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jfrye01@live.com

The great Sabal mexicana experiment...

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jfrye01@live.com

Tonight, the temperature is set to fall to an unseasonable 23F...I am purposely leaving my Sabal mexicana unprotected so I can gain some data on it, as cold hardiness data on this palm seems to be sparse. I will post results, but I'm guessing it'll be fine..this is the first of many experiments I'll do with this palm;)) I'll keep everyone updated, this should be interesting!!

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sashaeffer

I'm sure you'll be fine. That is the one Sabal that I don't have, and I have quite a few both in pots and in the ground.

Least cold hardy Sabal I know of is the Sabal Mauritiformis, and I brought my potted one inside. Lows here supposed to be around 28 for one night, then back to 40's for lows for another week.

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Ben in Norcal

How big is it? I'd say you should be fine if it is at least 5g size.

Speaking of Mauritiformis, I put one in ground here a couple of months back. I hope I don't have an issues here in borderline 9b/10a. We'll see soon enough!

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Ben in Norcal

Oh, and I have seen conflicting accounts on Mauritiformis vs. Yapa, in terms of "least cold hardy sabal." Not clear on that one, myself. They seem very similar at any rate.

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jfrye01@live.com

I too have heard mauritiformis and domingensis as being least cold hardy...My mexicana is around 6' tall...I bought it as a 20g in Dallas last winter...

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jfrye01@live.com

I'm sure you'll be fine. That is the one Sabal that I don't have, and I have quite a few both in pots and in the ground.

Least cold hardy Sabal I know of is the Sabal Mauritiformis, and I brought my potted one inside. Lows here supposed to be around 28 for one night, then back to 40's for lows for another week.

Yep, that's how it's supposed to be here...24 tonight, then up to the 50's again...crazy...

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sashaeffer

Sabal Domingensis are very cold hardy. Have 1 lager one, and a few seedling size and not worried about about leaving them outside for a while.

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jfrye01@live.com

Well, I stand corrected. lol...good to know!!

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jfrye01@live.com

According to my thermometer, these are last night's hourly temperatures

8:00-32F

9:00-31F

10:00-29F

11:00-29F

12:00-27F

1:00-25F

2:00-23F

3:00-21F

4:00-20F

5:00-20F

6:00-20F

7:00-21F

8:00-31F

9:00-36F

So far, no damage...completely forgot to cover my Chamaerops, it wasn't damaged either...at least neither are showing it yet.

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Ben in Norcal

That is crazy bad for this time of year! What kind of thermometer are you using?

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smithgn

Wow, look at those temps! Hopefully this is just a one time thing for this month and doesn't come back till December or so. That's what I've been reading on accuweather.

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jfrye01@live.com

My thermometer is an Acu-Rite weather system, I bought it at Lowe's last year. I believe it was around $100. I'm hoping the same thing, if those temps stay away for another month and a half, I'd be happy! :)

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Xerarch

Remember that Sabal Mexicana is native to the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, in 1899 Brownsville recorded their all time low of 11 degrees Fahrenheit. If Sabal Mexicana can survive 11 degrees in its native habitat, these things must pretty darn tough sons of guns.

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SailorBold

Wow jfrye.. it looks like you warmed significantly.. its almost 2am where you are and the temperature is 52F. That's a quick cold snap !

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Alicehunter2000

Are they in the ground?

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jfrye01@live.com

Yes, all my palms are in the ground...only one that took damage was my youngest washingtonia, and it only burned about an inch of the tips of one frond...And yes, I'm very thankful we returned to more normal temps! Back into the 60s and 70s for the rest of the week:) Hmmm, if they take 11 degrees, that's pretty promising...Rarely gets that cold here...

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TexasColdHardyPalms

There are large Sabal Texana/Mexicana in the DFW area. I don't know if they were planted before 1989 but I have never seen them damaged at all. A few 4-6 month old seedlings growing in my brothers flower bed saw 17 degrees last year and never burned at all.

