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Queen Palm Planting


Dartolution
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So today I picked up about an 8ft queen palm (syagrus romanzoffiana) from HD for about $50. 

She's just barely fitting in my house as is. 

I am in 8a, and while I know this isn't the best cold hardy palm, I wanted to give one a try my very hot south facing back yard mostly because they are fast growers and look beautifully tropical.

I plan on leaving it in the nursery pot this fall and winter and planting in early spring after frost. 

If she's going to have any chance of making it long term its going to be planted in my back yard. 

It being south facing, very hot in the summer and warms first and quickly in winter with no trees around to shade it I think that will be the best location. 

If temps get too chilly Ill wrap it up. 

 

My question is, I have red clay soil mixed with some pea gravel/grit. 

I plan to amend the soil with sand, perlite, and a good quality soil mix, but was curious to other experience with planting this palm in a cooler zone. 

 

What kind of advice/thoughts do you guys have?

thanks

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These palms will be killed outright below 20°F unprotected in your climate.  I protected my smaller queen its first winter with a string of old Christmas lights wrapped around a 5' piece of PVC pipe for support.  It didn't have any damage at 20°.  I kept the lights wrapped around it all winter but only plugged them in on the coldest nights.  You could also use an old sleeping bag to wrap it on the coldest nights, but obviously protection gets more challenging as the palm gets larger.  I don't think they are that particular about soil but amending with organic compost and hardwood mulching will help with the heavy clay.  It won't likely show much speed the first year in the ground.  Good luck with it and pray for a mild first winter!

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Jon Sunder

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Be prepared to protect it. It is possible to keep it alive, someone has been successfully doing it in the Virginia Beach area. 

PalmTreeDude

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Dude: Don't waste your time after this one dies. There are hybrids that are easier to protect. 

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Longview, Texas :: Record Low: -5F, Feb. 16, 2021 :: Borderline 8A/8B :: '06-'07: 18F / '07-'08: 21F / '08-'09: 21F / '09-'10: 14F / '10-'11: 15F / '11-'12: 24F / '12-'13: 23F / '13-'14: 15F / '14-'15: 20F / '15-'16: 27F / '16-'17: 15F / '17-'18: 8F / '18-'19: 23F / '19-'20: 19F / '20-'21: -5F / '21-'22: 20F

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2 hours ago, buffy said:

Dude: Don't waste your time after this one dies. There are hybrids that are easier to protect. 

I agree mule palms are becoming easier to find, which are more cold hardy , look great too =)

 

T J 

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I do like mule palms, but I haven't found any locally. 

For now its in a nursery pot, which is sunken into another larger pot with rocks on the bottom to prevent tipping. 

Ill overwinter outside unless we have another arctic blast or whatever move through, and plan on planting next spring. If I have to wrap it in frost cloth and a heat coil for a few years so be it. 

I plan to do that with the chamaerops palms that got planted this year anyway just in case. 

 

There are several mule crosses though, and I'm not sure of the specific differences between them.

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Then you're in the right place to learn.  Learn a bunch here and then purchase a small seedling from a trusted hybridizer like Patric. You'll be money,  time and headaches ahead. 

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Longview, Texas :: Record Low: -5F, Feb. 16, 2021 :: Borderline 8A/8B :: '06-'07: 18F / '07-'08: 21F / '08-'09: 21F / '09-'10: 14F / '10-'11: 15F / '11-'12: 24F / '12-'13: 23F / '13-'14: 15F / '14-'15: 20F / '15-'16: 27F / '16-'17: 15F / '17-'18: 8F / '18-'19: 23F / '19-'20: 19F / '20-'21: -5F / '21-'22: 20F

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17 hours ago, Dartolution said:

There are several mule crosses though, and I'm not sure of the specific differences between them.

Just stick with a pretty common one (Butia x Queen) and go from there. Heck you can even purchase them in some of the big box stores now. Plenty of mail order folks carry them now, perhaps give @TexasColdHardyPalms a shout to see if he has any. He's on the board often and has lots of experience under his belt that he shares often with the folks that frequent the cold hardy section of Palm Talk. 

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@TexasColdHardyPalms is another great choice. 

Longview, Texas :: Record Low: -5F, Feb. 16, 2021 :: Borderline 8A/8B :: '06-'07: 18F / '07-'08: 21F / '08-'09: 21F / '09-'10: 14F / '10-'11: 15F / '11-'12: 24F / '12-'13: 23F / '13-'14: 15F / '14-'15: 20F / '15-'16: 27F / '16-'17: 15F / '17-'18: 8F / '18-'19: 23F / '19-'20: 19F / '20-'21: -5F / '21-'22: 20F

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3 hours ago, Dartolution said:

Do the Mule palms, or Queen Palms grow faster?

I have read mixed opinions on this. 

I have both, and Queens definitely grow faster. 

