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Phoenix dactylifera Hardiness?

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PalmTreeDude

I heard that Phoenix dactylifera is hardy to zone 8b, is this true? For example, in this picture of the S.C. USDA zones would it do fine in all of the highlighted zone 8b areas? 

test1.PNG

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kinzyjr

@PalmTreeDude  I don't doubt that phoenix dactylifera have survived in some areas of SC and on the outer banks of North Carolina long term, but they are much hardier in the west where it is drier.  Most varieties don't do as well in humid climates as they do in their more native desert and semi-arid climates.  I don't think it would do very well long term in all of the area noted as 8b, and if one of our 198x-style freezes drops the temperatures to single digits, forget it.

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PalmTreeDude
1 minute ago, kinzyjr said:

@PalmTreeDude  I don't doubt that phoenix dactylifera have survived in some areas of SC and on the outer banks of North Carolina long term, but they are much hardier in the west where it is drier.  Most varieties don't do as well in humid climates as they do in their more native desert and semi-arid climates.  I don't think it would do very well long term in all of the area noted as 8b, and if one of our 198x-style freezes drops the temperatures to single digits, forget it.

Good point, I have seen them along the coast, some towering ones too! But none more inland than the western part of Bluffton, S.C.

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kinzyjr
2 minutes ago, PalmTreeDude said:

Good point, I have seen them along the coast, some towering ones too! But none more inland than the western part of Bluffton, S.C.

They do have one characteristic that does promote their survival... they tend to sucker.  I have 4 of them grown from Medjool seeds.  One hasn't put out a single sucker, they other 3 have at least one sucker.  Not all of the suckers come from the root area either.  :)

I could definitely see a few being happy in the most protected areas around Charleston.

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Xerarch

Sure they can survive 8b temps sometimes, especially in the arid west (I've seen them take 8b temps without damage) and I've seen them in Charleston, but I'm not super optimistic about that highlighted area.  Remember, I saw photos on this forum of P. dacty's getting KILLED outright on the Florida panhandle coast during the the polar vortex with temps in the 18-20 degree range if I remember correctly.  8b should be expected to get those kind of temps at least once a year on average, and then you have to factor in that you're sure to get colder than that every so many years, so all in all I'm hesitant to recommend them in 8b SC, and I would still classify them as a 9a palm overall.

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ChrisA

I know maybe not a long-term survivor there but I saw a P. dactylifera from the plane on approach to the Columbia Airport. It was beside a pool and judging from my view the crown would've been over my head.  Has anyone else seen this palm? I know my location is not super specific, but it was definitely on final approach to one of those runways.

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Turtlesteve

I've seen tall ones on various islands in SC that set fertile seed and show minimal damage most winters.  I gathered seeds from some in Beaufort with plans to try them here.  However I suspect that these islands are nearly 9a, with 8b winters once per decade or so.  The seeds I collected are much larger than medjool (3 cm x 1 cm), definitely appear to be some type of p. dactylifera.  There were several first-year seedlings around but none that had survived a winter.  These particular palms showed no evidence of suckering and were ~30 feet tall. 

There are a few in 8a that have survived for many years, but burn every winter.  I know of two such survivors in Aiken SC (8a), rumored to be some near Columbia also.

Steve

 

 

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Sandy Loam

Phoenix Dactylifera are supposed to be more cold-hardy than Phoenix Canariensis or Phoenix Sylvestris, which are already very cold-hardy (though perhaps not as cold-tolerant as bulletproof Phoenix Theophrastii).  I have seen Livistona Chilensis looking healthy in mid-winter in Charleston, and they are less cold-hardy than any of the Phoenix palms mentioned above (leaf-hardiness, at least).  For this reason, Charleston should be a no-brainer for any of the Phoenix palms mentioned here, but I am not familiar enough with the surrounding areas on the map to comment. Isn't the Beaufort, SC area supposed to have a similar climate to Charleston?

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CroToni

I live in coastal Croatia(zone 9a sometimes 8b) and last winter got down to 15.8 degrees fahrenheit.All the dacties survived but they got completely defoliated.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Dacty are 100% more cold tolerant than theophrastii and more leaf hardy than CIDP in dry conditions.  CIDP is really close to as hardy as dactyl but the trunks will damage (rot) in CIDP before dacty (low teens). Both CIDP and dactyl will survive in zone 8 once they obtain a few feet of vertical trunk; but they just won't look very good unless in a borderline warm/dry 8B/9A

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Matthew92
7 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Dacty are 100% more cold tolerant than theophrastii and more leaf hardy than CIDP in dry conditions.  CIDP is really close to as hardy as dactyl but the trunks will damage (rot) in CIDP before dacty (low teens). Both CIDP and dactyl will survive in zone 8 once they obtain a few feet of vertical trunk; but they just won't look very good unless in a borderline warm/dry 8B/9A

I actually have found dactylifera to get trunk rot easier after a hard 8b winter. Some large specimens in my town that seemed to pull through great after 2014 winter are showing trunk rot (fronds/canopy look healthy though). I haven't noticed any CIDP's in my area with trunk damage from those winters.

5jyb09.jpg

^These are the 4 dactys after 8b temps. I'll see if I can get a picture of the trunk rot and post it here.

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Sandy Loam

I saw 17 or 18 degrees Fahrenheit kill a Canary Island Date Palm during our last truly cold winter.  It was during our awful 2009-2010 cold snap up here.  The surrounding CIDPs on the same property may have been defoliated as well, but survived.  I was quite surprised to see that happen.  The CIDP which was killed had a trunk as tall as a person.  You could stand underneath the crown.  It was, however, right at the bottom of a hill in a very cold-draining "valley", but still.... I thought CIDPs were more cold-hardy than that.     

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CroToni
11 hours ago, Sandy Loam said:

I saw 17 or 18 degrees Fahrenheit kill a Canary Island Date Palm during our last truly cold winter.  It was during our awful 2009-2010 cold snap up here.  The surrounding CIDPs on the same property may have been defoliated as well, but survived.  I was quite surprised to see that happen.  The CIDP which was killed had a trunk as tall as a person.  You could stand underneath the crown.  It was, however, right at the bottom of a hill in a very cold-draining "valley", but still.... I thought CIDPs were more cold-hardy than that.     

Well usually they are.

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TexasColdHardyPalms
11 hours ago, Opal92 said:

I actually have found dactylifera to get trunk rot easier after a hard 8b winter. Some large specimens in my town that seemed to pull through great after 2014 winter are showing trunk rot (fronds/canopy look healthy though). I haven't noticed any CIDP's in my area with trunk damage from those winters.

5jyb09.jpg

^These are the 4 dactys after 8b temps. I'll see if I can get a picture of the trunk rot and post it here.

I suppose that I need to clarify a little. Im not referring to blisters like butia and queens can get. When cidp trunks are cold damaged it doesnt stop and goes all the way around and kills the tree within a year. They dont seem to be able to live with a small "soft spot". 

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CroToni
3 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I suppose that I need to clarify a little. Im not referring to blisters like butia and queens can get. When cidp trunks are cold damaged it doesnt stop and goes all the way around and kills the tree within a year. They dont seem to be able to live with a small "soft spot". 

I will tale pics but here all the CIDP's have damaged trunk bases,the dacties never get those,but I have never seen a CIDP that because of that.

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CroToni

die not that I am sorry for the typo also take not tale.

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TexasColdHardyPalms
16 hours ago, CroToni said:

die not that I am sorry for the typo also take not tale.

Unfortunatly based on your description we get a little colder than you do with lots of ice and wind.  Low teens with high wind will do the trick. 

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CroToni
5 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Unfortunatly based on your description we get a little colder than you do with lots of ice and wind.  Low teens with high wind will do the trick. 

Oh that might just be it.Our record low in the last almost 60 years was 15 degrees.But it was very clear and dry there wasn't even frost on the grass.

We don't have freezing rain we do get snow once in a while sadly,lasts half a day and then melts.

Edited by CroToni

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kinzyjr

@CroToni If you decide to plant a few, some things that might help are to plant it somewhere with overhead canopy, but where it will also get at least 6 solid hours of sunlight.  For phoenix dactylifera, you may want to elevate the planting a little to give it good drainage.  Planting in this way should keep ice/snow out of the crown, keep the temperature slightly higher, and keep the roots from being both cold and wet at the same time.

I can't speak to the actual hardiness of phoenix theophrasti personally, but if @TexasColdHardyPalms says they aren't as hardy as dactylifera, I would take his word on it.  Even so, I would still consider planting a few of those.  I have a bunch of them I am growing from seed.  In my climate, they seem to get leaf spot easy, but in a drier climate they should be fine.  One thing to be aware of regarding all phoenix sp. are the spines, and theophrasti certainly has the worst ones.

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Zifool

Also if u want try dacty, find mazafati sp. the most resistant of all dacty ! ^_^

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VA Jeff

Most palms fare better in cold winters when they receive little rain.  Most palms that survive hard frosts also come from climates with dry seasons.  You can increase the palm's hardiness by depriving it of rain during the winter, as long as it is not being heated too much by a greenhouse/plastic wrap/artificial heat.  Don't water a palm in winter, unless it gets no rainfall at all AND the sun heats it occasionally.  Unless you live in zone 10+.

 

There is a page on CIDP in Myrtle Beach http://www.garysnursery.com/Phoenix.html

 

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Sandy Loam

i thought that I had read the opposite somewhere on PalmTalk. I recall someone recommending that palms be watered several hours before a freeze so that they would have the time to absorb the water before the freeze hit. Which advice is correct? Water or no water?

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CroToni
1 hour ago, Sandy Loam said:

i thought that I had read the opposite somewhere on PalmTalk. I recall someone recommending that palms be watered several hours before a freeze so that they would have the time to absorb the water before the freeze hit. Which advice is correct? Water or no water?

I do this with leomon trees here when we drop bellow 24 I water it with a hose 3 hours prior and I let the water run slowly during the freeze too it helps a lot but I never do it with palms.

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Xenon

Moderate defoliation to very large and established palms in exposed locations after sub 20F temperatures experienced during the Jan 2010 freeze in Houston. 

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CroToni
8 hours ago, Xenon said:

Moderate defoliation to very large and established palms in exposed locations after sub 20F temperatures experienced during the Jan 2010 freeze in Houston. 

houston gets that cold???!!?

they can look pretty dead but those old trunks always make it "back".

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pin38
10 hours ago, CroToni said:

houston gets that cold???!!?

they can look pretty dead but those old trunks always make it "back".

Despite its southerly latitude, mild winter averages and proximity to the Gulf, Houston, along with other Texas cities, is still located on the Great American Arctic Bowling Alley (not the official name). The bane of existence for palm-loving gardeners east of the Rocky Mountains...

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TexasColdHardyPalms

We always get the coldest arctic air days barreling alongside the rockies before it warms up as it heads east. 

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Cikas
On 13. 11. 2017., Sandy Loam said:

i thought that I had read the opposite somewhere on PalmTalk. I recall someone recommending that palms be watered several hours before a freeze so that they would have the time to absorb the water before the freeze hit. Which advice is correct? Water or no water?

Water and cold/freezing temperatures are bad combination. 

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CroToni
4 hours ago, Cikas said:

Water and cold/freezing temperatures are bad combination. 

water radiates heat thought.I know it helps with citrus but with palms I never tried

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Cikas
6 hours ago, CroToni said:

water radiates heat thought.I know it helps with citrus but with palms I never tried

Any water on plants during cold, freezing temperatures creates Ice crystals. Ice crystals are killer for plants. Any plant will do much better in dry conditions during the freeze, than in moist. Also cold + water = fungus. 

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CroToni
5 hours ago, Cikas said:

Any water on plants during cold, freezing temperatures creates Ice crystals. Ice crystals are killer for plants. Any plant will do much better in dry conditions during the freeze, than in moist. Also cold + water = fungus. 

wow,that might be why my lemon trees look really after certain winters...

anyway that makes sense,but as I said thankfully I never do it with palms.

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Phoenikakias
On 13/11/2017, 7:58:08, Sandy Loam said:

i thought that I had read the opposite somewhere on PalmTalk. I recall someone recommending that palms be watered several hours before a freeze so that they would have the time to absorb the water before the freeze hit. Which advice is correct? Water or no water?

I have heard about it in the past, but beside the anecdotal character of this information, I would like to hear some serious arguments for or against this practice. For example it is difficult for me to imagine how cytoplasm is better protected from freeze burst if it is full of water with less concentrated sugar...

Edited by Phoenikakias
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jwitt

Phx. D can survive some intense cold.

This one survived -5f in 2/2011 in Las Cruces NM

Sorry, picture won't uploadH4a4ty5M9ZrvPaAW2

Edited by jwitt

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sonoranfans

This is a desert palm, its not going to be happy in the southeast.  Cold tolerance can have a lot to do with wet or dry roots in the cold winter.  Dactylifera and several other  phoenix sp will do better in a dry cold.  I've seen these take 18 degrees in phoenix suburbs in 2007 and barely get leaf burn on lower leaves.  Yeah its 8b but like washingtonia filifera, the zone rating only applies to a dry winter with shorter, generally advective events.  Bismarckia, another palm I have killed with wet roots, can take 21 degrees in AZ, lose half its older leaves and come back strong. The one in my AZ rose garden died quickly from that cold, 3 others flew through as 6 lower leaves were burnt, t leaves and (multiple leaf)spear intact.  In the east its hard to keep roots dry in the cold, that will change the cold tolerance of many palm species that area adapted to a dry winter like jubaea, bismarckia, washingtonia filifera, phoenix dactylifera, CIDP, etc.  

