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MattyB

Foxtails in California

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MattyB

A lot of people have trouble growing foxtails here in CA. I never really thought about it much and just assumed that maybe they had bad drainage or something, because Paul has a bunch of them and they look awesome! Maybe I'm just mezmorized by the fuzzy silver crownshafts and never looked at the leaves closely. But even planted in my best micro-climate I've noticed that my foxtails get a lot of burn and spotting on most of the leaves. Is this a palm that's just difficult to grow? Is it more cold sensitive than I first thought? What are your experiences with Foxtail Palms?

post-126-021755600 1327942675_thumb.jpg

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OB Burt

Matty,

I have 2 that look really good, and one in the front yard that looks continually bad as if it has cold spotting even in summer. The 2 that look good were planted out small and not doing well. I think the other is from seed I obtained from Florida. I don't think they are quite as cold hardy as advertised.My next door neighbor has one that is flourishing

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LJG

I think those spots are a leaf fungus that easily hit foxtails in winter. I sprayed daconil on my foxtails and other palms that get this in winter ( C. nuceale for example) and it helped a lot. Mine have less spotting this year.

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QUINNPALMS

I have a few larger ones that really grow fast and thrive , but same observations with you , on the spotting and slight discoloration of the leaves.... The trunks are great. It seems to me they really love the heat.

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MattyB

My small ones that are only a couple of years old from seed are definitely spotting. Maybe Len is right about that fungus thing. I never even thought about that.

My larger ones don't really spot but, as you can see from the one in my pic, they seem to turn yellow and brown tip on a lot of the lower leaves. Maybe it's because we don't have enough heat or humidity to keep them super happy. Maybe it's that typical SoCal palm look, where they'll live and grow great, but our dry, Mediterranean style climate takes it toll on the beauty of the leaves. :huh:

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Gonzer

There's a dude down in Carlsbad who's got about a half dozen lining his apartment complex. 1/4 mile to the beach and they look great albeit not super fast. Maybe 10' plus.

Edited by Gonzer

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quaman58

This are a palm that seems to defy simple answers; I see good ones here & bad ones there with few obvious clues as to why. I planted one at a rental property that was in solid sandstone in a hole not much bigger than the 5 gallon rootball. It was trunking & looking beautiful within a year. Go figure.

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MattyB

I remember Jessie Bergman saying that when he visited Australia people had mentioned that there's 3 different varieties that perform differently. Something about the color of the leaflet to rachis attachment point being a clue as to which one it is. Red, Yellow, Green if I remember correctly.

Any Aussies have any insight to this?

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Joe palma

Thats a bad sign Matt when you have multiple fronds that are turning yellow w/ necrotic leaflet tips during the winter.

This is exactly what happened to mine before they all croaked (6 of them, except one that is flowering and has 3/4 opened fronds, that are green, but funky due to not opening all the way. Flowering probably cause it thinks the end is near).

They get root rot. Every one that died had it. Clay soil? or some pathogen in it that leads to root rot?

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MattyB

Hmmmmmm. I didn't think of that Joe. I think that mine has looked like this all summer but maybe you've just caught an early sign of rot. I'll keep an eye on it, but I doubt there's anything I can do if that's really the case. :hmm:

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dp92651

Good timing on your post, I was just addressing mine yesterday evening...getting ready to take the chainsaw to it. By far the worst performing palm in my collection. I have 4 in the ground, only one looks and grows decently. My tallest (one of the first palms I ever purchased and is a florida import) has been in the ground for 3.5 years and grown 2 fronds in that time. The others are much smaller hawaii imports but still just dont look good. Even my veitchia arecina's and bentinckia condapanna do far better.

I dont think it gets hot enough for the foxtail here in Laguna.

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richnorm

I'm obviously not in Cali. but wonder if you guys have the problem of spears not opening. My potted foxtail with a couple of feet of trunk has three spears and is starting a fourth but only two leaves. It never looks good but I haven't the heart to kill it.

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stygiana

It's maybe a coincidence, but Monica in the Balearic islands (Mediterranean) just posted a few questions about Wodyetia a few days ago.

I'm quite interested by climatic limits.

Although the Canary are not Hawaii, I was amazed when I arrived to see how beautiful Wodyetias (and many others species) looked here even in the middle of the winter, or in late winter and spring, while so-called "healthy, vigourous handsome" specimens on the coast of Andalucia (with a climate similar to SoCal) never honestly looked that great...

However, I saw some time ago a photo of a triple-trunk Wodyetia in SoCal on Palmtalk that looked quite nice.

