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Livistona Nitida in zone 8?


Swolte
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I have been reading up on these forums about folks trying Livistona Nitida in zone 8. I was wondering if there were any updates, especially after last winter! 

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I posted some pics of mature nitida down in Houston in another thread somewhere.  Livistona chilensis is a 100% zone 8 palm as even single digits temperatures wont kill it, however the leaves burn at 18-19 so they never look good they they stay in perpetual regrowth mode year after year.  Same story with cidp. 

Nitida is more akin to dactylifera and doesn't seem to burn until 17ish, which makes a big difference in zone 8 as we usually get down to 19-20 every year.  Additionally nitida is a very fast grower which makes recovery much easier.

Either way nitida would be a great choice for a warm 8b area like college station. 

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9 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I posted some pics of mature nitida down in Houston in another thread somewhere.  Livistona chilensis is a 100% zone 8 palm as even single digits temperatures wont kill it, however the leaves burn at 18-19 so they never look good they they stay in perpetual regrowth mode year after year.  Same story with cidp. 

Nitida is more akin to dactylifera and doesn't seem to burn until 17ish, which makes a big difference in zone 8 as we usually get down to 19-20 every year.  Additionally nitida is a very fast grower which makes recovery much easier.

Either way nitida would be a great choice for a warm 8b area like college station. 

Have you heard about Livistona chinensis var. subglobosa? Apparently it's a tad bit more cold hardy then the standard L. chinensis. I've searched but haven't been able to locate one or seeds. 

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19 minutes ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Yes i have four of them in the ground, 20gallon sized plants. 

Is the jury still out on them?

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Livistona chinensis is a z7 palm so long as you're ok with it being a perennial. I'll be digging mine up for sure. Needs to not be in a prime location..

LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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On 9/27/2018, 10:18:18, Swolte said:

I have been reading up on these forums about folks trying Livistona Nitida in zone 8. I was wondering if there were any updates, especially after last winter! 

I was curious also - I believe @JLeVert has (had) a large one growing in Augusta, Georgia.  I just bought one this past March and it's growing as fast as a similar sized mule. I'm in 9a however so I'm not concerned about its long-term survival.  I agree with @TexasColdHardyPalms that it should do fine in College Station.

Jon

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Jon Sunder

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22 hours ago, Fusca said:

I was curious also - I believe @JLeVert has (had) a large one growing in Augusta, Georgia.  I just bought one this past March and it's growing as fast as a similar sized mule. I'm in 9a however so I'm not concerned about its long-term survival.  I agree with @TexasColdHardyPalms that it should do fine in College Station.

Jon

I believe his went toes up in with winter of 2014/15

 

 

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Nitida are great looking palms....wish I had more of them. My large one did not burn during the 2014 Polar Vortex and subsequent Ice Storm....low of 19F. and 48 hours below freezing. 

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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I have some really nice nitida cones left that are in the middle of being potted up. They'll all be in 5g pots in the next week or so.  Best nitida deal you'll find. Took me years to finally acquire seed. 

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Thanks for all this info! I hope they will fare well this winter, especially the younger ones.

TCHP, that's amazing, plz check PM!

~ S

Edited by Swolte
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  • 1 year later...

I'll give this thread a bump.

I planted one (too) close to a SE facing wall of my house in Z8a. It was mostly just an experiment, and my thought process was that it would die eventually some cold winter before getting too large. It has only been planted out for 1 very mild winter, but since being put in the ground it has taken off in growth.  (maybe 1.5' tall last year at this time, now at least 5') 

Now, I'm kind of scared that it might actually make it. (and I wish I had planted it a couple feet out from the wall)

If it makes it to trunking size, it will develop a lean away from the house... right?

20200802_100743.thumb.jpg.76c0c5d6e4e7f5d47a02dc254f0e686f.jpg

 

 

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I had 2 about that size that didn't survive 2018 low of 13.7 and frozen precipitation. One died outright and the other put out 2 weak malformed fronds before succumbing. 

