Jump to content
tank

Cycads in zone 9a/8b

Recommended Posts

tank

Trying to compile a list of Cycads that should make it in Gainesville, Florida.  I’m hoping to get a little help from the experienced folks on this board.  I’ve lived in town about 13 years and the lowest temperature I experienced was 17 F.  Although during the bad freezes in the 80’s Gainesville saw temps as low as 10F (Jan 21, 1985: According to NOAA).

I’m going to try and ignore that 10F record and think of Gainesville as a marginal 9a (20-25F) climate with the infrequent 8b (15-20F) winter.  So I’m going to divide up the categories into 9a cycads and 8b cycads.  Also, this is a list of what I have or what I know (or, at least think I know) will grow in a 9a/8b.  I do not know a thing about Encephalartos, macrozamia, or pretty much 80% to 90% of all cycads!  Many of these were recommended on Tom Broome’s website.  The ones with asterisks are ones that I am currently growing.  

Please add any other cold hardy cycads that you know of or correct any that are in the wrong temp zone. Also, Gainesville is very humid, so these may need a caveat.  Thanks!

9a Cycads

*Bowenia serrulata

*Ceratozamia “Santiogo Tuxtla”

Ceratozamia “Palma sola”

Cycas debaoensis

Cycas panzhihuaensis

*Cycas revoluta

Cycas taitungensis

*Dion edule “palma sola”

Macrozamia moorei                

*Zamia furfuracea (this might be a stretch, but the ones I have planted under canopy didn’t show any damage at 23F)

8b Cycads

*Ceratozamia hildae

*Ceratozamia kuesteriana

Ceratozamia latifolia

Ceratozamia norstogii

*Zamia integrifolia (floridana)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cycadjungle

There are a lot of factors that complicate making a list. First of all do you want plants that will survive, or do you want plants that will never burn their leaves off? You have a decent list starting, but you have a few flaws.

First of all, lets take out the furfuracea. Zamia furfuracea is the weakest landscape cycad we have for getting its leaves burned off, so if this species is acceptable to you, then you can add every species of every genus except for the really touchy central and south american zamias. I like your 8b list but norstogii isn't near as cold hardy as the others. I had mine defoliate at 23 when it was out in the open. You will find that there are Dioon edule types that are more cold hardy than the Palma Sola type. That is one of the fastest growing types, which makes them softer, and less cold hardy. I have a friend that had a cycad nursery 8 miles north of town on 121 and he had 16F a few years ago and he had some totally lose their leaves. He had some macrozamias die and a few blue encephalartos like lehmannii that died.

 What you need to do is figure what you want. If the leaves die back, but they come out in the spring just fine, is that ok, or do you want plants that don't lose their leaves at all? As an example, any cycad that has a stem that is unground during a freeze will survive lower temperatures than species that have stems that are above the ground. This would mean that any of the pumila type zamias, like Z. floridana, would surive the worst freezes you will have. Even your furfuracea will survive your area if the stem is below the ground, wheere a furfuracea that has been planted with the stem above ground might die outright when you get close to 20F.

For stem hardiness, I would probably put the

Cycas panzhihuaensis

*Cycas revoluta

Cycas taitungensis, and

Macrozamia moorei      

in the colder catagory , if you didn't want leaves being burned at all, I wouldn't even put your  Santiago Tuxla in your 9a, because that form of robusta is about the worst form for being frost hardy.    Anyway, this will give you a start. There are many cycads you can try. I know someone who has about 20 species going outside of Atlanta, but some of them get burned, and come back in the spring. Then there is covering your plants with frost cloth, which can add up to 8 degrees of protection, and then you could have an excellent varied collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tank

Bruce,

Thanks for the feedback.  I know that there are many more factors when determining cold tolerance, and generating a generic list is an over simplification.  My yard benifits from quite a bit of overhead protection so I often don't experience frost, even when temps get into the low twenties (this is the temp in the yard, not the "official" NOAA reporting).  

I can't explain the Z. furfuracea, Although it is under a light canopy and probably hasn't experienced any real frost just cold.

My Ceratozamia "santiago tuxtla" is in a large pot, so when things get really chilly I can move it if necessary.  Last year our low was ~23F and only the oldest leaves showed some tip burn.  Again, this plant was under light canopy.

There is one planted out in a local botanical garden and it appears to be doing very well and shows very little frost damage (although, I'll caveat this because we haven't had temps lower than 22F or 21F for the last few years).

I guess I'd place a plant in a temp zone if at worst it would receive some major leaf damage at the extreme of the zone (ie. 20F for 9a) but the plant would recover fine the following spring.

Any recommendations on Encephalartos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eastern.nurseries

Lepidozamia peroffskyana, Macrozamia miquellii, M communis, M dougalisii and M johnsonii are all very cold tolerant. The most beautiful Australian zamiad is Lepidozamia hopeii . Well worth a try

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cycadjungle

Jason, I know we all have user names, so let me introduce myself correctly. My name is Tom Broome and I have a cycad nursery (The Cycad Jungle) in Lakeland, just a couple of hours south of you, but I'm in a cold pocket so that when we have the second day freezes where we have no wind (and usually frost) my place has the same microclimate as the outskirts of Gainesville. Even Bart Schutzman who lives outside of Hawthorne, is usually slightly warmer than I am. Not that it means anything, but not only am I a life member in the IPS, but I have been the president of The Cycad Society for the last 7 years (just finished my last term) and have been the president of the CFPACS, which is the local chapter that includes Gainesville. Sounds like you should come to a few local meetings when you are able to. I think you would learn a lot from seeing what and where everyone plants their plants. We live in a special area that most people might not understand. There are fine lines with certain temperatures and the duration of our freeze events. As an example, when you have a cycad under an oak tree and you have a short duration freeze of 23F, you will not see a lot of leaf damage unless you are growing some of the taller central African encephalartos, like whitelockii, or laurentianus. Your Zamia furfuracea might not show any damage at 23F, buit with a freeze where you have 21 and a slightly longer duration than normal, that plant will burn. Go down a few more degrees with a zamia that has an exposed stem, and it could die outright. I could go on for a long time explaining these subtle differences, but if you are able to do this, I would invite you to come down here to Lakeland. I have about 5000 cycads that are outside that don't go in the greenhouses and many are under oaks, and if they were not, they would burn every year. I have grown 144 cycad species outside and even more than that, that  I have chickened out and have kept in the greenhouses. The best way to see what you can do or can not do is to see it all for yourself.

You ask about encephalartos species. Given that all you will have is 20F you can grow 80% of them under trees. I remember one lady who was in a cycad class I taught and she told me her E. ferox took 18F with no leaf damage because it was deep under an oak tree. Canopy makes all the difference in the world to help increase what you can grow. Remember, it doesn't matter what NOAA says about your area, only YOUR YARD means anything to you. You find out what you get each time they tell you it is going to be something else, and you can usually figure what you will have. I have 5 thermometers out on my property. When there is no wind during a freeze, my place will vary 4 degrees, and many times, 4 degrees makes all the difference in the world becasue WE ARE in this very border line situation.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tank

Oops!,

Sorry Tom, I got confused between cycadjungle and cycadcenter!

I talked to you on the phone some time ago and was planning on making a trip down while I was visiting my folks in Winter Haven, but never got the chance.

As for Societies, I wasn't sure if Alachua was in First Coast or Central Florida.  I've been meaning to go to one of the meetings but they've either been at the wrong time or just a little out of my range.

I've picked up what I have from a fellow up here by the name of Russell Adams.  He is very friendly and knowledgeable but he doesn't live in town (at least the last time we talked) although his nursery is here.  He probably has much of what we're talking about but the last time I stopped by I really didn't know what to ask for and was a little overwhelmed by what he had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cycadjungle

Russell is one of the nicest cycad people you will ever meet. He is the person on 121 I mentioned. He really doesn't run that nursery any more but still has some plants that he might do on the side. He has a lot of plants too, but only new world species. His son will be starting it up again so their numbers will start increasing in the next few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dean W.

Great thread, I'm in 8b and am learning what can live and what can not.

Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FRITO

bump for more info.