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I have 4 Mules actually, at various sizes. I’ve had them for about a year and a half. 

Here’s what they look like:

D84228AD-ECF3-4651-9D1D-AF39A859344B.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Dartolution said:

 

@Estlander do you have a mule? If so, how long?

I can actually show you my Mule growth rates. The following pics show what my three bigger ones looked like in March 2018 soon after planting.

 

27CDA520-5FB4-42F6-A033-307FC7913E39.jpeg

Edited by Estlander
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Mules are by no means slow, but they definitely are not Queens. 

Here’s my Queen in March 2018 at 6 ft. tall and now at around 16ft. tall. 

A5948E75-9203-4D81-8E53-05153766126A.jpeg

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Yes, Queens might be tough in Alabama, unless you're in the extreme South Alabama close to the Gulf like Orange Beach, Perdido Key etc.

I'm not sure where in Alabama you are, whether in South, - Central, - or North Alabama (Although North is probably more like zone 7b). If you're in Central, or even better South AL, the a Mule should work pretty well for you. They're close to Pindos in cold hardiness. I was in Montgomery a couple of days ago, and while not a very Palmy city, I did see some pretty big Pindos.

If I was you I'd get a Mule, but I would get a bit bigger one as they grow slower than Queens. I bought my two bigger ones pictured above from a Nursery in Panama City Beach for ONLY $125 each. And they were big, 7-10ft tall with a base diameter of 10in. to 1ft. on all of them. I could barely lift them. I'm sure they still have them. I can definitely check. Might be worth the drive down there if you're not in North AL somewhere.

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I don't understand why HD is selling queens all over the country? They do not make good houseplants and grow far too fast if they did.

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2 hours ago, Estlander said:

Yes, Queens might be tough in Alabama, unless you're in the extreme South Alabama close to the Gulf like Orange Beach, Perdido Key etc.

I'm not sure where in Alabama you are, whether in South, - Central, - or North Alabama (Although North is probably more like zone 7b). If you're in Central, or even better South AL, the a Mule should work pretty well for you. They're close to Pindos in cold hardiness. I was in Montgomery a couple of days ago, and while not a very Palmy city, I did see some pretty big Pindos.

If I was you I'd get a Mule, but I would get a bit bigger one as they grow slower than Queens. I bought my two bigger ones pictured above from a Nursery in Panama City Beach for ONLY $125 each. And they were big, 7-10ft tall with a base diameter of 10in. to 1ft. on all of them. I could barely lift them. I'm sure they still have them. I can definitely check. Might be worth the drive down there if you're not in North AL somewhere.

 

 

Im in south/central Alabama. 

Panama isn't but a few hours away. That might be work looking at. 

 

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53 minutes ago, enigma99 said:

I don't understand why HD is selling queens all over the country? They do not make good houseplants and grow far too fast if they did.

Not here. I wish they would.

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1 hour ago, Dartolution said:

 

 

Im in south/central Alabama. 

Panama isn't but a few hours away. That might be work looking at. 

 

I think it definitely is. Probably the most tropical looking palm with decent growth rate you can get away with up there.

Mules with good cold hardy genes can survive 14F vs. 20-19F with Queens. In palm world that’s a pretty huge difference. 

Here’s the nursery’s website. Give them a call and ask if they have any Mule palms. 

They’ll give you a discount if you pay with cash. They were officially asking $150 for their Mules, but I got mine for $125 cash. 

https://www.lisenbypalmspanamacityfl.com/

Edited by Estlander
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I shot them out an email asking about availability. 

 

Honestly, if it gets colder than 38, Im probably wrapping everything. 

I don't mind, and id rather do that than risk anything.

 

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22 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

I shot them out an email asking about availability. 

 

Honestly, if it gets colder than 38, Im probably wrapping everything. 

I don't mind, and id rather do that than risk anything.

 

At 38F you’re not risking anything, believe me, unless it’s a Coconut or some other kind of über tropical plant. 

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1 hour ago, Estlander said:

At 38F you’re not risking anything, believe me, unless it’s a Coconut or some other kind of über tropical plant. 

Perhaps Im being overprotective lol 

The Sagos are in big pots that I can move in if need be, I would prefer not to if I don't have to but I know anything in a pot is more exposed than in the ground. 

The Pygmy date trio is definitely coming in all winter, period. 

The Chamaerops palms in the yard I would rather be safe than sorry for their first 3 years in the ground. While I know the back is south facing and very warm in the winter and hot as heck in the summer I just worry since I just planted them this year in April. 

The Queen is in the original nursery can from HD, and while I set it inside a larger pot with stones in the bottom to keep it from tipping, I don't have much faith in the way of protection against the cold with that pot and it being in the nursery can. 

ALSO! forgot to mention, Most of the soil in the nursery can, and by most I mean the top couple of inches, had fallen or washed out over the time HD had them. 

