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JohnAndSancho

What was your first palm and what made you passionate?

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JohnAndSancho

Sorry for a long post.  Just really curious, from a human standpoint. 

 

What was your first palm, and what got you passionate about them?

 

Honestly, this was a fluke for me. I moved into an apartment in a new town in December 2019. I was at Home Depot, and I googled "pet safe houseplants" and looked at what was on the racks. I ended up with a $12.99 Majesty Palm and named him Groot. Eventually, I found PalmTalk and now I've got 30 palms and plants squeezed into a studio apartment, a ridiculously tiny patio, and an office. My favorite is a c. Cataractarum that showed up as a 3 foot tall mail order plant from a big box store that's now over my head. His name is Garfield, because he's a big cat. 

 

Even though my collection is tiny, and all in pots, I've easily got $1500 tied up in plants, pots, and rookie mistakes. I'm already giving away plants to make room to buy cooler plants, and I need to give away a bunch more. 

 

Kinda wish I'd found this forum sooner to save me from some bad decisions, but it is what it is, and I do try to share what I've learned here.

 

Anyway - what was your first palm, and what ignited the passion for you?

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Xenon

My first palms were some Beccariophoenix alfredii that I grew from seed to a few strap leaves that I left outside in 18 degree weather in 2011 because I wanted to see how "cold hardy" they were. I don't know what my 13 year old brain was thinking haha. I killed 2 Chambeyronia saplings the same year...in retrospect, buying them bare root in early winter was not a good idea! Took a long hiatus from palms and my next purchase was made 2 weeks ago, a triple Archontophoenix cunninghamia that I planted at my parent's place. I'm hoping they see a decent string of 9b/10a winters. Can't wait to get some land of my own someday, hopefully somewhere that can grow palms. 

I think I've had a dormant passion for plants/landscapes as a very young kid. I was drawing landscapes as a 5 year old and palm trees especially a few years later. The passion for plants soon overtook the drawing and I was one of those weird kids that loved going to the garden center and looking at plant catalogs/encyclopedias. I joined palmtalk when I was 12 and it's been a crippling addiction ever since! 

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Looking Glass

Trusty and expendable, mine was also the northern annual, know as the Majesty Palm.  Growing up and into young adulthood, I’d get one in spring, watch it explode over summer, then I’d bring it inside for an 8 month winter, where it would slowly decline during the dark season.  

I’d struggle to keep it alive til spring, and outside it would go to thrive again.  Some would make it 3 years, before they finally looked so bad, clear they wouldn’t survive the long night again.   They’d get tossed in the dead of winter finally.  

I always wanted to put one in the ground somewhere warm, and let it thrive.  A sort of penance, for all of the royal murders that took place over the years.   

Ravenea rivularis...  Guess I’m still at it...  

619739EC-DE2F-4735-BB77-8843EB6BF322.thumb.jpeg.0d6499b465234e0272641cfcc9cf106d.jpeg


 

 

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Fallen Munk

Mine was this one.  A T. fortunei I planted on the side of the house about six years ago and forgot about.  A couple years ago we dug it out and moved it to the front yard and it looked so nice that I went out and bought a few Jubaea and it kind of snowballed from there.

fortunei5.jpg

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Collectorpalms

Mine was in high school on a trip to Florida, From Indiana..., they sold a palm tree in a box. It probably was just a parlor palm, but I had impression it would be a real palm tree. I think the cat ate it.
next palm was when I came to Texas in graduate school and purchased 1 gallon palms from a box store, they ended up washingtonia robustas. They lasted in the ground till last month...

Edited by Collectorpalms
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idesign123

My first pseudo-collectible was a Caryota Gigas/Obtusa. My first love is bromeliads, and I was happy about how much shade the fishtail palm gave them. I started researching other unusual palms I could buy (though in retrospect, the Caryota wasn't THAT unusual). That's when I discovered DYPSIS LEPTOCHEILOS ("teddy bear")... I was officially in love :wub2:  - and was very disappointed that I couldn't find a large one anywhere.

Once I had resigned myself to raising my beloved D. Leptocheilos from a young plant, I wondered what OTHER palms I should buy (i.e., if I'm going to have to wait, might as well make it worth it). That research - mostly on Palmtalk - led me to a love of rare palms, with me happily snagging chambeyronias (macrocarpa watermelon & hookeri), archontophaenix purpurea, dypsis lafazamanga, and other "colorful" palms (I tend to favor palms with color, likely due to my bromeliad background). My most expensive snag (compared to its size) was a Dypsis sp. 'black stem'. I'm determined to keep it and all my other palms thriving, so I've been researching like a mad fiend, trying not to do anything stupid. :unsure:

