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TikiRick

"Cold Hardy" palms sold in climates that are questionable.

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TikiRick

When at my mountain home, just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, I continue to see more and more of a palm selection at nurseries and big box stores....especially during the spring.

Althougth I'm not exactly sure, I think it may be zone 7, and the winters of 2009 and 2010 there were many nights at subzero, with more snow than anyone can hope for.

Do these nurseries and box stores do themselves an injustice by selling what they know will NOT survive labeled as 'cold hardy'? Do they sell these as annuals? (Probably not since Lowes and Home Depot offer a one year guarantee on all plants).

Does the average customer think that these will grow in this area? Hello? Take a look around...

The following I have seen for sale near my mountain home:

(I'll use common names to keep it simple here)

Queen

Pygmy date palm (P. roebellini)

Needle

Saw palmetto

Bismarkia

Palmetto (Sabal palmetto)

Bottle

Spindle

Foxtail

Windmill**

Sabal minor

Phoenix canariensis

Jelly (Butia capitata)

**I have actually seen one that is about 6' overall growing outside of an office building. So, I guess there is hope for this one.

What's your take on this? Do you know of anyone who thought something would grow in your area, bought it, planted it, and were disappointed that it died during the winter or soon thereafter? :angry:

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richnorm

I would think it is just lack of knowledge. I have stopped people at garden centres here trying to purchase hopelessly optimistic species (without any sure to grow guarantee). Of course if there's a guarantee they why not buy up large and claim the refunds/replacements each year after the danger of frost has passed!

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paulgila

you are seeing more & more palm selection? we are seeing less & less at big box stores & i bet we can grow alot more than in asheville,NC.

weird.

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rozpalm

Since HD and Lowes guarantee their trees for one year, I would say it is probably ignorance on the part of their buyers driven by requests from their customers for more varieties of palms.

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PalmatierMeg

I would say all of them probably don't have a prayer if they are planted in the mountains of NC (as opposed to the sea coast). The vast majority will be wiped out by winter (spindles & bottles coldhardy? Ha!). Only the needle and Sabal minor might survive winter. But, from what I've been told by local FL residents who summer in the high mountains of NC (what is it about NC and Floridians? And I love NC), a "hot" summer day is when the mercury soars to 75F. Many days don't top 70F and nights fall into 50s or lower. Very refreshing but not a lot of heat for sun- and heat-loving species like Sabals and needles. In addition, after the Floridians bail come autumn, the weather turns cold, dreary, cloudy and rainy for weeks at a time for the next 8-9 months. Of course, if people just want to treat these palms as annuals, they can replace the wretched things come "warm" weather again. But the poor things deserve better.

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SFwncz7a

When at my mountain home, just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, I continue to see more and more of a palm selection at nurseries and big box stores....especially during the spring.

Althougth I'm not exactly sure, I think it may be zone 7, and the winters of 2009 and 2010 there were many nights at subzero, with more snow than anyone can hope for.

Do these nurseries and box stores do themselves an injustice by selling what they know will NOT survive labeled as 'cold hardy'? Do they sell these as annuals? (Probably not since Lowes and Home Depot offer a one year guarantee on all plants).

Does the average customer think that these will grow in this area? Hello? Take a look around...

The following I have seen for sale near my mountain home:

(I'll use common names to keep it simple here)

Queen

Pygmy date palm (P. roebellini)

Needle

Saw palmetto

Bismarkia

Palmetto (Sabal palmetto)

Bottle

Spindle

Foxtail

Windmill**

Sabal minor

Phoenix canariensis

Jelly (Butia capitata)

**I have actually seen one that is about 6' overall growing outside of an office building. So, I guess there is hope for this one.

What's your take on this? Do you know of anyone who thought something would grow in your area, bought it, planted it, and were disappointed that it died during the winter or soon thereafter? :angry:

Where in the Asheville area is your mtn home? I live about 15 min south near Hendersonville NC and have not seen subzero temps at my elevation 2100' since probably the mid-eighties. The '09 and '10 winters where brutal but my lowest temp was 7F though a few 24+ hr below freezing spells. This past winter my low was 14F and only a trace of snow. Those blue pot palms at the box stores are junk. Look good but were grown in S FL and probably have not seen 32f nor had the parent plant. Three palms grow here with virtually no problems: Sabal minor, Needle palm, and Trachycarpus fortunei. Go just south of here to the Tryon NC area in Polk Co and your are in a z8a and you can see mature Butias, Sabal palmetto, and a few Washingtonia hybrids along with Gum trees, Live oaks and a few other out of the ordinary plants. Elevation is the biggest factor around here, I have left my house wearing shorts in April and the temp been 70F drove up to Mt Pisgah '5721 and there be 3ft of snow.

View of Mt. Pisgah from my house

016.jpg

Windmill at USDA office in Hendersonville NC

0713110925.jpg

More Mtn palms

0324111227.jpg

0425121545.jpg

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Keith in SoJax

I lived at 4500' feet in Western NC and it only fell below zero once in 4.5 years. However, at that elevation, it could stay below freezing for a month. We also had a 4' snow in 12 hours one day. Its not a palmy place, but its not arctic either. As much as I love palms, I didn't have any in the ground up there. It would have been futile. In Asheville proper, I still think they'd be marginal but as others have pointed out, 2 or 3 species are possible with the knowledge that it is possible to get cold enough to kill them on occasion. I believe Asheville reached -17F officially once. I'd also say that most days in summer are around 80-82f, or 28C. Nights can fall below 15C, 60F, but that's not a deal killer for palms. A hot day is above 90F or about 35C in Asheville. At my place that was at 4500' a hot day was in the 80's but most were in the 70's. And for what its worth, ANY day could require the furnace to stay comfortable at 4500'. Again, that wasn't a palmy place.

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Brad Mondel

I lived there for a while.

I installed a large hurricane cut palmetto and it survived with protection. However it lost it's leaves every winter and the poor thing looked like it was being tortured.

I think the hardiest one for me was trachycarpus wagnerianus.

but all of the others rotted in the winter since it's cold and wet the entire time. It's not a palm friendly place!

A lot of people had huge Japanese fiber bananas however!

good thing I moved to a more hospitable climate!

Edited by ArchAngeL01

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Tassie_Troy1971

Bottle

Spindle

Foxtail

Are kinda marginal in Sydney Aust and would have never seen temps below 2c 35F .

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