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smithgn

Well, it looks as if I spoke to soon jfye... Polar vortex coming your way and will hit me by late Wednesday/early Thursday. This will be a true test for your sabal. Let us know how it fares.

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jfrye01@live.com

Yes, NWS is predicting a low of 13F tonight. Washingtonias are covered with straw and plastic barrels, I caved and was going to protect the sabal, but my plan didn't work out how I wanted it, and by the time I was home from work, it was far too late...Oh well...I think this is the final straw, and I won't be spending another winter in Kansas..going from a high of 80 one day to a high of 35 the next?? Ridiculous...I had never seen anything this crazy in my 20 years of existence until last winter, and it seems to be becoming more frequent...It's not so much that I didn't realize it would be this hard, because believe me, I realized it...I've just never seen these extremes, and so early in the season. These are January temps, and even then, are not a common event...Hopefully next year at this time, I'll be growing palms in zone 9 in Louisiana... :))) That's my plan, at least;))

Edited by jfrye01@live.com

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SailorBold

Don't give up hope. You are still on the right track and with you being there right now- you still have time to cover your Sabal with old sheets towels whatever.. Since its a new palm you will want to protect it no matter what.

I bet the ground is warm enough that all you will really need is a tarp or something to catch the heat coming up from the ground.

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Sabal Steve

I too have heard mauritiformis and domingensis as being least cold hardy...My mexicana is around 6' tall...I bought it as a 20g in Dallas last winter...

S. domingensis is cold hardy in respect to palms in general, but not in respect to Sabals. Hardiness is hard to quantify, but all reports I've read only rate it at a few degrees lower than yapa/mauritiformis. S. Causarium would be a better bet for a giant Sabal. It's at least 10 degrees hardier I suspect - maybe more. However, there is no consensus yet between the two monsters. I planted a S. maritima, but it will easily survive in this zone, so I won't be able to assess it's hardiness. Did you ever plant a palmetto?

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Josh-O

Jacob, can you post a picture of the experimental palm so we can see how she fares? before and after Pics are always welcome. :winkie: Thanks for keeping us posted on you progress amigo!

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jfrye01@live.com

Here are some pictures...

Before:

post-9451-0-32470900-1416595578_thumb.jp

post-9451-0-87792600-1416595591_thumb.jp

Today: (No freezing temperatures in 5 days)

post-9451-0-01693600-1416595679_thumb.jp

post-9451-0-09709800-1416595709_thumb.jp

It will get protection the rest of the winter when temps fall below 20 degrees. This palm saw five consecutive nights unprotected with temps below 10F, and three of those nights unprotected with temps below 5F. During this cold snap, the highs were in the mid-20s. We broke many records with this cold. I caved and protected it the last two nights of the event. If this palm survives, it really shows the hardiness of Sabal mexicana.

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Sabal Steve

Awesome Jacob!

Thanks for the progress reports.

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jfrye01@live.com

You're welcome! If this thing makes it, that means I will be adding more sabals to my collection in the spring...hopefully the rest of this winter will be average, but I won't hold out hope...Normally, the low temperatures we experienced due to the polar vortex are rare even in February...typical lows in January and February around here are pretty solid low 20s-upper teens, with 3-4 dips to the single digits a year...so a normal winter wouldn't be an issue, but we haven't had one of those in 4 years now:(

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smithgn

Wow, that thing is tough as nails. Able to withstand those temperatures for THAT long plus it hasn't even been established yet. Despite a few frizzled tips it looks as if it shrugged it off okay. Good stuff.

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jfrye01@live.com

It's funny, I bought this palm only because it was on sale last March, not really having any hopes of success for it...I planted it mid-April, and by June, it was shooting out new fronds. It was nearly keeping up with my windmill. Now, the windmill is nearly completely defoliated, and this thing just laughed at the cold...

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sashaeffer

So your Windmill is going unprotected??