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sonoranfans

the watering before a cold snap can be used in marginal freeze event of short duration.  In effect more heat has to be removed from the wet ground and the palm before it freezes.  But when you have a big cold coming in for a longer duration this is not going to work at all.  Some suggest boosting plant electrolytes by fertilizing with K, this makes some sense in that adding K salt to the plant sap will suppress the temperature at which plant cell water freezes.  when water freezes it expands and this will rupture the cells on a wide scale when the plant itself actually freezes.  So you may get a few degrees of protection by adding K a week before a cold event.  Aside from all these issues is the plants genetic adaptation.  Plants that are adapted to a dry cold often get root rot and subsequent die back of roots from that rot.  Killing off roots is a good start to killing a palm.  I have grown palms in the desert for 7 years and now growing in florida for the same time.  Some species just do better and look a whole lot healthier where they are best adapted.

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buffy
On 31/10/2017, 11:14:22, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Dacty are 100% more cold tolerant than theophrastii

My P. theophrastii is hands down tougher than any dact. or canar. or hybrid of those I've tried. It's a clear difference. Last year, when everything else was just smoked, theonasty just had about 20% burn. It never gets knocked back like the others. I've had it growing in the ground for awhile. I don't know if our specimen is just special, but theonasty is the only phoenix that is looking to be a long term reality. We cleaned off the suckers this year, and I'm sitting with a slimmish 5 foot trunk.

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kinzyjr
14 minutes ago, buffy said:

My P. theophrastii is hands down tougher than any dact. or canar. or hybrid of those I've tried. It's a clear difference. Last year, when everything else was just smoked, theonasty just had about 20% burn. It never gets knocked back like the others. I've had it growing in the ground for awhile. I don't know if our specimen is just special, but theonasty is the only phoenix that is looking to be a long term reality. We cleaned off the suckers this year, and I'm sitting with a slimmish 5 foot trunk.

I have a bunch of them here, but it is unlikely that my 20F all-time low will cause them or dactylifera any grief.  Do you happen to recall the temperature during the cold snap that caused all of the damage last year?

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TexasColdHardyPalms
1 hour ago, buffy said:

My P. theophrastii is hands down tougher than any dact. or canar. or hybrid of those I've tried. It's a clear difference. Last year, when everything else was just smoked, theonasty just had about 20% burn. It never gets knocked back like the others. I've had it growing in the ground for awhile. I don't know if our specimen is just special, but theonasty is the only phoenix that is looking to be a long term reality. We cleaned off the suckers this year, and I'm sitting with a slimmish 5 foot trunk.

Well, this bums me out.  The seed I grew from came from RPS, do you know where your came from?  I had about 100 of them alongside CIDP and true dates and all theo lost their spears and a dozen died and completely burned, while very minimal spears were lost in the other two species.  Same cold frame hold all Phoenix species.  Lost over half of the pygmy dates in liners too.

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Sandy Loam

TexasColdHardyPalms, I wonder if your seed was mixed up by RPS and simply was not phoenix theorphrastii.  I have an unidentified phoenix which is my most bulletproof, and I have suspected that it is phoenix theorphrastii. No amount of cold anywhere in this state is going to harm it.  Maybe a couple of states north of here would do it damage, but not here and likely nowhere in Texas either.

Does this sound like a phoenix theorphrastii to you?:  It is suckering, is very silver in colour (more than phoenix sylvestris), is very spikey/spiney (hurts to touch!), and has a leaf pattern which is much more like phoenix sylvestris than canariensis or dactylifera because the spines point in all directions. It's frond spines are rather far apart and point in both horizontal and perpendicular directions.  They even point to other directions in between as well --- hard to describe.  It doesn't look like any of the common phoenix palms seen around Florida, so I have no clue what it is.

TexasColdHardyPalms, I will gladly send you seed from this palm once it is mature enough to produce seed. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms
5 minutes ago, Sandy Loam said:

TexasColdHardyPalms, I wonder if your seed was mixed up by RPS and simply was not phoenix theorphrastii.  I have an unidentified phoenix which is my most bulletproof, and I have suspected that it is phoenix theorphrastii. No amount of cold anywhere in this state is going to harm it.  Maybe a couple of states north of here would do it damage, but not here and likely nowhere in Texas either.

Does this sound like a phoenix theorphrastii to you?:  It is suckering, is very silver in colour (more than phoenix sylvestris), is very spikey/spiney (hurts to touch!), and has a leaf pattern which is much more like phoenix sylvestris than canariensis or dactylifera because the spines point in all directions. It's frond spines are rather far apart and point in both horizontal and perpendicular directions.  They even point to other directions in between as well --- hard to describe.  It doesn't look like any of the common phoenix palms seen around Florida, so I have no clue what it is.

TexasColdHardyPalms, I will gladly send you seed from this palm once it is mature enough to produce seed. 

Here is a pic of a 5g i just sold, 30 months from seed. 

20171202_221805.jpg

20171202_221732.jpg

20171202_221644.jpg

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