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Ed in Houston

Possible palms for Houston

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Ed in Houston

I would like to try some marginal palms in S.E. Houston. The climate for the past 25 years (post 1989) has been mostly cool 9b with a few 9a and 10a winters. High temperatures can be cool for a week or more with highs of 50 but average in the 60s with a few 70s. The soil is clay with 50 inches or rain per year. Here are some that I am considering. The absolute winter low minimums are probably similar to about midway between Ocala and Orlando but with average lower winter maximums. New Orleans is about as close to my climate as any city.

Dypsis decipiens:

Image: http://www.rarepalmseeds.com/images/DypDeci.jpg

Palm Talk hardiness experience: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/3097-dypsis-decipiens/

Cyphophoenix elegans

Image: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3473/3290529271_c506c2ed42_b.jpg

Palm Talk hardiness experience: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/3162-cyphophoenix-elegans/

Dypsis lutescens

Image: http://flores.culturamix.com/blog/wp-content/gallery/palmeira-areca-dypsis-lutescens-5/Palmeira-Areca-Dypsis-Lutescens-14.jpg

Palm Talk hardiness experience: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/3026-dypsis-lutescens/

Dypsis pembana

Image: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5306/5549279646_55b1ddd6f2.jpg

Palm Talk hardiness experience: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/3049-dypsis-pembana/

Pinanga coronata

Image: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3473/3290529271_c506c2ed42_b.jpg

Palm Talk hardiness experience: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/3070-pinanga-coronata/

Pipe dream or possible?

Ed in Houston

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John Case

Anything is possible.......give 'em all a shot!

winter looks like the wildcard in this mix......

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Xhoniwaters1

You should definately be succesful with D. decipiens. C. elegans I believe could be pushed. The other one's prolly not. I had a 6 ft clump of D lutescens completely die the first winter in the ground. My potted pembana's seem to not mind the chilly weather but wouldn't leave them out in anything below 29 degrees. Don't know about coronata, I hear P. philippinensis has some hardiness. Other palms that have been succesful for me in mid to low twenties is Dypsis ambositrae and Ravenea glauca, they get burned but no spear pulls or complete defoliation.They are definately borderline 9a 9b. Parajub sunkah has shown to be just as hardy if not hardier than D. decipiens.

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Keith in SoJax

Maybe Dypsis decipiens, but none of the others, in my opinion. Even the Dd is going to freeze sooner or later. I've seen Sabals, Phoenix and Washingtonias brown in Houston, though not often. Dd isn't going to survive those kinds of lows. But if you know that going in, which I think you do, then enjoy the time they persist.

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tank

Houston and Gainesville Fl have very similar temperature profiles

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Really full garden

During recent trips to Houston I was amazed at the palminess that has occurred during the last decade.

I lived in Houston during the ice age that was the 80s. In 89 even the hardiest palms were defoliated - Windmills,Butias etc.I will never forget the smell of rotting foliage after the temperatures began to rise above freezing.

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Xenon

I have a feeling Cyphophoenix, Dypsis pembana, and Dypsis lutescens could survive for a while during a warm streak (2000s were quite warm) in the inner city and coastal bay areas. The zoo has some pretty tender stuff. Those palms will grow more or less where a royal palm would, no? Weren't there some royals in Houston that lasted a few years?

Edited by Xenon

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palmsnbananas

C. Elegans died first winter in the ground, it was not even a bad winter, however it may be possible if you grew it in a pot and protected it and slowly introduced it to the ground, I doubt it however.

Decipiens will survive but I have yet to get it to look good.

Secret palm list that will survive in houston: C. radicalis, All Parajubeas easily, Bismarck, K. Oliviformis (tough and slow grower though), D. Saint lucei

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Xenon

Some nice Dypsis and other tender palms in this thread (Galveston): http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/7380-backyard-pictures/?hl=%2Bgalveston+%2Bdypsis#entry122665

Galveston is probably only a degree or two warmer than the warmest parts of Houston

Edited by Xenon

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oliver

Dypis decipiens will not work for you. Your ground is too wet and your summer is too hot. I have tried for years with no success. All the others may work as long as you protect them from the north winds. May I suggest Kentiopis oliviformis. It has done extremely well here in my house in Brownsville. It does not even flinch with low 30's, but it will need water in the summer.

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Ed in Houston

Thanks for all the inputs guys. I ended up purchasing from Floribunda the followng palms.

