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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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