I like cycads and am looking to get more companion filler plants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark_NoVA

A few people in the DC region 7a/7b have been growing Cycas panzhihuaensis the last few winters; it defoliates but comes back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phil

Jason,

A couple of comments about growing cycads in a colder area. First, cycads in general are more cold tolerant than most palms. During the Freeze of 07 here in Southern California, I had thousands of cycads outdoors and we got down to 25 degrees. Some palms got hurt, but I found no cycad that suffered. Of course, tropical Zamias were protected, but the rest were not. Second, if you know cold is coming, you can easily protect the caudex of a cycad. Protecting a big palm is near impossible. My favorite thing to do is just cover the caudex with fir or redwood shavings. After the cold, spray the shavings around into the garden. It's good for the soil. If you want to also protect the leaves, bubble wrap them or cover with frost cloth. Because cycad crowns are smaller, it's not too much work. There's lots of other forms of protection you can do. If you say "heck with this, I just want the most cold hardy species", then just follow the cold hardy data for cycads. Good luck.

Phil

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tropicalb
The most beautiful Australian zamiad is Lepidozamia hopeii .

Lepidozamia hopei is INDEED a beautiful cycad Jon....although some in southern california have expressed problems growing this particular cycad, I have had great success with this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tropicalb
Jason,

Because cycad crowns are smaller, it's not too much work.

Tell that to the guy with the eight year old E. whitelockii :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave-Vero

Thinking of cold-sensitive Zamias, yesterday I installed this vigorous female Z. variegata (a quick look at taxonomy indicates that's the accepted name).

She's a companion to the smaller male Z. variegatas to the left; the bigger one is from the same grower and is a souvenir of the Cycad Society board meeting at the Historic Bok Sanctuary a while back. Florida's a great place for cycads!

post-275-1225694473_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cycadcenter

Hi Jason,

I've been away for a few days and just caught your message, sorry you confused me with Tom, my experience comes from travelling and seeing cycads growing in habitats on five continents.

As regards to you question on Zone 9a/9b most of the finer leafed dioons would be suitable, cycas species from China especially Cycas panzhihuaensis and even Debo's, bifida and multipinata and pretty cold tollerant.

Most of the Australian cycas come from subtropical to tropical areas but the southern species of megacarpa, and ophiolitica should do reasonably well. As to macrozamias they would all be suitable though some will yellow off in cold weather.

Regards

Bruce from the Cycadcenter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edbrown_III

To add to what Toma and Bruce and others have said,

I grow them in Jax --- you can grow them but it is cooler here. They dont grow as fast, We have cooler falls and springs than Central Florida. The shade provides frost protection but it reduces sun light also.

I have the E. lehmanii in ground , it has about 12" caudex after 22 years from seed. It has worked the best for the Encephalartos for me. These were in pots in 89 so didnt see the hard freezes but I have heard anecdotally that teen freezes will hurt caudexs. If you lose the leafs during a frost from you set the plants back a bit so the progress is slowed more.

Dioon mejae I have had in the groudn about 15 years --- Trunks are about a foot -- not much for so long a time but many years I had to cut the leaves back when I couldnt cover --- too mnany plants over too large a place to keep up with.

Hang in there

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Neofolis

Slow growth and setbacks are my main concern here. I have Cycas panzhihuaensis and taitungensis and Macrozamia moorei, all of which should be able to cope with our winter minimum temperatures, which don't usually go below -6°C/21°F, but the lack of heat for any sustained period during the year may mean that recovery from defoliation doesn't occur before the return of more cold weather. They are all still protected at the moment, but they are reaching the size where they will probably have to face the elements next year,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sapida

hello,

I live in france (zone 8b) in a wet and cool climate.

I've got Encephalartos fredericii guilliemii since 2004 in the ground.

It's a very cold hardy cycad wich has saw -8°c without damage and none protection.

This specie doesn't need warm temperature to make new leaves, here the new flush start in may

008zp6qg5.jpg

w640.png

I've got some success with Cycas revoluta (with protection in hard winter) since 2004

022en4.jpg

w640.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edbrown_III

Sapida,

what are the links for below --- seem to not be tests at all but ways to get personal information from respondents--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sapida

edbrown

I don't know, I just use imageshack to send pictures in this forum and others, i find it in the french IPS chapter "forum des fous de palmiers". It's easy to use.

but i hope the links are not ways to get some personnal information.

