I have no wish to bring up the 800 lb gorilla sitting in most of our living rooms. My father was in the FBI so I grew up with 800 lb gorillas. Suffice it to say my husband and I are old and afflicted with conditions and ailments (type A blood anyone?) that render us both high risk. So, voluntarily, we have self-quarantined at our home on one of the larger residential properties in Cape Coral (0.61 acre - don't laugh). But we are blessed to be surrounded by 100s of my beloved palms and tropical plants that provide a cooling oasis and privacy. It's so restful to work in the yard, lots to be done to take my mind off the woes of the world.
I thought I'd take some time to share photos of our little palm paradise as it looks like we won't be going anywhere for a while. I started outside the front door and continued into our 3-lot Garden Lot, which is fully planted except for our 10x16' garden shed.
Blue & Red Latans
Sabal minor Blountstown Dwarf x2 in planter box
Northern edge of Garden Lot
Views from inside the Garden Lot
As I posted earlier this week, I lost my large, mature Sabal palmetto Lisa to lingering damage from Hurricane Irma. But I still have two juvenile Sabal Lisas that I grew from seeds collected from a Ft. Myers city park. I have high hopes they will someday flower and set seeds like my first one. Here they are today.
Sabal Lisa the larger
Sabal Lisa the smaller
Please join me in mourning the passing of my oldest and largest Sabal palmetto Lisa, which has provided many seeds and seedlings over the past 5 years. I received it as a 2-leaf seedling in May 2008 from a generous local PTer. It started flowering and setting seeds around 2014. I believe but can't prove that it suffered some kind of damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. It aborted its seeds in 2018 and never flowered at all in 2019. By then it stopped growing and fronds died, starting with the newest. Today we gave up hope for it and cut it down. First photo is of what's left of its trunk. Second photo was taken 11 months ago when it still looked its best. I have two juvenile Sabal Lisas left on my garden lot.
Sabal Lisa RIP, Cape Coral, FL 3/16/20
Sabal Lisa, Cape Coral, FL 4/30/19
So one of my Washingtonia robusta started to go yellow and then the edges went brown and it slowly died. Then, two of my other Washingtonia have started to do the same thing a while back, but are still alive. Now, my final healthy one is starting to show the very beginning stages (slight yellowing in the oldest leaf). Then some of my Saw palmetto seedlings started to show "symptoms" and now it seems like my Archontophoenix cunninghamiana is showing it a little bit, although it fortunately doesn't seem to be progressing much. I can't tell if this is some sort of disease (I don't understand how potted palms indoors in Virginia would get a palm disease) or if they have some sort of fungus. Should I completely soak them in copper fungicide? I'm not going to lie, I am kind of freaking out a bit. Any advice would be helpful. I am not new to growing palms indoors during the winter and have been watering them each as I believe they should be watered while indoors (for example, Washingtonia get the least amount of water, to prevent rot). What could this be? Can I save these? I never had this problem before.
I collect rare specimens of the variable Sabal minor, esp. those that are dwarfs or uber dwarfs. I got many of those from Plant Delights Nursery, which offers Sabal palms sporadically, sometimes as one-off sales. When they have one I want, I know to order quickly because it may never be offered again. Such is the case for two different Sabal minors I pounced upon nearly two years ago and haven't seen since. I have them in my garden lot where they have gone pinnate. Today I took photos of them. They are quite distinct.
Sabal minor 'Welfare', Texas aka the "Poor Scrub" palmetto
This palm occurs as a population in grasslands near the ghost town of Welfare in Kendall County, TX. Some plants will grow trunks up to 8' tall. The juvenile I have is approx. 2' tall x 2' wide. Check out the link to PDN below:
Sabal minor 'High Springs', FL
This dwarf Sabal minor comes from the town of High Springs in Alachua County, FL. It is distinctive for being very short, 2' tall, and wide, 4' wide. Leaf pinnae are notably narrow. Flower stalks reach 7' tall.
See link to PDN catalog below: