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stevethegator

snow day

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stevethegator

Hello all!

I almost never post, but I have been gowing palms all my life, have been a long time reader of PalmTalk , and have learned much of what I know about palms through this site!

I wanted to share with you an interesting event that happened to me today: snow! I was raised in South Florida, but currently attend school in Atlanta, GA, so this is a first for me.

Since moving here, I have been surprised at the extent to which subtropical gardening is possible, even in a less than ideal climate. Attached are some pictures of my only outdoor palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix. While snow and today's temps (28F) are par for the course with this species, I am happy to report it has so far survived a low of 5F this year in a pot, completely frozen solid. I am also pleasantly surprised with the hardiness of Camellia Sinensis, better known as tea (green, black, and oolong) which has also survived the same conditions. We shall see what spring brings!

On to the pics! pictures are potted Rhapidoiphyllum, Japanese Arrow Bamboo (Pesudosasa japonica), a larger view of my patio (with dead experimental Chamaedorea radicalis), and my loyal pup Abbey.

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_Keith

Cool pictures. Thanks for sharing.

And give Abbey a pet for me.

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njoasis

Gator, those shrubs and trees will even thrive several hundred further north, especially closer to the coasts. I am in a so-called, "cold" 7a/7b climate. This means my average, winter minimums are on line with southern zone 7a/b climates but that the DURATION of cold is longer (still the frost free season is relatively long by northern standards...around 200 days, so a bit of a "banana zone"). Summers are also hot enough for the subtropicals. So, I can grow M. grandiflora, Camellias, Needles, Trachys, Podocarpus, S. minors, among others. As for running bamboo, it is EXTREMELY aggressive here and something you don't wish upon your worst enemy. In fact, one good thing about living in a colder climate than my own, is that the arctic cold helps to kill that beast! In fact, I would wager to say that the "temperate", running bamboos are more vigorous and aggressive here and in the South than in South Florida!

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Cindy Adair

Even I can enjoy snow in small doses for a day or two. However the predicted up to 12" of new snow tonight in coastal Virginia is unusual for our area.

Your photos look lovely and Rhapidiophyllum and C. sinensis don't blink at the cold in my yard.

I hope you get to visit your local Botanical garden with its lovely greenhouse full of tropicals! I failed to take photos on my one visit several years ago so if you get there, we'd love some images to admire...

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stevethegator

Gator, those shrubs and trees will even thrive several hundred further north, especially closer to the coasts. I am in a so-called, "cold" 7a/7b climate. This means my average, winter minimums are on line with southern zone 7a/b climates but that the DURATION of cold is longer (still the frost free season is relatively long by northern standards...around 200 days, so a bit of a "banana zone"). Summers are also hot enough for the subtropicals. So, I can grow M. grandiflora, Camellias, Needles, Trachys, Podocarpus, S. minors, among others. As for running bamboo, it is EXTREMELY aggressive here and something you don't wish upon your worst enemy. In fact, one good thing about living in a colder climate than my own, is that the arctic cold helps to kill that beast! In fact, I would wager to say that the "temperate", running bamboos are more vigorous and aggressive here and in the South than in South Florida!

Yes you don't see alot of bamboo in South Florida, dry sandy soil and tropical storms are not friendly to it IMO. I like bamboo best in temperate areas anyway, it reminds me more of Japan/China than the tropics.

Speaking of, have you ever tried the native Arundinaria Gigantea? I transplanted a 10' culm to an area right behind my apt complex, it looks just as good if not better than the Asian species (golden/arrow) but I don't think its as aggressive.

Glad to hear you can grow subtropicals up there, how have your trachies done this winter?

Edited by stevethegator

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stevethegator

Even I can enjoy snow in small doses for a day or two. However the predicted up to 12" of new snow tonight in coastal Virginia is unusual for our area.

Your photos look lovely and Rhapidiophyllum and C. sinensis don't blink at the cold in my yard.

I hope you get to visit your local Botanical garden with its lovely greenhouse full of tropicals! I failed to take photos on my one visit several years ago so if you get there, we'd love some images to admire...

I saw coastal Virginia got buried, I hope you all are safe! 10" of snow is mind blowing to my Florida sensibilities.

I love the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, especially the conservatories! I had an annual membership and used to go all the time so I have a ton of pictures, I'll have to go through them and post some.

Good to hear camellia sinensis has been hardy for you too, someday I'd like to try growing it in the mountainous area just north of here (I vacation there often), the soil seems perfect and they get a lot more evenly distributed rainfall, up to 80" a year average in parts. Only limiting factor would be the cold

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njoasis

We had two hurricanes in two years. The bamboo was fine in the hurricanes! It was the towering trees that came down that squashed the grove that made it an entangled disaster area. We got rid of the grove but will be chopping away for some years! I really don't mind the snow...neither do most of the subtropicals, it's the arctic cold that we both hate. Most of the heaviest mid Atlantic/NE snowstorms originate in the Gulf...loaded with moisture but not arctic cold. This winter has brought excessively arctic air.

Worst winter I ever remember was in the 90's. Don't remover the year, but it was one ice storm after another. (Ice storms tend not to occur here for whatever reason.) Seem strangely more typical in the South. But definitely much, much, much worse than a foot of snow! Everyone safe, extremely hardy to a point here (about as hardy as my Trachys).

P.S., I will only grow clumping bamboo now, no runners ever again! This pic is a mixed Fargesia and Borinda (non-running) grove.

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njoasis

Don't know why it posted upside down?!

Edited by njoasis

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stevethegator

We had two hurricanes in two years. The bamboo was fine in the hurricanes! It was the towering trees that came down that squashed the grove that made it an entangled disaster area. We got rid of the grove but will be chopping away for some years! I really don't mind the snow...neither do most of the subtropicals, it's the arctic cold that we both hate. Most of the heaviest mid Atlantic/NE snowstorms originate in the Gulf...loaded with moisture but not arctic cold. This winter has brought excessively arctic air.

Worst winter I ever remember was in the 90's. Don't remover the year, but it was one ice storm after another. (Ice storms tend not to occur here for whatever reason.) Seem strangely more typical in the South. But definitely much, much, much worse than a foot of snow! Everyone safe, extremely hardy to a point here (about as hardy as my Trachys).

P.S., I will only grow clumping bamboo now, no runners ever again! This pic is a mixed Fargesia and Borinda (non-running) grove.

Those are nice looking! Yeah I've heard the runners can be a nightmare

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