingness to hunt around. Larger palms give you instant gratification and are not as fragile as seedlings. However, Sabals and needles are so slow growing that you will wait years for them to reach appreciable size and they can be hard to find at nurseries and big box garden centers. Then again, seeds or seedlings are relatively inexpensive and easy to send. There are great people on this forum who might be willing to send you free seeds. If you have specific wants for larger plants you can request someone pm you a quote. Just go to the Palm Exchange for both. And you can also troll eBay for opportunities - but beware! Some sellers are ignorant, unethical or predatory and may outrageously overcharge you for common stuff like Washingtonias. Also be wary of independent online sellers, i.e., "Real Palm Trees", that tout common junk palms for $100s.

Finally, consider going on palm safaris in your area and the Washington Metro area. Focus on independent nurseries as they are most likely to offer unusual palms. A few years ago when I visited my old stomping ground in S. Alexandria off Rt 1, I visited a nursery that sold large Trachycarpus (4-5' tall) in pots (I can't remember if they had smaller ones). Price: $100s but for instant gratification size. I considered one to put in my son's yard in Rockville but as they were somewhat hazardous and my son and daughter-in-law had two small sons, I backed off. If I'd still lived in the area I'd have bought one.

And invest $40-50 in a good palm book. My palm bible is "Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Riffle, Craft & Zona.

 

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5 hours ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

I used to work in fairfax county and its about the same there as here from my experience, save for snow. We might get a inch or too more but not much colder. The coldest we got this winter was 12F for a few hours with most weather being 22F-25F and above. The last 3 or 4 winters here in the piedmont have been record setting cold which worries me, but the euro fan pulling through is a huge motivator to push some palms farther. But I can tell you after living in a 6B part of my county that despite getting slightly more snow my current house is very much a 7A and milder/warmer in comparison. Its actually astonishing monitoring the temps as I go west. I see the temp at my 7A work and 7A home the same while 60% of my drive its noticeably cooler.  

 

I do plan on getting either plain trachycarpus or the Bulgarian variation which some say are hardy to 7a. These are the palms I plan on doing little to no protection for once acclimated with the 8a palms getting more protection and being watched like a hawk on cold snaps. I have heard that Livistona chinensis doesnt start to burn til teens or low 20s which is fine since Ill likely protect it at those temps and really those arent very common and almost always nighttime lows. 

 

Still wondering about seedlings vs grown specimens for hardiness and zone pushing if anyone has insight on this.

I wouldn't get too use to the 8A stuff. As others have tried to point out, unless you do some serious protection some of your palms, will be annuals. And zone 7A by definition means an average winter low of 0-5f so I wouldn't exactly say most your winter weather is 22-25f. That would make you 9A. Good luck with those averages long term. Not trying to be a downer, but I've seen this movie before.

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7 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

The thing to remember about zones is that they are not guarantees but variables. I'm listed for zone 10a. This last winter I measured z11a. Great deal, right? Well, yeah, except in 2010 I experienced several nights of z9b, including one after a day of ice cold rain. I lost 30+ species of tropical palms that winter. My gardens were decimated. Ever since I keep my uber tropicals in containers on rolling dollies on my back lanai. I haul them indoors when forecasts are below 40F. They will never be planted because some year those 9b temps will clobber me again. As I said, have fun and experiment but know someday the polar vortex will send you greetings.

As for seedlings vs larger plants, that depends on your patience, cash flow and willingness to hunt around. Larger palms give you instant gratification and are not as fragile as seedlings. However, Sabals and needles are so slow growing that you will wait years for them to reach appreciable size and they can be hard to find at nurseries and big box garden centers. Then again, seeds or seedlings are relatively inexpensive and easy to send. There are great people on this forum who might be willing to send you free seeds. If you have specific wants for larger plants you can request someone pm you a quote. Just go to the Palm Exchange for both. And you can also troll eBay for opportunities - but beware! Some sellers are ignorant, unethical or predatory and may outrageously overcharge you for common stuff like Washingtonias. Also be wary of independent online sellers, i.e., "Real Palm Trees", that tout common junk palms for $100s.

