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jb1336

Cycad for zone 7/8a?

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jb1336

Plants Delight Nursery claims that Cycas taitungensis is zone 7B but I don't really trust that. I'm on the border line and it gets cold but not too cold.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

@jb1336I will be able to tell you if Taitungensis is fully zone 8 hardy or not next year.  I have about 120 of them with about 12" of vertical trunk but didn't test any outside this year.  Last year I lost some Revoluta (12-24" vertical trunk) at 11F IN POTS in a very exposed area but most were just fine and I lost ZERO in the ground, some with only 8" of vertical trunk.  The one 20" taitungensis outside died, but it wasn't the healthiest so I can't say that is indicative of the species.  Panzhihuensis in pots had zero issues and I have a number larger trunking ones outside in pots in an area that dropped to 8.5F this January and I'd be surprised if any of them die. 

I can tell you if you want to try a cycad for zone 7b/8a you will be ok if you do the following:

1. Best solution - Buy a Panzhihuensis with a 4" caudex and plant it where only the leaves are sticking out of the ground.  By the time it starts to trunk it will take an epic cold front to kill it. I am confident declaring this species the most cold hardy trunking cycad on the planet. 

2. Cheapest solution - Buy a Revoluta with 12" of vertical trunk.  Anything less than this and they could die.  Non trunking revoluta will die at 18F in pots while trunking plants will handle very low teens and probably lower in the ground.  We sell these for $100 per foot of vertical trunk.

3. Also cheap solution - (Don't know if this is 100% good advice or not yet) Buy a taitungensis with 12" of vertical trunk.  I know that smaller taitungensis appear to die at the same temperature as revoluta so I'd say they are just as hardy as revoluta, probably not less or more hardy. Again cheap as they are $90/ft of trunk and they grow twice as fast as Revoluta and get much larger. If they are as hardy as revoluta they are a superior plant as they will flush faster in the spring and multiple times during the year giving a very full look throughout the summer.  They are a few degrees less leaf hardy than revoluta, which doesn't matter for you as either will defoliate every year for you. 

Other options for you are buying a Dioon Edule (which will never get too big for you) and bury the caudex under ground as well. Trunking Dioon Edule are LESS hardy than Panzhihuensis and revoluta. I killed one with 20" of trunk (about a 100+year old plant) while the three revoluta beside them with 3-4' of trunk never skipped a beat and flushed twice last year. Again this won't be a problem because you will probably be dead before the edule develops a trunk. Bad thing is if it does burn they will only flush ONCE A YEAR and take until the beginning of summer for us which really sucks if while flushing you get a bad storm and it beats the flush to pieces as you are out another 12 months before it will flush again.

Get a ceratozamia Latifolia and bury the caudex in the ground.  These is probably the most leaf hardy of all cycads, more so than Dioon edule (still testing out some macrozamia that may surprise everyone).  The caudex will stay subterranean and should do just fine and are lovely looking plants  

Ceratozamia hildae, and Kuesteriana are also solid plants that stay subterranean for the most part but the later is very expensive and difficult to find.  The former gets beat up by our sun and wind.

There are also a number of macrozamia that will live in the ground in your zone but harder to find and usually expensive.  (We sell all of them)  We have learned a lot over the last few years putting Cycads to the real test and have amassed a large amount of information hardiness wise and will continue in the future with encephalartos as well. 

 

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Umbrae

ceratozamia hildae, wish I had a female or two, I have a few large males.... fire island though,  not a skirt among them, and sadly my source has been forever shut down and the territory inaccessible thanks to my severe allergic reactions to secuestros y balazos .....

 

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5150cycad
On 1/30/2018, 8:26:26, jb1336 said:

Plants Delight Nursery claims that Cycas taitungensis is zone 7B but I don't really trust that. I'm on the border line and it gets cold but not too cold.

What are the lowest temperatures you see in winter? I am pretty sure that Cycas Taitungensis is zone 8a and higher, however you might be able to push the envelope and get a Taitungensis to survive in your colder climate zone. You are probably better off playing it safe and getting a hardier species that has the possibility of retaining its leaves year round and not defoliate every winter. I would take Joseph’s advise and get a Cycas panzhihuensis instead. If cycas panzhihuensis survives through the Texas freezes, I would imagine it would do pretty well in your area. Plus the panzhihuensis is such a better looking Cycad in my opinion compared to revoluta and Taitungensis. Good luck. 

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Sanips

Ceratozamia robusta could work too. I know a guy in UK who has one growing outdoors for several years.

