Jump to content
Dartolution

Mule Palm Arrival

Recommended Posts

Dartolution

Mule Palm arrived today from MPOM! 

Had to throw a pot together for it and Im not entirely sure I like the soil blend I had. It drains, but slowly... 

Either Way, around the end of March to early April its getting planted in the yard. 

Anyway, here it is!

Let me know your thoughts!

MulePalm1-08JAN2020.jpg

MulePalm2-08JAN2020.jpg

MulePalm3-08JAN2020.jpg

MulePalm4-08JAN2020.jpg

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The7thLegend

Nice looking palm!  Seems to have a good bit of Syagrus in it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Allen

Looking good.  This is about the size mine was to begin with in a pot.  Below is 5/2017 vs 11/2019 so 2 1/2 years but in a pot so a little stunted  LOL.  You can see the size in 2nd photo by comparing it to door.  1st photo it was 4ft.

IMG_0239.JPG

IMG_1544.JPG

IMG_1418.JPG

Edited by Allen
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution
17 minutes ago, The7thLegend said:

Nice looking palm!  Seems to have a good bit of Syagrus in it.

@The7thLegend How can you tell?

@Allen Looks great!!! I can't wait to get mine in the ground. 

I may have to repot it though... I am not liking this soil mix. 

Do they prefer a sharp draining soil?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Allen
9 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

@The7thLegend How can you tell?

@Allen Looks great!!! I can't wait to get mine in the ground. 

I may have to repot it though... I am not liking this soil mix. 

Do they prefer a sharp draining soil?

Mine has grown roots like crazy in a pot.  I had it in moderate draining soil.  I wouldn't worry too much if you're planting it in spring.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fusca

I agree with Allen - if it's going in the ground in a couple of months I would leave it in the same pot.  If it were staying in a container indefinitely that would be different.  That way you will minimize the shock when planting it.  My first mule palm did fine in Houston gumbo-clay but it would appreciate a better draining soil like most palms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PalmatierMeg

Nice mule. I agree: if you are going to plant it in a couple months leave it alone. But monitor watering carefully if you don't like how the soil drains. Keep it on the dry side - moist but not soggy. Give the palm as much light as you can indoors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVEinMB
14 hours ago, Allen said:

Looking good.  This is about the size mine was to begin with in a pot.  Below is 5/2017 vs 11/2019 so 2 1/2 years but in a pot so a little stunted  LOL.  You can see the size in 2nd photo by comparing it to door.  1st photo it was 4ft.

IMG_0239.JPG

IMG_1544.JPG

IMG_1418.JPG

Man I love mules, good looking palm brother :greenthumb:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hferrell87

Mule palms aren't too finicky with soil types unless its constantly saturated. I agree with other's comments about leaving it alone until you plant in its final spot. Great looking palm!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution
22 hours ago, Fusca said:

I agree with Allen - if it's going in the ground in a couple of months I would leave it in the same pot.  If it were staying in a container indefinitely that would be different.  That way you will minimize the shock when planting it.  My first mule palm did fine in Houston gumbo-clay but it would appreciate a better draining soil like most palms.

@Fusca @Allen @Hferrell87 @PalmatierMeg 

I received it with the pot removed. It came with the root ball wrapped in plastic. 

So I had to scramble to throw together some soil and stick it in the only available pot I had. 

The soil is a mix of the miracle grow performance organics in ground soil, sand, perlite, small pebbles, and a few bark chips (not many). I put a 2 inch later of large pebble and perlite in the bottom, with that soil mix, and a couple of handfuls of Epsoma holly tone and plant tone mixed in the soil.

Today after worked I checked, and while the soil is still moist, its also very loamy/airy so, it drains moderately but it appears to still be airy. 

When I dig down and grab a handful and squeeze no water comes out, so Im assuming thats alright. 

 

Thoughts?

I really just worry about turning around and planting it in about 3 months (we will say 10-12 weeks).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manalto

Don't worry. As others have said, it's not fussy about soil as long as it's not soggy. You will be delighted, as I was, when you get it into the ground in the spring and it starts to take off.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution

@Manalto thanks! As it turns out the soil mix is fine. I believe that when you use the epsoma fertilizers it temporarily add water absorption capacity to the soil mix you are using. 

Ive noticed this over the last year of using it. I love the line, and use the bio-tone starter, plant tone and holly tone, but it does temporarily add to the moisture of whatever mix you use. 

Now it feels consistently moist without being soggy, and as I said, if I dig down and grab a handful and squeeze no water comes out but it does still feel moist. This leads me to believe its breathing enough. 

 

also, something occurred to me the other day about your toppled mule. 

What about adding calcium to your feed/water to help with root growth/strength? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manalto
4 hours ago, Dartolution said:

 

What about adding calcium to your feed/water to help with root growth/strength? 

That might be good, but it's too late - I left Mobile on Thursday. Before my departure, in addition to the soil and stomping mentioned in the "toppled" thread, I sprinkled a little Epsom salts and gave it a generous dose of composted manure. Sometimes the best solution to a problem is time. Now it's up to God and Francis.

51UJkY8-GUL._AC_SY400_ML1_.jpg

Edited by Manalto
punctuation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pete21

nice palm and this soil look good. i heard a grower in canary using pure lava, cause it holds water he says...he had 130 palms varietyes

Edited by pete21
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
necturus

All of mine went directly into Houston soil and are growing great. Leave it be.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pete21

Yes pure lava in small particles you know, he said i could use semiramis for the 2 palms he sent me too.

he also said he used 30% of what s fertiliser says at each watering and he got fabulous results.

Edited by pete21
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution

@pete21 I could see that. I have read a lot of good reports using semiramis and other materials. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sandy Loam

Hi Dartolution.   

Unrelated - - I don't know where you are located in Alabama.  If you are located in Mobile, a mule palm won't suffer any cold damage there. However, if you are located up in Birmingham, it might be too cold there for a mule palm to be planted outdoors permanently.  Isn't it?  

Perhaps you see sabal palms or jelly palms around Birmingham, but they aren't a very good hardiness comparator to Mule Palms. 

Anyway, best of luck! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manalto
3 hours ago, Sandy Loam said:

Unrelated - - I don't know where you are located in Alabama.  If you are located in Mobile, a mule palm won't suffer any cold damage there...

I hope you're right, Sandy. In the winter of 2018, we had an extended period in the low 20s with temps bottoming out at  17°F near me. This was before I got mine, but I'd be worried about a young, newly planted mule - maybe unnecessarily. (My Rhapis excelsa  was hammered to the ground but is slowly recovering.)

I would categorize cold hardiness as related to the topic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution

@Sandy Loam Im about 35 miles south of Birmingham. There are Trachycarpus, Sabals, Butia, Chamaerops, Washingtonia filifera (new ones) etc... scattered here. Butia's seem to do well, and have been unphased by 8F lows several years ago during an arctic blast.

Im well aware that the Mule will need protection on nights that dip below 20F (to be safe). 

These are not very common during winter here. For example, this winter we have had 5 total nights scattered about where temps got into the 20's (including tonight which is the last for a while, and by 20's I mean ranging from 21F-29F). While we do have the occasional cold front move through, its uncommon to get temps lower than 20F for a handful of nights in winter on average. If that means wrapping it up with a thermacube, lights, heat tape, and some burlap for a few nights Im fine with that. 

The goal for me is creating a space that I can enjoy,  push certain palms in, provide data for survival, and have a fun challenge as well. 

Im not one of those "hands off" gardeners. I don't mind the extra work especially when it means I can have a small oasis during the warm months.

@Manalto I would agree that cold hardiness is related to the topic. 