Finally, consider going on palm safaris in your area and the Washington Metro area. Focus on independent nurseries as they are most likely to offer unusual palms. A few years ago when I visited my old stomping ground in S. Alexandria off Rt 1, I visited a nursery that sold large Trachycarpus (4-5' tall) in pots (I can't remember if they had smaller ones). Price: $100s but for instant gratification size. I considered one to put in my son's yard in Rockville but as they were somewhat hazardous and my son and daughter-in-law had two small sons, I backed off. If I'd still lived in the area I'd have bought one.

And invest $40-50 in a good palm book. My palm bible is "Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Riffle, Craft & Zona.

HA!  I know that nursery well!  They do have an awesome selection of palms and especially large trachys.  They sell them up to 15 or more feet tall. Its called Holly Woods and Vines. Ive purchased from them before. In summer they get massive pigmy date palms.  I had one from there for several years.   I too have that same palm book.  Its awesome! 

I agree with your assessments above about the area and the types / sizes of palms.   I for some reason thought that the OP was on the DelMarVa.  Hoco is a whole different ball of wax.    The only palm that is likely bullet proof there would be Needle Palm. (R. Hystrix).  Chamerops will die unprotected there when we get an actual winter here.  That will have to be permanently protected.   A windmill might survive close to the south side of a sizeable home.  There is (was?) one in Sterling VA that was there for 25 years unprotected and it grew taller than the 2 story house, so those could be possible for you.   Id def protected it unitl its got some good size though.  Seedlings are not likely to make it through any winter that is normal for you, unless fully protected.   

I do commend you on trying though!  with some good solid knowledge and protection of your palms you can do wonderful things.  Ive seen people grow a windmill to 20 feet in northern Minnesota.  Of course it was protected every year with a custom built easy to remove and replace green house, but it worked beautifully.   I doubt youll need that level of protection most winters, so you can prob do a lot more.   Let us know what you decide.  

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Posted (edited)

On 3/21/2017, 8:12:03, NorCalKing said:

I wouldn't get too use to the 8A stuff. As others have tried to point out, unless you do some serious protection some of your palms, will be annuals. And zone 7A by definition means an average winter low of 0-5f so I wouldn't exactly say most your winter weather is 22-25f. That would make you 9A. Good luck with those averages long term. Not trying to be a downer, but I've seen this movie before.

 

Our average low for the coldest month is ~28f-30f with an average high of 35f-37f. BUT it has gotten down to low teens and for very short periods single digits. But winter lows are typically near mid 20s to mid 30s. I do some protection as I showed in the picture of my chamerops humilis that has seen some serious lows by accident and has no pull, still grows (pushed out 2 spears this winter!) and only has slight burning. Its twice the size it was in late august early september when I planted it. I have however built a makshift green house on 2 occasions once when it got in the low teens at night for a few days with highs in the 20s for daytime and the other time was when we got snow last week knowing it would be super heavy. So yeah we are a 7a but have alot of 8a+ weather and our growing season is long and hot/humid with super mild winters. 

 

So yeah the 8a palms will see rope lights and mulching for 100% of the winter (as shown in my pic) and on the bad days Ill build structures to protect for freak or snap events. But I see both sitting out for most of the winter or even all winter if we go back to pre 2010 winters :P I will hopefully post some videos about some of my subtropicals as a sort of journel of their first couple of years. 1

 

On 3/21/2017, 4:53:52, PalmatierMeg said:

The thing to remember about zones is that they are not guarantees but variables. I'm listed for zone 10a. This last winter I measured z11a. Great deal, right? Well, yeah, except in 2010 I experienced several nights of z9b, including one after a day of ice cold rain. I lost 30+ species of tropical palms that winter. My gardens were decimated. Ever since I keep my uber tropicals in containers on rolling dollies on my back lanai. I haul them indoors when forecasts are below 40F. They will never be planted because some year those 9b temps will clobber me again. As I said, have fun and experiment but know someday the polar vortex will send you greetings.