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sashaeffer

Have 11 Sabal's of various species (some duplicates) in the ground here with minimal protection so will let you know in the spring how they do for me since were a bit colder than where your at.

The ones I'm hoping do to ok the most are the Sabal Palmetto and my Sabal Birmingham. Birmingham is at the furthest part of my back yard. While I have a 1/2 barrel over the top of it, and Christmas lights on a thermocube for warmth it's first Winter it has no other protection from the wind or residual heat from the house or it's foundation like the rest have, so will be really curious how it does. All the Sabals are also wrapped with frost cloth as well.

Sabal Tamaulipas here is one I'm trying a pop up greenhouse for protection this Winter. There are a lot of sizes and varieties of these on the market now. Inexpensive and easy to store, well see by spring how it holds up. I have two strings of mini (non led) christmas lights inside and rear flap open for venting.

post-9928-0-34576500-1416663886_thumb.jp

post-9928-0-26082600-1416663924_thumb.jp

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jfrye01@live.com

Yeah, the one windmill is going unprotected since I planted it at the end of the driveway a half mile from the house...lol...and it only cost $15 at a local nursery (it has a good 2' of trunk)...so if it dies, it'll be cheap to replace (if I decide to), and then I'll know I need to protect if I'm still up north next year. I built something similar to that plastic "cylinder" you have in the background for one of my washies, and it was the only washy that didn't have the spear pull...Let me know how everything, specifically S. tamaulipas, works out for you! Best of luck!! We're getting a break down here, high of 67 today with a low of 60 tonight! :D

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sashaeffer

It will be interesting to see if the Trachy makes it, guess will depend on severity of winter we all have but if it does....that would be cool.

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Josh-O

Jacob & Scott, I love how you guys are pushing the envelope. Keep up the good work!!!!

Scott, Next time you are in Carlsbad Ca, come on by the house again. I may have a few more goodies you might be interested in. How's the Dypsis Paludosa doing you bought from me?

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jfrye01@live.com

Thanks for the encouragement!! It's fun to grow things that people say are impossible to grow! :)

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sashaeffer

Doing pretty good. I moved it from a brightly lit room where it got a lot of Morning to mid day sun as the leaves seemed to loose some green. Now it's in the master bath where I keep my Joey and Zebra palm(in pic) It opens new leaves often, and has new spear pushing so it's a very active plant. I hope in increased shade with help with the color of the leaves. I keep it damp all the time and it's in the grow pot you grew it in.

And of course I'll stop by and see what you have when I'm in the area again.

post-9928-0-25992500-1416717455_thumb.jp

post-9928-0-17844200-1416717489_thumb.jp

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Josh-O

That's actually a brilliant idea putting palms that require humidity in the bathroom. do you shower often...lol

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Josh-O

palms-bathroom-high humidity = brilliant. you must shower often eh??

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sashaeffer

We'll see how it does in there. It grew just fine out in the living room as I had the pot sitting in a gravel tray that I always kept water in but couldn't understand why leaves would loose color and almost look variegated. I knew you grew yours under shade cloth so decided to move it to bathroom.

The master bath is on North side of house and has a skylight in it, so it does get light in there just not as bright as living room, and of course the higher humidity. A new leaf opened just as I moved it in there so I'll see if it stays totally green...plus as usual a new spear is already pushing. I'm anxious for it to get some height on it.

Maybe someday I'll get one of those dark Mealy Bug palms you had.......

Let me know too if you ever decide to ship smaller stuff.

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jfrye01@live.com

That is a good idea! Best of luck with it!:)

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smithgn

Good idea about keeping it in the bathroom. I thought of maybe doing this while germinating seeds but I don't feel like the duration of humidity would be long enough to sufficiently germinate seeds (I don't use the baggie method). Active palms like you have would be great. One shower a day would be a happy palm in my opinion lol

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jfrye01@live.com

I've thought about putting my coconut in the bathroom...don't think the rest of the family would appreciate that, however....the office with a space heater will have to suffice;)

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