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HELP! Cold hardy alternative to royal, queen,cocos palm zone 8a

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Will Simpson

This Washy meets a couple of your thoughts mainly because it is pretty big and fast growing . This palm has been in the ground less that 10 years . I protect the trunk about 50% of the winters here in northwestern NC with minimal effort  . It may have that wow factor you are looking for in your area , it certainly is a show stopper here  . 

Will

50526460996_29fdfa8bb3_b.jpgUntitled by william simpson, on Flickr

Edited by Will Simpson
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Xenon
29 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

I didnt know there were people my age on this website wow I thought I was the only one. Thanks

I'm going on 23 soon (can't believe it's been more than 10 years since I joined - time flies!), but yeah it's nice to see more young people here. 

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Mr.SamuraiSword
1 hour ago, climate change virginia said:

I didnt know there were people my age on this website wow I thought I was the only one. Thanks

Im 19, started on here when I was 14. welcome aboard!

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climate change virginia
1 hour ago, Will Simpson said:

This Washy meets a couple of your thoughts mainly because it is pretty big and fast growing . This palm has been in the ground less that 10 years . I protect the trunk about 50% of the winters here in northwestern NC with minimal effort  . It may have that wow factor you are looking for in your area , it certainly is a show stopper here  . 

Will

50526460996_29fdfa8bb3_b.jpgUntitled by william simpson, on Flickr

Filifera, Filbusta, Robusta?

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Will Simpson

It's a Filibusta  , and hardy to 15F ( maybe hardier than that but I wouldn't want to take a chance )  , although it has only  seen 16F without protection here . 

Try one .

Will

Edited by Will Simpson

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climate change virginia
17 minutes ago, Will Simpson said:

It's a Filibusta  , and hardy to 15F ( maybe hardier than that but I wouldn't want to take a chance )  , although it has only  seen 16F without protection here . 

Try one .

Will

I will once we have our new growing season starts. I have read things that say they survive 10 degrees. But they arent the most reliable sources.

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Will Simpson

I just watch the weather forecast and if I see anything below about 16F I wrap the trunk with incandescent Xmas lights spacing each wrap about an inch to 2 inches apart all the way up the trunk . I cut off all the petioles that are growing sideways so the few that are left are growing pretty much straight up . Then I wrap the trunk with only 1-2 layers of blankets that will  keep the cold air out and insulates the trunk from cold . I turn on  the lights on those occasions where I see anything below 16F . I actually will plug them up during abnormally cold days and nights too . Sometimes I turn on the lights in March when I want to start growth early  in the spring . 

On the winters that don't get to 16F I don't put the lights on the trunk . Then I can decide whether I want the dead fronds from the previous winter  to have that skirt look or whether I want to cut them off for the next season of growth . 

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climate change virginia

When should I start germinating seeds in general?

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PalmatierMeg
1 hour ago, climate change virginia said:

When should I start germinating seeds in general?

If you are willing, you can start them indoors over the winter. If you insist on starting them outdoors, do so in spring. In VA I suggest April. But I don't suggest just tossing them on the lawn and walking away. Prepare a garden patch as if you are a farmer. Remove all grass and sod. Grass will suck up any nutrients and snuff out chances for seed survival. Till the soil down at least 6-8". Amend it with coarse garden soil from Lowe's or HD, esp. if you have wretched VA red clay. Spread the seeds across the patch, then cover them with an inch of garden soil. Spread a layer of wood mulch over the patch to deter weeds. Understand that palm seeds aren't like marigold seeds. Expect them to take weeks, often months, to germinate. You must be patient.

If you start them indoors you can move them to a prepared garden patch after they germinate and weather warms. But you must plan and prepare to grow from seeds or you will be wasting time and money. 

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climate change virginia
8 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

If you start them indoors you can move them to a prepared garden patch after they germinate and weather warms. But you must plan and prepare to grow from seeds or you will be wasting time and money. 

I germinated seeds indoors and moved them fo a communal pot when I germinated the date palms. So is that what I should do?

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PalmatierMeg

If I lived in VA I would start seeds indoors to get a jump on spring. Keep them in a very warm place - atop the fridge, indoor water heater, computer box or on a heat mat. Northern houses are cold, dark and dry in winter.

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climate change virginia
5 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

If I lived in VA I would start seeds indoors to get a jump on spring. Keep them in a very warm place - atop the fridge, indoor water heater, computer box or on a heat mat. Northern houses are cold, dark and dry in winter.