As for seedlings vs larger plants, that depends on your patience, cash flow and willingness to hunt around. Larger palms give you instant gratification and are not as fragile as seedlings. However, Sabals and needles are so slow growing that you will wait years for them to reach appreciable size and they can be hard to find at nurseries and big box garden centers. Then again, seeds or seedlings are relatively inexpensive and easy to send. There are great people on this forum who might be willing to send you free seeds. If you have specific wants for larger plants you can request someone pm you a quote. Just go to the Palm Exchange for both. And you can also troll eBay for opportunities - but beware! Some sellers are ignorant, unethical or predatory and may outrageously overcharge you for common stuff like Washingtonias. Also be wary of independent online sellers, i.e., "Real Palm Trees", that tout common junk palms for $100s.

Finally, consider going on palm safaris in your area and the Washington Metro area. Focus on independent nurseries as they are most likely to offer unusual palms. A few years ago when I visited my old stomping ground in S. Alexandria off Rt 1, I visited a nursery that sold large Trachycarpus (4-5' tall) in pots (I can't remember if they had smaller ones). Price: $100s but for instant gratification size. I considered one to put in my son's yard in Rockville but as they were somewhat hazardous and my son and daughter-in-law had two small sons, I backed off. If I'd still lived in the area I'd have bought one.

And invest $40-50 in a good palm book. My palm bible is "Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Riffle, Craft & Zona.

 

I totally understand that one year we could classify as a much higher or slightly lower zone depending on the year. Heaven knows the last 3+ winters and 2010 were pretty bad and even record setting for snow and low temperatures. As for that nasty word...polar vortex...I will be vigilant in protecting the palms per the temps I feel comfortable with, but they will always have some light "enhancements" to help them along. Lord knows what I did helped my chamerops humils grow even in winter. But as far as containers are concerned that's not an option for me. I will push hard and protect to a certain point, if they die then Ill move on to new experiments. 

 

 

EDIT: Sorry yall this was supposed to post days ago and for some reason didnt. 

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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On 3/22/2017, 12:17:14, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

HA!  I know that nursery well!  They do have an awesome selection of palms and especially large trachys.  They sell them up to 15 or more feet tall. Its called Holly Woods and Vines. Ive purchased from them before. In summer they get massive pigmy date palms.  I had one from there for several years.   I too have that same palm book.  Its awesome! 

I agree with your assessments above about the area and the types / sizes of palms.   I for some reason thought that the OP was on the DelMarVa.  Hoco is a whole different ball of wax.    The only palm that is likely bullet proof there would be Needle Palm. (R. Hystrix).  Chamerops will die unprotected there when we get an actual winter here.  That will have to be permanently protected.   A windmill might survive close to the south side of a sizeable home.  There is (was?) one in Sterling VA that was there for 25 years unprotected and it grew taller than the 2 story house, so those could be possible for you.   Id def protected it unitl its got some good size though.  Seedlings are not likely to make it through any winter that is normal for you, unless fully protected.   

I do commend you on trying though!  with some good solid knowledge and protection of your palms you can do wonderful things.  Ive seen people grow a windmill to 20 feet in northern Minnesota.  Of course it was protected every year with a custom built easy to remove and replace green house, but it worked beautifully.   I doubt youll need that level of protection most winters, so you can prob do a lot more.   Let us know what you decide.  

 

The only palms that will ever go unprotected are needle, sabal minor (if I so choose to grow them) and trachycarpus fortunei. All will be protected for the first 2-3 winters and if we so happen to get freak weather I would not be against protecting them if I so feel the need. But none of my 8a palms will go 100% unprotected. The reason I think palms will do better than what the zone denotes is while we can get low, 99% of the temps arent terminal even for 8a palms like chamerops. Night time lows rarely go bellow high teens and when it does its a short period and rare occurrence. With my hawkish weather monitoring Id be prepared to protect further if need be. Burning or stunting growth and possibly even defoliation will occur Im sure, But Im prepared and more than willing to put in the work to push them. 