Most of you probably saw it, but here it is, just in case (post nº17 by osideterry):

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=6742

The shot was taken in late July... Not sure if they look just that fine in March :unsure:

Actually, on quite a few occasions, I read posts mentioning "flourishing specimens" of notoriously borderline species in Mediterranean climes (Veitchia, Pinanga, Wodyetia, Carpentaria, Elaeis, etc). Big plants OK. But Hawaii-like flourishing looking? Mmmmmh :huh:

OB Burt and Gonzer, could you please post a few freshly shot pictures?

MattyB, your note concerning the 3 different types is very interesting. I hope some folks in Australia will answer that. Never hear of it before, sounds exciting (I've got friends in Portugal and Andalucia who would be delighted to have nicer looking Wodyetias!!!). ;)

Edited by Sebastian Bano

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dp92651

I'm obviously not in Cali. but wonder if you guys have the problem of spears not opening. My potted foxtail with a couple of feet of trunk has three spears and is starting a fourth but only two leaves. It never looks good but I haven't the heart to kill it.

Yes, I have that problem w/ just one of mine. Last speak developed 99% but never opened. I kind of pulled it apart yesterday and leaves are quite healthy. It has two new spears coming up and look like they are going to open, will keep you posted.

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LJG

I'm obviously not in Cali. but wonder if you guys have the problem of spears not opening. My potted foxtail with a couple of feet of trunk has three spears and is starting a fourth but only two leaves. It never looks good but I haven't the heart to kill it.

Rich, this seems to be common too with these palms here. I have seen it a few times in my garden and others. They won't open I believe from dehydration. Over time (years sometimes) the palm will start to get lose when you push on it and a while later it usually falls over or dies in place. The results were from root rot. As roots were rotting, it was causing the new fronds to be dehydrated and not open. Foxtails seem to have a small margin for error. They are either robust and healthy palms, or they slowly die. Certainly not one of those palms that can look like crap and continue to live.

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DoomsDave

Hmm.

I've had bad luck, mostly.

But, a few good ones, too.

Baby ones, well-grown, or well-grown large plants both work well.

BUT

those cheapies in from Florida end up as compost. They don't seem to like getting their roots thrashed.

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Jim in Los Altos

It's maybe a coincidence, but Monica in the Balearic islands (Mediterranean) just posted a few questions about Wodyetia a few days ago.

I'm quite interested by climatic limits.

Although the Canary are not Hawaii, I was amazed when I arrived to see how beautiful Wodyetias (and many others species) looked here even in the middle of the winter, or in late winter and spring, while so-called "healthy, vigourous handsome" specimens on the coast of Andalucia (with a climate similar to SoCal) never honestly looked that great...

However, I saw some time ago a photo of a triple-trunk Wodyetia in SoCal on Palmtalk that looked quite nice.

Most of you probably saw it, but here it is, just in case (post nº17 by osideterry):

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=6742

The shot was taken in late July... Not sure if they look just that fine in March :unsure:

Actually, on quite a few occasions, I read posts mentioning "flourishing specimens" of notoriously borderline species in Mediterranean climes (Veitchia, Pinanga, Wodyetia, Carpentaria, Elaeis, etc). Big plants OK. But Hawaii-like flourishing looking? Mmmmmh :huh:

OB Burt and Gonzer, could you please post a few freshly shot pictures?

MattyB, your note concerning the 3 different types is very interesting. I hope some folks in Australia will answer that. Never hear of it before, sounds exciting (I've got friends in Portugal and Andalucia who would be delighted to have nicer looking Wodyetias!!!). ;)

Sabastian, that triple is nice but it appears to be Archontophoenix, not Wodyeta.

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Jim in Los Altos

I tried for years to grow foxtails and the longest that one survived was five years and actually formed some ringed trunk before suddenly croaking one winter. I planted a foxy lady last autumn and it has actually continued growing through the winter to my surprise. My foxtails typically only grew during the warmest months and very slowly at that.

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Mike in Nelson

I'm obviously not in Cali. but wonder if you guys have the problem of spears not opening. My potted foxtail with a couple of feet of trunk has three spears and is starting a fourth but only two leaves. It never looks good but I haven't the heart to kill it.

Richard, do you leave your Foxtail outside all year round or bring it in for winter? Just wondering why you haven't put it in the ground.

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Mr Cycad

I don't grow this species because I'm in Normanbya habitat, but since no one else has chimed I'll have a crack...

Firstly, what are you guys feeding them? Seeing other post in and around this place, I'll almost bet it's a problem with too much fertiliser (burn (or not the right stuff)). What N-P-K ratio are you are using (assuming it's an inorganic product)?

