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Dartolution

Wilt Stop on Queen Palm?

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Dartolution

As winter approaches I am preparing for the few nights we get where temps dip below the 30F mark for extended periods. 

In an effort to preserve the queen palm I bought back this late summer, I doubled potted it (still in the nursery pot) into a large ceramic frost proof pot. Then placed a heating coil (the kind you get for pipes) around the base, and backfilled with pebbles, wrapping the heat coil around the pot, then leaving around 6 ft to extend and wrap around the trunk if needed. 

 

So far we've had temps down to 28 very briefly, with no observable damage to the queen palm. 

However, temps are supposed to dip down to 20F for a few nights this upcoming week, and I do not want to risk loosing the foliage to freezing temperatures. 

 

I cam across this product (Wilt Stop) in several youtube videos, and have read where it is supposed to help with water loss, and freeze protection for a variety of plants. 

I mixed up a gallon, and sprayed the palm down head and trunk twice, letting it dry for a couple of hours in between. 

 

Has anyone used this product, or similar products to help protect palms during freezes?

 

 

 

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GottmitAlex

I have employed Wilt-pruf during summer time.  Since our humidity during that season is in the single digits.  I did not use it this summer(I forgot about it) And honestly, I see no difference in the coconuts leaflets. 

I have never employed it in winter since, we never get freezes and the humidity is very high for us during that season.

 

But I wouldn't call it snake oil just yet. 

 

 

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Dartolution

Ive seen so many mixed reviews with anti desiccants or anti transpirants.

I still plant to wrap it in 2.5oz frost cloth, with a heat coil to protect, but I wanted to take every measure possible. 

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PalmatierMeg

The record for "freeze proofing" sprays is mixed at best. I don't believe any of them could hold off the effects of 20F low, which can fatally toast a queen. Aside from foliage issues you must protect the meristem/growing point. Wrap the stem in frost cloth, blankets and heat cables if low falls below 25F. Do not apply cables directly to the palm itself but over a cloth wrapper. Never use plastic only to wrap a palm. Plastic can act as a conduit for cold and cause major damage.

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sipalms

I have used our equivalent of wilt stop on my 4 queen palms here, until last winter. I am starting to believe it has some serious benefits in my climate.

The problem here is not so much the outright low, as we would never get cold enough to kill an established Queen outright. Last winter the low was around 23f. However it is the continual frosts around 28-30f that make the leaf tips go yellow and it hinders the recovery across warmer months.

Previously using wilt stop type product (see here), I found that the leaves were protected from regular frosts. The only problem is it is sticky and the new spears had difficulties opening properly as I was probably over zealous around the growing point.

This southern winter just gone, I didn't apply it and I'm convinced that the leaves are much worse off for it so will be reapplying next winter.

It doesn't protect against major freeze events though. 20f is getting extremely cold for a Queen...

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Dartolution

Well,

I did notice that it was EXTREMELY sticky tonight!

The wiltstop turned the foliage glossy and shiny (looks wet but isn't), and is extremely sticky to the touch. 

I wrapped the entire tree in 3 layers of 2.5oz frost cloth (white), and then 2 wraps of the cheap green frost blanket stuff you can get at Lowes. 

Its got the heat cable coiled in the bottom, and wrapped around the white frost cloth (doesn't touch the palm directly) up about halfway (as far as it would go). 

 

I am hoping that with the coil, and generous wrapping it will be protected... 

 

Here is a pic. 

BTW, Im sure my neighbors think Ive gone mad at this point. lol 

 

QueenPalmWrapped11NOV2019.jpg

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sipalms

Wilt stop only helps prevent damage from external frost on the leaves... I don't think it will make any difference wrapped inside what you have there! E.g, it only prevents freezing of the tissue of the leaves themselves, it is not an insulator.

Also be very careful not to over use it, as with it being inside the fabric it won't wash off in the rain etc, and may hinder growth next season. I sprayed my queens with it on a windy sunny day and made sure that it had dried off before experiencing the first frosts.

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Dartolution

Thanks @sipalms it dried for two days before wrapping, but was stilly sticky to the touch. We had no rain. 

Ill unwrap it here tomorrow evening probably since temps will pretty much be in the 60s during the day, and mid 30s at night. 

 

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Dartolution

Well! She made it! We only had 2 nights that dipped into the low/mid 20's but I just got time today to uncover it. 

Cant see any cold damage at all. 

 

QueenPalm1-16NOV2019.jpg

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Dartolution

2

QueenPalm2-16NOV2019.jpg

Edited by Dartolution
wrong pic

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Dartolution

3

QueenPalm3-16NOV2019.jpg

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Dartolution

Update:

While the wilt stop worked well to protect the foliage when we had those 2 nights in the low 20's, it however has NOT been good now that the weather has warmed again. 

Last week we had temps in the upper 60's and low 70's during the day and sunny, and as a result I believe the queen palm suffered heat damage from not being able to transpire through the leafs. 

Here are some pictures I took of the damage. 

Please note that this only occurred after the temps went up, and it was sunny for several days in a row. 