I will be careful in the futur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edbrown_III

Sapida,

I just wanted to let you know in case you had taken the test I took the test on the link as curiousity as your preceeded they asked for differnt things name age address-- one question before i stopped taking it was mothers maiden name, many financial sites have this as a question to answer to retrieve a lost password. This alerted me that it might be a phishing type website. you are allowed to post pictures but they get a few folks to deliver personal information unknowingly.

E. fredericii guillermii Pictures are great-- I am glad it is that coldy hardy.

Best regards,

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alicehunter2000

Jason, how's the cycad collection going?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Benjamin D.

Jason, I left three cycad species outside during the last 'icepocalypse' we had here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They were seedlings of Macrozamia glaucophylla, Macrozamia cardiacensis, and Zamia floridana 'Palatka Giant'. The coldest temperature was around 18 degrees, and daytime highs rarely got above freezing. All three were under an awning, and so they did not get covered with ice and snow.

The largest 'Palatka Giant' was hardly touched, but the little ones had more damage. Even so I expect a quick recovery in the spring.

The glaucophyllas had most (but not all) of their leaves burnt off... I think they can handle cold temps with damage as long as the soil is bone dry, but cold and wet kills them...probably not a good choice for Gainesville. A week or so after the event I moved them out from under the awning so they could get some more sun, but then it rained. :[ So I will have to see if they make it until spring.

The cardiacensis had the growth from the newest flushes burnt off, but the old growth was fine. Probably at least a high 8b.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tank

Dave and Benjamin,

All the originally listed are doing well. I have all of the ones in the original post other than C. norstogii.

Have added Macrozamia glaucaphylla, M. mountparriensis, M. communis, C. revoluta x debaoensis, C. debaoensis, C. revoluta x furfaracea and an unknown parazamia. All have seen temps around 20F and have done well. The C. debaoensis is planted near the house under canopy.

I have killed 3 or 4 encephalartos species, including E. fredericii guilliemii, and a couple hybrids probably due to driver error.

My winters are not particularly wet and snow is not an issue. The M. glaucaphylla will get protection in any extreme cold event. I'm not ready to throw that one to the wolves.

Dave, you should be able to grow a wide variety of cycads at your location. I recommend C. debaoensis. give it a lot of room.

Benjamin, I did not know that M. cardiacensis was one of the more cold hardy macrozamias.

Edited by tank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
_Keith

One of the local botanical gardens added C. debaoensis a few years ago, and they are outstandingly well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alicehunter2000

C. debaoensis

post-97-0-36179900-1388203365_thumb.jpg

That is cool looking........gots to get me one of does

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tank

They get pretty big. The one I gave to a friend in town a few years ago and its most recent leaf is about 7 or 8' long. He's had to move it twice because it keeps getting bigger than expected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redbeard917

C. revoluta x furfaracea and an unknown parazamia

What are these? I am not familiar with them.

Great info on this thread. I just got what is claimed to be a Ceratozamia latifolia x hildae, which will hopefully be hardy here. Dioon edule varieties defoliated as seedlings but took this year's freezing rain with no damage. Ceratozamia hildae was also undamaged this winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edbrown_III

It didnt get that cold this winter perhaps 26F --- I have E. villosus, ferox, and , senticosus ,&natalensis under canopy . Cycas I have the are the revolutaaxtaitugensis x diananensis hybrids no burning to speak up . C. dianannensis no scorching actually bseen otu there before 2010 .

I have a large C. clivacola that is in a 50 gallon container I left it out all this winter and the winter before just moderate burn --- I may put it in the ground this year . Most of cycads have been in the ground a long time . atleast 10 years a few 20 and some almost 30 years. I have some of the others out front including Cycas megacarpa C. media and C. cairnsiana

Zamia ambyphillida Z. media aka pumila, vascquezi, inermis , and lodegesii out side.

add to update the thread

Best regards

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tank

Thanks Ed,

I hope you're doing well and that the Livistona thinning project is coming along. The plant we dug from your house has declined a bit, as was to be expected, but still has a tight solid spear and looks like it will make it. The warm weather can't come soon enough. Thank you again.

