Can someone please help? Bought this washie as a rehab from Lowes clearance section. She hung out in the backyard all summer. Didn’t grow a ton but got a little healthier and a couple new fronds. I decided to clean her and bring her inside. (I live in Chicago) Medium is very chunky: premium potting mix with perlite, added bark, pumice, charcoal and cactus mix. Since October, I have only watered twice. It immediately lost all fronds (didn’t cut them until they were totally brown) except the unopened one. All these months that frond has still not opened! It’s in suspended animation. Do I need to water more? Is this just transplant shock??? It’s in a north facing window with additional grow lights on it. Ignore the diatomaceous earth—fungus gnats.
Yesterday I was on a trip to Dallas and on the way up I spotted some sort of Washingtonia behind a Hooters of all places just of the 35 in Waco. I didn’t have time to snap a picture, but sure-enough it was pushing green that was visible from the highway.
I believe it’s a Robusta Hybrid from looking at google maps past years, but you make your own analysis
Oh and there where also some W.filiferas and CIDPs that recovered nicely at Quality Inn & Suites Near University
Blurry picture on the way back
These are all in London and the outer suburbs...
I repeat... this is just the London region only. I've probably missed a fair few, especially ones lurking in back yards. I know of quite a few more that are out there.
I've put a Washingtonia Robusta (Filibusta maybe?) in the ground this year, in zone 7a (if using the average annual extreme minimum temperature, which is around 7F/-14C). The issue with my location is that while most winters it's a solid zone 7b (last winter was actually a zone 8a), every few years (5-10), a seriously cold front can get here and plummet temperatures way below that. -9F/-23C is the lowest I've personally experienced, but I didn't have anything to actually measure it at the time, so I just have to trust the temperature at that time's forecast.
As you might have already figured out, -9F/-23C is pretty much zone 6a temperatures, almost 5b, so the temperature swings here can be pretty drastic from one year to the other.
To get to the point, I have a Washingtonia that I have already covered (too soon, but I want to be as sure as possible that I'm able to protect it) in the ground that looks gorgeous for its first year, at about 4ft/1.2m height for the tallest frond. Its current protection consists of 3 walls of 100mm (4'') thick polystyrene sheets and a 10mm (0.4'') thick twin wall polycarbonate window on the south side.
After having done this, I noticed the night time temperatures inside were almost the same as outside. So to try to help it store some of the sun's heat, which is actually too much, since the enclosure can easily surpass 102F/39C on a 42F/6C day (ask me how I know), I've also added black containers filled with around 27 gal/100L of water around the palm. I was hoping the water would tone down the daytime temperatures too, but I still have to ventilate it so I don't cook it. At night, the water seems to help somewhat. So far, what I can tell is that at 32F/0C, the water keeps the enclosure at around 40F/4.5C and I'm expecting it to make an even greater difference when it's colder outside.
The issue is I'm not expecting this to be good enough if we get another freak 6a/5b winter and heating it electrically is a serious no-go for me since the place is full of mice and other critters and I really don't feel safe doing that. I was thinking I could add hot water in some of the containers before one of those really cold nights, but I'm not sure that would be enough and it would also be a lot of work to carry around lots of hot water to it every day when one of these cold fronts hit (especially if the water freezes in the containers, that would be a nightmare).
Does anyone have any tips and tricks on how I could insulate or warm up this palm better that doesn't involve doing anything that could be dangerous (like a shock or fire hazard)?
Thanks so much for reading and I hope you guys out there in zone 9+ love your palms and appreciate how much easier it is to have them around.
Another question to our gurus from a newbie - when is it okay to cover Washingtonia palms (day-night air temperatures pattern)?
Some Washingtonia owners suggest to only cover the palms if both day and night temperatures entirely fall below freezing (below 0 degrees C or 32 degrees F) and not to cover the trees on above freezing days and subfreezing nights forecast pattern to keep the trees as healthy as possible, how true is that?
To cover or not with the forecast like this?
I have two Washingtonia palms planted in the ground this spring and by now by the end of this growing season they reached this size. What are the limits of this sized Washingtonias survival? -5C(23F), -7C(19F)...?
PS. Some details about the plants discussed:
Apr 2021. Before planting. Two washies brought from two different nurseries, same sized but with some minor differences in appearance
Washy 1 (Apr 2021). Probably pure Filifera or filifera dominant x Filibusta? Grows slower, has produced 8 new leaves during the growing season.
mid-season (Aug 2021)
end season 2021 (Nov 2021)
Washy 2. (Apr 2021). Probably pure Robusta or robusta dominant x Filibusta? Grows faster and produced 15 new leaves during the growing season.
mid-season (Aug 2021)
end season 2021 (Nov 2021)