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trioderob

"Hardened off" vs "shade cloth / greenhouse" palms....

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trioderob

what do you gurus think about purchasing hardened off palms that have been thru blazing sun and winter frost

vs palms that are from green houses with 40% shadecloth ?

in other words do you care ?

would you pay a more for a sun grown palm ?

do you mind going thru the acclimation process ?

Edited by trioderob

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virtualpalm

It all depends on the ultimate use/placement of the palm. Most of the shade grown palms are grown for indoor use, at least here in FL. The palms that are grown in full sun tend to be much tougher and hardier than shade-grown palms. But for a deep shade situation, the shade-grown palms might be best. However, I would not pay more for a shade- or sun-grown palm.

Jody

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Matt in SD

I would imagine this is a more important decision in California than it is in Hawaii or Florida where humidity is high. From what I've seen, humidity acclimation is at least as big of a factor as sun acclimation. Palms grown outdoors under shadecloth are much easier to acclimate than greenhouse grown palms. And not all greenhouses are the same...the more crowded, shaded, and humid the greenhouse is, the harder acclimation will be. I don't keep my greenhouse very humid at all, and I don't have too much trouble acclimating I've definitely had palms that were set back about 2 years during acclimation, so a stretched greenhouse palms better be WAY bigger than an outdoor grown palm to be considered the same value for me.

Matt

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newtothis

this subject is my biggest pet peeve. i know better now but i've bought many palms only to watch them go into shock then shrink to normal size because they were grown and stretched out in the shade only to have me throw them into full texas sun.

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trioderob

this is a "must read" on the subject by PHIL at Jungle Music :

http://www.junglemusic.net/palmadvice/palms-acclimation1.htm

"Plants from shade grown areas or greenhouses must be acclimated carefully before planting or placing outdoors, especially in hot or sunny locations. Also, many species should never be grown in full sun. Therefore, when purchasing a plant, ask for sun requirements on the species you are buying. Knowing a plants requirements can avoid any damage to the plant by incorrectly giving it the wrong cultural conditions or too much sun if it is shade-loving.................................. "

Edited by trioderob

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Bags

I have been putting 40% shade cloth over most of my new plantings unless I am certain they can take the exposure. I have plants that have come from a dark green house, gone straight into the ground and had no setbacks using this method. The shade cloth comes off after the plant is larger or has opened a few leaves since planting and there is usually no burn.

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Phil

Bob,

Good topic. We growers have a lot of ideas on this one. Several decades ago Jungle Music used to grow things almost entirely outdoors. Outdoor growth rates were slower and the plant products were not as "pretty" as interior grown plants. But, they might have been tougher. Interior grown plants grew faster. Therefore, with a given amount of time, a grower could produce a bigger plant in the same time when grown inside. But, what I found was that nearly 100% of the time a customer would get the bigger and "prettier" interior grown plant over the outdoor grown, smaller and perhaps a bit more blemished exterior grown plant. With this observation, Jungle Music sought out a growing operation with a lot of greenhouse space. We also made this decision after observing that customers would continually buy weaker but pretty imported plants from more tropical areas like HI. These customers knew that these plants didn't possess much strength or hardiness, yet they would buy them in a heartbeat. So, the decision was made to change our growing conditions.

Having gotten the new greenhouses, I had to make another decision about the conditions I wanted to give plants inside the greenhouses. I wanted to get good growth rates but sell sturdy plants that would do well. We chose to compromise. We decided to let our houses get cold, allow lots of external air to pass through, and keep humididy levels close to outdoors (lower). This meant that our houses always would and do see cold into the mid to low 30's F. inside. I didn't want hot steamy greenhouses because I knew the finished product would be weak and stretched out. For those of you who have visited us, you might remember when you enter the greenhouses you won't find it super humid and muggy. Also, the temperature jump inside is present but not major. This is what we aimed for.

Also, we have always attempted to take plants outdoors when they reach a certain size. Their first step outdoors is under 50% shade cloth. This proved to work fairly well for the nursery.

Overall, these decisions have done well for us and our customers. I know our plants transition well into gardens. Very rarely do we hear about immediate declines or plant losses. But, whether from us or another grower, acclimation is always part of the game. This is especially true if one lives in an interior locality.

In tropical areas like HI or FL, one can grow things outdoors without the need for greenhouses. But, here in So Cal smaller plants and seedlings may struggle outdoors, especially in full sun conditions. This is species dependent of course. But, a grower has to decide what works for him and his customers. I think we came to a workable compromise and our customers are happy.

Phil

Jungle Music

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