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Texas Tough Plants Nursery & Mail Order.

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Collectorpalms

Howdy, I had a plant nursery in Texas for a decade until 2010, called CollectorPalms. 

I have considered restarting with “Texas Tough Plants” ; lots of native plants and ones that do well here and similar places. Right now it’s still a dream, but I have the availability to get it up and running in a year. I have experience growing & shipping small to large palms. Others, I may need some input.


Why, I think it’s needed, it’s difficult to get certain plants. 10-20 years ago had a lot of good nurseries that are no longer... they retired mostly. Also the recession of 2008 hurt a lot of nurseries. I also have no local competition. No other cool Nurseries. 
 

Question to all.
 

What would you like to see available at the nursery? Specific palms, agaves, yuccas, cactus, trees etc... sizes & prices?

Thanks for the ideas. I have a list already in mind, but want good feedback from others. 

Everyone reading this, give me your thoughts! Please! Thanks in Advance!

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Teegurr
31 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

Howdy, I had a plant nursery in Texas for a decade until 2010, called CollectorPalms. 

I have considered restarting with “Texas Tough Plants” ; lots of native plants and ones that do well here and similar places. Right now it’s still a dream, but I have the availability to get it up and running in a year. I have experience shipping small to large palms.


Why, I think it’s needed, it’s difficult to get certain plants. 10-20 years ago had a lot of good nurseries that are no longer... they retired mostly. Also the recession of 2008 hurt a lot of nurseries.
 

Question to all.
 

What would you like to see available at the nursery? Specific palms, agaves, yuccas, cactus, trees etc... sizes & prices?

Thanks for the ideas. I have a list already in mind, but want good feedback from others. 

This is so cool, Ryan. Texas really needs this.

One thing that I think everyone would appreciate would be some rarer Trachycarpus species, like T. takil, martianus, princeps, etc. Now I know those are rare, but they could be started by seed if all else fails when trying to find them.

Braheas are a good choice. Clara, decumbens, armata.

Washingtonia filifera will be a mainstay for sure.

Maybe some Parajubaeas, Butia×jub, mules, that kind of thing.

Sabals of all kinds - palmetto, mexicana, louisiana, 'lisa', minor, uresana

Needles would be great (especially for those in Northwest TX!)

Loquats, pineapple guava, Palo verde, Pawpaws, that kind of stuff.

Argentine saguaro and giant saguaro would be amazing.

I don't know much about prices.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Teegurr
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Jimhardy

I hope you pull it off...I know I bought several palms from you in the past

and was disappointed when I checked my saved sellers(E-Bay)only to see you and so many others

are gone...it used to be you could get a S.Louisiana S.McCurtain S.Brazoria etc

very easily and cheaply too...at least compared to todays prices.

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Keys6505

I'd definitely be a regular if you started up again.  I'd vote for:

Interesting Chamaerops (Dicks Mutant, Cerifera, etc)

Chammys (Radicalis, Costarricana I think I read is pretty tough, etc)

Guihaia argyrata

Correctly identified Phoenix hybrids

Sabals including Lisa's for sure

Nobody sells needles or minors at any of the nusries that I frequent in the Houston area

Serenoa Repens

Arenga Englerii

C. Alba? B. Alfredii? For us z9 pushers!

Get to work!

 

 

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CiprianS
44 minutes ago, Keys6505 said:

Nobody sells needles or minors at any of the nusries that I frequent in the Houston area

I saw Sabal Minors at a nursery in the Houston area. Enchanted Gardens had them, I saw them last week at the 6420 FM 359 in Richmond. 

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CiprianS
2 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Howdy, I had a plant nursery in Texas for a decade until 2010, called CollectorPalms. 

I have considered restarting with “Texas Tough Plants” ; lots of native plants and ones that do well here and similar places. Right now it’s still a dream, but I have the availability to get it up and running in a year. I have experience growing & shipping small to large palms. Others, I may need some input.


Why, I think it’s needed, it’s difficult to get certain plants. 10-20 years ago had a lot of good nurseries that are no longer... they retired mostly. Also the recession of 2008 hurt a lot of nurseries. I also have no local competition. No other cool Nurseries. 
 

Question to all.
 

What would you like to see available at the nursery? Specific palms, agaves, yuccas, cactus, trees etc... sizes & prices?