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16 minutes ago, Joe NC said:

I'll give this thread a bump.

I planted one (too) close to a SE facing wall of my house in Z8a. It was mostly just an experiment, and my thought process was that it would die eventually some cold winter before getting too large. It has only been planted out for 1 very mild winter, but since being put in the ground it has taken off in growth.  (maybe 1.5' tall last year at this time, now at least 5') 

Now, I'm kind of scared that it might actually make it. (and I wish I had planted it a couple feet out from the wall)

If it makes it to trunking size, it will develop a lean away from the house... right?

It should lean toward the light naturally.  You can give it a little nudge in the right direction if you would like as well.

10 minutes ago, palmbrad said:

I had 2 about that size that didn't survive 2018 low of 13.7 and frozen precipitation. One died outright and the other put out 2 weak malformed fronds before succumbing. 

Unfortunate news, but thank you for sharing your experience.

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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I've used shed anchors and ratchet straps to lean queens away from the house. Can slowly tighten the ratchet to create more lean and that works pretty well. The 2018 winter was a rarity and would have considered getting more nitidas but don't want to have to remove a very large one eventually.

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2 hours ago, palmbrad said:

I've used shed anchors and ratchet straps to lean queens away from the house. Can slowly tighten the ratchet to create more lean and that works pretty well. The 2018 winter was a rarity and would have considered getting more nitidas but don't want to have to remove a very large one eventually.

BTW Welcome back from you PT hiatus. :greenthumb:

 

Good to have other SC folks here. 

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For what it’s worth I am trying one in 8a SC too, but not expecting it to survive long term.  If it makes it 5-10 years it will have been worth it.

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My own experience (in 9a Natchez, Mississippi) was that Livistona nitida is (surprisingly, considering what is often written about it) a rather wimpy Livistona in a long, wet freeze. One of my two was killed in 2010 at 18F and 72 hours below freezing; the second, which barely survived, was killed by the 13F freeze in early 2018. I did lose a trunking L. chinensis that was planted out in an exposed position (on the street) in that 13F freeze as well as some of my smaller protected specimens, but the hardier individuals have persisted in courtyard conditions...I have found it is a matter of attrition with L. chinensis, as the weaker specimens get picked off after the periodic bad years. The secret just being to keep planting a few small ones year after year and you will always have a nice assortment! Meanwhile L. saribus, though slow, manages to push on in protected locations (it survived that 13F in 2018), either under evergreen canopy or up against a warm wall of the house. In my experience, once established, L. decipiens seems to be the hardiest in an exposed position. Plus they are by far the fastest grower and can look good by the end of the growing season after a devastating freeze. And I just feel that L. nitida looks too similar to Washingtonia robusta to be worth the bother...especially since, from direct observation, W. robusta is certainly hardier to cold.

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Michael Norell

Rancho Mirage, California | 33°44' N 116°25' W | 293 ft | z10a | avg Jan 44/70F | Jul 78/108F avg | Weather Station KCARANCH310

previously Big Pine Key, Florida | 24°40' N 81°21' W | 4.5 ft. | z12a | Calcareous substrate | avg annual min. approx 52F | avg Jan 65/75F | Jul 83/90 | extreme min approx 41F

previously Natchez, Mississippi | 31°33' N 91°24' W | 220 ft.| z9a | Downtown/river-adjacent | Loess substrate | avg annual min. 23F | Jan 43/61F | Jul 73/93F | extreme min 2.5F (1899)

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L. Nitida has been a fast grower in z8b San Marcos, TX.  It’s handled cold better than w. robusta, is much larger and has grown at the same speed as robusta.  This large specimen is 24” wide at the base of the trunk and was a 5 gal size planted 3.5 years ago.  The lowest temps it’s experienced so far were a quick dip to 18* that produced about 30% foliage burn.  