 

The idea on seedlings has now put to rest my worries and my decision is clear. Thanks to PalmatierMeg and DCA_Palm_Fan for the information on size and hardiness. I will surely buy more established plants and acclimate them for a while. 

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Not sure if you've made up your mind yet as to what size palms to buy. I think you should consider a couple of factors. First, how fast or slow the species grows, and how marginal it is for you. For species that are moderately hardy for you and which grow fast, I'd stick to buying multiple small plants. That way you can have extra palms, should you lose any. On the other hand, I'd stick to buying larger, older plants of species which either grow very slow, or are very marginal for your climate. They will tend to recover faster if damaged and will give you instant gratification, as Meg posted up there. :indifferent:

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I will agree with others who posted here about being cautiously optimistic on your climate. Grow what you can for as long as you can, but keep in mind that nature will always win. My area is considered z9b, and though our average temperatures don't dip below 38 degrees F, that is all that number is: an average. If I went by averages, I'd be considered z10b, which I most definitely am not (judging by the fact that I don't have a grove of Dictyocaryum lamarckianum in my front yard) :violin:. Some years, I'll have zone 10a winter (like this past winter), but I know that I can just as easily have a handful of 27F, 28F and 29F nights each year. Because of that I plant the marginal stuff, like this king palm, close to the house or in protected areas, knowing that while they may not be damaged most years, there is the eminent threat of a true, zone 9 winter. I bought this king palm as a small, 1-gallon plant because it is a fast grower. The fan leaf at the bottom of the picture belongs to sabal yapa, which is so slow-growing that I decided to start with a nice, 5-gallon size plant. Both can be damaged in my area if we experience a particularly cold winter. 

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See the way the weather works around here (for the 33 years I have lived here) We usually have zone 8a+ winters with true zone 7a every decade or so. BUT the last 4 years have been brutal and record setting winters which does worry me, but also makes me think I have about a decade til they return (maybe more like the late 80s post freeze til early 2000s). Despite having quite a few mild times this past winter also set record lows in march and feburary and up until today we have mostly been 20-30 bellow average temps. So I still consider this past winter pretty rough with the low points we had, the early frosts and 3 polar vortex hitting us. Despite all that we rarely go bellow 25F but it happens and its usually at night for short periods. Its also extremely rare to see sub 15F and even then its only for a few hours and this is all even during record setting cold winters. So zone 7a weather hits but only once every few years and its brief. 

 

But yes you could say I'm cautiously optimistic. I still watch the weather like a hawk and still will do minimal protection for 8a plants for the rare terminal temps that may happen. But I also accept that my plants will be stunted growing them here, but the goal isnt to set a record size plant, rather its to see what I can push with as little protection as possible while still being considered "healthy". If the chamerops humils makes it through a 2nd winter and the livistona chinensis makes it through 1 I may experiment further, but likely will stick to zone 8 plants as Im 100% sure zone 9 plants will need severe protection and Im not interested in wrapping every year for a stunted plant. Occasional 15 minute makeshift temporary green house sure, wrapping for the winter no thanks! But no matter what the scientist in me wants to push more so time will tell! 

 

Definitely will stick with larger specimens and maybe work on a permanent greenhouse for seedlings and such if I can get seed from my plants. Hoping with our long hot summers I can get some serious growth. 

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60s with a high of 75F looks like a perfect day to plant the Livistona chinensis! might also pick up more on my morning HD run if they have them lol!

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Your bitter cold winters may signal a trend back to harsher winters like we had in the early 80s. Too often lows would plummet to 0-10F. People's pipes would freeze inside houses and crack. When a thaw came all those cracked pipes burst and sprayed water everywhere. One Christmas in the early 80s it set a low of -7F at our house. I wouldn't let my kids outdoors to visit friends and show off their toys. That was extreme but low teens were all too common. The 80s FL freezes are legendary.

Your Livistona will love spring through fall and should grow fast. Just be prepared to protect it with supplemental heat come winter.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/25/2017, 12:04:29, PalmatierMeg said:

Your bitter cold winters may signal a trend back to harsher winters like we had in the early 80s. Too often lows would plummet to 0-10F. People's pipes would freeze inside houses and crack. When a thaw came all those cracked pipes burst and sprayed water everywhere. One Christmas in the early 80s it set a low of -7F at our house. I wouldn't let my kids outdoors to visit friends and show off their toys. That was extreme but low teens were all too common. The 80s FL freezes are legendary.

Your Livistona will love spring through fall and should grow fast. Just be prepared to protect it with supplemental heat come winter.

 

Yeah any extreme pushing palms or plants I do will get mulch and rope lights to prevent ground freeze and root damage and will also see temporary greenhouses on extreme nights. I'm prepared for whatever comes and am willing to put in the work as well as realize that there will be some burning and there will be some defoliation and possible death. But I feel confident that our hot humid summers will be in my favor. 

 

As for planting and such I got them all in the ground! I got lucky and on a whim went to HD and found the trachycarpus fortunei buggy before they offloaded to the shelves. I wish I had more $$ as there was an AMAZING chamerops humils I wanted too, but those are much easier to get and tbh Id rather have 1 blue and 1 green as well as pump resources into trachycarpus instead. Bought 5 out of 6 and might grab the 6th for good measure as my target palm to grow is the trachycarpus (any variation other than wagi...). So I won the lottery with my HD run and finally have the palms I want in the ground. Don't mind the dirt and such I haven't mulched or weeded yet. Last picture is the chamerops humils that wintered here exposed for all but 4 or 5 days this winter. Looks rough, but actually put out spears and noticeable grow this winter surprisingly. 

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Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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They look great!  

I'm starting to see some small Chamerops and Trachy's at my local HD as well.  Went in there for some canned air and WD40 a few days ago and they had plenty of them.   

Your chinese fan palm will need full on greenhouse protection in your zone once temps fall to around freezing.   I would do the same for the others for the first 2-3 winters, and subsequently if it gets bitter cold. ( mind teens or lower)   As far as the lights, whatever you do make certain they are the old fashioned incandescent lights and NOT LED.  LED do not give off much if any eat and will not help at all.     I would also higly recommend you getting a Thermocube as well.  That way the lights wont accidently get left on when temps warm and you fry your palms.  I know this because I did it.  I laterally cooked my windmill one winter as I forgot to turn the lights off around the pot and trunk and it was wrapped in plastic.  It got up to 43 in full sun.  When i found it about 4 hours after the sun was on it, it was probably near 120 degrees or so inside the plastic.  Palm fried.   

 

Keep us posted!    Welcome to the addiction that will drain your wallet and constantly have you thinking of moving to a warmer climate.   LOL! 

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

They look great!  

I'm starting to see some small Chamerops and Trachy's at my local HD as well.  Went in there for some canned air and WD40 a few days ago and they had plenty of them.   

Your chinese fan palm will need full on greenhouse protection in your zone once temps fall to around freezing.   I would do the same for the others for the first 2-3 winters, and subsequently if it gets bitter cold. ( mind teens or lower)   As far as the lights, whatever you do make certain they are the old fashioned incandescent lights and NOT LED.  LED do not give off much if any eat and will not help at all.     I would also higly recommend you getting a Thermocube as well.  That way the lights wont accidently get left on when temps warm and you fry your palms.  I know this because I did it.  I laterally cooked my windmill one winter as I forgot to turn the lights off around the pot and trunk and it was wrapped in plastic.  It got up to 43 in full sun.  When i found it about 4 hours after the sun was on it, it was probably near 120 degrees or so inside the plastic.  Palm fried.   

 

Keep us posted!    Welcome to the addiction that will drain your wallet and constantly have you thinking of moving to a warmer climate.   LOL! 

 

I placed the fan palm closer to the house for the warming effect and protection ease. I heard that burning doesn't happen til low 20s with defoliation in the teens, but hardy to 10-15F. Either way it will be protected every winter with rope lights (incandescent) much like the one I had on my chamerops humils in the first set of pictures as well as mulching around the base to help stave off frost on the base and roots. Usually the ground is diggable year round, but we do get a few occurances where the ground freezes a few inches down. So far this method helped my euro fan palm survive mostly exposed so I will use it on the chinese fan palm as well as I might even do lights on the trunks. The great thing about the rope light I used is it helped raise by a zone or 2, but never got too hot as to fry the plant. On average I would measure 5-15F above the ambient temps.

 

I will be upping my game on temperature reading as Im pretty sure I fried my outdoor sensor this past weekend, but I have always watched the temps at the palm as intently was I monitor the regional temps. As for the addiction well you got me there. My wife is already going off on how many palms we have and calling me all kinds of crazy. I mean come on we only have 7 palms and 4 yucca gloriosa var lone star....She calls it the spikey corner of the house lol. Oh and talking of warmer climates I have done alot of traveling to Tampa/Clearwater/St pete and have always wanted to move there since I was a kid. The running joke is when the kids are grown Im retiring to tampa (early) and she is more than welcome to join me or we can be pen pals. :evil:

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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Your wife should come visit our homestead. Then she would feel blessed you have only 7 palms.

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Just now, PalmatierMeg said:

Your wife should come visit our homestead. Then she would feel blessed you have only 7 palms.

 

Oh this is only the start. I will have many more trachycarpus before years end....hopefully....

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On 3/27/2017, 2:44:41, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

 

I placed the fan palm closer to the house for the warming effect and protection ease. I heard that burning doesn't happen til low 20s with defoliation in the teens, but hardy to 10-15F. Either way it will be protected every winter with rope lights (incandescent) much like the one I had on my chamerops humils in the first set of pictures as well as mulching around the base to help stave off frost on the base and roots. Usually the ground is diggable year round, but we do get a few occurances where the ground freezes a few inches down. So far this method helped my euro fan palm survive mostly exposed so I will use it on the chinese fan palm as well as I might even do lights on the trunks. The great thing about the rope light I used is it helped raise by a zone or 2, but never got too hot as to fry the plant. On average I would measure 5-15F above the ambient temps.

 

I will be upping my game on temperature reading as Im pretty sure I fried my outdoor sensor this past weekend, but I have always watched the temps at the palm as intently was I monitor the regional temps. As for the addiction well you got me there. My wife is already going off on how many palms we have and calling me all kinds of crazy. I mean come on we only have 7 palms and 4 yucca gloriosa var lone star....She calls it the spikey corner of the house lol. Oh and talking of warmer climates I have done alot of traveling to Tampa/Clearwater/St pete and have always wanted to move there since I was a kid. The running joke is when the kids are grown Im retiring to tampa (early) and she is more than welcome to join me or we can be pen pals. :evil:

LOL.  "the spikey corner"  Love it!  lol. 

Well I wish you all the best.  I know that chinese fans are very root hardy, but I would expect full defoliation most normal 7A winters without some kind of covering and supplemental heat.   Rope lights work great as long as they are incandescant.  Its not the lights that burn the, its any supplemental wrapping or protection.  My palm fried because it was wrapped in plastic up to the growing point, and the lights were under the plastic as it should be.  The issue happened when the temps rose and then the sun got on it.  It literally fried it.  I was so mad at myself.  

I will be finally moving to FLA, either St. Petersburg, or Fort Lauderdale, by july / august after waiting for 12 or more years to do it.  Nothing keeping me in DC anymore.  Not a retirement place for me as im 45, and fortunately St. Pete has dramatically changed for the better in the last 7 years. Average age has dropped from the mid 60's to mid 30's and the place is vibrant and booming!     Fort lauderdale I love the city and the climate is even better.  The other draw are those awesome beaches, and the fact that im such a short ( 6 hour ) drive to my friends place in key west!  Ft lauderdale also reminds me of Northern VA in many ways, not the least of which is demographics, culture, political leanings, etc.     I say don't wait, follow your dreams and go.  Youve only got one life man.  I am going later than I wanted but much earlier than most get to do things like this.  WOOT!   

 

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Posted (edited)

On 3/27/2017, 4:58:57, PalmatierMeg said:

 

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

LOL.  "the spikey corner"  Love it!  lol. 