There are a few more "colorful" palms I still want to get, but I'm now branching out into "weird shape" palms as well... joey palm, dypsis onilahensis 'weepy', three crinitas ('old man' palm), rhopalostylis chatham island, etc.  My current quest is to find a "pandanus" (though that one's not technically a palm). My back porch is currently full of a couple dozen palms in sizes from liner to 20g, all waiting for their turn to go into the ground. So yeah, I've officially got the bug! :w00:

Another key moment (since you're curious about the psychology) is when I realized that I happen to live in one of the most palm-friendly areas in the country, with my home being located in an excellent micro-climate. I certainly didn't consider gardening potential when buying my house, but it made me think that I would be stupid to not take advantage of one of my home's best assets. I also noticed that a ton of the palm experts on this forum lived very close to me. I figured that if they could grow rare palms, then maybe I could as welI. :rolleyes:

Two years ago I could barely tell the difference between a King & Queen palm. Now that I've done hours & hours of research, I'm able to see subtle differences between dypsis types, rattle off latin names like a champ, and spot all the rare palms in a nearby neighborhood (one that's more interesting than the tract houses in my own neighborhood). I find it fascinating how you need to educate yourself before you can "see" the world of palms. But once you cross over, you see them everywhere and can appreciate all their subtle differences. Thanks for welcoming me into the palm collecting/raising hobby. I'm having a blast. :D

Stacey

Edited by idesign123
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PricklyPearSATC

 I purchased my sabal minors in 2008, after getting tired of dealing with giant elephant ears.  EEs die back here and when they return they come back smaller.
The sabal minors were hard to find.  I somehow got connected to a grower. 
I had included them in a landscape design back in 1996, but I had never seen them for sale anywhere.  The internet helped later on. 

Edited by PricklyPearSATC
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Gonzer

One gallon Hedyscepe in 1973 at the beginning of my horticultural career. Unfortunately that little sucker didn't last long.

 

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NorCalWill

A one gallon Chamaerops humilis was given to my by a friend for my 18th birthday after a recent trip to Southern California had sparked an interest in palm trees. I kept it in a pot for many years and eventually used it in a landscape project (I didn't have a garden space of my own at the time). Chamaerops is still one of my favorites.

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Fusca

My first palm was one that I germinated from seed as a kid after visiting my uncle in Tampa, FL in the early 1970's.  Most likely it was a Washingtonia or a Sabal.  I never got it past the single strap-leaf stage.  My first palm purchase came in 2000 when I first moved to Tyler, Texas.  Bought two Trachycarpus fortunei (only species available at the nursery) because I just HAD to have a palm in my yard!  At the time I had no idea that I could have planted one back in Knoxville or where I lived in west Georgia.

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meridannight

First palm I ever owned was a mundane Chamaerops humilis. Can't say I found it especially attractive, but it is one of the most reliable palms around where I am, and sold everywhere, so I guess that's just the first one that happened my way. 

I've always loved palms, for as long as I remember, but the gardener/grower in me took some years to awaken. For over the first couple of decades of my life, I don't think I even realized there were many different types of palms. Sounds stupid in retrospect, but when I was young I was quite oblivious to them and thought they all looked alike. 

Then somewhere in my twenties I started getting into plants more. My favorites were mostly tropicals. For a while I bought mature plants at garden centers. First palms that I lusted after were Rhapis excelsa and Caryota mitis. Also quite common, but they looked amazing to me (still do). Then just a couple of years ago I got into growing plants from seed, and that's where it all really took off, and how I ended up with a jungle inside my house. I would have to say that visits to Sicily and Palermo's Botanical Gardens had a definitive effect on me, where I discovered many amazing species for myself. 

My favorite palm to date is Raphia australis. I love the way it looks -- it looks like you've gone 50,000 years back in time to the undisturbed and powerful nature which was too much for man to control. Verschaffeltia splendida and Phoenicophorium borsigianum are also palms that expanded my taste a lot -- I didn't know palms could look like that when I discovered these species. Attalea cohune is one of my favorites (and I hope some day in the future I will have land where to plant it). I have many more favorites, and my list of palms to get is getting ever longer. 

Edited by meridannight
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Palmarum

At the age of six, my great-grandmother gave me a handful of Christmas Palm seed, from a tree outside her front door, seven seed in total. She not only told me about them, but 'ordered' me to go home and plant them.

I only had five pots, so I made two doubles. They all germinated. They grew and grew, and before long I group planted them on the side of my house and they grew even more.

Eventually they towered over the area and created canopy. Watching them grow made me want to try other palm species; which grew containerized and underneath in my improvised 'shade house'.

The passion grew into a indescribable instinct that gave rise to larger and larger shadehouses and many more planted palms.

Over time, the dread that is Lethal Yellowing found its way to my yard and took out the first seven Christmas Palms, one by one.

They survive today in memory whenever a particularly nice specimen catches my eye.