But sometimrs our spring has frosts so should I start in early spring

Edited by climate change virginia

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PalmatierMeg

Certainly. Just remember palm seeds take weeks or months to germinate. Start them indoors at 80F+ and you get a jump on spring planting.

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climate change virginia
9 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Certainly. Just remember palm seeds take weeks or months to germinate. Start them indoors at 80F+ and you get a jump on spring planting.

should I use a heat mat?

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PalmatierMeg

A heat mat might help. Maybe someone here can advise you on them. I've never used one.

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Nj Palms

What palms are you germinating? 

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climate change virginia
1 hour ago, Nj Palms said:

What palms are you germinating? 

Right now I have date palms(medjool) next year I am going to try Jubaea, Windmill, Sabal minor, Sabal Palmetto, maybe just maybe butia, Needle, and Washingtonia filibusta.

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PalmsNC

Question, you list your hardiness zone as 7B/8a @climate change virginia. Only area in DC that meets that would be in the UHI. So unless you live inside the heart of DC along the Potomac I would keep that in mind. There is a massive difference between DC urban area along the Potomac and DC area outside the UHI. Quite literally an entire zone difference where places outside of DC are weak zone 7A. Dulles mean minimum is 4 degrees 1991-2020, heart of UHI DC 12 1991-2020. Pretty substantial difference. Places outside of the UHI have gone subzero 4 out of the last 10 years in DC.

Edited by PalmsNC

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climate change virginia
4 minutes ago, PalmsNC said:

Question, you list your hardiness zone as 7B/8a @climate change virginia. Only area in DC that meets that would be in the UHI. So unless you live inside the heart of DC along the Potomac I would keep that in mind. There is a massive difference between DC urban area along the Potomac and DC area outside the UHI. Quite literally an entire zone difference where places outside of DC are weak zone 7A. Dulles mean minimum is 4 degrees 1991-2020, heart of UHI DC 12 1991-2020. Pretty substantial difference.

suburbs of dc south of it

Edited by climate change virginia

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PalmsNC
Just now, climate change virginia said:

suburbs of dc south of it

In which case I am pretty certain 7B/8A is not accurate, your area could be anywhere from 7A to 7B.   The National Arboretum is only borderline 8A 1991-2020 for example with a mean minimum of 10, Fredericksburg VA 50 miles south of DC has a mean minimum of 7 degrees 1991-2020.

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climate change virginia
4 minutes ago, PalmsNC said:

In which case I am pretty certain 7B/8A is not accurate, your area could be anywhere from 7A to 7B.   The National Arboretum is only borderline 8A 1991-2020 for example with a mean minimum of 10, Fredericksburg VA 50 miles south of DC has a mean minimum of 7 degrees 1991-2020.

I can show you what I mean let me put it I was checking my weather low for the past decade nothing below 10 exept for when the vortex hit 2013-2014

Edited by climate change virginia

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Nj Palms
17 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

Right now I have date palms(medjool) next year I am going to try Jubaea, Windmill, Sabal minor, Sabal Palmetto, maybe just maybe butia, Needle, and Washingtonia filibusta.

Windmills and Washingtonias germinate readily within a few weeks out of that group. Havent tried Jubaea. The rest can take up to a year or two. I had some sabal minor seeds in a bag from May 2018 and some were still germinating this summer. Another batch of minor I got fresh from a plant by me and they germinated within a few months. 

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climate change virginia
7 minutes ago, PalmsNC said:

In which case I am pretty certain 7B/8A is not accurate, your area could be anywhere from 7A to 7B.   The National Arboretum is only borderline 8A 1991-2020 for example with a mean minimum of 10, Fredericksburg VA 50 miles south of DC has a mean minimum of 7 degrees 1991-2020.

https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/@4770714/historic?month=1&year=2020 here check the past decade we got 9f on one day in 2018 that was another votex

Edited by climate change virginia

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climate change virginia
3 minutes ago, Nj Palms said:

Windmills and Washingtonias germinate readily within a few weeks out of that group. Havent tried Jubaea. The rest can take up to a year or two. I had some sabal minor seeds in a bag from May 2018 and some were still germinating this summer. Another batch of minor I got fresh from a plant by me and they germinated within a few months. 

Thats pretty cool where do you get your seeds

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climate change virginia
4 minutes ago, PalmsNC said:

Your link specifically states that its using Washington Reagan airport, the warmest and most UHI spot in DC. 

weird it should say lorton va but its showing lorton's past weather

Edited by climate change virginia

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PalmsNC
1 minute ago, climate change virginia said:

weird it should say lorton va

It does but Lorton VA has no station so it uses the nearest station to it, which happens to be Reagan 14 miles to the north.

