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trioderob

Best micro climate in all of Florida ?

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trioderob

I know where  the best micro climates are in Cali (mine is real close )  - but what is the "best of the best" micro climate in all of Florida for the really crazy exotic tropical hard to grow in the US stuff ?

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PalmTreeDude

Probably the Florida Keys, they are small islands, so it is like a micro climate? They are zone 11a/b. For inland, I would say areas of Miami. It is 10b/11a. 

Edited by PalmTreeDude
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RedRabbit

With an average annual low temperature of 49F, I don't think there's any doubt the warmest place in Florida is Key West.

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PalmTreeDude
6 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

With an average annual low temperature of 49F, I don't think there's any doubt the warmest place in Florida is Key West.

I agree!

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trioderob

ok so in key west what can you grow thats really crazy like double cocos - stuff like dat ?

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Pando
Just now, trioderob said:

ok so in key west what can you grow thats really crazy like double cocos - stuff like dat ?

They grow them in Hollywood, FL.

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trioderob

how about key largo?

Edited by trioderob

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Cocoa Beach Jason
1 minute ago, trioderob said:

how about key largo?

Key Largo is super lush. I have seen healthy breadfruit trees in the keys.

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PalmTreeDude
7 minutes ago, trioderob said:

how about key largo?

Key Largo can grow pretty much all the plants you can grow in Key West. 

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Pando
56 minutes ago, trioderob said:

I know where  the best micro climates are in Cali (mine is real close )

56288401.jpg

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trioderob

wgbmap-sandiego-w-x.jpg

there are a few prime spots in zone 23 ...............Dude

Edited by trioderob

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trioderob

...but compaired to Key Largo they are not "jack squat" ...I think................:blink:

 

farley-620x330.jpg

Edited by trioderob

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User00

West  palm beach area is Tropical Rain forest Climate ( Koppen Climate zone Af ) same as Borneo or New guinea , western amazon

 

chart-koppen-geiger-florida.jpg

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Zeeth

Florida doesn't really have microclimates like California does because we don't really have elevation. In general, the closer to the water you and the further south you are, the better. The exceptions to this are that there is some elevation in Highlands county (duh), so higher elevation is better in that case, and the jetstream means that Homestead isn't quite as warm as Miami because it's not as close to the jetstream. As Ahmed pointed out, parts of Palm Beach county are listed as tropical rainforest under Köppen because of a favorable distribution of rainfall (on average, the dryest month has at least 60 mm (2.36 inches) of rainfall). Despite this though, most of south Florida is 10b, so some plants can't grow long-term (breadfruit, Pigafetta, C. renda usually, but there are exceptions). 

The Keys are 11a/11b, and they never really get cold, so things like breadfruit and C. renda can grow there with no issue, whereas they usually can't grow for long on Mainland Florida. There are exceptions to this though, as I've seen pics of an undamaged C. renda in Miami after 2010 and damaged Breadfruit on Key Largo after 2010, though it recovered. The impact of hurricanes is generally more intense in the Keys, so palms that don't like storm surge and being flooded with salt water might not do that well. The rainfall is also significantly less than in South Florida, but there is sometimes a freshwater lens that the palms can tap into. 

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Palmaceae

One of the best micro climates in SW Florida is in Ft Myers right along McGregor Blvd. The reason is it is on the south side of the Calooshatchee river,  it has always been the mark where long term tropical plants really start in SW Florida. 

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Really full garden

I have been told by several Floridians in the plant world that there is an area of Fort Lauderdale that has an incredible microclimate similar to the Keys. I think it has to do with the Gulf Stream coming closest to land near the Fort Lauderdale coast.  

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GottmitAlex
11 hours ago, trioderob said:

wgbmap-sandiego-w-x.jpg

there are a few prime spots in zone 23 ...............Dude

Why do you think zone 23, or certain spots within zone 23 are "prime"? Logically, one would think certain spots within Zone 24 would be "prime"  for the best micro climate in CA.

 

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NorCalKing
7 minutes ago, GottmitAlex said:

Why do you think zone 23, or certain spots within zone 23 are "prime"? Logically, one would think certain spots within Zone 24 would be "prime"  for the best micro climate in CA.

 

My guess; There's too much fog right at the coast. A few miles inland it would be much warmer, and sunnier.

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trioderob
56 minutes ago, GottmitAlex said:

Why do you think zone 23, or certain spots within zone 23 are "prime"? Logically, one would think certain spots within Zone 24 would be "prime"  for the best micro climate in CA.