 

QueenLeaf1-29NOV2019.jpg

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Dartolution

As you can see, the damage is spotty, and there is a white residue left on the leaf after rain. 

 

QueenLeaf2-29NOV2019.jpg

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Dartolution

Here is a picture of the newly opened spear. It is bright green and doesn't appear to have any damage on it, if any at all it is very minor. 

 

QueenLeaf3-29NOV2019.jpg

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palmsOrl

In the future, I would just manually protect the palm from the cold and keep out rain and snow if possible.  This could be done by using a tall pole around which blankets could be used to bundle the palm up and maybe an opaque tarp on the outside of this to keep out moisture.  This will only help so much though and may not be enough for the palm once temperatures go below about 20F.

 

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Dartolution

Well I did use frost cloth wraps, and heat coil for the 2 days we had temps in the 20's. 

I probably shouldn't have used the wilt stop along with that. 

 

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sipalms

Looks more like cold damage to me, as the damage gets worse further out on the leaf tips as the leaf thins and becomes less resistant.

Edited by sipalms
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Cikas

That is an cold damage. Cold damage is not visible right away. At least one month must pass before you will start to see real damage done by cold. 

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Allen

Use Mini Christmas lights and thermocube with a temp sensor inside.  The best proven method.  Add mini lights till you get the temps you want.

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Dartolution

Is the light colored newly emerging leaf normal? I don't remember that this summer... 

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Jeff985
2 hours ago, Dartolution said:

Is the light colored newly emerging leaf normal? I don't remember that this summer... 

It’s pretty common this time of year for a queen to open a new frond that is yellowish. I’m not sure if it’s the colder temperature or the decreased sunlight but I see it a lot. 

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Dartolution

It was concerning to me. 

Truthfully, this is probably the first cold this palm has seen in its life so far. 

I am really bummed out about the damage. I tried so hard to protect it. 

I still say it is heat damage from the inability to transpire. 

I wrapped the leafs and trunk in 4 layers of frost cloth and a heat coil. 

What are the chances of frost damage with that much protection?

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Jeff985
10 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

It was concerning to me. 

Truthfully, this is probably the first cold this palm has seen in its life so far. 

I am really bummed out about the damage. I tried so hard to protect it. 

I still say it is heat damage from the inability to transpire. 

I wrapped the leafs and trunk in 4 layers of frost cloth and a heat coil. 

What are the chances of frost damage with that much protection?

I’m not sure. I’ve only seen queens cold damaged once, and it didn’t look like that. Two years ago we had a hard freeze and there were thousands of them here that were damaged. The leaflets were light brown and crispy. 

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Dartolution

@Jeff985 that's exactly why I suspect overheating instead of freeze damage. 

I sprayed 2 applications on the leafs, and while the temps were cool/cold and overcast they appeared great, green, glossy, and erect. 

We had the 2 nights of 21F and 27F, whereby I wrapped the crap out of her. She came out of it looking unscathed, and has so since last week when we had temps in the low and mid 70s and bright and sunny. 

I still believe this is due to the inability to transpire and cool the leaf due to the wilt stop coating the entire surface of the leaf so thick. Basically cooking it from the inside out. 

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Jeff985
1 minute ago, Dartolution said:

@Jeff985 that's exactly why I suspect overheating instead of freeze damage. 

I sprayed 2 applications on the leafs, and while the temps were cool/cold and overcast they appeared great, green, glossy, and erect. 

We had the 2 nights of 21F and 27F, whereby I wrapped the crap out of her. She came out of it looking unscathed, and has so since last week when we had temps in the low and mid 70s and bright and sunny. 

I still believe this is due to the inability to transpire and cool the leaf due to the wilt stop coating the entire surface of the leaf so thick. Basically cooking it from the inside out. 

I wouldn’t rule it out. However it’s common for cold damage to not show up until the palm gets some sun and warmth. I can’t say what caused the damage on your palm. I just know it doesn’t look like the cold damaged queens I saw two years ago. That’s a sight I don’t think I’ll ever forget. 

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Dartolution

yikes! 

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Allen

It is my guess you would need a better method to protect this palm.  Just my opinion.  Likely there was not enough heat toward the outside.  You need a temp sensor or 2 in there to tell.  What zone are you?  Put it in your location.

When you said "Then placed a heating coil (the kind you get for pipes) around the base, and backfilled with pebbles, wrapping the heat coil around the pot, then leaving around 6 ft to extend and wrap around the trunk if needed. "

This sounds like you have no heat around the fronds.  I recommend wrapping the whole palm mummy wrap 1 layer, then wrapping 3-4 100 light mini strings around that, then wrapping again with several layers and placing a thermocube in there mid way with a temp sensor.

I'd suggest a sleeping bag like in this photo for your situation.  You may need a pole in there to support which may be difficult in a pot.

IMG_0743.JPG

Edited by Allen

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Dartolution

@Allen Thanks for the suggestions! No, I didn't have heat coil around the fronds, that could definitely be a factor. 

Its good that we are having this conversation because tomorrow night its supposed to dip down to 29F. 

I am debating on leaving it like it is exposed, or laying it down on the patio and covering with frost cloth and blankets with a heat coil inside. 