Redbeard,

The C. revoluta x furfaracea was a gift from a friend out west and so far it looks similar to fufaracea, leaflets appear to be smoother. Hopefully it will be cold hardy. Parazamias are a Macrozamia group including the smaller macrozamias from New South Wales/east central Australia.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1741/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edbrown_III

Tank ,

I would be interested to see a photo of the C. revouta x furfuracea --- does it have the thinnner very acute angle leaflets( relative to the rachis) and greyeer color ?

Best regards

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tank

Ed,

Here is a pic of the hybrid, it's still very small.

Edited by tank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
turfpro01

I had 20F lows for several days in a row. There is a lot of cycads that can take it. I have a huge collection and hate to leave them out in pots, So a lot got pulled in cold frames. But I left out E. lehmannii with little damage, a few different macrozamia with none to very little damage, ceratozamia no damage except one, All the dioon edule did fine. Most had a little overhead protection from trees that had no leaves. Even in the cold feame I can see damage on some that I already knew shouldn't be grown here, but im happy with what I can. And the rest can get pulled in and out of a cold frame every year, Its easy enough. I even plan on putting pot in pots in the ground so they look like there in the ground. lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zootropical

I had 20F lows for several days in a row. There is a lot of cycads that can take it. I have a huge collection and hate to leave them out in pots, So a lot got pulled in cold frames. But I left out E. lehmannii with little damage, a few different macrozamia with none to very little damage, ceratozamia no damage except one, All the dioon edule did fine. Most had a little overhead protection from trees that had no leaves. Even in the cold feame I can see damage on some that I already knew shouldn't be grown here, but im happy with what I can. And the rest can get pulled in and out of a cold frame every year, Its easy enough. I even plan on putting pot in pots in the ground so they look like there in the ground. lol

Could you list the Encephalartos sp. that cope your cold event?

Thank you very much.

I am planning to build a frame to protect my cycads growing outside. Just to keep it free of rain in winter. This protection will be removed in summer. I did this kind of protection for cacti and that's good so far (temperature down to 20°F with long rainy events).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NorCalWill

I know 9a in Florida is different from 9a in California (I am actually somewhere in the 9a-9b range).

My experience with cycads here, where my 2013 winter low was 23F, with many consecutive nights below freezing, and cold rain generally from November to May.

Cycas revoluta, panzhihuaensis, and guizhouensis seem to be able to make it through the cold and wet winters here ok with very little leaf damage or rotting.

Ceratozamia hildae, kuesteriana, under canopy look ok but have some brown leaves.

C. robust was in an unheated greenhouse and looks fine.

Dioone angustifolium, edule, merolae, holmgrenii all in pots, and all survived, showing no sign of rot. Angustifolium and edule show no leaf damage. Leaves on merolae that were under canopy of higher plants stayed green, while leaves that were not covered turned brown. All leaves on holmgrenii completely turned brown even though it had some cover.

Dioon queretaro was in an unheated greenhouse and looks fine.

Encephalartos lehmanii in ground and fully exposed to the elements looks mostly ok, with a few brown leaves.

Encephalartos caffer in ground looks totally fine.

Encephalartos frederici-guilielmi in ground, rotten to the core. (Every E. f.g. I've ever tried to grow here has rotted and died).

Encephalartos longifolius - in a pot, rotten and dead.

Encephalartos trispinosus - in a pot, rotten and dead.

Encephalartos senticosus in an unheated greenhouse looks fine.

In general, I think Encephalartos have the least chance of doing well here in the landscape because they seem most prone to rotting in the winter unless they are kept dry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
turfpro01

Id say I can grow just about any cycad in a cold frame, Keeps the frost off and keeps the roots dry. Some may still get the leaves toasted, but it isn't going to matter much on most. Larger plants help a lot too. If you have to start small, bring them in the house til they get bigger or your wife makes you put them outside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zootropical

Any comment about Macrozamia after the cold event in North America?

I would like to know also if somebody grow Macrozamia montana.

Sincerely.

Jean-Michel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...