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Shoowow

Azores palms + landscapes

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Shoowow

Living in the Azores since 2015 after spending most of my adult life in New England, I've had a chance to explore most of S. Miguel island as a hiking guide. I've also started growing several palms in at quinta minuvida orchard lodge, our business. Most of them are looking pretty good by now.

Posting here some images of my palm garden, the neighborhood and the island. I've found that pretty much everything grows since the climate is even, with high humidity and rain. I don't fertilize or water any of my palms or fruit trees.

Please feel free to ask questions.

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IMG_20191119_134729_1.thumb.jpg.3925642636e815ee5da8450f0d52b279.jpgThe Roystonea on the forefront has been on the ground about three years now from 1 gallon container.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20191101_115607.thumb.jpg.bc371a94ea163b204dfd7fb60dba5424.jpg Alfie 18 months on the ground from 1 gallon.

IMG_20191110_100933.thumb.jpg.3a9706a5868b7f32417a9d3caa822199.jpgKentias by the pool. Bought them already large.

 

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One of the Kentias I transplanted 3 years ago from 5 gallon. Growing like crazy.

 

 

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Yoga in our banana plantation.

 

 

 

 

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Sunset in the neighborhood.

 

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Mountains and waterfalls...

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Life is a beach...

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On the island's trails.

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Palms from around the island.

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gilles06

I can't wait to see this place:yay:, will come on summer for a short 2 weeks holidays.

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dalmatiansoap

We went to S.Miguel last month and absolutely enjoyed it. Scenery, people, food,....,just name it...

Fully recommend

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Cikas

Azores are European Hawaii. 

They have the best climate in Europe. 

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palmfriend

Very nice documentation!

It seems that a lot of palms can be given a try over there - very interesting!

Best regards from Okinawa -

Lars

 

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Shoowow

Thanks Lars. Yes, lots of potential. Traditionally only about a dozen species have been propagated on the islands since the great agricultural experimentalists of the 1800s.

Now a few newer things are coming in, such as Roystoneas,  H Verschaffeltii, Coccothrinax (thanks Rafael!), many Dypsis, etc. I'm working on a couple of holy grail palms as well, so stay tunned for updates.

Your post from Okinawa looks great too!

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RJ

Looks awesome! This coming from a fellow New Englander. I think a trip is in order for the family :greenthumb:

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Tracy

It looks as though you could grow a lot of palms there including some of the New Caledonia species.  My neighbors were visiting your islands a few weeks back and came across a garden with an area dedicated to cycads so they knew they had to take some photos to share with me (lots of them in my yard).  Final comment was that your dog looks like it could have some Swiss Mountain dog lines based on the facial markings.... My Appenzeller Sennenhund, one of the Swiss Mountain dogs for comparison.  You probably could try some of the heartier Pritchardias as well if you are growing bananas (a couple of Pritchardia species are growing below the bananas in my photo).  The Azore's are definitely on the travel list for us and my wife like's to hike so we may have to look you up when we plan a trip there.

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akamu

The waterfall coming out of the cave is awesome

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bubba

A Palm talker from Bermuda, whose family had lived in the Azores, thought it may be possible to grow a coconut palm in the Azores. He postulated that even though there was not enough heat, it might be possible to find a microclimate near one of the many volcanic areas and give it a shot. Just throwing that out there because if you did and were successful, you would definitely have the farthest coconut palm from the equator on earth!

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Shoowow
11 hours ago, Tracy said:

It looks as though you could grow a lot of palms there including some of the New Caledonia species.  My neighbors were visiting your islands a few weeks back and came across a garden with an area dedicated to cycads so they knew they had to take some photos to share with me (lots of them in my yard).  Final comment was that your dog looks like it could have some Swiss Mountain dog lines based on the facial markings.... My Appenzeller Sennenhund, one of the Swiss Mountain dogs for comparison.  You probably could try some of the heartier Pritchardias as well if you are growing bananas (a couple of Pritchardia species are growing below the bananas in my photo).  The Azore's are definitely on the travel list for us and my wife like's to hike so we may have to look you up when we plan a trip there.

Hello Tracy, nice dog! From what we know ours is a mutt, mostly Jack Russell and Beagle, but who knows. Lots of island dogs here with lots of mixed breeds.

So, yes, we actually grow bananas commercially in the Azores, and along with Madeira and the Canary islands the only places that do so. We also produce many other subtropical and tropical fruits, such as guava, anona cherimoya, mango, avocado, pitanga, jackfruit, et.

