By Virginia Palms
Howdy y’all! I’m a palm grower in central Virginia and I’ve got a few ideas to put out there to the palm world.
Firstly, with regard to zonation: I feel as though the usda hardiness zones need to be updated because as I’m sure some of y’all have noticed, there are plants and animals living and thriving in places they didn’t use too. For where I live near Charlottesville, Virginia, we haven’t reached a 7a temperature in the last 10-15 years at least, it’s been reliably 8a or above sometimes 8b or 9a some winters. Because of this, I’ve been able to grow palms and other tropical which have previously been a stranger to my area. For starters, I’ve had a red banana (Ensete maurelii) for 3 winters and it has had no protection and is supposedly a 9a plant. It has been acted like any other musabaju you might see in a cooler climate. Furthermore I have a Sabal palmetto that just breezed through a really nasty winter we had here with ZERO protection and little damage only to the tips. I’ve also had a Washingtonia robusta that I’ve had for 3 winters as well, 2 of those winters I’ve only had to cover it and protect it for only a few nights during February. This past winter was too gnarly for it being that we had a few nights in the upper teens so I did leave it covered, but it did really well overall. I have had for 3 years now a windmill palm which has never seen protection at all and it’s thriving. I’ve had a dozen or so Sabal seedlings in the ground for 4 or 5 years now and I’ve still got 7 of them. All those along with half a dozen sago palms which have survived 4 winters now. That’s just my own yard, in Charlottesville itself I’ve seen a ton of palmage! At the UVA campus there is an enormous southern live oak that’s been there for god knows how long, but it looks to be at least 50 years old. There’s a lot of musabaju bananas as well. One persons home I drive by frequently has a very large pindo palm, tons of sagos, windmills, needle palm, huge Sabal minors, and cannas and other smaller plants. I’ve seen a few windmills around town as well, one huge one and a few smaller ones. But I feel that the climate zones have shifted about to allow for a much wider verity of flora and fauna and I believe that it would be amazing too see some more palms and more exotic palms tried in central Virginia to spice things up a bit. Palmettos now should be better than marginal as should pintos and Mediterraneans. In any case those are my thoughts on palms in the central Virginia region, please let me know if you have any experience with palms in this region and hardiness zone shifts and anything else pertaining to this conversation.
By climate change virginia
If anyone has pictures of banana plants in virginia please share
Hi guys, brand new to this site. I’ve been on here for quite some time as a reader but never posted before.
I wanted to talk about Sabal Palmetto’s range possibly being officially extended to Virginia Beach. Usually the cut off is in North Carolina and naturally it is. But this past week I went down to VA Beach with the sole intention of finding as many volunteers as I could at the oceanfront, and let me tell you how shocked I was by the amount there was. First let me start off by saying I went on the 2 most rainiest days so unfortunately I was only able to cover 1/2 of the strip. And of that half I only covered the east side of Atlantic Ave. And of that east side I was only able to cover the street side, not the boardwalk at all. And after only covering that fraction of the strip, I found dozens, if not hundreds of Sabals growing at all stages. And not just Sabal, Pindos as well!
On every block there was at least a few barely beginning to sprout, but there were definitely some a few years and older. The biggest one I found was at the Capes Resort which easily was 12-15 feet tall, the trunk starting to rise. There were several around the height of stop signs and most were to my hips and lower. There were a few that were growing nearly at the boardwalk, the limit before you get to the sand. I would say half of these things were growing in bushes, or under trees, or in other protected areas. But there was a good chunk growing out in the open, exposed to all elements.
Having resisted multiple winters and continuing to grow (most showed little to no damage), I have no doubt they will grow to be some of the hardiest Sabals in existence. The offsprings of these strands will only get hardier and adapt better to the climate so I 100% believe Sabal is permanently here to stay. I know that most of these trees have come from Florida or other nurseries much further south and this isn’t an extension of range occurring naturally from its NC counterparts. But I think the range for this tree has officially crossed the state line.
I’m planning to take another trip next month to finish the other half of the beach where I know there are just as many growing. What do you guys think of these Virginian palmettos?
Is this a Quercus virginiana seedling? Last Spring I was at Virginia Beach and just picked up the seed, which was already germinating on the ground, and brought it home with me. There are a ton of wild live oaks all around Virginia Beach, but I can't even remeber if I looked for the tree this one came from. I believe it is a live oak seedling, I kept it inside since it was so small (it was in a shady spot during the summer). It is starting to grow again. Is there a way to tell if it is a live oak other than it not losing its leaves, at this size?
I live right on the 7a/7b line in the western piedmont of NC and I'm looking for some new palms to try. Currently, I have three Sabal Minor var. Louisianas and three potted majesty palms. The majesty palms have grown to be quite large and I'm worried I won't be able to fit them inside next winter. I'd like to replace them with some palms (other than Sabal Minor) that are hardy to my zone and can be planted directly into the ground. I'm relatively new to palm cultivation so any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks