My Copernicia rigida finally seems to have taken off this year with our record breaking heat waves. It's actually been planted in that spot for about 10 years now from a small seedling,but has just begun producing its first few upright fronds.Its been very slow for me, (maybe too much shade) but I'm hopeful it has an accelerated growth rate from this point forward.
It's my first summer with my Royal here in arizona and I noticed over the last few days that the second newest frond is already looking a little toasty. I water heavily three to 4 times a day and when I check the dirt, it is not dried out.
I also give it arizonas best fertlizer once a month.
Any suggestions or will it adapt over time.
Please see below, its the frond on the right :).
Which public gardens in Arizona have the best palm collections -- in terms of species array, quality of care, and design? The two most well-known are the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.
As mentioned in passing by other local members, the forth coming week ahead looks brutal here in the desert.. Really, this time of year in the Sonoran Desert, and entire Southwest is both something we do and perhaps don't look forward to.
June here is typically the hottest and driest month, on average. While daily highs in the lower 100s, and very low humidity/ dew point readings are typical, the exceptional heat building atm is not. As suggested, Phoenix may indeed reach.. if not surpass 120f by Tuesday and/ or Wednesday. The hottest recorded temp via the official weather station at Sky Harbor is 122f recorded on June 20th, 1990. These days, with all the neighborhood weather stations, ..and as seen last year, some areas can surpass that temperature, even if Sky Harbor doesn't. This might be one of those years a weather station somewhere in the valley reaches into the 130f range.. perhaps a run at 140f?
WX models have wavered back and forth ..with acouple suggesting 500mb heights reaching 600dm.. which is not only exceptional, but might ..should that happen, almost guarantee a run at breaking 1990's all time high, we'll see what happens.. I can't imagine hitting 125f.
For anyone who may be in town next week, take the heat very seriously.. this isn't your typical " Phoenix Heatwave"
For all of us with plants, especially stuff in containers, extreme heat can easily cause significant damage. While the heat helps get things growing earlier on, everything slows down. Or stops growing entirely this time of year. Shade, of any kind, helps tremendously. Still, the heat+ very low ( or non existant) humidity levels are a curse since everything can dry out extremely quickly. Even with frequent watering.
Still, there is a silver lining to the blast furnace ahead. Without our heat, there wouldn't be a monsoon season here.
While everyone here is dreading the week ahead, this kind of heat will help get the monsoon engine cranking just south of the border, and over Baja.
An explination: It is the temperature contrast between the land and sea that starts the " Gulf Surge" process that helps funnel moisture north into Arizona and New Mexico. Another aspect in play is how the heat helps set up a thermal low over far S.E. California and higher pressure over the S.W. tip of the Baja Peninsula. The is set up further aids in funneling moisture north. The mountains in Sonora, Mexico have already started the " Green up" process and should also start sending moisture north. I've also noticed a more favorable set up for easterly wave activity ( surges of moist air that move east to west across the Gulf of Mexico/ western Caribbean into S. Texas/ eastern Mexico, than turn north/ northwest over Sinaloa and Sonora) over the past few weeks. Hopefully this is a sign of a good rainy season for the southwest ahead. Models ( gfs, gfs-para, couple others) are currently showing some sort of activity toward the end of the month. We'll need it after next week.
No matter how it plays out, ( unless we get nothing. Very bad) monsoon season is the reward, the blessing, for what summer brings us here in the Desert. Growth resumes, heat gets tempered/ higher humidity makes for some nice, Florida-esque summer, evenings, .and the "scent of the Desert" after a good downpour, and lightning storms are worth it. We could live without the dust storms and the concerns they bring each year but they're partially a result of human error/ ignorance , ie: stripping away the desert's natural vegetation, leaving non planted fields bare( cover crop-less) and subject to blowing. Even so, it's kind of cool to walk outside for a moment as a dust storm is rolling in, hearing thunder, but not being able to see where it is coming from since the storm itself is obscured in a dusty brown sky.. it's a storm chasing thing, trust me.
Before relief , we'll see just how hot it can get..
Anyway, be safe out there, and welcome to summer.
I'm looking for advice on growing other species of syagrus other than romanzoffiana here in Phoenix. I really like the look of a queen palm, but only the ones I've seen in CA and FL. By the end of our hot summers, they just look tattered and burnt no matter how much water and fertilizer you give them. I did plant a couple 15 gallon mule palms (butia x romanzoffiana) this spring and I'm excited to watch them grow.
Does anybody have experience with any other syagrus species or hybrids that do well here in our desert climate? Coronata? Picrophylla? schizophylla?
Comments on cold hardiness and growth rate would be appreciated as well.