These guys (like a heap of well known Aussie natives) can't handle lots of phosphorus as per all that inorganic stuff that is so frequently used. Our soil over here (generally (not in my parts of the woods for example), and you guys probably know this already) are naturally low in nutrients (because we have some of the oldest land surfaces on earth and lack recent volcanic activity) - especially phosphorus & nitrogen. That said, it is still made up of very complex soil biota which has adapted to the local conditions over the eons (one of the reason why lots of folks have problems with Macrozamia sp. for example overseas).

Building up the microbes in your soil is going to be the best solution/outcome everyday of the week and I'd suggest thinking along those lines for a fix (feed the soil, not the plant).

Jim - you obviously didn't scroll down and missed post #17 that Sebastian was talking about. Just saying*

I hope that gets you thinking and has been of some benefit.

Happy growing.

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stygiana

It's maybe a coincidence, but Monica in the Balearic islands (Mediterranean) just posted a few questions about Wodyetia a few days ago.

I'm quite interested by climatic limits.

Although the Canary are not Hawaii, I was amazed when I arrived to see how beautiful Wodyetias (and many others species) looked here even in the middle of the winter, or in late winter and spring, while so-called "healthy, vigourous handsome" specimens on the coast of Andalucia (with a climate similar to SoCal) never honestly looked that great...

However, I saw some time ago a photo of a triple-trunk Wodyetia in SoCal on Palmtalk that looked quite nice.

Most of you probably saw it, but here it is, just in case (post nº17 by osideterry):

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=6742

The shot was taken in late July... Not sure if they look just that fine in March :unsure:

Actually, on quite a few occasions, I read posts mentioning "flourishing specimens" of notoriously borderline species in Mediterranean climes (Veitchia, Pinanga, Wodyetia, Carpentaria, Elaeis, etc). Big plants OK. But Hawaii-like flourishing looking? Mmmmmh :huh:

OB Burt and Gonzer, could you please post a few freshly shot pictures?

MattyB, your note concerning the 3 different types is very interesting. I hope some folks in Australia will answer that. Never hear of it before, sounds exciting (I've got friends in Portugal and Andalucia who would be delighted to have nicer looking Wodyetias!!!). ;)

Sabastian, that triple is nice but it appears to be Archontophoenix, not Wodyeta.

Dear Jim, you who always amaze me with your successful while considered impossible-to-grow species in SF area, I'm always happy to read your posts... But, hummmm, :crying: I am so terribly sorry, but I have to insist, this is not Archontophœnix, but most definitely Wodyetia...

And I must say that it is, so far, one of the very few truly descent specimen I saw in such a climate. And three for the price of one!

Sabastian, that triple is nice but it appears to be Archontophoenix, not Wodyeta.

Here it is (excerpt from the threat "Check Out These Yards! Tropical Vibe Garden Tour", post n#17):

It's so plumose, can't be an Archontophœnix. Well, it's cleary Wodyetia ;)

post-5641-040501400 1327997267_thumb.jpg

Edited by Sebastian Bano

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redant

I think the problem with growing them in CA is not the cold as much as the wet cold, particularly the soil. Some of the best looking foxtails in my area are the ones planted in extremely fast draining sand. I just think they don’t have any tolerance for wet feet in the cold. They seem to handle the cold just as well and Kings and they are no problem for you. As you all problably know our winters are dry so the soil is dry during our cold months.

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BobSDCA

Nice topic Matty, I have been wondering about this myself! Especially since so many of them are offered at the big box stores and so few are visible around the neighborhood. I think Redant is on to something....I have also read that Foxtails like sandy soil and don't perform as well in heavy clay. I have clay in my neighborhood, and many of the foxtails suffer from the same problems as Matty has pointed out. Though, there are some that look fairly descent, but they seem to be planted in areas that get a lot of sun and warmth. I have seen them planted along the coast where the soil is more sandy loam and they look much better. The photo below was taken last summer at Seaworld in San Diego...there are a couple really nice looking ones there!

post-30-010578900 1328026673_thumb.jpg

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MattyB

Well draining soil would explain Paul's success.

Those large diameter roots are probably very condusive to rot spreading.

I brushed back the mulch and topsoil around the base of my largest Foxtail, the one pictured, and I pretty much had the soil level in the right spot. No lower trunkal rot and very healthy, fat, adventitious roots have formed around the base. If I do have a rot problem, which I don't think I do, it's not at the root initiation zone, but lower.

I am watering a bit more in this area this winter, more than last, because I have some Lamium ground cover that has spread nicely and I want to make sure and keep it going. Maybe I should turn off the micro sprayer for the rest of the winter.

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redant

"Maybe I should turn off the micro sprayer for the rest of the winter"

I would, I'll take a picture of the ones my neighbor is growing in totally useless sand with no irrigation at all. They are in mixed shade under pines and very neglected, they look perfect.

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MattyB

OK, I'll do that. Actually I can turn the volume of the little sprayer down and angle it to the left a bit and it'll miss the Foxtail but still spray the Lamium.

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richnorm

I'm obviously not in Cali. but wonder if you guys have the problem of spears not opening. My potted foxtail with a couple of feet of trunk has three spears and is starting a fourth but only two leaves. It never looks good but I haven't the heart to kill it.

Richard, do you leave your Foxtail outside all year round or bring it in for winter? Just wondering why you haven't put it in the ground.

Mike, my clay would be a death sentence but they can be grown in NZ if you have a very warm spot and perfect drainage. There is a nice one in Dargaville growing in a protected spot with sandy soil. Mine stays on my verandah all year round and shows no adverse reaction to winter other than slowing down. My spindle has a tougher time of it and gets spots and stunted leaves in a cool winter in the same location. I think I will eventually give mine to a mate with a beach garden up in the far North. If you can establish a frangipani then that's the spot to try a Wodyetia.

cheers

Richard

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Walter John

I remember Jessie Bergman saying that when he visited Australia people had mentioned that there's 3 different varieties that perform differently. Something about the color of the leaflet to rachis attachment point being a clue as to which one it is. Red, Yellow, Green if I remember correctly.

Any Aussies have any insight to this?

Hi Matty, I've never heard of the 3 types before, don't think that's correct. Foxtail palms do tend to yellow a little outside the natural environs in winter days, they did at my old place, nothin' to worry about, agree with Kurt - Don't fertilise, that's all I have, pleasant growing.. :)

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OB Burt

One gardener in San Diego county has a seeding, perhaps the 1st in the county, Wodetia. He urinates on it every morning. I have tried that, tho' not on the one not doing so well as it is in the front yard. Peace in the neighborhood you know. will try to get up a picture of my anemic one.

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US_Marine

I seen a few in the Central Valley in protected spots that look pretty good. Must be a hardy variety though, idk.

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Mike in Nelson

I'm obviously not in Cali. but wonder if you guys have the problem of spears not opening. My potted foxtail with a couple of feet of trunk has three spears and is starting a fourth but only two leaves. It never looks good but I haven't the heart to kill it.

Richard, do you leave your Foxtail outside all year round or bring it in for winter? Just wondering why you haven't put it in the ground.

Mike, my clay would be a death sentence but they can be grown in NZ if you have a very warm spot and perfect drainage. There is a nice one in Dargaville growing in a protected spot with sandy soil. Mine stays on my verandah all year round and shows no adverse reaction to winter other than slowing down. My spindle has a tougher time of it and gets spots and stunted leaves in a cool winter in the same location. I think I will eventually give mine to a mate with a beach garden up in the far North. If you can establish a frangipani then that's the spot to try a Wodyetia.

cheers

Richard

Interesting. I tried growing a couple of Frangipani in the ground but they rotted in the winter, that was in semi clay. If I tried a Foxtail here I would have look at another location. Probably the sloping garden up the back. Is there a photo of the one up North?

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redant

My neighbors palm "farm" for tax purposes. Look at the foxtails in the background (no zoom on phone). These are never watered but heavily mulched with grass clippings, the soil is as sandy as you can get, pure white sand as far as you can dig and the water table is deep here as the lot is about 13 feet above sea level.

post-202-044958000 1328050436_thumb.jpg

Edited by redant

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Jeff Searle

I remember Jessie Bergman saying that when he visited Australia people had mentioned that there's 3 different varieties that perform differently. Something about the color of the leaflet to rachis attachment point being a clue as to which one it is. Red, Yellow, Green if I remember correctly.

Any Aussies have any insight to this?

Hi Matty, I've never heard of the 3 types before, don't think that's correct. Foxtail palms do tend to yellow a little outside the natural environs in winter days, they did at my old place, nothin' to worry about, agree with Kurt - Don't fertilise, that's all I have, pleasant growing.. :)

Wal,

I agree. Please no rumors on three different types! As far as you Cali guys goes, I'm willing to bet it's too cold plus a combination of poor drainage and too much water for causing so many problems.

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Jim in Los Altos

It's maybe a coincidence, but Monica in the Balearic islands (Mediterranean) just posted a few questions about Wodyetia a few days ago.

I'm quite interested by climatic limits.