MPOM rates their mules having survived down to 10-14F. At some point Im sure that theory will be tested. Until then, It will be a pretty awesome challenge and experience to grow one here. Who knows maybe mine won the genetic jackpot haha :rolleyes:

Don't forget Im also planting a queen palm in the spring haha. I forget who but someone here has one in 7a/b that has a trunk and does so because they take protective measures during the winter months.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution

Time for a mule palm update. 

This winter was unbelievably wet, there were statewide floods, and it basically rained for 3 months solid every day. As a result, I had spear pull! I treated with copper based fungicide, and kept it dry, and as soon as the warmth of spring arrived it immediately began pushing out new fronds. 

Here are two crappy shots of it today haha. Its in an area that gets morning- early afternoon sun, then shaded during the hottest part, and late afternoon sun for about an hour. Not the most ideal location, perhaps next year I can rethink its placement. 

MulePalm109JUL2020.thumb.jpg.a2d3e60dd66e1d4d22232eec9b744c7a.jpg

MulePalm209JUL2020.thumb.jpg.cd479f6da84843bb97b9fe6315f32c09.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Allen

I just planted mine because it got too big to deal with.  Not a good sign for mine on the spear pull on yours.  I don't know if I can pull it thru winter or not.  Seems the fronds are easy to wrap on the plus side.

IMG_1898.JPG

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution

@Allen Well this winter was extraordinarily wet, more than usual. I think thats probably a good a place as any next to that brick wall to help radiate heat. Is that south facing?

The fronds are pliable so, wrapping with frost cloth and lights should be doable. The coldest it got here was 20F one night in November. There were maybe 5-6 nights total this winter that got in the mid 20's. Extremely mild, just ridiculously wet. If your winters are that wet, perhaps a wrap in frost cloth or burlap first, then a plastic tarp, and lights? Just an idea. Maybe a bad one. haha

Mine appears to be the other form than yours. I see green petioles on yours? Mine are purple/black. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Allen
44 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

@Allen Well this winter was extraordinarily wet, more than usual. I think thats probably a good a place as any next to that brick wall to help radiate heat. Is that south facing?

The fronds are pliable so, wrapping with frost cloth and lights should be doable. The coldest it got here was 20F one night in November. There were maybe 5-6 nights total this winter that got in the mid 20's. Extremely mild, just ridiculously wet. If your winters are that wet, perhaps a wrap in frost cloth or burlap first, then a plastic tarp, and lights? Just an idea. Maybe a bad one. haha

Mine appears to be the other form than yours. I see green petioles on yours? Mine are purple/black. 

Mine's just the regular mule.  South facing wall hopefully I can get it to live a year or two??  You never know.   It'll be tough here plus it's pretty tall.  Fronds tied up it's 10', as is about 8'.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution

@Allen  I hope so Im rooting for it! haha 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVEinMB
On 7/9/2020 at 10:53 PM, Dartolution said:

Mine appears to be the other form than yours. I see green petioles on yours? Mine are purple/black. 

What are the differences between the 2? I have some of each. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
donnacreation