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jb1336
12 hours ago, 5150cycad said:

What are the lowest temperatures you see in winter? I am pretty sure that Cycas Taitungensis is zone 8a and higher, however you might be able to push the envelope and get a Taitungensis to survive in your colder climate zone. You are probably better off playing it safe and getting a hardier species that has the possibility of retaining its leaves year round and not defoliate every winter. I would take Joseph’s advise and get a Cycas panzhihuensis instead. If cycas panzhihuensis survives through the Texas freezes, I would imagine it would do pretty well in your area. Plus the panzhihuensis is such a better looking Cycad in my opinion compared to revoluta and Taitungensis. Good luck. 

Based on weather.com, The lowest temperate this year (2017 included) was 11 in December. It rarely gets below this. Also in my neighborhood I found a few sago palms defoliated with some green on them. If there are cycads hardier then sago palm then I will most def try to get those, if they are available. I'd guess i'm somewhat in a micro climate. Before I commit to buy any cycads, What species are tolerant of heavy clay soils?

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TexasColdHardyPalms

As long as its not a low spot that holds water all the cycas i mentioned have no issues with clay soil. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

 these revoluta have seen very low teens for hours on end on numerous occasions with zero wind protection from the north.  The dioon pups are from the big trunk that died last year.  

20180201_172707.jpg

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redbeard917

What about a coontie (Zamia sp.) with buried caudex?

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Coonties come back each year. I have a few that saw an ultimate low temp of 8.5 that will come right back, but is planted in well draining sand and kept dry. Our soil never freezes here. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Dioon that died.  

20170618_194552.jpg

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RaleighNC

Has anyone pushed the limits of C. guizhouensis,C. debaoensis, or the various hybrids of debaoensis with revoluta, panz., and taitungensis? I plan to plant these out in 7b/8a in NC. Being fast growing, it seems they should be able to recover from annual loss of leaves if the caudex can be protected. Will these tolerate having the caudex covered with a loose, well-draining soil, and building it up as the plant grows? 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

I have several revoluta x debaoensis with large caudices that were unprotected this year and a customer has a large guizh, r x d, and revoluta x micholitzii down in athens tx unprotected. I think they dropped to 11-12 down there. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

E. Ferox, and longifolius are now a few years in the ground.  They defoliate but always come back.  V. Villosus is one year in the ground and did fine as well. These are bigger 8-18" caudices.

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mloiaco

I’m also in Raleigh and looking to zone-push a cycad...I picked up two taitugenensis from Plant Deights Nursery.   One has a 2.5” caudex...the other 0.75”.   I’ve read from this thread that I should bury the caudex...what should I bury them with?  Permatill?  Or soil?  Both?

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RaleighNC

I grow a lot of cycads in the ground in Raleigh. I suggest amending the soil well to improve drainage, organic matter and pH. The roots should be planted in the soil, but I pack permatil right around the caudex as a precaution to improve drainage, though it is probably not necessary with C. taitungensis.  If you want your plants to get big quickly, you will get faster gains if you them in large pots in a partially sunny location for a year before putting them in the ground. Just be sure to bring them indoors when temperatures will drop below freezing. I would definitely do that with the smaller one, though it should do just fine if you plant it outdoors this summer. It will just take more time to get big. You can get get an amazing amount of growth out of this species in one year if you really pamper them and particularly if you are able to give them warmth and plenty of light (sun or high-intensity fluorescent lights) through the winter. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Taitungensis seem to be slightly larger than revoluta.  Guizhihounsis are turning out to be champs. They may turn out to be the second hardiest cycas behind panzhihuensis. The guizh at my house appears to be 3-4 degrees more leaf hardy than revoluta and certainly more attractive.  She coned for the first time this year but wasnt receptive and didnt set seeds. 

20200617_205215.jpg

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knikfar

I'm in Raleigh and I planted three taitungensis this past spring. They were all small, only about three fronds each, maybe a total of 18" to 20" in length. The caudex on each is about 2".  All three are planted along the front side of my house, pretty close to full sun. All three did nothing until mid-July. The healthiest one pushed out a frond that promply aborted. Then it pushed our a thicker frond that is now looking great. The second healthiest is currently pushing out two healthy looking fronds. The third was pushing out two dead looking fronds but rabbits ate those. I'm not sure what will become of that one. I also purchased a sad looking revoluta from Lowes two weeks ago. It had no fronds when I planted it but now has seven that are almost completely open. Since this coming winter will be their first, I plan on purchasing clear, plastic storage bins and covering them when I see an ice/snow storm forecast and/or when the temps are predicted to drop below 20 degrees. I'll try and provide updates as I proceed with these guys. 

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amh
On 7/18/2020 at 3:28 PM, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Taitungensis seem to be slightly larger than revoluta.  Guizhihounsis are turning out to be champs. They may turn out to be the second hardiest cycas behind panzhihuensis. The guizh at my house appears to be 3-4 degrees more leaf hardy than revoluta and certainly more attractive.  She coned for the first time this year but wasnt receptive and didnt set seeds. 

20200617_205215.jpg

What's the growth rate on the Guizhihounsis?

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mloiaco
On 8/10/2020 at 11:23 AM, knikfar said:

I'm in Raleigh and I planted three taitungensis this past spring. They were all small, only about three fronds each, maybe a total of 18" to 20" in length. The caudex on each is about 2".  All three are planted along the front side of my house, pretty close to full sun. All three did nothing until mid-July. The healthiest one pushed out a frond that promply aborted. Then it pushed our a thicker frond that is now looking great. The second healthiest is currently pushing out two healthy looking fronds. The third was pushing out two dead looking fronds but rabbits ate those. I'm not sure what will become of that one. I also purchased a sad looking revoluta from Lowes two weeks ago. It had no fronds when I planted it but now has seven that are almost completely open. Since this coming winter will be their first, I plan on purchasing clear, plastic storage bins and covering them when I see an ice/snow storm forecast and/or when the temps are predicted to drop below 20 degrees. I'll try and provide updates as I proceed with these guys. 

Good luck.  I’m in Cary NC and in a similar situation.  Have 2 taitugenensis and 2 panzhihuaensis about to go through their first winter in the ground.  I have them all planted high in a soil which is well amended with permatill, and a 50-50 mix of compost and sandy loam.  Will probably experiment with different protection approaches...willing to lose 1-2 in order to learn something.   Good luck to both of us!

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mloiaco
On 1/31/2018 at 7:35 PM, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

@jb1336I will be able to tell you if Taitungensis is fully zone 8 hardy or not next year.  I have about 120 of them with about 12" of vertical trunk but didn't test any outside this year.  Last year I lost some Revoluta (12-24" vertical trunk) at 11F IN POTS in a very exposed area but most were just fine and I lost ZERO in the ground, some with only 8" of vertical trunk.  The one 20" taitungensis outside died, but it wasn't the healthiest so I can't say that is indicative of the species.  Panzhihuensis in pots had zero issues and I have a number larger trunking ones outside in pots in an area that dropped to 8.5F this January and I'd be surprised if any of them die. 

I can tell you if you want to try a cycad for zone 7b/8a you will be ok if you do the following:

1. Best solution - Buy a Panzhihuensis with a 4" caudex and plant it where only the leaves are sticking out of the ground.  By the time it starts to trunk it will take an epic cold front to kill it. I am confident declaring this species the most cold hardy trunking cycad on the planet. 

2. Cheapest solution - Buy a Revoluta with 12" of vertical trunk.  Anything less than this and they could die.  Non trunking revoluta will die at 18F in pots while trunking plants will handle very low teens and probably lower in the ground.  We sell these for $100 per foot of vertical trunk.

3. Also cheap solution - (Don't know if this is 100% good advice or not yet) Buy a taitungensis with 12" of vertical trunk.  I know that smaller taitungensis appear to die at the same temperature as revoluta so I'd say they are just as hardy as revoluta, probably not less or more hardy. Again cheap as they are $90/ft of trunk and they grow twice as fast as Revoluta and get much larger. If they are as hardy as revoluta they are a superior plant as they will flush faster in the spring and multiple times during the year giving a very full look throughout the summer.  They are a few degrees less leaf hardy than revoluta, which doesn't matter for you as either will defoliate every year for you. 

Other options for you are buying a Dioon Edule (which will never get too big for you) and bury the caudex under ground as well. Trunking Dioon Edule are LESS hardy than Panzhihuensis and revoluta. I killed one with 20" of trunk (about a 100+year old plant) while the three revoluta beside them with 3-4' of trunk never skipped a beat and flushed twice last year. Again this won't be a problem because you will probably be dead before the edule develops a trunk. Bad thing is if it does burn they will only flush ONCE A YEAR and take until the beginning of summer for us which really sucks if while flushing you get a bad storm and it beats the flush to pieces as you are out another 12 months before it will flush again.

Get a ceratozamia Latifolia and bury the caudex in the ground.  These is probably the most leaf hardy of all cycads, more so than Dioon edule (still testing out some macrozamia that may surprise everyone).  The caudex will stay subterranean and should do just fine and are lovely looking plants  

Ceratozamia hildae, and Kuesteriana are also solid plants that stay subterranean for the most part but the later is very expensive and difficult to find.  The former gets beat up by our sun and wind.

There are also a number of macrozamia that will live in the ground in your zone but harder to find and usually expensive.  (We sell all of them)  We have learned a lot over the last few years putting Cycads to the real test and have amassed a large amount of information hardiness wise and will continue in the future with encephalartos as well. 