Because I got the queen later this summer I didn't want to risk planting so late in the year, so I left it in its nursery pot, 5-7gallon probably, this year and planned to attempt to plant and experiment with it in the spring. Im in 8a so Im well aware its not a long term palm here. 

I think for the remainder of this year, in the event we have dips, I may just lay it down and cover for the sake of ease. 

 

 

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Jeff985

Can you take it in your house? That’s what I do with my adonidia anytime we get below 50f.    7 gallon queens are pretty small. I’ve actually hauled one home in a Honda Civic. 

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Allen
56 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

@Allen Thanks for the suggestions! No, I didn't have heat coil around the fronds, that could definitely be a factor. 

Its good that we are having this conversation because tomorrow night its supposed to dip down to 29F. 

I am debating on leaving it like it is exposed, or laying it down on the patio and covering with frost cloth and blankets with a heat coil inside. 

Because I got the queen later this summer I didn't want to risk planting so late in the year, so I left it in its nursery pot, 5-7gallon probably, this year and planned to attempt to plant and experiment with it in the spring. Im in 8a so Im well aware its not a long term palm here. 

I think for the remainder of this year, in the event we have dips, I may just lay it down and cover for the sake of ease. 

 

 

8a you are going to dip down to teens regularly in Jan.  The cold isn't even here yet.  You'll need to bring the palm inside most likely or protect really well.  The coldest historical weeks are Dec 22th - Feb 10th

Edited by Allen
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Dartolution
5 hours ago, Jeff985 said:

Can you take it in your house? That’s what I do with my adonidia anytime we get below 50f.    7 gallon queens are pretty small. I’ve actually hauled one home in a Honda Civic. 

@Jeff985 While I MAY have been able to do that when I first bought it, as it did BARELY fit into my 228i BMW lol, Now, its easily 14-15ft tall and I definitely do not have room for it inside. 

 

@Allen Its not a regular occurrence to get that cold here. It does happen a handful of times a year, but not regularly. 

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Allen

I'd suggest you try a mule palm, Butia or plant a Trachy.  Your zone looks great for a Trachy.  I looked at temps going back for Montgomery, AL and about 50% of years have lows in JAN several times in teens.  2014 recorded a 0F and a couple years had 2 solid weeks of teens to low 20's.  So you need a plan for sustained cold.

Edited by Allen

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Dartolution

@Allen Where are you finding this information? I am curious to see. 

Montgomery is about 60 miles south of me. 

2014 was a terrible year, I remember that well. We had an arctic blast take the state by surprise and thousands of people were trapped in their cars on the roads for several days. 

 

 

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Allen
10 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

@Allen Where are you finding this information? I am curious to see. 

 

Go to weather underground history on google.  Then the easiest is to pick monthly and it shows a graph.  I'm in zone denial too lol.  And a palmetto would hold up.  I put out 2 Sabal palmetto 'mocksville' myself for my zone denial experiment.  They are tougher when smaller so maybe they'll last a few years for me, but for you they should live down to 10F

https://www.wunderground.com/history/monthly/KMGM/date/2019-12

Edited by Allen
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Dartolution

Thanks @Allen that helps me plan a little better

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Josue Diaz

for what it's worth, I've used wilt-proof in summer to help palms conserve moisture in extreme, desert heat with zero ill effects to the fronds - that is in 110+ degree heat. That looks like cold damage to me. The dark green spotting is a telltale sign of cold damage on palms, sometimes not evident until weather warms again as some have pointed out.

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Dartolution
17 hours ago, Josue Diaz said:

for what it's worth, I've used wilt-proof in summer to help palms conserve moisture in extreme, desert heat with zero ill effects to the fronds - that is in 110+ degree heat. That looks like cold damage to me. The dark green spotting is a telltale sign of cold damage on palms, sometimes not evident until weather warms again as some have pointed out.

@Josue Diaz well, that changes my mind. 

I was sure it was a transpiration issue. 

I guess my heat coil and frost cloth aren't going to cut it this winter. 

I suppose Ill find a thermocube and some lights. 

 

Tonight, we have a low of 29F. While this is probably overkill, I laid it down, wrapped it in 2 layers of 2.5oz frost cloth,  wrapped it in heat coil, threw a couple of beach towels over it, then wrapped it in 3 bedsheets, followed by sticking outdoor pillows, and cushions all around it. 

 

hahaha

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Dartolution

Here is a picture for entertainment purposes. lol 

QueenPalm02DEC019.jpg

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Jeff985

While I think this palm is going to be a lot of work for you, I applaud your efforts and hope it works out. Keep us posted. Hopefully this time next year we’ll be having this conversation again. 

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Dartolution

@Jeff985 I really don't mind the work. Its worth it in the warm months with how large it has gotten, and how nice it looks in the back yard. 

I am hoping that with these winter exposures, over time, it may help harden it off. 

If i do eventually loose it, I may try to find one of the more cold tolerate litoralis, santa, or even the mules from MPOM.

This year will at least give me an idea of what Ill need to do. 

I knew when I got the queen it would be a long shot, and a good deal of work, but Im determined.  

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