Thanks for the ideas. I have a list already in mind, but want good feedback from others. 

Everyone reading this, give me your thoughts! Please! Thanks in Advance!

Ryan, first thing for me is the price. :) I am not going to pay $1.2k (planted with a one year warrantee) for example for a Robusta the same size as the bigger one that I had that grew like that in less than two years from a $29.99 Houston Garden Center Palm which I also got at a 50% sale price. :)  Lots of the nurseries in the area that I look around have forgotten what common sense is. There are some of them where I won't enter again in a million years because they are rip offs. 

Now to come to the second things, right now I got crazy with Sabals (Mexicana), so I would have gotten 10-15 directly (5-10 gallons sizes) if any nursery had any in my area. Next ones that I got crazy with and again I would have gotten a few were the Filifera because I don't want to end up in a few years to have to cut my big Robusta. :) 

But that is just me and  my two cents.

Edited by CiprianS
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kinzyjr

I'd add Nannorhops ritchiana (green and silver forms), Bismarckia nobilis (green and silver forms),  and Hyphaene coriacea to the suggestions above.  Perhaps Medemia argun and Jubaea chilensis if you can get them to grow there.  Phoenix theophrasti as well?

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Xerarch

I would personally love to see availability of all of these at a nursery, as would many people on this forum.  The question is are there enough locals that would care to buy Sabal minor, Guihaia, Nannorhops, Rhapiophyllum, etc.  I think most people find those boring and they are a hard sell to the general populous.   So you try and sell something more exciting like Bismarckia, well I think those should be sold and planted far more in south Texas, but they got smoked big time this freeze even in south Texas, so that starts to not fit the theme very well for adapted plants.

People are excited by large, trunking palms that grow fast and won't die. If W filifera is not easy to find, it ought to get easy to find, that should be a winner for much of Texas, also the various hybrids of Syagrus, Butia, Jubaea should be of a lot of interest, and which of the Dick Douglas hybrids might be of commercial potential? Also I like the idea of various Brahea and Livistona although the growth rate could be quite restrictive for those, people want big stuff fast and cheap.  I also like the idea of Phoenix hybrids or special cultivars.  Man someone posted a pic of that blue Phoenix theophrasti at Kopsick on another thread, it's stunning, if someone could grow a whole field of ones that look just like that you'd really be in business.

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PricklyPearSATC

Cold hardy, cold hardy, cold hardy! 
I grow alot of small palms because most tropical plants such as elephant ears, split leaf philodendron need too much water and look horrible in winter. 

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James W

Our local nurseries seem to mostly carry Trachys.  Very hard to find other more unusual cold-hardy palms like the Chamaedoreas, Arenga Engleri, or Mules.

I usually order 1 to 3 gallon sizes through mail for cost savings, since I tend to push the zone (8b) limits and don't want to kill a $300 plant.

Same comment regarding other tropicals like Heliconia, Streletzia, Gingers etc.  Nurseries here don't have many tropicals except a few for sale as houseplants.

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Fusca
1 hour ago, Xerarch said:

Man someone posted a pic of that blue Phoenix theophrasti at Kopsick on another thread, it's stunning, if someone could grow a whole field of ones that look just like that you'd really be in business.

You mean this one?  :)

1994731668_Phoenixtheophrasti.thumb.jpg.de4805bc0a5ff693c4a93627b33ca3d9.jpg

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Collectorpalms
6 minutes ago, Fusca said:

You mean this one?  :)

1994731668_Phoenixtheophrasti.thumb.jpg.de4805bc0a5ff693c4a93627b33ca3d9.jpg

Would have to tissue culture it. 

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amh
5 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Howdy, I had a plant nursery in Texas for a decade until 2010, called CollectorPalms. 

I have considered restarting with “Texas Tough Plants” ; lots of native plants and ones that do well here and similar places. Right now it’s still a dream, but I have the availability to get it up and running in a year. I have experience growing & shipping small to large palms. Others, I may need some input.


Why, I think it’s needed, it’s difficult to get certain plants. 10-20 years ago had a lot of good nurseries that are no longer... they retired mostly. Also the recession of 2008 hurt a lot of nurseries. I also have no local competition. No other cool Nurseries. 
 

Question to all.
 

