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Swolte

The life of my Phoenix Theophrasti

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Swolte

Update. Did a lot of unpacking today including the Theophrasti. 

I was not able to throw more 'protection' on top of it as I was too preoccupied with saving other plants and keeping the house/family standing. When I removed all the protection this afternoon, I found the palm in good shape. Just as I left it or... even better? Leaves have a lush green color and the spear is firm. I could swear it even grew a bit but that can't be. Not a single indication of damage. Felt a bit unreal.

Seems like the protection worked wonders! Looks like the adventures of my Theophrasti will continue as I don't see it dying on me anytime soon!
:lol:
I will spray some fungicide tonight.

Both companion plants were alive too (though I had to cut the groundsel to the ground). 

Note: on Feb 11, 2021, temperatures were hovering steady around freezing (day and night) until they took a deep dip Feb 14 to 16 with one night hitting a low of 10 (Monday) and the other a low of 3F (Tuesday). Temperatures generally remained below freezing. Feb 19-20 saw low of around 19F and 22F here.  Brutal.

Theo4.jpg

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Swolte

A week after the big storm. Some yellowing on the outer leaves but so far it firmly holds its green!

Theo week later.jpg

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Meangreen94z

I have 3 in containers. I’ve read some claims they are the hardiest Phoenix, atleast in the dry desert. This is pretty good evidence they can handle wet cold as well. 

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Swolte
On 2/13/2021 at 5:49 PM, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I have 5 larger ones that will not be protected. Theyll either live or die. 

Any update?

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Swolte

Update to the area!

The Theophrasti is still doing well 1.5 months after the historic freeze. Despite some additional browning on outer leaves and a general lack of growth, the spear and center leaves remain firm and in a healthy green. With temps reliably hitting the 80s now here in CS, I do expect some growth in weeks to come!

I decided to plant some companions in the same area. Impressed by some hardiness reports of the Trithrinax, I ordered a T. Campestris from Jungle Music last week. These palms are native to dry desert regions of South America and have been known to grow in dry riverbeds. Should be OK for planting in the dry creek in a spot that receives a lot of Texas sun! This is also a very low traffic area so a spikey palm such as this should be able to expand freely without stabbing anyone! 

I removed all the planting medium that was added by JM (great stuff but just readily fell off when lifting the palm) and found a nice root system. I planted the palm on a steep slope in a mix of native soil with some organic matter, gravel, and the original potting medium. I carefully placed some large rocks on top and - as support - around. Poured 3 gallons of rain water over it and took a few steps back to enjoy the view. 

In the picture below, you can see the Theophrasti on top. The silvery Campestris should make a nice contrast with the green of the Theo in years to come. If you look closely, you can also see a newly planted trailing Rosemary var. "Irene" which is known for its bright green leaves (I don't like the pale olive grey...) and bright blue flowers. I am also expecting it to start covering the ridge and help prevent erosion as it tends to have a nice droopy habit. 

All should be virtually deer proof and maintenance free once established! Quite excited about this planting round!

TheoArea.jpg

Edited by Swolte
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Collectorpalms

Very nice. Envious of your lot. What size was the Campestris? How are your other plants doing post-freeze Feb 2021? FYI my Theo from JM that was about 15Ft tall and had flowered has not shown any growth and has been trunk cut, while both my CIDP palms have put out significant new growth. I hope that maybe the other dates require more heat to get growing, as you mentioned yours is green but not really growing yet. I checked out large Dactilifera in town and none that I saw were pushing new growth. Only one I have seen was the one posted on here next to the brick wall of a house.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Swolte

Agree, I have not yet seen any growth on any Dactilifera here (my young Canariensis is exploding right now). I am following your posts on the unprotected Theo (albeit under a live oak?). Hope it will pull through!

The T. Campestris came in a 5G pot and it is about 20" tall with two 'trunks' of about 2". I have become a fan of the genus. I planted a T Acanthacoma a few years ago. It was a bit of a gamble as I couldn't find a lot of information on Trithrinax in Texas and, frankly, many of the picture online didn't look great. The Acanthacoma is now one of my most beautiful palms! This past winter the Acanthacoma (2 years in ground with only a frost blanket a bit of hay) bounced back immediately after a spear pull and is looking quite healthy! Since the Campestris will stay relatively small for the next decade or two (or 5 hah...), I will be able to protect it in case of another historic weather event. For the rest, I expect it to be low maintenance, even through severe drought years (which I have not yet experienced here... ).   