 

 

58D2A936-FE9F-4722-BCF8-DA527F66BD94.jpeg

3E1020D0-186F-40AA-8508-CFEE655B2F85.jpeg

Edited by Matt N- Dallas
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These l. nitida came from Tx Cold Hardy Palms.  
 

sorry for the sideways pics- I’m trying to figure out how to edit them.  

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1 hour ago, Matt N- Dallas said:

These l. nitida came from Tx Cold Hardy Palms.  
 

sorry for the sideways pics- I’m trying to figure out how to edit them.  

 

5F3BE708-B000-422B-A5F1-68AF9CDC60C2.jpeg

51A33C75-BAA0-441F-BEC3-A47A8664B2E4.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Manalto said:

I see some Livistona nitida don't have weeping leaf tips. Isn't that something that develops with age? Genetic variability?

I meant to say "Is that something that develops with age?" 

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1 hour ago, Manalto said:

Is that something that develops with age? Genetic variability?

Might be a little of both.  Several (if not most) Livistonas have weeping leaf tips to some degree.  Maybe not as pronounced as chinensis or decora.  Matt's has a lot more than mine and his is about 1½ times larger than mine.   This is mine that I purchased from @TexasColdHardyPalms taken this past spring.

IMG_20200706_200137.thumb.jpg.08e53ed4134a29736388a0194a2e12ef.jpg

TIMG_20200706_200155.thumb.jpg.f2652766c49c7bcad081f559bf8310ec.jpg

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Jon Sunder

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I think the weeping increases with age and size.  My larger nitida’s leaves looked just like Fusca’s when it was younger.  

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20 minutes ago, Matt N- Dallas said:

I think the weeping increases with age and size.

Funny, as I get older and wider I'm weeping more too!  :lol: 

Matt, I need to stop by and look at your palms next time I make a trip north.  Hope your new decoras are getting established.

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Jon Sunder

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  • 1 month later...

Is Livistona nitida the same as Livistona decora?  I planted a decora in the ground here in NJ by my foundation (I know I'm on borrowed time with this) and since last summer it has doubled if not tripled in size!  I simply cannot believe how fast it grows!!   Just this summer it has put out at least 5 or 6 fronds with most of them having the bent tips look.

Ldecora.jpg

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On 10/20/2020 at 8:00 PM, palmhort said:

Is Livistona nitida the same as Livistona decora?  I planted a decora in the ground here in NJ by my foundation (I know I'm on borrowed time with this) and since last summer it has doubled if not tripled in size!  I simply cannot believe how fast it grows!!   Just this summer it has put out at least 5 or 6 fronds with most of them having the bent tips look.

Ldecora.jpg

Similar palms from Australia but different. Nitida can potentially grow twice as tall as decora. (120 feet vs 60)

Anyone with Nitida compared them in hardiness to Australis or Mariae in the same event ?

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14 minutes ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Decora are nowhere near as hardy as chilensis or nitida.

What kinda temperature difference we talkin? Assuming it is likely a wet cold

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  • 10 months later...
On 9/16/2020 at 10:31 AM, Joe NC said:

I'll give this thread a bump.

I planted one (too) close to a SE facing wall of my house in Z8a. It was mostly just an experiment, and my thought process was that it would die eventually some cold winter before getting too large. It has only been planted out for 1 very mild winter, but since being put in the ground it has taken off in growth.  (maybe 1.5' tall last year at this time, now at least 5') 

Now, I'm kind of scared that it might actually make it. (and I wish I had planted it a couple feet out from the wall)

If it makes it to trunking size, it will develop a lean away from the house... right?

20200802_100743.thumb.jpg.76c0c5d6e4e7f5d47a02dc254f0e686f.jpg

 

 

Everyone loves an update.  One year later, this palm has...  grown a little.

20210908_170017.thumb.jpg.72e941eac00710af2d7568561e6747ed.jpg

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