What would you like to see available at the nursery? Specific palms, agaves, yuccas, cactus, trees etc... sizes & prices?

Thanks for the ideas. I have a list already in mind, but want good feedback from others. 

Everyone reading this, give me your thoughts! Please! Thanks in Advance!

Grow what the local nurseries won't, I've bought about 1% of all my plants from local nurseries and have had to buy from out of state or start my own. The more showy native cactus, hardy palms, and the other under represented natives in 1 to 3 gallon sizes would probably be good sellers. Do you have access to a commercial sized greenhouse?

Also, what does the state or USDA inspection entail?

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Collectorpalms

Yes, I have access to a Fairly large greenhouse (maybe 2500 sq ft) on agricultural land. Certain plants could be field grown for a time, then potted. 
Nursery license you do get inspected. But I don t recall what’s involved. I had my house address listed last time and lady came while I was working out of town. 

Edited by Collectorpalms

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amh

The greenhouse really expands your options, you could grow a lot more species of palms or exotic tropicals. Basically the plants California and Florida take for granted, but that Texans are  SOL for local acquisition.

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Collectorpalms

There are no local nurseries. You have to drive 2 hours to Austin or almost 1.5 to Houston to find anything other than a box store.
[ Well there is a feed store in Bryan that brings in a few plants, Fruit trees, and vegetables but no palms or anything too different, they don’t know what they are doing so they go downhill pretty quick. ]

 

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tlow

What everyone else said.. it seems like North Carolina as a state has this concept down as there are a bunch of local nurseries (most of which don't ship larger stuff) for things that are estabished and can handle their winters.  Would be great to see similar things here.  Honestly, I don't have much to add besides what has been said already but older hardy trunking palms at reasonable prices (Birmingham, Louisiana, Brazoriensis etc) would be great.  I had to go out of state to find all of mine and they're all smaller so I need to be patient in growing them now.

Heck, even finding a reasonably sized S. Mexicana without being gouged in priced around DFW was challenging for me but maybe it's because I didn't know where to look last year.  I'm in, whatever you do!

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Keys6505

I'm assuming minors transplant as poorly as small Palmettos, Mexiscanas, etc but at what success rate?  I'm always surprised that there aren't more mature size, regenerated minors for sale in the trade.  I am on the road alot for work and I see a lot of construction in native minor areas.  Do they just bulldoze them? Even at a 30% success rate there had to be some value in trying to salvage them.  I saw a few commercial lots for sale in Beaumont that have literally thousands of minors growing on them.  I know I'm getting a little off topic, but it could apply if you could figure out how to get permission and economically remove them.

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Jtee

I’d love to see a website with types of palms available with prices. 
 

palms I would like to see- all types of sabals varieties, windmills, filiferas, butias, mules, date palms, Bismarck’s, European fan palms, and rare hard to find cold hardy palms. 
 

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teddytn
16 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Howdy, I had a plant nursery in Texas for a decade until 2010, called CollectorPalms. 

I have considered restarting with “Texas Tough Plants” ; lots of native plants and ones that do well here and similar places. Right now it’s still a dream, but I have the availability to get it up and running in a year. I have experience growing & shipping small to large palms. Others, I may need some input.


Why, I think it’s needed, it’s difficult to get certain plants. 10-20 years ago had a lot of good nurseries that are no longer... they retired mostly. Also the recession of 2008 hurt a lot of nurseries. I also have no local competition. No other cool Nurseries. 
 

Question to all.
 

What would you like to see available at the nursery? Specific palms, agaves, yuccas, cactus, trees etc... sizes & prices?

Thanks for the ideas. I have a list already in mind, but want good feedback from others. 

Everyone reading this, give me your thoughts! Please! Thanks in Advance!

If there was ever a dream job that would be it!!! Managing a business keeps you on the phone or behind a computer, but to be able to walk out and just water plants whenever, get some sun, talk with all your green friends lol. 
Your xp has gone way up since you did it last, especially if there’s no local competition, you should do it. 
 

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Swolte

I think a nursery that has a reliable supply of more native-ish trees such as golden leadball, red buckeye, and eve's necklace would be great. They are often hard to find in the trade and I think they would also be appreciated by the broader public. Not sure if you can collect and sell nuts from the big century tree as that would go over well with the locals. Obviously, since there's some 'education' to be done, a display garden with a unique variety of palms would be a must. (e.g., with the Brazoria Sabal a must!). 