Thus far, I am cautiously optimistic that the vast majority of my palms (protected and unprotected!) will pull through. I'll share some pics later this month with more specifics! In short, I was impressed by the apparent recovery of unprotected C. Humulis, a poorly protected L. Chinensis, and a well-protected but completely unscathed B. Decumbens. I am generally concerned with the Jubaea hybrids (some will likely not make it) and a well-protected W. Robusta. Note, ALL cold protection without heat source. 

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Swolte

Mid/end-summer update

The Theophrasti kept losing lower frond after lower frond after winter storm Uri. However, with the Texas heat returning in summer, I am glad to report that growth has been explosive.  I am counting 5/6 new healthy fronds that are getting increasingly larger! What helped with growth was an exceptionally wet late spring/summer (I did not have to turn on my sprinklers for the grass until August!!). July alone saw a foot of rain.  I have also fertilized it lightly every month with Palmgain and protected the base of the palm from the ox beetle with a handful of Triazicide. As opposed to my P. Canariensis, this palm has had no attacks. I can't wait for it to get large and deadly so it will deter deer who try to get to the companion plants.

Theo5.jpg

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Laaz

But here's what you have to look forward to. They are all the same age, the smaller one didn't like being moved & sulked for a few years.

 

 

20210810_175834.jpg

20210810_175844.jpg

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Swolte

Amazing and very well maintained!! I heard they produce a lot of shoots!!

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aegean

Here is mine. Bought as P. Canariensis many years ago.  It turned out there is a lot of P. Theoprasti in it. Probably it is a hybrid.  The leaves are very stiff.

 

 

IMG_20210811_091728.jpg

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UK_Palms
4 hours ago, aegean said:

Here is mine. Bought as P. Canariensis many years ago.  It turned out there is a lot of P. Theoprasti in it. Probably it is a hybrid.  The leaves are very stiff.

 

 

IMG_20210811_091728.jpg

I don’t see much Theophrasti in that one. It looks incredibly CIDP-like to me, although that’s not to say it doesn’t have Theophrasti blood in it. Does it produce any suckers? It’s still a very nice palm, which will look great when it starts trunking. 

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UK_Palms

Here’s a Theophrasti that was grown form seed in the far western suburbs of London, out near Heathrow airport. I think it has been in the ground for about 15 years now and although it is much slower growing than CIDP, it is clearly just as hardy, if not more so. No damage at all following a much colder than average winter last year. I would say that Phoenix Theophrasti is probably one of the most underrated palms for London along with Washingtonia Filifera. It makes you wonder what else can actuallly grow over here… 

EC1F6C89-C340-4E7D-B7E9-7CE9196A4D44.thumb.jpeg.05449406eccc9a81e73b2d1ea89dc174.jpeg

7CEB0A17-054A-4DF4-9724-EF70C70E565F.thumb.jpeg.b89b30240ab0efe0c83acfd13a368267.jpeg

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C36DF5D0-BCC4-4F9A-81C2-10D20046F212.thumb.jpeg.fdaf5b7406fd1c075e9107a946a72ecb.jpeg

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Laaz
10 hours ago, Swolte said:

Amazing and very well maintained!! I heard they produce a lot of shoots!!

Yes, they sucker like hell & always need to be pruned.

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aegean
58 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

I don’t see much Theophrasti in that one. It looks incredibly CIDP-like to me, although that’s not to say it doesn’t have Theophrasti blood in it. Does it produce any suckers? It’s still a very nice palm, which will look great when it starts trunking. 

No it hasn't produced any suckers, but I was always wondering why it looks so different from my other P. Canariensis. The fronds are much stiffer and shorter, the color is different and it is developing a much thinner trunk.  But you could be right and these differences could have been caused by different growing conditions.

 

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Swolte

End of fall update!

So this is how the little Theophrasti will go into this year's winter here in Texas (fingers crossed, so far so good...). As you can see, the palm has been growing slowly but steadily. I've ignored it somewhat this fall since much of my scarce free time has been occupied by the (still ongoing) creation of new planting beds, an outdoor gym, as well as a medium-sized crevice garden.

The companion plants may have the most interesting story. I removed the sun=protection from the Mexican groundsel that has finally established itself. If it gets through this winter, I'll be sure to get some nice flowers come spring. Deer have really left it alone! I wish I could say the same for the hibiscus on the right as I had to upgrade the deer protection for it instead. Next to netting, you may notice I planted a copper canyon daisy in front of it (they have a very lemony smell when brushing against it and the deer don't seem to like it). I can't wait for the hibiscus to grow taller and the Theophrasti to start sticking out its deadly spines to help protect it!

Theo6.jpg

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