NCpalmqueen Posted May 24, 2019 Report Share Posted May 24, 2019 I've been growing palms in the ground here in the piedmont of NC for nearly 20 years and have tested all possible species and variants (and sizes) that money can buy. My observations about Sabals, Washys and others from my locale are as follows. (I did not want to hijack an existing thread.) This doesn't mean that you would get these same results in another 7b...there are too many factors that affect long-term viability (microclimates, health of the plant, management of the plant, winter wetness, winter harshness, protection methods, etc.). All of my first set of comments are about palms that were not protected during NC winters. I do believe that a lot of my failures were due to the plant being too small too put into the ground and face NC winters. I list my other failures, too. BTW, after trying and failing to grow palms for this long, you'd think I would cringe at the thought of trying another one. Not really, but I have expanded my interest into yuccas and agaves, which require no winter protection. :-) (Sorry for the long read.) SABALS: SABAL PALMETTO. This is a native palm for North Carolina, i.e., the coast. However, inland, they were not long-term (for me), as much as I wanted them to be. I've grown up seed from the coastal sabals and put seedlings directly into the ground, purchased 5 gal sizes to put directly into the ground, and purchased at least a dozen of fully grown hurricane-cut ones, i.e., generally they were from Florida. For the seedlings and the juvenile ones, all succumbed to winter's madness eventually (max 3-5 yrs). For the large hurricane-cut ones, I got at least 7-8 years out of them before all but one died. (I've moved so I don't know if that survivor is still alive today.) SABAL MINOR. Long-term survivor and turns weedy, i.e., it produces hundreds of seeds that all seem to germinate. (Doesn't seem to matter the geographical origin) Next thing you know, you have hundreds of seedlings crammed together. I stopped planting Minors and have none at my current residence on purpose. SABAL X-BRAZORIENSIS While I have had managed to kill a few, in general could be long-termers in a better microclimate than mine were. These get really big fast and take up a large space. SABAL 'BIRMINGHAM'. This palm, regardless of what size when placed in the ground, has been a long-termer for me. I've moved them repeatedly, ignored them, never watered them, and yet they continue to grow and prosper. They will eventually trunk up but do so at a snail's pace. I have at least a half dozen of these (seedling size) in my front yard today and will not protect them. They need 3 years (like most palms) before they start getting really pretty and robust. SABAL MEXICANA. I love the look of this sabal and wanted them to grow here, even if by magic. I flunked trying to keep these alive, whether large-ones directly from Texas or smaller. I could get about 3-4 years out of them before they floundered. I had trunk rot every time. SABAL RIVERSIDE. I have tried several of these and they are promising. Who would've thunk?! I don't protect them and they do get winter damage but can pull out of it. Any long-termers (5+ yrs) out there??? I killed my largest because I had to transplant it. Sabals do not like to be moved. However, one of my transplants is at my current home and is picking up where it left off. Time will tell. SABAL 'LISA'. I had a nice-sized one (10-15 gal) growing probably 4-5 years (no protection) and it was healthy. Had to transplant it, and it hated me for that and bit the dust. I will be trialing another that I am growing up in a pot in a few years. I'll mention the other Sabals I've trialed both protected and unprotected with zero success for even short or long-term or teenage years survival. There are a few more that I've not tried and will not. Burmudana. Short timer. Causiarum. Short-termer. Domingensis. Short-timer. Etonia. For me, couldn't keep them alive, but others in my area have had better success. Pumos. 2 years max.(protected) Rosei. 3 yrs max (protected) Uresana. 4-5 years. This palm is very pretty. Not protected. Miamiensis. 2-3 yrs. WASHYS FILIFERA. Good for a couple of years while they were small and the crown is underground. Difficult to find large plants that might survive or that were pure filifera, so my tests were only of 1-5 ga. sizes. None survived more than 3-4 years for me. Was sold many "pure" ones the turned out to be not true. ROBUSTA. Fun to play with. All of mine, varying sizes when planted, perished quickly...1-3 yrs max. FILIBUSTA. Without winter protection, did not last long. However, I managed to protect one for nearly 10 years, (started it as a seedling) and it grew quickly (9-10' tall and giant leaves). I could no longer get a canopy over the thing, and it perished after the following winter. Made me nearly cry. MISC. KEEPERS NEEDLE. Of course these are long-termers. Just visit JC Raulston aroboretum in Raleigh to see a survivor from the 80's. These are darn-finicky if thrown into the ground as a seedling. I've killed more needle palms because they were too small than I want to remember. OTHER PALMS I'VE TRIED AND FAILED BUTIA CAPITATA (I forget the new name for this.). I managed to keep one alive for about 8 years before it mets its demise. I've watched butias grown around this area. Not many seem to have made it long-term, even ones that I thought may have been 10 yrs old. I'm not sure if the one in downtown Raleigh parking lot is still kicking or not. That one is growing in the middle of a paved parking lot. Anyone know? CHAMAEROPS HUMULIS. I wanted so badly to make these live, but wishing for it didn't make it happen. I've probably tried several dozen of varying sizes. Max of 3 years with no protection. Maybe it's just me...... NANNORHOPS RICHTIANA. None of the dozen or so I've planted became long-termers. I did get more than a few years from each one trialed. I gave one to a friend and that one is still alive. (go figure). Mine were protected. SERENOA REPENS. Why of why can't I keep these alive. (sounds like a song..) No long-terms for me with and without protection. TRITHRINAX CAMPESTRIS. Tried varying sizes. Had a beautiful large one, put in a desert bed, covered it to keep moisture out, ..dead in 2 years. CHAMEDOREA MICROSPADIX or RADICALUS. Not sure what I've been doing wrong, but some friends have managed to keep theirs alive longer than a few years. PALMS I SHOULDN'T BE GROWING BUT AM STUBBORN 1. JUBAEA CHILENSIS. I am down to one jubaea, but it is a beauty (see my thread about NC jubaea). This palm gets covered and added supplemental heat each winter. I only turn the heat on when the weather is expected to drop below 15f. The leaves on a jub definitely will take single digits without browning out. Added heat keeps the palm at least 15 if we go into single digits. I have killed at least 2 dozen of these....... You can not plant out a seedling or even a 5 gal and expect them to live (even with protection). They have to be grown up to a larger size before planting. 2. JUB x BUTIA. Leaves are cold tolerate like it's dad. Needs protection. 3. BUTIA X JUB. Leaves are not cold tolerate, more like it's mom. Pretty palm. I don't know of anyone keeping these alive in z7 without protection. Mine will someday be too large to protect. I think the one at Gary's Nursery (z8) may still be alive, not sure about its age, but definitely more than 5 yr. 9 3 C from NC Bone dry summers, wet winters, 2-3 days ea. winter in low teens. Siler City, NC Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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