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NBTX11

Mass produce Washingtonia Filifera from known hardy source from 50-100 year old trees in San Antonio or Austin. I’ve considered doing this. 

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necturus

I cannot wrap my head around why it is so difficult to find the hardiest cat palms (C. radicalis and microspadix) around here. I know they're slow growers, but they germinate well and are among the toughest tropical-looking palms we can grow. I have never seen C. radicalis for sale except for at Peckerwood, and C. microspadix is extremely uncommon.

The really tough Cycas other than C. revoluta like C. taitungensis and C. panzhihuaensis should also be more common in the trade.

Finally, Ceratozamias. There's a lot of these that can make it here but are pretty much non-existent.

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Collectorpalms
4 hours ago, tlow said:

What everyone else said.. it seems like North Carolina as a state has this concept down as there are a bunch of local nurseries (most of which don't ship larger stuff) for things that are estabished and can handle their winters.  Would be great to see similar things here.  Honestly, I don't have much to add besides what has been said already but older hardy trunking palms at reasonable prices (Birmingham, Louisiana, Brazoriensis etc) would be great.  I had to go out of state to find all of mine and they're all smaller so I need to be patient in growing them now.

Heck, even finding a reasonably sized S. Mexicana without being gouged in priced around DFW was challenging for me but maybe it's because I didn't know where to look last year.  I'm in, whatever you do!

This was along the line how I have felt. Texas is a massive state, and yet 90% of people have to settle for a Robusta and Pygmy date.
For a few years, the average person is going to be spooked to buy another palm tree. That’s why all the palm enthusiast need to replant Their front yards with Texas Tough ones.

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Xerarch
14 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Would have to tissue culture it. 

Would be worth it

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Fusca
1 hour ago, necturus said:

I cannot wrap my head around why it is so difficult to find the hardiest cat palms (C. radicalis and microspadix) around here. I know they're slow growers, but they germinate well and are among the toughest tropical-looking palms we can grow. I have never seen C. radicalis for sale except for at Peckerwood, and C. microspadix is extremely uncommon.

This is quite true.  Long before the freeze I was talking with the owner of Palm Buddha here in SA.  "50 years of experience" from the website yet he had never heard of Chamaedorea radicalis or microspadix.  I showed him some online info and provided my experience with them regarding drought tolerance, early flowering and what I had read about their cold hardiness.  On my next visit I gave him some of my extra C. radicalis seedlings hoping he'd eventually offer some for sale.  To his credit he did have a decent selection of Brahea which I have never seen outside of TexasColdHardyPalms.

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Xenon

I'd love to see Yucca Do Nursery 2.0.

Beyond palms, there are a lot of subtropicals from Mexico, southern Brazil/Argentina, and East Asia that are well adapted to 8b-9a/b TX. I'd love to see a wide assortment of evergreen shrubs and trees as well as bromeliads, agaves, aroids, etc. Also, named varieties of subtropical fruit like citrus, loquat, and cold hardy avocados. 

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necturus
3 hours ago, Xenon said:

I'd love to see Yucca Do Nursery 2.0.

Beyond palms, there are a lot of subtropicals from Mexico, southern Brazil/Argentina, and East Asia that are well adapted to 8b-9a/b TX. I'd love to see a wide assortment of evergreen shrubs and trees as well as bromeliads, agaves, aroids, etc. Also, named varieties of subtropical fruit like citrus, loquat, and cold hardy avocados. 

I still have a few Yucca Do plants, and I came into the hobby near the tail end of their existence! Wish I had bought more. Little did I know that a treasure trove of terrestrial bromeliads (e.g. Puyas, Dyckias, Hechtias, Orthophytums) were about to go away and never come back. There was another great online nursery for them at that time that went poof too.

 

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Turtlesteve

Some of this has been said already.

What I would be happy to see is:

- Tough palms that are hard to find - Trithrinax, Mazari palms, etc.

- Cycas panzihuaensis and guizhouensis

- Large cold hardy and tough (flood / drought hardy) evergreen trees.  Especially those with large leaves.  Oaks from mexico (Quercus polymorpha, rysophylla, etc.) or asia (Q. glauca, etc.).  Quercus tarahumara (if it's cold hardy enough).  Lithocarpus species.

