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romeyjdogg

Sabal Palmettos vs. Mexicana Hardiness

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romeyjdogg

Hey all,

Just picked out a few Sabal Palmettos (~8 foot trunks) along with a Butia x Jubaea hybrid for our yard and I got to wondering, would Texas Sabals (Mexicana) be a safer bet over the Palmettos for unprotected winter survival?

The Palmettos we picked out were trucked in from Florida, so I assume they lived their lives in a much warmer zone than me (8a - Fort Worth). I'm also somewhat concerned because we live in a new development and don't have any protection from the north winds.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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Fusca
4 minutes ago, romeyjdogg said:

Hey all,

Just picked out a few Sabal Palmettos (~8 foot trunks) along with a Butia x Jubaea hybrid for our yard and I got to wondering, would Texas Sabals (Mexicana) be a safer bet over the Palmettos for unprotected winter survival?

The Palmettos we picked out were trucked in from Florida, so I assume they lived their lives in a much warmer zone than me (8a - Fort Worth). I'm also somewhat concerned because we live in a new development and don't have any protection from the north winds.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

You should be fine with the palmettos.  Mexicanas are obviously a safe choice being native and they produce a thicker trunk.  Hope you got some good advice on keeping them watered as they get acclimated.  Hope they do well for you!

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Jeff985

If what I’ve read about them is correct, palmettos are hardier.

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romeyjdogg

We haven't actually had them planted yet, so I could still call an audible and switch to the Mexicanas, if needed.

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zimm

I have two Sabal Palmettos and am in your area,  they seem very happy here.  I do plan to add a Mexicana elsewhere for variety but you have the right choice with the Palmettos.

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PalmatierMeg

Palmettos are the smallest trunking Sabal. I've never met a Sabal mexicana but my research indicates they grow substantially larger than palmettos. Bear that in mind if you decide to change species. A lot of Sabal lovers prefer beefier species to the more petite palmetto. Palmettos evolved to deal with cat 5 hurricane winds so winds in central TX shouldn't be too troublesome.

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Matt N- Dallas

I grow both palmetto and mexicana in Dallas.  Palmettos are pretty much bullet proof for DFW.  The cold blast of Feb, 2011 where we were below freezing for 92 hours gave the mexicanas about 35% burn and the petioles of palmetto were bent due to the weight of ice.  There are palmettos and mexicana that survived ‘96 in Dallas. 

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jimmyt

romeyjdogg in my experience with both palmettos and mexicanas.  The palmettos are probably a little half zone hardier than the mexicanas,  The mexicanas are a bit more tolerant of drought conditions.  Both of mine have survived in the ground for about 10 years and experienced a low of 8 F in the winter without harm.  They both tolerate 100+ F and regular temps in the winter into the mid to low teens Fahrenheit.  I am located just outside Waco TX.   The Palmettos just like more water than the mexicanas. The mexicanas do enjoy ample water during the summer growing season.  Either will do well for you.  I would just get any palm not grown locally into the ground early before the heat of summer gets here.

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romeyjdogg

Thank you all for your insight! Sounds like I'm good with either variety in this case. I'm hoping to get them in the ground in the next few weeks, but we'll see with the current situation.

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Jcalvin
On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2020 at 11:03 AM, PalmatierMeg said:

Palmettos are the smallest trunking Sabal. I've never met a Sabal mexicana but my research indicates they grow substantially larger than palmettos. Bear that in mind if you decide to change species. A lot of Sabal lovers prefer beefier species to the more petite palmetto. Palmettos evolved to deal with cat 5 hurricane winds so winds in central TX shouldn't be too troublesome.

Do you mean they grow larger in diameter? I thought mexicanas maxed out at about 50' tall. Sabals grow well into the 70' range (some a little taller).

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Fusca
29 minutes ago, Jcalvin said:

Do you mean they grow larger in diameter? I thought mexicanas maxed out at about 50' tall. Sabals grow well into the 70' range (some a little taller).

As I said in my previous post the mexicanas produce a thicker trunk and yes, they also have a larger crown of leaves as well.  Palmettos might ultimately grow taller (not sure).  I started a thread several months ago with photos of Sabal mexicanas in habitat as they are native here.

Jon

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