As for palms, the only real impediment is getting the seeds or seedlings here, as I think most species would grow. It's getting easier tho. 

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Shoowow
10 hours ago, bubba said:

A Palm talker from Bermuda, whose family had lived in the Azores, thought it may be possible to grow a coconut palm in the Azores. He postulated that even though there was not enough heat, it might be possible to find a microclimate near one of the many volcanic areas and give it a shot. Just throwing that out there because if you did and were successful, you would definitely have the farthest coconut palm from the equator on earth!

Hello Bubba, I remember the member from Bermuda and the post. All I can say is... stay tunned.

Until recently you couldn't really find coconut seeds, seedlings or young cocos for sale on the islands. Recently greenhouse streched coconuts (photo below) from the Netherlands popped up at a local nursery. They're supposed to be indoor plants, but...

As for the conditions, living on the islands and knowing in loco what they are, I think the main issue would be root rot in soggy soil in cooler weather Thankfully we have plenty of volcanic soil with excellent drainage.

I purchased the coconut on the photo below in Jan. and transplanted in March, but wind storm snapped it. So that was that. 

The second one went on the ground in June and has grown tree new leafs since. Before I post photos and brag about growing the fartest from the Equator, let's see how it fares during the winter... So hold your horses...

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Edited by Shoowow
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Cluster

Wonderful pictures João!,

I really wish you the best of luck with the coco, make it happen, if it survives 3 winters I think it will be stronger in the years to come, very good drainage will be essential!

 

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Cluster

Hopefully you are in a  good spot as well:)

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Shoowow

Thanks Pedro. I'm at 100m in a spot called Areias due to the sandy nature of the soil. It's in the Rabo de Peixe area, on the drier, sunnier side of the island. I have a Netatmo weather station and my averages are similar to Ponta Delgada downtown, with small variations. So, good for a 18c yearound average more or less.

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lzorrito
On 12/17/2019 at 12:21 PM, Shoowow said:

Hello Bubba, I remember the member from Bermuda and the post. All I can say is... stay tunned.

Until recently you couldn't really find coconut seeds, seedlings or young cocos for sale on the islands. Recently greenhouse streched coconuts (photo below) from the Netherlands popped up at a local nursery. They're supposed to be indoor plants, but...

As for the conditions, living on the islands and knowing in loco what they are, I think the main issue would be root rot in soggy soil in cooler weather Thankfully we have plenty of volcanic soil with excellent drainage.

I purchased the coconut on the photo below in Jan. and transplanted in March, but wind storm snapped it. So that was that. 

The second one went on the ground in June and has grown tree new leafs since. Before I post photos and brag about growing the fartest from the Equator, let's see how it fares during the winter... So hold your horses...

IMG_20190317_110359.thumb.jpg.387f6047f2f4a7113d236bdc26ef2f99.jpg

Hello! How's the coconut doing? Is it in the ground now? Is it thriving? I'm trying two here in the Algarve, let's see. What a fantastic garden you have! I lived for a few years in the Azores, I return whenever I can. Fantastic weather for certain palm trees, namely those of New Caledonia. Do you have any?

There are so many fine palm trees in your area, can you post some more?

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Shoowow

Hello lzorrito, thank you for your comments. We have amazing palms here, but still lacking some variety. More and more people are introducing new types. 

As for the coconut, it went in the ground last June and did very well until about December, when it declined due to stem rot. I suspect cool temps and too much water on the crown as it was a very rainy month. Came to find out this is a common problem with young coconuts. I pulled what remained and the roots were intact and strong, with no rot. So, definitely stem rot. I may try another one, but I'd rather sprout something or buy one just sprouted, as these greenhouse coconuts have less of a chance.

Here my latest two pics from my Royal and Alfie. I will post more photos of awesome local palms as I see them around the island.

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lzorrito

Hello! I lost my coconut in November, also due to the same reasons, stem rot. It rains little here, but the coconut does not support rain below 20ºC / 70 F, it leads to the stem rot ... although it never caught rain, the same happened. I lean towards the excessive humidity of the potting soil, that probably damaged the stem with excessive moisture.It had no protection and was under full sun, and cool nights. This year I´m trying two, from greenhouse, a little stretched. I chose the strongest and most rooted ones. Also changed the potting soil paradigm. In one, after carefully removing all the soil, without damaging the roots, I used a mixture without organic matter: coarse cocopeat; perlite; vermiculite; and expanded clay, and a layer of this clay at the bottom of the pot, which is made of clay. Super draining mix (especially at the top, which is what I intend to experience) , but retaining a lot of moisture around the roots. I water every two, three days. In the other I kept the original soil, to which I added the previous mixture enriched with peat, top substract, pine bark, and a blend of earthworm humus, in a plastic pot. Water twice a week. Only morning sun, under an open porch. So far they are doing great, we will see ... they are about 6 feet now (pics attached). Also think about germinating one. I have seen some in the supermarket, but none that seem to be in good condition and have no sign of germination spot.