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climate change virginia
2 minutes ago, PalmsNC said:

It does but Lorton VA has no station so it uses the nearest station to it, which happens to be Reagan 14 miles to the north.

oh ok

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Nj Palms
8 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

Thats pretty cool where do you get your seeds

I get all my minor seeds from local plants. I am in New Jersey zone 7a. Most of my other seeds are from fellow palm talkers. I have around 100 minor seedlings from local plants pm if you are interested. 

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climate change virginia
3 minutes ago, Nj Palms said:

I get all my minor seeds from local plants. I am in New Jersey zone 7a. Most of my other seeds are from fellow palm talkers. I have around 100 minor seedlings from local plants pm if you are interested. 

Thanks for the offer its ok

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ESVA
43 minutes ago, Nj Palms said:

Windmills and Washingtonias germinate readily within a few weeks out of that group. Havent tried Jubaea. The rest can take up to a year or two. I had some sabal minor seeds in a bag from May 2018 and some were still germinating this summer. Another batch of minor I got fresh from a plant by me and they germinated within a few months. 

Sabal minor seeds really need bottom heat (>95F) + humidity to germinate. The first ones I germinated using a heat tape underneath the seed flat. They wouldn't germinated till I put a cover over the flat to keep the heat in. Now that I have mature plants and gallons of seed, I just spread the seed out on freshly prepared ground, rake in to bury, cover with shredded hardwood bark mulch, then seeds germinate (~100%) mid-July when temps get in the upper 90's, all within say a week. Since the seedlings are cold hardy at least down to -5F, I wouldn't bother with germinating indoors here just to get a longer first season of growing. 

 

In retrospect, I should have just planted the S. minor seedlings out in the ground row run rather than keeping them in pots and moving into hoop house for winters. But at the time I didn't know how cold hardy the sabal minor seedlings were.

 

Wish I had spent more time babying the jubaea seedlings, maybe sinking the potted jubaeas in the floor of my hoop house to better protect the roots from freezing nights. If row run jubaea seedlings would survive the winters here I wouldn't mind trying some more, but don't have the patience or commitment to grow them on in a greenhouse till they reach 5- to 7-gallon size for setting out. 15-gallon size would probably be ideal size to plant if  I were trying more jubaeas. Will see how the one I've had in the ground for 2 years fares in the coming winters. 

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climate change virginia
6 minutes ago, ESVA said:

Sabal minor seeds really need bottom heat (>95F) + humidity to germinate. The first ones I germinated using a heat tape underneath the seed flat. They wouldn't germinated till I put a cover over the flat to keep the heat in. Now that I have mature plants and gallons of seed, I just spread the seed out on freshly prepared ground, rake in to bury, cover with shredded hardwood bark mulch, then seeds germinate (~100%) mid-July when temps get in the upper 90's, all within say a week. Since the seedlings are cold hardy at least down to -5F, I wouldn't bother with germinating indoors here just to get a longer first season of growing. 

 

In retrospect, I should have just planted the S. minor seedlings out in the ground row run rather than keeping them in pots and moving into hoop house for winters. But at the time I didn't know how cold hardy the sabal minor seedlings were.

 

Wish I had spent more time babying the jubaea seedlings, maybe sinking the potted jubaeas in the floor of my hoop house to better protect the roots from freezing nights. If row run jubaea seedlings would survive the winters here I wouldn't mind trying some more, but don't have the patience or commitment to grow them on in a greenhouse till they reach 5- to 7-gallon size for setting out. 15-gallon size would probably be ideal size to plant if  I were trying more jubaeas. Will see how the one I've had in the ground for 2 years fares in the coming winters. 

do Sabal sp. Tamaulipas grow fast?

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Chester B
4 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

do Sabal sp. Tamaulipas grow fast?

No Sabal grows fast, and in your climate there are no hardy palms that will grow fast.  The type of speed you're interested in you should be looking at other cold hardy subtropical plants like Musa basjoo or some Eucalyptus, or even some annuals like Castor bean plants.

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Nj Palms
27 minutes ago, ESVA said:

Sabal minor seeds really need bottom heat (>95F) + humidity to germinate. The first ones I germinated using a heat tape underneath the seed flat. They wouldn't germinated till I put a cover over the flat to keep the heat in. Now that I have mature plants and gallons of seed, I just spread the seed out on freshly prepared ground, rake in to bury, cover with shredded hardwood bark mulch, then seeds germinate (~100%) mid-July when temps get in the upper 90's, all within say a week. Since the seedlings are cold hardy at least down to -5F, I wouldn't bother with germinating indoors here just to get a longer first season of growing. 