Acoelorraphe wrightii

Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii

Cyphophoephoenix elegans

Pinanga coronata

Dypsis pembana

Euterpe edulis

Most of these are 9b palms and I get colder winters than that on occasion so growing these are really experimental and not permanent.

The Dypsis decipiens mentioned is probably the best adapted to my climate but was put off by it's slow growth rate at my age.

The Euterpe edulis looked especially interesting to me. It looks like it will grow in a bright understory which I have in my garden

8ca2a7.jpg

More about this palm here:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/58565/

Ed in Houston

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Jimbean

I do not think so. Houston is similar to Jacksonville here in Florida, and large healthy lutescens is a long way from there.

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Sandy Loam

If I can offer some words of encouragement about cyphophoenix elegans, I had one for two or three years in Gainesville, northern Florida. It never suffered any cold damage here, and I have been told that it can dip colder in Gainesville than in Houston, generally (although our winter daily maximum temperatures may be warmer). I do not recall it suffering through any dramatic once-a-decade type of freeze events, but it certainly endured our normal winters.

Eventually, I gave it away because it was not growing as quickly as I would have liked (and another PalmTalker was interested in owning it). I bought it as a 2 foot tall (approx.) specimen from Redland Nursery, Homestead, Florida.

My secret to growing dypsis decipiens successfully (although slowly) in my too-humid, too-rainy and too-hot climate since 2011 has been planting it in the shade and on a raised bed with rocks underneath.

I would suggest abandoning dypsis lutenscens. They look great in Orlando and Tampa, but any that i have seen here look brown in winter. They may be bud-hardy most years, but the brown frond look makes it not worth the bother, even though they are allegedly fast-growing.

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Ed in Houston

If I can offer some words of encouragement about cyphophoenix elegans, I had one for two or three years in Gainesville, northern Florida. It never suffered any cold damage here, and I have been told that it can dip colder in Gainesville than in Houston, generally (although our winter daily maximum temperatures may be warmer). I do not recall it suffering through any dramatic once-a-decade type of freeze events, but it certainly endured our normal winters.

Eventually, I gave it away because it was not growing as quickly as I would have liked (and another PalmTalker was interested in owning it). I bought it as a 2 foot tall (approx.) specimen from Redland Nursery, Homestead, Florida.

My secret to growing dypsis decipiens successfully (although slowly) in my too-humid, too-rainy and too-hot climate since 2011 has been planting it in the shade and on a raised bed with rocks underneath.

I would suggest abandoning dypsis lutenscens. They look great in Orlando and Tampa, but any that i have seen here look brown in winter. They may be bud-hardy most years, but the brown frond look makes it not worth the bother, even though they are allegedly fast-growing.

I pretty much reached the same conclusion as you and Jimbean wrt Dypsis decipens. The Gainsville example is what I would like to see here, a few seasons where the the low for the season is within 1-2 degrees of average for the past 25 years. This scenario would allow having some unique palms for my area to enjoy and then be able to add to the knowledge base of the freeze damage subfourm.

Other scenerios include the one that Xenon mentioned where in the 2000's Houston had a string of years of mild winter lows and little or no damage would occur for a number of years. The least desiable scenerio would be a first year hit like the central gulf coast experienced this past winter with a direct hit of a nasty cold spell resulting in no new palms and no new real freeze damage data.

Kinda like going to the palm casino.

Ed in Houston

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Sandy Loam

Good luck with your experiment, Ed-in-Houston.

I have not heard that Euterpe Edulis is cold-hardy enough for northern Florida or anywhere along the northern Gulf coast. Nonetheless, I will be looking forward to your updates with fingers crossed.

I know nothing about Pinanga Coronata, so cannot comment. Keep us posted on your progress with these after 3 years or so.

Xenon, a Royal Palm (roystonia regia) would never grow in northern Florida or, in general, the northern Gulf coast. I, personally, considered my Cyphophoenix Elegans to be much more cold-hardy. I don't know what type of elevation it originates from in New Caledonia, but it was doing fine here until I gave it away. I have heard about the Royal Palms growing in Galveston, Texas and there may be a few in other northern Gulf coast areas and northern Florida (e.g. St. Augustine, Florida) eeking out an existence, but I have only once seen them planted here in Gainesville and I have never seen them in Tallahassee or anywhere in the Florida panhandle. The house where I saw them planted was actually a bit outside of Gainesville, just west of town in a cold patch. After a bad winter with a few dramatic low temperatures, I recall that they looked quite damaged and the next time I drove by, the owner had removed them. These were 8 or 10 foot tall tress too, with plenty of trunk.