Your Royal look great! And so is your Alfie! My Alfies have just germinated, and they are growing fast, some of them opening their first leaf (pic).

People are introducing new types there? Very well! I think Hyophorbe indica, and also Chambeyronia macrocarpa, will be fantastic there. Try it, from what I know of the climate in São Miguel, and the experience I have had with mine,they are great palms for you there.

Looking forward for new pictures from São Miguel palms!

 

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Shoowow

Your palms are looking nice. Good luck with the Royal and Alfie.

I think we have have suffered the same issues with the cocos. Yours looks just like mine did. While it doesn't rain as much there, the evenings can be much cooler than here. I see the main issues here as too much rain and wind during cooler months. I had the coco in a volcanic black sand and gravel mix, so the roots were healthy. I think I may need to protect the next one from the most severe rain and wind storms. I found that a wet month with little sun can be lethal...

I'm attaching two photos of the coco in its heyday.

As far as other palms, there are some Hyophorbe V on the island doing really well. No knowledge o Chambeyronia. Rafael, who lives in Ovar, gave me a few gems, including a coccothrinax that is on the ground and now growing. 

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lzorrito

The same cocos issues, correct. Mine are showing a new leaf each two to three weeks time (pic), and think they are accelarating now. The leaves are wider and greener also, much better than my first experience. Your local materials mix sounds good, bagacina and gravel. Do you have red bagacina there in São Miguel? I think it drains better...more porous?  Probably it should stay longer in a pot, using that mix, so it may acclimatize.

I agree, it needs to be protect from the most severe rain and wind storms. As for the wet months with little sun...a good canopy? Seen some post about a coconut in California and it seems that when protected by walls, and south facing, they recive the stored and reflected heat from those walls, even in cooler seasons. Probably, if you protect it in some south facing  warm corner or even very close to your house walls, it would be nice for it. I wonder in Furnas, on the ground, in a natural geo hot spot or very near it, or even next to some hot spring or hot stream...


You've got a a coccothrinax on the ground there, and growing? Uau!! What sp? Seen some pics of Rafael's palm garden...realy wonderful!

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Shoowow

Your cocos is looking great. Good luck! I'm waiting bit on my next move as to maximize chances of survival. The first experiment was to simply throw a greenhouse coco on the ground to see what happened. Pretty much, could it survive Azores conditions or be a wimp? So far it's the only palm that didn't just take off here, although it showed very good growth initially in the warm and humid summer weather. It was still looking great in late December but declined quickly after a month of little sun and too much rain. The soil mix was with black sand, red bagacina from my backyard even some black basalt gravel mixed in. It was near south-facing wall but on second thought too exposed to wind. I will put in different location next time. On strictly technical terms a coco will struggle here due to high rains in winter and the winds. Temps are ok. Our coldest month average is about 15c or 59F. I have a Netatmo station and the lowest temp this year here was 7.2 and the next lowest was 8.9. High temps mostly above 17c in the coldest months with quite a few days in the 19c range. Most low temps in coolest months very rarely drop below 12 with for any prolonged time. So, on paper should work. But I'm not obsessed with it. It's just an experiment. We have plenty of beautiful tropical palms that will grow here. Everything short of a coco, really.

As for the coccothrinax it was just put on the ground recently but has a new leaf coming out. Not sure about sp yet. Attaching photo. 

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lzorrito

Quite right, on paper should work, like here in my microclimate, but...and I quote you "'I'm not obsessed with it" neither. For me its a kind of "labour of love", as once read on a topic here about cocos. I know what the winter will bring...must put them inside, or... Meanwhile I'm taking some real fun out of it, its a joy seeing them grow.


Sure that plenty of beautiful tropical palms that will grow there. Your Alfie and your Royal, for sure, will thrive to become slendid palms, like many other sps we have spoken on previous posts. You have Pritchardias, right?

The coccothrinax looks fine. I'm very curious about its grow rate there, with your constant temps.

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