I bought 2 "Super Mule" palms from Moultrie farms 4 or 5 yrs ago.  I paid a premium price for larger specimens, and was assured by the owner they would sail easily through my  East central SC zone 8a winters. (I live on the coastal plains where the soil is rich and acidic with some sand, and no palm fertilizers are needed) Since they were already a hefty size, I transferred them to large  containers and buried the containers in soil to keep the roots warm.  They looked more like  Pindo palms than Queens, so I thought they would be ok for a night with a forecast low of 25f, especially since they were supposedly super duper mules!.  The actual low turned out to be 23.8f, and 2 weeks later the spears in both pulled out. 23.8f was the coldest temp they were exposed to. I immediately called and spoke with the owner of Moultrie Farms and related my disappointing experience.  He sounded like a nice enough guy and he assured me if I treated them with an antifungal, the palms would produce new spears.  I faithfully followed his advice, but with no luck. I left a scathing review, and he responded he had "researched" my winter and determined it was  colder than normal, thus my failure.  His research was wrong, and the coldest temp they were exposed to was the one night a 23.8F!  I scooped them out of the ground in their containers and overwintered them in my warm sunroom in hopes his advice was correct and they would grow new spears. Frankly, I don't  think his more expensive super mules are any more cold hardy than his regular mule palms. I've had it with these out of zone palms!  If I were 20 yrs younger, and lived in zone 8b, I might consider giving them another whirl, but not in zone 8a, where temps drop all the way to 10f - 12f  with daytime highs only at 32f - 34f every 7 or 8 years. Frankly, if I were he, I would only market Mules to zone 8b/9a with the caveat they will need protection the first 5 or 6 years when temps drop below 20f.  I would also recommend they be planted in warm micro climates, close to brick homes with Southern exposures and lots of sun - no shade. I've learned to love straight up Pindo palms.  I know a nursery that gets them with 4' of trunk with huge rootballs and charges $400 each.  As I've related previously, if Pindos are given lots of water during their warm growing season, they grow fairly rapidly are are very robust with huge fronds. When grown en masse with lots of palmettos and windmills thrown in, your yard will look very tropical.  I'm growing 35 palmetto seedlings in containers and plan to plant some and give many away in 2 yrs when they are getting large fronds and their containers are completely full of roots. I planted 5 in small containers 13 yrs ago and they now have  4' of trunk, are growing rapidly, and have huge dramatic fronds!  I'm 65, but in excellent health and I look 15 - 20 yrs younger than my actual age.  I'm vegan,  eat tons of cruciferous vegetables,  and plan to live well into my 90's.  In other words, I'm going to live to see my seedling palmettos grow into tall palms.  I am a pragmatist, and am content growing in zone palms that need no protection. As always, I wish you starry eyed youngsters  in Zone 8a much luck with your Mule palms, and I sincerely hope your experience growing them is better than mine. Please post yearly updated pics of their progress, especially when they become too big to protect and are exposed to 10f temperatures.  I want you to prove this old, but young at heart, bitty wrong. Polar vortexes be damned!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manalto

Sorry your experience with this seller went in that direction and he would not back up his claims.

If you get me one idea of the growth rate, here's my mule from MPoM, as I put it in the ground in July of 2018.

43552145312_1d96f5a716_k.thumb.jpg.3fc0b078fb042c020c0f425cbbde92d8.jpg

And here it is this morning, 2 years later:

IMG_20200711_090910.thumb.jpg.19069df40c63c0d25f263caf034cf054.jpg

This growth is not in response to any fertilization; I'm assuming it's because of the Gulf Coast heat and rainfall. I've only just started fertilizing my palms a couple of weeks ago. At its tallest point, it's about 9 feet. It has produced four fronds since I got here in March.

 

Edited by Manalto
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
donnacreation

Beautiful Mule palm!  Isn't Mobile zone 9a?  I have relatives in Biloxi, and they're successfully growing various date palms with zero protection.  Some coastal areas of SE NC (specifically Atlantic and Kure Beaches), most of coastal SC,  all of coastal Ga, the coastal Fl panhandle, and coastal Al, Ms La, and Tx seem perfectly suited for growing mule palms.  Unfortunately, I'm located 80 mile inland from Charleston, SC, as the crow flies. Sigh, I'll just continue to water the daylights out of my Pindo palms.  Palmettos grow much faster with wet feet too. I'm speculating Mule palms in lovely, live oak draped Mobile require zero protection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manalto
1 hour ago, donnacreation said:

  Isn't Mobile zone 9a? 

Most winters, yes, but the USDA classifies it as 8b because occasionally we dip down into the upper teens, as we did in the winter of 2017 - 2018. If you look at the zone map, most of the Gulf Coast is 9 with an annoying patch of 8b  right around where I live. It would make sense that Biloxi, being closer to the water, is slightly milder, as is Dauphin Island and the Florida panhandle.

Dartolution is solidly 8A.

Edited by Manalto
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
donnacreation

When you occasionally dip into the teens, is it mid or upper teens.  Just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manalto
1 hour ago, donnacreation said:

When you occasionally dip into the teens, is it mid or upper teens.  Just curious.