- Exotic or odd trees that are hard to find - the sole cold-hardy species in otherwise tropical plant families.  Araucaria angustifolia.  Dalbergia hupeana.  Cinnamomum chekiangensis.

- Cold hardy citrus hybrids and other oddball fruit trees (Feijoa, etc.)

Of course rarer plants are a niche business model, any random customer walking in from the street won't know the difference.  But this is the kind of stuff I'd buy.  We have a couple nice "rare plant" nurseries here in SC but they seem to focus mainly on small shrubs and flowering plants.  

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Collectorpalms

Water is a major cost factor.
 

Where is a good place to send off a well water sample so I know what I am dealing with on this new property?

and additionally a soil sample while I am

at it. 

Edited by Collectorpalms
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amh
19 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

Water is a major cost factor.
 

Where is a good place to send off a well water sample so I know what I am dealing with on this new property?

and additionally a soil sample while I am

at it. 

If you can budget for it, go with rainwater collection. A 2000+ sq ft green house will result in a lot of runoff.

It also doesn't require replacing pumps or the re-drilling upkeep of a well?

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Collectorpalms
5 minutes ago, amh said:

If you can budget for it, go with rainwater collection. A 2000+ sq ft green house will result in a lot of runoff.

It also doesn't require replacing pumps or the re-drilling upkeep of a well?

There is a rainwater collection not sure how many gallons, and with Texas. I couldn’t count on enough rain.

The well is up and running. Well shouldn’t go dry, it’s along the Brazos River.

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amh
1 minute ago, Collectorpalms said:

There is a rainwater collection not sure how many gallons, and with Texas. I couldn’t count on enough rain.

The well is up and running. Well shouldn’t go dry, it’s along the Brazos River.

Okay, so its not too deep?

You should be able to collect around 62,000 gallons annually in your area, but you might run out in the summer months.

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JohnAndSancho

Random thought but I'd double check to make sure HEB can't sue you for the name 

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amh
13 minutes ago, JohnAndSancho said:

Random thought but I'd double check to make sure HEB can't sue you for the name 

Good point, I dont know if HEB owns it or if it's a state marketing slogan.

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Collectorpalms

You hear Texas Tough Ford, Texas Tough garbage bags... it a Texas slogan etc. 

 

Fairly certain there has never been potted plants labeled with a trademark Texas Tough Plants. I have thought this over for a decade.

I wanted a wide reach name, and it fits the bill. I actually do know a little bit about marketing. I will admit something like Yucca-Do was pretty creative. But you don’t think of palms or oaks with that.


Besides, I’ll never be on Heb’s radar. If I were to get branded pots, then a trademark would be warranted for marketing, but we are talking being able to do wholesale quantities. They would have to have turnover as fast as annuals.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Collectorpalms
59 minutes ago, JohnAndSancho said:

Random thought but I'd double check to make sure HEB can't sue you for the name 

what HEB has trademarked is the design on the packages, not the slogan alone.

AS best as I can tell from what I researched just now. 

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PricklyPearSATC
11 hours ago, Swolte said:

I think a nursery that has a reliable supply of more native-ish trees such as golden leadball, red buckeye, and eve's necklace would be great. They are often hard to find in the trade and I think they would also be appreciated by the broader public. Not sure if you can collect and sell nuts from the big century tree as that would go over well with the locals. Obviously, since there's some 'education' to be done, a display garden with a unique variety of palms would be a must. (e.g., with the Brazoria Sabal a must!). 

You can buy golden leadball, eve's necklace etc at Central Texas nurseries.  Natives of Texas in Kerrville and Medina Garden Nursery..
Schumacher's in New Braunfels used to carry them.    (I bought a leadball tree from schumachers many years ago) 

I'm sure nurseries in Austin also carry those natives. 

Although Mexican Olive is hard to find!!! 

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PricklyPearSATC

I bought my sabal brazoria from yucca do.  The sabal brazoria came in one of those skinny 20 ounce mini-tree seedling pot. It had three strap leaves.  11 years later, it has a small trunk.  I also bought a few sabal minors from them. 

Yucca-do even sold a few odd ball oaks..like loquat leaf oak. 

