21 posts in this topic
Rhapidophyllum hystrix making it "safer" for kids and animals
Wondering if its possible to make this one safer for kids, or will the needles grow back with a vengeance? Reason I ask is Im planning on putting one in an area where balls/kids and animals might go. Thanks yall!
We got around 3" or so. Did not stick to pavement, but eventually piled up on cars, roofs, and plants.
Moving the Needle (Palm)
Below is a portrait of one of my needle palms, and it's not really happy in that spot. It's hard to give it the water it needs. Note the Shoe for scale, 12.5" 32 cm long.
It's been there for a year or two; anyone have experience moving these? I plan to put it in a shadier spot near a couple others and with a lot more water.
I found an interesting population of Rhapidophyllum hystrix in Georgia
I found a small population of Rhapidophyllum hystrix last month in Georgia that I found interesting and worth mentioning.
The female palms there all had below-ground trunks (like Sabal minor), except for a pair of most likely very old palms that had about a foot of above-ground trunk. They were reproducing adults, and I estimate that they were all well over ten years old (maybe quite a bit older). There were very few pups per plant (typically 2-3, but as many as 4-5), and the pups were a greater distance than normal from the mother trunk. The petioles were several feet long, and the palms had a more open appearance than a typical Needle Palm.
It should be noted that these palms were not very far away from a "normal" population, probably less than 50 yards. I'm very curious as to why the trunks don't emerge from the ground. As mentioned, there was a female palm with two trunks that each had about a foot of above-ground trunk (for some reason, I neglected to photograph this palm), so apparently with great age the trunks do emerge. I'm sure that the amount of shade does not play a role, but I can't rule out soil playing a role. Then again, it could just be genetics! I did collect seeds, but it will be years before it can be determined if the below-ground trait is passed on genetically.
There were several males in the vicinity, and one old male (pictured) had several feet of trunk above ground.
Onto the pictures!
Palm #1, with 4-5 trunks. Palm #2 is the last picture.
Young Needle Palm Hardiness
I planted 5 young needle palms along the west side of my driveway, which faces north. While I understand that an open spot for the Northwest winds to blow is bad for palms, I figured that Rhapidophyllum hystrix is the hardiest palm and it should be able to handle it. The only problem is that my needles are young; they are about a foot tall and only two of them are producing mature fan-shaped leaves. I live on Long Island, NY which is USDA Zone 7a. Although the 2016 winter was rather mild it did get down to 0° F once in February. How hardy are needle palms while they are young and how much should I protect them come next winter?