They originally got the 20 in and had them outside on the curb exposed and they would frequently fall over from wind. 

I put some potting mix over the exposed roots and have been watering 1-2 times a day to help recuperate the looses. 

Is that okay?

 

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On 8/12/2019 at 7:14 PM, Dartolution said:

I shot them out an email asking about availability. 

 

Honestly, if it gets colder than 38, Im probably wrapping everything. 

I don't mind, and id rather do that than risk anything.

 

I would probably only wrap if it is going to get much below 25F if you are growing one in a location where this kind of temperature seldom occurs, like North FL (not that low 20s are rare in inland North Florida, but they don't happen constantly all winter long certainly).  In contrast, if one is growing this palm in a place like, say, SE Virginia, where queen palm killing cold happens throughout the winter, I wouldn't wait until temperatures are right above the killing point to start protecting it.

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I know I mentioned some of my wrapping methods and suggestions in a separate topic, but I will second that it should probably be wrapped when temperatures drop below 25F.  Just to reduce the risk of any damage.  While we do have a few more nights that are cold enough to kill a queen palm in 8a VA compared to 8a AL, these temperatures do not occur throughout our winters.  I might have made it seem like it does due to the long duration I have been keeping my queen wrapped.  Last winter, we only dropped below 20F four times.  We certainly have more nights than that below 25F, but our average winter low is 33F.  Over a typical winter, we can expect night time lows to range anywhere between low/mid-teens and 60s, but 20s-40s are more common (of course it can get colder as witnessed in recent years).

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USDA Hardiness Zone 7b/8a

AHS Heat Zone 7

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On 8/14/2019 at 11:22 AM, palmsOrl said:

I would probably only wrap if it is going to get much below 25F if you are growing one in a location where this kind of temperature seldom occurs, like North FL (not that low 20s are rare in inland North Florida, but they don't happen constantly all winter long certainly).  In contrast, if one is growing this palm in a place like, say, SE Virginia, where queen palm killing cold happens throughout the winter, I wouldn't wait until temperatures are right above the killing point to start protecting it.

Thanks for that insight. I see what you mean. 

 

On 8/15/2019 at 6:52 AM, SEVA said:

I know I mentioned some of my wrapping methods and suggestions in a separate topic, but I will second that it should probably be wrapped when temperatures drop below 25F.  Just to reduce the risk of any damage.  While we do have a few more nights that are cold enough to kill a queen palm in 8a VA compared to 8a AL, these temperatures do not occur throughout our winters.  I might have made it seem like it does due to the long duration I have been keeping my queen wrapped.  Last winter, we only dropped below 20F four times.  We certainly have more nights than that below 25F, but our average winter low is 33F.  Over a typical winter, we can expect night time lows to range anywhere between low/mid-teens and 60s, but 20s-40s are more common (of course it can get colder as witnessed in recent years).

Ill keep that in mind. 

 

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So after 18 days its put out another frond and has one coming up as a spike. 

I added some general potting mix on top of the soil that had spilled out, exposing the roots in the nursery pot, as well as a bit of espoma holy tone for acidity. 

I got some palm gain and was wondering what everyone would recommend as far as feeding while in the nursery can goes with palmgain. 

I am also watering daily. 

 

Is it okay to use palmgain at maybe half strength in the pot? if so, how often?

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can queen palms be grown in zone 8b?

i live in a spot that is considered 8b but functions more like a 9a climate. winters are extremely mild and often dont even get below 25. i have seen an occasional drop to 20, but that was one year and it was only for a brief period that was brief enough to leave a lot of frost sensitive plants untouched.

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6 minutes ago, PlantDad said:

can queen palms be grown in zone 8b?

i live in a spot that is considered 8b but functions more like a 9a climate. winters are extremely mild and often dont even get below 25. i have seen an occasional drop to 20, but that was one year and it was only for a brief period that was brief enough to leave a lot of frost sensitive plants untouched.

Shouldnt be a problem seem mature Queens survive 20° freezing rain with defoliation tho. So many nicer and less common palms you could grow imo

T J 

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2 minutes ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

Shouldnt be a problem seem mature Queens survive 20° freezing rain with defoliation tho. So many nicer and less common palms you could grow imo

that is so exiting, i have wanted to try a queen palm but i wasnt sure if i could. i may be the first person in my area to try and grow one,  everyone around here only seem to grow trachycarpus fortunei.

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i am located in keizer oregon and have been living here for over 9 years and have never seen it get below 20. but if a year comes where weather below 20 is predicted, what can i do to protect my palm?

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Just now, PlantDad said:

i am located in keizer oregon and have been living here for over 9 years and have never seen it get below 20. but if a year comes where weather below 20 is predicted, what can i do to protect my palm?

Depending on how tall it is at the time will pretty much dictate how you would protect it. Frost cloth with christmas lights on a therm cube is an option. 

T J 

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