 

In retrospect, I should have just planted the S. minor seedlings out in the ground row run rather than keeping them in pots and moving into hoop house for winters. But at the time I didn't know how cold hardy the sabal minor seedlings were.

 

Wish I had spent more time babying the jubaea seedlings, maybe sinking the potted jubaeas in the floor of my hoop house to better protect the roots from freezing nights. If row run jubaea seedlings would survive the winters here I wouldn't mind trying some more, but don't have the patience or commitment to grow them on in a greenhouse till they reach 5- to 7-gallon size for setting out. 15-gallon size would probably be ideal size to plant if  I were trying more jubaeas. Will see how the one I've had in the ground for 2 years fares in the coming winters. 

Spot on. Sabals dont germinate well indoors. Thats exactly when my minors start to germinate.  

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climate change virginia
12 minutes ago, Chester B said:

No Sabal grows fast, and in your climate there are no hardy palms that will grow fast.  The type of speed you're interested in you should be looking at other cold hardy subtropical plants like Musa basjoo or some Eucalyptus, or even some annuals like Castor bean plants.

ok thank you

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Nj Palms

My castor bean grew 8ft over the summer. I would recommend them for any garden. They grow easy from seed and come down at frost. Eucalyptus are not suited for the eastern us climate but they will do well. I have an E.Cinerea. Gets damaged around 12°F but it has survived the mild winter and put on 8ft of growth. In a bad vortex winter it will die or resprout from the lignotuber. There are hardier varieties of eucs such as E.Neglecta, E.Stellulata, E.Perriniana, E.Niphophila. Loads of sub species to choose from. 

0A3C5C55-3708-40EE-BEE5-69B95E626531.png

6F7C0240-DD11-4B21-BA0E-90575C01B9E3.png

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ESVA

A nursery in Temperanceville, VA, has a humgongous castor bean that wintered over during last year's very mild winter. Might be 12-15 tall and same in width. 

Another tropical-looking plant to consider is the rice-paper plant (Tetrapanax papyrifera) from Taiwan. Here in upper Zone 8a (just 20 miles south of Zone 7b but 120 miles north of VaBeach) they are die back perennials. The huge tropical looking leaves are similar to those of a fatsia japonica, but fuzzy instead of shiny. Plants do well either in sun or shade.  The roots go down deep in the ground much like a yucca or pokeberry and be forewarned that the plants spread by runners. Plants here will reach about 8-feet tall and start to bloom by November before getting cut down by first frost around Thanksgiving. Mine grew like weeds against a block wall with a hot, western exposure. 

The musa banana also grows very fast and large. Maybe 15-feet tall here. I planted one in a dog pen for some shade. Eventually it spread to make an 8ftx24ft patch. Occasionally would bloom but never got any bananas. Maybe no pollinators? The plants would be torn to shreds in hurricanes and fall storms before turning to mush come December/January, but would spring up from the roots come spring. With water and warm sun you can practically see them grow unfurling a new leaf every day or so.  Also grew the 2-3ft tall lotus banana (Musaella). It would start to flower just before the first November frost would cut it down. 

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ESVA

Here's a picture of a tropical looking big-leaved tetrapanax papyrifera taken 3 years years ago in mid November. Dug it out this year and replaced with blueberry bushes as it had gotten too vigorous and had spread by runners along the whole length of the 30ft wall. Definitely faster growing than sabals or jubaeas. 

Tetrapanax_papyrifera_2017-11-11_12.44.44.jpg

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ESVA

My Sabal 'Louisiana' speed of growth has sped up now that it's got some age. These first 3 pics are from 3 years ago and the next are from this year. The "trunk" has grown quite a bit and is now 15-18 inches across and 1 foot out of the ground. But getting from a seed to this stage took a long time. Think I grew this from a seed 15 years ago and kept in pot till 3-gallon size. If planted right in the ground as a seedling maybe that would have cut at least 3 years off the time to reach this size. (I wasn't all that good at watering it daily and fertilizing but they're very tolerant of drought and neglect).  I actually just was hoping for a big palm bush to block the neighbor's shed overflow. If it develops a bare trunk then I'll have to plant something around the base or put in a section of decorative bamboo fencing. 

 

 

2017-11-11_12.45.21.jpg

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2020-08-15_11.22.20.jpg

2020-09-28_08.52.08.jpg

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ESVA

Correction -- I'm 20 miles south of the VA/MD border but 80 miles north of Va Beach (both driving distances)

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