Well I wish you all the best.  I know that chinese fans are very root hardy, but I would expect full defoliation most normal 7A winters without some kind of covering and supplemental heat.   Rope lights work great as long as they are incandescant.  Its not the lights that burn the, its any supplemental wrapping or protection.  My palm fried because it was wrapped in plastic up to the growing point, and the lights were under the plastic as it should be.  The issue happened when the temps rose and then the sun got on it.  It literally fried it.  I was so mad at myself.  

I will be finally moving to FLA, either St. Petersburg, or Fort Lauderdale, by july / august after waiting for 12 or more years to do it.  Nothing keeping me in DC anymore.  Not a retirement place for me as im 45, and fortunately St. Pete has dramatically changed for the better in the last 7 years. Average age has dropped from the mid 60's to mid 30's and the place is vibrant and booming!     Fort lauderdale I love the city and the climate is even better.  The other draw are those awesome beaches, and the fact that im such a short ( 6 hour ) drive to my friends place in key west!  Ft lauderdale also reminds me of Northern VA in many ways, not the least of which is demographics, culture, political leanings, etc.     I say don't wait, follow your dreams and go.  Youve only got one life man.  I am going later than I wanted but much earlier than most get to do things like this.  WOOT!   

 

 

Yeah my wife will NEVER move to Florida, so it looks like it would be a solo move. I have done alot of traveling to the Tampa/St pete/Clearwater area and even have friends and family there and in Leesburg. I LOVE that part of the state and hate when its time to come home. I wish I could move there right now and never look back, but most of my family and friends are still in the DMV and therefore we will likely stay for a while. Im only 33 so I guess I have time, but in all honesty every day Im looking at Florida weather and flora and dreaming of what could have been (was supposed to go to school there and start my life after there too). But I guess its all for a reason as I married my best friend (even if she doesnt want to move to FL!!!) and 2 wonderful kids and a nice homestead in the country. As far as politics are concerned Im very much against overt left or right politics so FT Lauderdale might not be for me being a libertarian/classical liberal/right of center. One day Ill get a condo or small house down there and maybe Ill come back up to the DMV to spend a month or 2 with my pen pal/wife :P

 

As for the rope lights they are incandescent and they do put some decent heat off. When I build a green house it looks like the picture bellow. I leave alot of space and if the greenhouse is up for more than a day I put a fan in there to stir air and help lower humidity. All in all the chamerops humils spent only a few days in that this winter and it was able to raise the temp 10-20F at times while the mulch and rope light alone was a zone or 2 at best, but kept the ground from frosting on extreme nights. Also I think the reason it grew all winter despite being nearly fully exposed is due to the lights keeping the ground much warmer than the surrounding ground. Honestly We only had 2 times this year where the ground froze and even when it did it felt like it was only a couple inches down. But we did get 3 polar vortex ( the chamerops saw 1 of those exposed). 

20161219_222649 (2).jpg

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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On 3/29/2017, 11:37:08, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

Yeah my wife will NEVER move to Florida, so it looks like it would be a solo move. I have done alot of traveling to the Tampa/St pete/Clearwater area and even have friends and family there and in Leesburg. I LOVE that part of the state and hate when its time to come home. I wish I could move there right now and never look back, but most of my family and friends are still in the DMV and therefore we will likely stay for a while. Im only 33 so I guess I have time, but in all honesty every day Im looking at Florida weather and flora and dreaming of what could have been (was supposed to go to school there and start my life after there too). But I guess its all for a reason as I married my best friend (even if she doesnt want to move to FL!!!) and 2 wonderful kids and a nice homestead in the country. As far as politics are concerned Im very much against overt left or right politics so FT Lauderdale might not be for me being a libertarian/classical liberal/right of center. One day Ill get a condo or small house down there and maybe Ill come back up to the DMV to spend a month or 2 with my pen pal/wife :P

 

As for the rope lights they are incandescent and they do put some decent heat off. When I build a green house it looks like the picture bellow. I leave alot of space and if the greenhouse is up for more than a day I put a fan in there to stir air and help lower humidity. All in all the chamerops humils spent only a few days in that this winter and it was able to raise the temp 10-20F at times while the mulch and rope light alone was a zone or 2 at best, but kept the ground from frosting on extreme nights. Also I think the reason it grew all winter despite being nearly fully exposed is due to the lights keeping the ground much warmer than the surrounding ground. Honestly We only had 2 times this year where the ground froze and even when it did it felt like it was only a couple inches down. But we did get 3 polar vortex ( the chamerops saw 1 of those exposed). 

