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Foxtail palm in Gainesville FL?


metalfan

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What do you think my chances are long term of having this in the ground? I found a nice one about 2 1/2 feet tall at Walmart of all places, for $17. I plan to keep it in a container for now, but what are my chances of being able to plant it out later on? I also got a Bottle Palm for $15. I have actually never seen either of these palms offered anywhere up here. It was a surprise....I have an old bottle palm in the greenhouse, but am going to use this one as a container porch palm, I KNOW its not hardy here

"You can't see California without Marlon Brando's eyes"---SliPknot

 

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I think both palms will do well for you. At that price how can you go wrong?! I have had Bottles and Foxtails for a couple of years. From my experience Bottle Palms are great as long as they dont freeze. They dont mind drought, rain, sun, or shade. My Foxtails have been a bit more finicky requiring fungicide spray when it gets too rainy, especially in the winter. 

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Both of those will kick the bucket when hit with a cold winter in Gainesville.

At that price, you should still enjoy them for many years in pots. 

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It depends on what part of Gainesville you’re in. The urban part is boarderline 9b and you might be able to grow a foxtail there for awhile. If you’re outside of the urban part I wouldn’t try. 

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Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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we are on the northwest end in the woods. Out lowest temp this winter was 30F.

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"You can't see California without Marlon Brando's eyes"---SliPknot

 

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It will be a fluke if either survived more than five years, unless you are in a really good location with a combination of urban heat, elevation, water, canopy, etc.

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Brevard County, Fl

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1 minute ago, metalfan said:

we are on the northwest end in the woods. Out lowest temp this winter was 30F.

That's a very warm winter for that locations standards.  I would not be surprised if you saw low 20's within the next few years.

Brevard County, Fl

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12 minutes ago, metalfan said:

we are on the northwest end in the woods. Out lowest temp this winter was 30F.

That’s not bad for Gainesville. My brother is on the northeast side and he had 27 with multiple nights in the 20s.

We had 34f where I’m at by comparison and foxtails are somewhat marginal here. Since you’re about a half zone colder I probably wouldn’t try a foxtail where you’re at.

Edited by RedRabbit
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Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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At Kyle’s garden near Murphy, there are some zone busting specimens that have far exceeded normal expectations. My guess is that under proper canopy, you may well be surprised at your success!

What you look for is what is looking

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At Gainesville Regional Airport, the low for Jan. 2010 was 17F with 2 stretches of at least 5 nights in the 20s.  The low in Jan. 2018 was 22F.  Either of those two freeze events would have a high probability of wiping out a Foxtail.  If you're going to give it a go anyways, you'd probably need to have a spot under some canopy and shielded from wind from the north and the west at a minimum.  Preferably, you'll want it relatively close to a brick wall as a windbreak as it will also trap heat during the day and release it at night.  Dark colored stone for mulch might also help. 

If you happen to get one that survives the next sub-20F freeze event, please consider selling the seeds. :) 

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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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1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

At Gainesville Regional Airport, the low for Jan. 2010 was 17F with 2 stretches of at least 5 nights in the 20s.  The low in Jan. 2018 was 22F.  Either of those two freeze events would have a high probability of wiping out a Foxtail.  If you're going to give it a go anyways, you'd probably need to have a spot under some canopy and shielded from wind from the north and the west at a minimum.  Preferably, you'll want it relatively close to a brick wall as a windbreak as it will also trap heat during the day and release it at night.  Dark colored stone for mulch might also help. 

If you happen to get one that survives the next sub-20F freeze event, please consider selling the seeds. :) 

I think the Jan 18 freeze killed all of @Sandy Loam’s Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, which were planted under canopy. They’re hardier than foxtails too...

Edited by RedRabbit
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Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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6 hours ago, Jimbean said:

That's a very warm winter for that locations standards.  I would not be surprised if you saw low 20's within the next few years.

We historically have had 20 degree temps in the past 27 years I have lived here. In 2010 we had a string of 13 nights in a row with lows of 20-22F. Usually we have at least 2-3 dips to 25-27F every winter, But the last 3 winters have been extremely mild here. I have plumeria planted out, White Tacca that never goes down, Ti leaves, Vining philodendrons in the trees....my brugmansia have not frozen in 3 years, neither have my hedychiums so I have had to cut them back every spring. I know it could revert again but the climate here seems warmer overall than it ever has before. There are a few big Silver Bismarks planted out around town, some other stuff I have seen in different locations that has surprised me

"You can't see California without Marlon Brando's eyes"---SliPknot

 

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When I lived in Jacksonville, Gainesville always seemed to be the cold AND warm spot for the region. The lows appeared more extreme than Jacksonville, as well as the highs. I believe also in the last year or two Gainesville sent an annual precipitation record. Lots going on in Gainesville. I am crossing my fingers I get my foxtail to survive here in Daytona Beach - best of luck to you. I love when Walmart has random palms and plants. I bought some extremely healthy cannas recently from Walmart for $5 each. They are the best cannas I’ve ever purchased. It’s also possible I bought some Washingtonia robusta from there three houses ago - LOL. I should check Google StreetView and see how they survived. 