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N8ALLRIGHT
2 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Water is a major cost factor.
 

Where is a good place to send off a well water sample so I know what I am dealing with on this new property?

and additionally a soil sample while I am

at it. 

Texas A&M soil testing laboratory.

Never used it but a site I frequent has many users that do.  

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      This new thread will document my "insane" project of trying to grow a Canary Island Date Palm ( aka Phoenix Canariensis ) here in Southern Queens, New York City -  currently in  Zone 7B.  I've always  interested in growing exotic types of plants all my life.  But I first became aware of this particular palm after managing to germinate some seeds that I picked up from in front of a very big pot-bound Canary Island Date Palm that happened to be in front of  the United States Botanic Garden (USBG),  while I was visiting  Washington DC back in 1994.  For around the period of twenty years, I grew a CIDP in a  big pot,  and  despite it becoming  quite large , it didn't flower so  I never found out what sex it was.. Unfortunately in late spring of 2015, I took it outside, as usual for the season,  and it suddenly died during a brief freak heat wave.
           I then attempted to grow Canary Island Date Palms again the next year, from seeds purchased from RarePalmSeeds.com, but out of ten of those seeds, only two germinated, and of those, only one seedling survived.  Then in the following year, in 2017, during a visit to San Francisco,  I collected a bunch of seeds from a CIDP at the southeast corner of Union Square , which when I returned to New York, I promptly planted , with most of them easily germinating .  From those seedlings  now consist my current crop of Canary Island Date Palms  ( about four of those palms ) but I had so many previously, and didn't have the space , that I gave most of those palms away .
      During the beginning of the Pandemic, I was stuck at home, watching more YouTube videos than I would normally,  and happened to come across  a few Palm enthusiast "Zone Pushing"  palms in places that were not their original optimal growing area. So I figured, why don't I try to do that too!  I decided to  try and plant several varieties of cold hardy-ish  palms  that  was growing at the time, outside in ground  - two CIDP, and four Sabal Palmettos at my house here in Queens, and two CIDP , two Sabal Palmettos and two Sabal Minors at my sister's place in Brooklyn.  Of all the Canary Island Date Palms that I planted in ground in 2020, only the one Palm that was germinated from that seed from RarePalmSeeds.com was cold hardy enough to be able to survive so far (  All of the San Francisco seed germinated palms planted in ground did not survive the winter of 2020-2021).
      Following are some of the initial pictures that I took to document this Canary Island Date Palm project -    
       
      Original planting location  -  June 2020:

       
      Fall  2021 -  first full year in ground at new, final location:

       
      Here is my  Winter 2021 - 2022  protection for the Canary Island Date Palm:

       
      March 2022 ( Spring , after removing winter protection )


      Yes, I admit, it doesn't look so hot right now , but it should improve when the weather warms up ..
      That's it for now - I will try to update this thread monthly - and thanks for taking the time to read about this crazy endeavor of mine!
    • Little Tex
      By Little Tex
      Found This palm survived unprotected in Southern Humble Texas
      There was 2 queens one died, and dead washingtonia next to it which makes it remarkable this one survived.

    • Xerarch
      By Xerarch
      Nicest Aceolorrhaphe wrightii I have noticed, all survived but this is the only one I’ve seen where the existing trunks survived, even a big one on the island died to the ground and started regrowing. There were only ever a handful around to begin with that I’m aware of. 

    • Arecaceae78743
      By Arecaceae78743
      I had know before that palms grew in El Paso and Del Rio but it did not occur to me that they would grow in the big bend. It would make sense because the location dips south and has the Davis mountains blocking north winds and there are lower points in elevation such as by the rio grande where it would stay warmer. The zone is considered 8b by the usda. 
      Here are some pics before the big freeze (not mine)


       
      and some after pics but they survive.
      https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/102077751
      https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/101993528
      https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/101993501
       
       
    • McClell.Col829
      By McClell.Col829
      Can somebody please help me out, I am currently growing W. Filiferas, T. fortunei, R. Hystrix, C. Humilis and a couple butias. I lost my biggest W. Filifera this last winter due to fungal infection, I’m wondering what do you use? Daconil or Copper Fungicides? Also what brand of Anti-dessicants if any do you use? Any input will be greatly appreciated. 
       
      thank you 
       

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