Although the Canary are not Hawaii, I was amazed when I arrived to see how beautiful Wodyetias (and many others species) looked here even in the middle of the winter, or in late winter and spring, while so-called "healthy, vigourous handsome" specimens on the coast of Andalucia (with a climate similar to SoCal) never honestly looked that great...

However, I saw some time ago a photo of a triple-trunk Wodyetia in SoCal on Palmtalk that looked quite nice.

Most of you probably saw it, but here it is, just in case (post nº17 by osideterry):

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=6742

The shot was taken in late July... Not sure if they look just that fine in March :unsure:

Actually, on quite a few occasions, I read posts mentioning "flourishing specimens" of notoriously borderline species in Mediterranean climes (Veitchia, Pinanga, Wodyetia, Carpentaria, Elaeis, etc). Big plants OK. But Hawaii-like flourishing looking? Mmmmmh :huh:

OB Burt and Gonzer, could you please post a few freshly shot pictures?

MattyB, your note concerning the 3 different types is very interesting. I hope some folks in Australia will answer that. Never hear of it before, sounds exciting (I've got friends in Portugal and Andalucia who would be delighted to have nicer looking Wodyetias!!!). ;)

Sabastian, that triple is nice but it appears to be Archontophoenix, not Wodyeta.

Dear Jim, you who always amaze me with your successful while considered impossible-to-grow species in SF area, I'm always happy to read your posts... But, hummmm, :crying: I am so terribly sorry, but I have to insist, this is not Archontophœnix, but most definitely Wodyetia...

And I must say that it is, so far, one of the very few truly descent specimen I saw in such a climate. And three for the price of one!

Sabastian, that triple is nice but it appears to be Archontophoenix, not Wodyeta.

Here it is (excerpt from the threat "Check Out These Yards! Tropical Vibe Garden Tour", post n#17):

It's so plumose, can't be an Archontophœnix. Well, it's cleary Wodyetia ;)

DUH! I faild to scroll down to #17. Those are most definitely Wodyetia, and striking ones at that!

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tim_brissy_13

Jim, you are probably the person to ask...I've tried a foxtail in the ground here that never really took off and slowly died. Most around my area suffer the same fate however there is a large one near my house that is growing fairly well (albeit not like the specimens you find in the tropics). I've decided to give a foxy lady a go after hearing of their favourable performance comparably to foxtails. What kind of treatment would you recommend to give it the best chance of looking good? Full sun? Protection from wind?

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Jim in Los Altos

Jim, you are probably the person to ask...I've tried a foxtail in the ground here that never really took off and slowly died. Most around my area suffer the same fate however there is a large one near my house that is growing fairly well (albeit not like the specimens you find in the tropics). I've decided to give a foxy lady a go after hearing of their favourable performance comparably to foxtails. What kind of treatment would you recommend to give it the best chance of looking good? Full sun? Protection from wind?

Tim, Foxy Lady palms are new to me and the first one I planted is doing well so far. I planted it in the warmest spot I had available which is near a south facing wall (north would be right for you) near a concrete and stone walkway/driveway to soak up available winter warmth and radiate it at night. We had one frost event this winter and the foxy lady did fine. Its spear continues to grow despite the time of year, something a wodyetia would never do. Also, it's in a sandy loam soil but not very wind protected but wind isn't a big issue here. I'm anxiuos to see how much growth I get from it this summer.

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ghar41

I remember seeing pictures many years ago (15?) of it in habitat. They were growing among granite bolders in what mustve been rocky granitic soil that likely drained very quickly. The beauties in post #23 look like they were planted with this in mind.

Does anyone know of a link or have pics of it in habitat?

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Harry

I have always steered clear of this palm for the above mentioned reasons, however I recently reasoned with myself that since the subject has never come up on this forum then it must be safe to purchase one. This post came about 2 weeks late!!

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Miccles

Jim, you are probably the person to ask...I've tried a foxtail in the ground here that never really took off and slowly died. Most around my area suffer the same fate however there is a large one near my house that is growing fairly well (albeit not like the specimens you find in the tropics). I've decided to give a foxy lady a go after hearing of their favourable performance comparably to foxtails. What kind of treatment would you recommend to give it the best chance of looking good? Full sun? Protection from wind?

Hi Tim,

We should have a chat about this. I'll shoot you a PM.

-Michael.

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Jastin

I've also heard that ones grown from Cali seed are better here. A guy down the street have 5 of them that always look fat and healthy with perfect leaves( for so cal), I should talk to him. My 2 were looking really bad so ripped them out with no care for the roots and planted them on top of my retaining wall. they look perfect now and I believe its due to the perfect draining soil/gravel that I have for back fill behind my wall.

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