20161219_222649 (2).jpg

HA!   Yeah im just slightly left of you. just a tad. HAHA! 

I am not tied to anyone even though I do have some family still here and load and loads of friends. Im 45 now and its time to go! LOL!   I mean I would take VA Beach any day if I had to, but fortunately that plan has changed for the better and now its going to be southern FL (St. Pete or Ft Lauderdale)  so its a WIN for me. YAY!  

 

That little greenhouse thing looks awesome!  What materials did you use to make it?  Love the temp monitoring too! 

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17 hours ago, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

HA!   Yeah im just slightly left of you. just a tad. HAHA! 

I am not tied to anyone even though I do have some family still here and load and loads of friends. Im 45 now and its time to go! LOL!   I mean I would take VA Beach any day if I had to, but fortunately that plan has changed for the better and now its going to be southern FL (St. Pete or Ft Lauderdale)  so its a WIN for me. YAY!  

 

That little greenhouse thing looks awesome!  What materials did you use to make it?  Love the temp monitoring too! 

 

Its just a cheapo temp gauge from lowes and I used garden support sticks (the green bumpy looking things) with 6 mil plastic drop cloth. It worked very well, although the time it got to 12F for a few hours the inside was down to 19F, but that was the second greenhouse and it was poorly made. Now I have nearly perfected the process so all is well. VA beach is cool and all, bt if I went that far Id just go a little farther and go to OBX. 

 

Oh and my vote is DEFINITELY for St Pete! The Tampa/Orlando/Ocala triangle is the BEST part of Florida in my opinion. My grandparents are in Leesburg (where I got the sabal seedlings from). 

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Still, genus little green houses.  I know those green stakes very very well. LOL. 

I love Saint Pete.  I like Tampa a lot too.  Anywhere that is modern, Cosmopolitan,diverse ( culturally, racially, and any other way you can think of)  

I love Fort Lauderdale equally, and I love its climate even more.  More true tropical (Its considered a Tropical Rainforest climate: Koppen Af)   Its a great city, nice area all around, and lots of great little mini cities mixed in.   Ive been to both places many many times and love them. Its a win win no matter where I end up really. 

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On 4/1/2017, 2:06:01, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

Still, genus little green houses.  I know those green stakes very very well. LOL. 

I love Saint Pete.  I like Tampa a lot too.  Anywhere that is modern, Cosmopolitan,diverse ( culturally, racially, and any other way you can think of)  

I love Fort Lauderdale equally, and I love its climate even more.  More true tropical (Its considered a Tropical Rainforest climate: Koppen Af)   Its a great city, nice area all around, and lots of great little mini cities mixed in.   Ive been to both places many many times and love them. Its a win win no matter where I end up really. 

 

Well just go to Ybor city at night and youll see diverse lol. But I definitely recommend during the day too because the Cuban sandwhich you can get there and chase it with a blind tiger coffee and youll be happier than a pig in mud! Tampa/St pete/Clearwater is a pretty solid 9B in the north/eastern areas and solid 10B around the bay and all of St Pete and Clearwater (my favorite spot!). One thing I love about that area is driving on the gandy bridge and just stopping on a whim at a little beach to wade in the bay. Which brings me to my next point the gulf is SO MUCH better than the atlantic. Don't let my bias sway you though :P

 

As for the "greenhouse" thats what Im going to put around the chamerops, Chinese fan and the sagos I plan on planting when I find the time. The trachycarpus might see that if it gets real cold, but that would come down to judgement.  

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