 

I would love to learn more about what you’ve discovered to be the success/failure factors with surviving winters in the ground with panzhihuaensis, Taitungensis, and dioon edule.  For example, what’s the impact of absolute temperature vs wetness vs soil drainage vs wind protection vs planting close to a foundation, etc.   

I’m in the Raleigh NC area and experimenting with taitugenensis and panzhihuensis in the ground for the first winter.  Thinking about also planting  dioon edule next spring 

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Turtlesteve

I’m testing a lot of the same species here in 8A South Carolina.  

C. panzihuaensis are far and away the best cycad here.  Plants all the way down to 2-4” caudex size survived mid teens.  These really should replace revoluta as the go to landscaping cycad.  They also reliably flush both spring and fall, and look good all year.

C. taitungensis - leaves burn every year here, but they flush early and often so always look good (and they grow super fast).

C. revoluta - I lost some small plants once they got into the teens, but most big ones are not harmed.  The leaves have burned every year so far and they look like dead stumps until summer.  They do best under heavy canopy, where you can get the leaves through most winters looking OK.  I get one flush a year in summer.

I hope to try some other Cycas too... maybe guizhouensis or diannensis will survive in the ground here?

D. edule - I have killed several trial plants so far (up to 6” caudex) and the survivors continue to struggle.  One survivor seems to have lost the growth point, it went leafless for two years before sprouting in random places all over the caudex.  Another one skipped flushing this year even with some high N fertilizer in spring.  They might be super cold hardy in dry climates but I am not impressed.

Others that I will try, or want to try:  Ceratozamia hildae,  kuesteriana, latifolia, Macrozamia communis, moorei, Lepidozamia peroffskyana.

Steve

Edited by Turtlesteve

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mloiaco

@Turtlesteve thanks for sharing your experience.   What kind of soil are they planted in?  And do you do anything to protect them in winter?

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Turtlesteve
1 hour ago, mloiaco said:

@Turtlesteve thanks for sharing your experience.   What kind of soil are they planted in?  And do you do anything to protect them in winter?

Soil here is clay rich with about 18” of nice sandy soil on top.  I try to mound plant them so they are less likely to sit in standing water, as some areas have poor drainage.  Plants in mulched beds have grown faster.  Small plants (seedling to 3” or so) get mulch over the caudex, and get covered with a black nursery pot on nights in the low 20’s or teens, if I remember to do it.

The panzihuaensis are pretty fast compared to revoluta.  Once they are out of the seedling stage they seem to add about 2” in caudex size per year.

 

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mloiaco

@Turtlesteve at what temperature do your panzhihuaensis leaves burn?

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Turtlesteve
4 hours ago, mloiaco said:

@Turtlesteve at what temperature do your panzhihuaensis leaves burn?

Bad burn (but not 100%) at 13F and almost none at 20-21.

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TexasColdHardyPalms
On 8/26/2020 at 2:33 PM, amh said:

What's the growth rate on the Guizhihounsis?

Quite fast. It just flushed a huge flush through the cone. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Not all panzhihuensis are the same. Some leaves start burning around 14-15 with only frost (no ice). Others never defoliate in the single digits. 

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amh
2 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Quite fast. It just flushed a huge flush through the cone. 

Will you have any for sale next spring?

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Yea we always have panzhihuensis available. 

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amh
29 minutes ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Yea we always have panzhihuensis available. 

Sorry, I was inquiring about guizhihounsis, but my panzhihuensis are doing great.

 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

We have lots of guizhihounsis which have become my favorite cold hardy Chinese cycas over panzhihuensis 

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mloiaco

@TexasColdHardyPalms - what won you over to guizhi from panzhihuensis as your favorite cold hardy cycad?

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TexasColdHardyPalms

They look great and are very hardy. Not as hardy as panzhihuensis but great plants. 

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mloiaco

@TexasColdHardyPalms here’s the best of both worlds ...a panzi/guizhi hybrid I saw at Juniper Level Botanic Garden here in Raleigh, NC

B2C30E85-BCFD-4952-98CD-2ABF26E0B3E3.png

C063FED4-F5DB-4505-A413-D8F999CE3613.png

0AB99DBD-9CAB-4E2A-9EC6-A28E11ADA974.png

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Merlyn2220
On 11/5/2020 at 7:19 PM, mloiaco said:

@TexasColdHardyPalms here’s the best of both worlds ...a panzi/guizhi hybrid I saw at Juniper Level Botanic Garden here in Raleigh, NC

Thanks for the pictures, that one looks really neat!  I really need to find another "queen-ish" cycas that's hardier than the Thouarsii/Rumphii/somethingii that I have out front.  It's sorta hardy to 9b/9a, but nowhere close to leaf hardy on our occasional 25F cold blasts.

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