Ryan

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kinzyjr

My first palms were a bunch of Phoenix dactylifera from Medjool date pits.  I didn't get into palms until my first trip to Florida.  We saw Sabal palmetto and Sabal minor in the Carolinas and Georgia, but it really hit me when we got to Orlando with all of the neat stuff planted around the resorts.

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Merlyn

My first palms were Serenoa Repens, big clusters of them all around the house when I bought it.  I swear I'd get cuts and slices on my arms and legs just by looking at them.  They formed my hatred of fan palms, which fortunately I have grown out of.  :D  They are all gone now, except for a couple of volunteers that pop up every once in a while. 

The first palms I bought were either Majesty or Pygmy Dates from the local big box stores, I knew nothing about palms at the time or their scientific names.  I really didn't get into palms in a big way until I visited Leu Gardens in ~2018.  It was probably the monster Arenga Pinnata (in the shady area just North of the main palm area) that made the biggest impression.  That one and the Attalea Cohune next to it were giants, and I NEEDED to plant them.  :D  Here's a kinda bad photo of it, that palm looks a whole lot more impressive today.  The Wallichia Oblongifolia / Densiflora in front of it is also really cool!

1200152339_ArengaPinnataLeu2018.thumb.jpg.895b353cc32bd76f910bc84a44dc758a.jpg

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lzorrito

Before I got into the palms, I was growing mostly fast growing Canna Indica. I had a collection and I was always looking for different varieties. On one of those searches, in 2018, I spoted a small Bismarckia in a 1 gallon pot in a nursery that I usually go to. I was fascinated by the color of the leaves and petioles, so I started researching about the species and others too... they didn't need the constant care, huge amounts water (this is a dry place most of the year) and fertilizer that Cannas do and that made me think on it. Until I brought her home, I didn't rest. It was then that I started to discontinue Canna Indica and moved permanently to palm trees. Since then, I'm now growing more than 50 different species and continue to search for more and more:D!

Here's the first palm,  the 1st Bizzie, in 2018 in 3 gallon pot, and right now in a 15-gallon pot.

B 2018.JPG

IMG_20210404_162142.jpg

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MSX

Here is my first palm, planted in the ground in 2021, it's a Washy, to me they invoke a California vibe I love!

DSCN7233.jpg

Edited by MSX
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Lou-StAugFL

My first palms were Chamaedorea elegans which I could grow in dorm rooms and in first apartments.  Still have a bunch of them planted under some cedar trees on the north side of my property.  They get a lot bigger outside.  LOL   Borrowed this photo from a Google Search, I have always loved palms even since I was very young, I think it is because of the beautiful streets in Galveston, Texas back in the 1950s and 1960s lined with the Washingtonia Filifera and oleanders.  This photo reminded me of my youth spending part of the summer each year with my grandparents on the mainland but going to the beach in Galveston.  Street/Avenue palms lining both sides of the road always look so majestic to me.

IMG_4075.PNG

Edited by Lou-StAugFL
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TropicalGardenSpain

I went to take photos of a property here in Alicante, Spain and they had 2 beautiful Bismarckia palms and they took my breath away, I had always been into gardening but never tropical and I spent the next week searching for some for myself, that turned me into a palm nut :D

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JohnAndSancho
On 4/3/2021 at 11:51 PM, Palmarum said:

They survive today in memory whenever a particularly nice specimen catches my eye.

My feels....... 

 

This post makes me wanna go see my mom and plant a palm for her. 

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Palmensammler

My first palm was an Adonidia merrillii grown from seed I collected during our Hooneymoon trip through Florida in 1992. I was so fascinated that I became addicted to palms and later to Yucca, Agave and Cacti.

Hope to come back to Florida in 2022 and celebrate again 30 years later.

Regards
Eckhard

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ExperimentalGrower

When I visited my grandparents in Florida when I was a little kid, palms fascinated me (coming from the Midwest). Then as a young adult I moved to Seattle in 2004, the first placed I lived where some palms (Trachycarpus mostly) grew in people’s yards. I was transfixed. 

I moved to the SF Bay Area in 2010 and immediately discovered the Oakland Palmetum, my jaw nearly hit the ground. Now I work there on the weekends, lucky for me I guess. But the first palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana) I planted in the ground was only a year ago after finally buying a house. What a journey it’s been, hoping for many more years of fun.

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oasis371

The first palm I grew was an Areca palm (Dypsis), unfortunately, these are sun LOVING and I only had an obstructed, northern exposure in NYC.

I am probably all of 15 miles from where I grew up and now have hundreds of tropicals and many large palms.  

Haha, the Areca (Dypsis) is still not part of the permanent collection. My favorite large palms are Phoenix canariensis, Syagris (Queen palms), Butia (Pindo), Washingtonia robusta, Chamaedorea, Rhapis, Trachycarpus, Chamaerops,  Caryota, and all the cycads.

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