I would never try a Royal Palm up this far north, even though it is a Florida native (native to Collier County several hours south of here)

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Sandy Loam

I forgot to mention--

The house was in a new subdivision, so those large Royal Palms were obviously going through their first winter up here. It is not as though they had survived several winters already. I am sure that the owner was disappointed because those palms were large, heavy and were probably planted by a tree contractor at some significant expense to the homeowner.

Not recommended.

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Josh-O

I say needle palms..

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Ed in Houston

I say needle palms..

Not to worry. I have 2 needle palms, 6 Sabal minors, 3 "Louisiana" Sabals, a Texas Sabal and a Trachycarpus fortunei for when the next little ice age hits, which could be any year now. Of course if the new LIA does not come about then it is playtime.

Who are you going to bet on, the Russian scientists or Al Gore? I am going to be palmy either way.

gore-freezing.jpg

https://nextgrandminimum.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/russians-scientist-the-next-grand-minimum/

Ed in Houston

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Sandy Loam

Hello palmsandbananas (and anyone else out there).

Is Kentiopsis Oliviformis really a contender? If so, I am wondering if I could try it in my climate. What is the lowest temperature that it has been known to tolerate and survive?

I thought my climate was similar to Houston's but perhaps not. According to my thermometer, my property's record low temperature for the last 3 years has been 26 or 27 degrees, but during the big 2009-2010 winter freeze event, we hit a low of 17 degrees one night! My property likely did not get that cold, but a few miles west of town it did. Would Kentiopsis Oliviformis tolerate 18 degrees? (only for about 30 minutes, but still...)

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donalt

Statistically, Houston is more similar to Jacksonville Florida. Winter lows average low to mid 40s and days average low to mid 60s. Absolute minimums seem more like Jacksonville,too....usually getting in the 20s most winters. Orlando, Tampa and Brownsville have nearly identical winter averages and minimums. If luck is with you, you can plant some 'zone pusher' palms and have a couple of consecutive mild winters for them to firmly establish and grow...then, they might better weather a blue norther at some time.

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Jimbean

Statistically, Houston is more similar to Jacksonville Florida. Winter lows average low to mid 40s and days average low to mid 60s. Absolute minimums seem more like Jacksonville,too....usually getting in the 20s most winters. Orlando, Tampa and Brownsville have nearly identical winter averages and minimums. If luck is with you, you can plant some 'zone pusher' palms and have a couple of consecutive mild winters for them to firmly establish and grow...then, they might better weather a blue norther at some time.

Those are my thoughts as well.

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Sandy Loam

So....Are there any Kentiopsis Oliviformis growing in Jacksonville or Houston?

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palmsnbananas

Sorry for the late reply, I doubt you can keep K Oliviformis looking good in this climate but for sure my K Oliviformis has been planted out in 19 degrees and survived but it is very small, as these plants grow taller the cold takes a larger toll with exposed crown shaft and all.

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oliver

This is my fattest Kentiopsis oliviformis. It was planted 7 years ago from a 1g Floribunda plant. It has grown like a champ. It saw 29 degrees with ice rain and no foliar damage. Sorry but it has not seen colder than that and I cannot vouch for 19 degrees but it is so tough that I think it might be OK. This is my fattest but not tallest. I have a taller one, but it is skinnier and gets more light and less water. This one is 20ft overall and better than 16" at the base. Sorry for the obscured pics but it is in a back corner and was actually neglected along with an couple of others. It seems that the Jeff Marcus technique of leaving them in their pots and letting them root into the ground and later burst the pots is a good way of planting palms - LOL!!!

post-891-0-25254800-1428966808_thumb.jpg

post-891-0-92153700-1428966824_thumb.jpg

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oliver

While I was out in the wilds of my backyard, I took a picture of this one. c. houailou. Might be another candidate for you. It has also been an extremely good grower for me. Much better than C. macrocarpa.

post-891-0-54530700-1428967212_thumb.jpg

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Sandy Loam

Ed, more than 2.5 years later, how has your Euterpe Edulis performed in Houston, Texas?  In particular, was it damaged by cold very much in the 2015-16 winter and the 2016-17 winter?

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