 

zone 23 is extremely better than 24 except for a few palms like new Caledonia species.

its not even close  - here is why:

while the coast is in fog may , june and july  -zone 23 is in the 80s and sunny all day

- when its 75F in zone 24  - its 85F in zone 23 

palms grow ridiculously  faster when it gets to the mid 80s

and when its 75f in zone 23 - its 65f in 24 and the palms come to a standstill

 

in fort myers fl its going to be raining almost everyday and close to 90  -compare that to a san diego coastal  summer  day where is 75f and dry

Edited by trioderob

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RedRabbit
3 hours ago, scottgt said:

I have been told by several Floridians in the plant world that there is an area of Fort Lauderdale that has an incredible microclimate similar to the Keys. I think it has to do with the Gulf Stream coming closest to land near the Fort Lauderdale coast.  

Southern Broward and all of coastal Miami Dade county is 11a. Miami Beach logically should be the warmest since it has the warmest water in the US thanks to the Gulf Stream and on top of that it is the most urban location in Florida. It would be logical to think it might be 11b, like the lower keys, but that didn't appear to be the case based on the limited amount of data I saw from the area. :/

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Pando
53 minutes ago, trioderob said:

zone 23 is extremely better than 24 except for a few palms like new Caledonia species.

its not even close  - here is why:

while the coast is in fog may , june and july  -zone 23 is in the 80s and sunny all day

- when its 75F in zone 24  - its 85F in zone 23 

palms grow ridiculously  faster when it gets to the mid 80s

and when its 75f in zone 23 - its 65f in 24 and the palms come to a standstill

 

in fort myers fl its going to be raining almost everyday and close to 90  -compare that to a san diego coastal  summer  day where is 75f and dry

Terrain matters A LOT in SoCal, no matter where in zone 23 you're in on that map. Yes, most of the best microclimates are in Zone 23, but they are on a hill, especially south and west-facing, preferably a few hundred feet above a canyon or valley floor that can drain to the ocean. They are found right at the fog line where the hills stop the marine layer from advancing too much inland. You get the moisture from the ocean, the cool humid breeze, but also the warmth in sheltered places, and in winter it doesn't get much below 40F (I have not seen less than 37F where I'm at).

That said, nothing in California compares to the constant warm humidity that's always present in Florida. Here in SoCal we only get that a few days per year. This is why some species thrive in Florida and not SoCal, and vice versa, even if the extreme temperature ranges are the same.

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IHB1979

When I think of micro climate I don't think of the Keys or Miami. Their climate is tropical, how is that a micro climate? I think of the Orlando heat island or around Lake Placid as micro climates.

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Palmaceae
22 minutes ago, IHB1979 said:

When I think of micro climate I don't think of the Keys or Miami. Their climate is tropical, how is that a micro climate? I think of the Orlando heat island or around Lake Placid as micro climates.

I agree, that is why I mentioned Ft Myers on the Calooshatchee river, great micro climate here in SW Florida.

i can also add Anna Marie Island in Bradenton and downtown St Petersburg.

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Yunder Wækraus

Pahokee is the neatest one I can think of.

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Zeeth
24 minutes ago, Palmaceae said:

I agree, that is why I mentioned Ft Myers on the Calooshatchee river, great micro climate here in SW Florida.

i can also add Anna Marie Island in Bradenton and downtown St Petersburg.

I think the Anna Maria climate is an interesting one. In Ft. Myers, the microclimate you mention might mean the difference between post-89 coconuts and pre-89 coconuts. Anna Maria is the difference between pre-89 coconuts and queen palms. 

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Really full garden
1 hour ago, RedRabbit said:

Southern Broward and all of coastal Miami Dade county is 11a. Miami Beach logically should be the warmest since it has the warmest water in the US thanks to the Gulf Stream and on top of that it is the most urban location in Florida. It would be logical to think it might be 11b, like the lower keys, but that didn't appear to be the case based on the limited amount of data I saw from the area. :/

I think the Gulf Stream can vary in width and distance from shore.According to some fishing blogs Pompano seems to be the closest land to the Gulf Stream. It also tends to get wider in that area as well.

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PalmTreeDude
14 hours ago, trioderob said:

wgbmap-sandiego-w-x.jpg

there are a few prime spots in zone 23 ...............Dude

Do you know of any maps like these for Florida? Also, I think the southern most area of zone 23 in California would be great for palms.

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Silas_Sancona
5 hours ago, Palmaceae said:

One of the best micro climates in SW Florida is in Ft Myers right along McGregor Blvd. The reason is it is on the south side of the Calooshatchee river,  it has always been the mark where long term tropical plants really start in SW Florida. 