As I said in my previous post, upper teens. (Come on, pay attention. And I'm older than you - so no excuses!) I've only been here three years though and haven't looked at climate data closely. Neighbors tell me, however, that the week it went down to 17 degrees and we also stayed below 30 for 3 days was extremely unusual. 

Edited by Manalto
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution
5 hours ago, DAVEinMB said:

What are the differences between the 2? I have some of each. 

@DAVEinMB From what I have seen, there are at least 2 distinct phenotypes. The first is like @Allen's with green petioles and green leave bases. The second is like mine, which if you scroll up, you'll see it has black/purple leave bases and the petioles nearest to the trunk have that deep purple/black coloration. 

 

There is also a video on youtube earthworks, where David Casella talks about the two. 

 

Also, just to note, my mule palm is not in the ground. As @Manalto pointed out, I am about halfway in the middle of 8a. There are pindos, chams, sagos, palmettos, Washingtonias etc but I wouldn't want to risk planting something that expensive only to see it die on a bad winter. It, along with a ((BxJ)xS)) that I have will remain potted until such a time comes when a decision will be made to move, or sell. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVEinMB

@Dartolution I was wondering if a green petiole signified different genetic traits over purplish or vice versa. I have 3 that have very dark petioles, 1 that is very green, and 1 that is a combination. The bit of research I've done (which was not much) provided 2 answers - the color is completely random, or that a different butia was used in the cross, such as a yatay. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVEinMB
6 hours ago, donnacreation said:

The actual low turned out to be 23.8f, and 2 weeks later the spears in both pulled out. 23.8f was the coldest temp they were exposed to.

That's really surprising. I planted two of mine really late in the season (September) in locations that were not ideal - no canopy, exposed to northern winds, not up against any structure, yadda yadda yadda. I did wrap c9 lights around them but no burlap or anything else. They sailed through all the cold and wind this winter threw at them. Then I decided in January that moving one of them was a good idea. Well it could not have cared less. Since the move it's taken off like a rocket. The one I left exposed in my front yard is growing a bit slower than the rest but I don't think it has anything to do with the winter as it never showed any damage. 

Edit: I believe our lowest temp was the same as yours

Edited by DAVEinMB
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dartolution

@DAVEinMB well, I haven't heard about a yatay mule specifically only having the dark coloration. @TexasColdHardyPalms what are your thoughts on the matter?

The only thing I've read/heard is that the darker leave bases/petioles just signify more Butia characteristics. Who knows... haha 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
donnacreation

My bad, old man Manalto.  LOL!!  Since getting kicked off FB for 30 days I haven't been myself.  Who knew I'm still feisty enough to unwittingly violate those pesky 'community standards' without even trying. This baby boomer will always be incorrigible.  Ok, so you're a zone 8b+/9a.  I would love to share your climate zone!

Edited by donnacreation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TexasColdHardyPalms

The only thing I've noticed are yatay mules are more cold hardy than the florida ones that eric sells. They all look about the same. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manalto
On 7/11/2020 at 6:36 PM, donnacreation said:

My bad, old man Manalto.  LOL!!  Since getting kicked off FB for 30 days I haven't been myself.  Who knew I'm still feisty enough to unwittingly violate those pesky 'community standards' without even trying. This baby boomer will always be incorrigible.  Ok, so you're a zone 8b+/9a.  I would love to share your climate zone!

I'm sure you've been kicked out of better places than Facebook - and for better reasons.

Despite the occasional bout of the-other-man's-grass-is-always-greener envy, 8b is a pretty interesting climate for gardening, especially with the abundant rainfall. It's the southern limit of a lot of woodies and perennials and the northern limit of citrus and a good number of palms. I've got eleven species of palms and three cycads that I'd like to think give it a bit of tropical flavor. The mule palm is the centerpiece of the backyard living area; I can't imagine a prettier palm for the space.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...