Completely agree. Traveling south on 75, i always knew how long id been on the road, and how much time i had ahead on the way to Homestead when id cross this area. It kind of greets you as you come down the south side of the bridge. The next "time check" area, as id call it, was down along 41, about mid way through Big Cypress. At this point, you start seeing lots of Bromeliads hanging in the trees, and other native stuff exclusive to far south Florida if you know what to look for. There are even a few Coconuts to spy along that section of 41 also.

As far as west coast microclimates,  Anna Maria, Emerson Point, Fort Desoto (North of the bridge), and most of St. Pete, especially from Downtown south/eastward toward the Skyway/Tampa Bay would fit the bill. The urban heat islands, and warmer spots near lakes in Central Florida would also be considered highly favorable micro climate spots as well.


 

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Sabal Steve
7 hours ago, Pando said:

Terrain matters A LOT in SoCal, no matter where in zone 23 you're in on that map. Yes, most of the best microclimates are in Zone 23, but they are on a hill, especially south and west-facing, preferably a few hundred feet above a canyon or valley floor that can drain to the ocean. They are found right at the fog line where the hills stop the marine layer from advancing too much inland. You get the moisture from the ocean, the cool humid breeze, but also the warmth in sheltered places, and in winter it doesn't get much below 40F (I have not seen less than 37F where I'm at).

That said, nothing in California compares to the constant warm humidity that's always present in Florida. Here in SoCal we only get that a few days per year. This is why some species thrive in Florida and not SoCal, and vice versa, even if the extreme temperature ranges are the same.

https://giphy.com/gifs/food-fun-cHKnErUX39Xxe  (wish I knew how to animate this!)

Man, I'm just waiting for all the people in Zone 23 to show pictures of their perfectly grown New Cal palms!  

I agree.

As much of Central San Diego is on a mesa (starting around when Washington St. peaks around Mission Hills), I would also suspect that would be an ideal growing area - as their would be costal influence still, but excellent cold drainage.  The inland heat does help many palms with their growth rate, but is also fosters dry, hot Santa Ana winds, and cooler lows which could be a deal breaker for some palms.  There are 9B zones within Zone 23.  

One of these days, I'll set up a weather station in my yard.  Someday...

 

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Walt

When I check winter time low temperatures, hands down the reporting station in St. Pete almost invariably runs warmer than any other reporting station in central Florida. In fact, I've actually seen some mornings when St. Pete ran warmer in most S.E. costal locations Florida locations, and certainly warmer than Ft. Myers and Naples in S.W. Florida.

With respect to my area, Highlands County and the greater Lake Placid (town) area, high ground (Lake Wales Ridge) and lakeside areas run 3/4 to 1 full USDA zone warmer than low ground and away from the lakes areas. Some areas just south of Lake Placid (near Archbold Biological Station) are actually 8b most winters, and 9a at best. What physics are going on in this area (shown on the newest USDA  hardiness map) I don't know.

I have many personal friends who own lake front properties (and have met many more lake front property owners that I've conversed with), and they can grow pretty much any palm and tropical shrub, tree, etc., that south Florida can. I have a friend that owns a home on Lake Pearl (on the south side of Lake Placid town). When you turn into his driveway you start to go down hill, as his entire property is in the outer crater of the sink hole lake. It's like living in a giant tea cup. He gets the full warming effect of the lake during the winter. He has the biggest turquoise jade vine I've even seen growing on an arbor. He grows huge West Indian avocados (the most cold tender of the genus). He also had the biggest sea grape tree in Lake Placid -- until he cut it down. Fortunately, I got seeds from it and started my own trees from them.

Next month I intend to traverse as many lake side locations as I can to video zone 10+ palms and shrubs, and trees, then edit them and upload same to YouTube. What you will see (coconut palms, royals, foxtails, carpentaria, solitaire, huge banyan trees, fiddle leaf figs, etc., will serve as testament to the lake micro and meso climates. Same for high ground.

The below Google street scene shows some coconut palms growing at Lake Grassy Inn and Suites. These palms I can attest to have been there more than 10 years, and survived the horrid cold of both January and December 2010.

https://www.google.com/maps/@27.2534869,-81.3407555,3a,75y,72.3h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sVfPubBvpYCGpKk_WXwCoEQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DVfPubBvpYCGpKk_WXwCoEQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D70.257324%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656

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jreich85

When we talk about best microclimates in Florida, and I'd we are judging by departure from the general USA Zone for the area, there are a few places in Jacksonville that are fascinating. I would call the area a 9a in general, but a neighborhood called Isle of Palms that my wife and I are trying to move into has mature Bismarcks, sea grapes, and even a foxtail that I have seen. The area straddles the intracoastal and is lined with canals, which I am sure help with tempering the colder winter lows.

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NorCalKing
8 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

Do you know of any maps like these for Florida? Also, I think the southern most area of zone 23 in California would be great for palms.

There aren't any, as Florida does not have the terrain, and marine layer/fog that we get on the West coast. I've literally driven from Inland California to the ocean and watched the temps go from 108f to 59f over a span of 50 miles. That simply does not exist anywhere in Florida. (Probably not anywhere in the world, for that matter).

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Josh-O
9 hours ago, Pando said:

Terrain matters A LOT in SoCal, no matter where in zone 23 you're in on that map. Yes, most of the best microclimates are in Zone 23, but they are on a hill, especially south and west-facing, preferably a few hundred feet above a canyon or valley floor that can drain to the ocean. They are found right at the fog line where the hills stop the marine layer from advancing too much inland. You get the moisture from the ocean, the cool humid breeze, but also the warmth in sheltered places, and in winter it doesn't get much below 40F (I have not seen less than 37F where I'm at).

That said, nothing in California compares to the constant warm humidity that's always present in Florida. Here in SoCal we only get that a few days per year. This is why some species thrive in Florida and not SoCal, and vice versa, even if the extreme temperature ranges are the same.

I have to agree with your statement Pando.

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Josh-O

Robert (Trioderob)you knew it would be key west before you started this thread..

Image result for trumpjust saying!!!

 

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Silas_Sancona
9 minutes ago, NorCalKing said:

There aren't any, as Florida does not have the terrain, and marine layer/fog that we get on the West coast. I've literally driven from Inland California to the ocean and watched the temps go from 108f to 59f over a span of 50 miles. That simply does not exist anywhere in Florida. (Probably not anywhere in the world, for that matter).

Plenty of other places across the globe exist with similar, terrain driven climate gradients as California. 60 miles is what separates Mazatlan from the 6k+ mountains due east.  

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NorCalKing

Terrain, I have no doubt. 1 degree/mile temp change Ive never seen. And that change is not terrain driven either btw, both locations are sea level.

Edited by NorCalKing

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Loxahatchee Adam

I wouldn't consider the Keys a microclimate as they are just there.  The weather is as expected for being islands in the ocean.  While they may have Zone 11 weather, they are a rainfall desert compared to the rest on mainland Florida and the soil is horrible.  It is mostly completely alkaline limestone/sand/coral rock.  Caribbean palms will do great there, but rainforest palms that want rich and constantly moist soil are not going to be happy.  Salt spray issues also within a few blocks of the ocean.

I agree with Yunder Wækraus on Pahokee.  Western and central (sugar cane) Palm Beach County can be exceptionally cold and were classified as solid 9b for decades...rightfully so.   Pahokee's location tucked into the SW edge of Lake Okeechobee affords it tremendous cold protection.  There is no way for cold air to run down the spine of the state without being moderated by the Lake.  Belle Glade, South Bay, and Clewiston have some protection also, but not like Pahokee does.  They are further removed from the water and air can move in from the W or NW less moderated by the water.    Pahokee also has amazing soil.  Nearby Belle Glade's city motto is "Her Soil is Her Fortune"   The soil is deep rich black former swamp muck on sand that was drained long ago.  

The location also leads to increased rainfall as the lake is large enough to form a lake breeze boundary that acts as a focus for rain and thunderstorms.  The inland location and massive dike provide much better hurricane wind protection than the coast.

Pahokee's location is circled in yellow.  When strong cold fronts come through, the cold air generally flows down from the NW, sometimes W or N though.  Either way, the city is protected by the water which I doubt drops much below 70 F / 21 C even in a cold winter.  I put a red dot where I am, for reference.  About as far west in urban Palm Beach County as one can be.  It's one of the colder locations in the county, but my small area is former cypress swamp and the 4" / 10 cm muck on sand soil is amazing.  Most of even Loxahatchee is higher pine area that is primarily rocky/shelly sterile sand.

In Pahokee, I've never paid much attention to smaller landscape cold sensitive plants, but I have seen Sausage Trees, Ylang Ylang, Pseudobombax/Shaving Brush, large Banyans, and giant Kapoks that would not have made it through hard freezes in the surrounding areas in the 1980s otherwise.

Is Pahokee the least cold spot in the state?  No.  Key West wins.  But Pahokee is definitely a mostly tropical microclimate and many Zone 10 tropicals (so not Breadfruit, Areca catechu, Cyrtostachys, etc) will do great there.  Most Zone 10 palms, shrubs, and trees will thrive in the ground there vs the Keys because of double the rainfall and 1000 times better soil.

Pahokee.jpg

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