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I took a look at the Hardiness Observations sheet that I've been working on in the Freeze Forums.  I filtered the results for Wodyetia bifurcata to only include observations from FL where the result was not death.  In that list, I don't see a temperature below 25F, and that observation was recorded in Oak Hill.  When I collect seed, I get them from survivors of the 2010/2018 freezes. All of the palms in the vicinity have survived 26F as an ultimate low, an advective freeze to 28F, and weeks of below normal temperatures on top of mid-to-upper 20s cold - so good lineage to start with for my area.

If someone knows of Wodyetia bifurcata that survived lower temperatures, preferably during the long Jan. 2010 freeze, they would make a great seed source for cases like @metalfan's.  @RedRabbit brings up a good point about Archontophoenix cunninghamiana in @Sandy Loam's garden.  A hardier overall palm + 100% kill rate = not likely for a less hardy palm to survive outdoors unprotected.

I don't have a wealth of experience with Foxy Lady palm (Wodyetia bifurcata X Veitchia arecina), but I do have access to seed of both species required for the cross that are confirmed pre-2007 forward here in Polk.  If the hybrid is hardier than both parents, that might be a better option if no hardier specimens of pure Wodyetia are uncovered.

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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 tried a few when I lived in Jax , They died when the temps hit the mid 20s with out protection , Large mature one might take it better

 

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Palms not just a tree also a state of mind

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I've noticed that Walmart has really been stepping up their game lately. Down here in Ocala, I have seen lots of larger adonidias and bottles this spring! I'm loving it.

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Milwaukee, WI to Ocala, FL

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1 hour ago, JASON M said:

I've noticed that Walmart has really been stepping up their game lately. Down here in Ocala, I have seen lots of larger adonidias and bottles this spring! I'm loving it.

Same here in Destin FL. Our Walmart currently has Bottles, Spindles, Foxtails and Adonidias in addition to the usual Pygmy dates, Queens, Cat palms etc. 

Edited by Estlander
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Here's one at McCarty Hall after a freeze in 2010! It lasted about three years in this location, however grew very slowly. It died during that freeze :( 

39AF9995-E949-42AA-97AC-D934FA17C5CE.jpeg

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I'm always up for learning new things!

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21 minutes ago, kylecawazafla said:

Here's one at McCarty Hall after a freeze in 2010! It lasted about three years in this location, however grew very slowly. It died during that freeze :(

39AF9995-E949-42AA-97AC-D934FA17C5CE.jpeg

That’s the definitive answer for whether you can grow a foxtail in Gainesville. If it couldn’t survive there, it’s just not going to survive in Gainesville. 

Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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I'm sure you could get lucky for a few years with a string of mild winters!

I'm always up for learning new things!

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20 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

That’s the definitive answer for whether you can grow a foxtail in Gainesville. If it couldn’t survive there, it’s just not going to survive in Gainesville. 

Yup, and even if it does survive it's probably going to look like crap until the middle of summer...every single year.  By June or July it might have a couple of new decent looking fronds.  For cosmetic reasons I wouldn't bother with a foxtail up there, most of them look horrible after a few nights in the low 30s here in Orlando.  I have a bunch of "zone pushed" palms (bottles and spindles) and most of them look crummy until May.

If you keep it in a pot you can leave it outside on all nights over freezing, and just figure out a convenient way to wheel it into a garage or at the very least inside a screen enclosure near the house.

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Won’t last long term without serious protection. Sorry but the truth is better than false hope to ultimately lose them unless you don’t care if you do.  I have lost them here with 5 feet of trunk on a really cold winter. Below 27 degrees and toast even for a short time. We have warmer day temps than Gainesville so that helps sometimes.  There are better ones to try. 

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David

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I have seen 10-15 year old foxtails in the innermost heat island areas of Houston that squeaked by 26-27F once or twice (said areas are zone 10 most winters), so they can last for quite a while if you have a string of mild winters. $17 even if only for 3 or 4 (maybe more) years doesn't sound like a huge loss imo. 

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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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  • 7 months later...

If you don’t mind what barely making it looks like I would say try it, but if you expect it to look beautiful long term the odds are against it. I don’t say that to be a smart butt, but I have lost some nice palms because I was hopeful they would make it but I was just being naïve. If you just want them for the short time more power to you. 

David

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I’m gonna say no to foxtails up there. I lost a couple small ones with maybe a ring or two of trunk starting to form in jan 2018 when it got down to around 27F to 28F around here. They are definitely more cold hardy with more trunk just like royal palms. I honestly can’t think of a crown shafted palm that would make it more than a few years at a time in Gainesville. Perhaps Dypsis decipiens if it liked the Florida climate and soil in general. I’d still like to think someone will someday figure out how to get Dypsis decipiens to grow here reliably B)

Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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21 minutes ago, ruskinPalms said:

I’m gonna say no to foxtails up there. I lost a couple small ones with maybe a ring or two of trunk starting to form in jan 2018 when it got down to around 27F to 28F around here. They are definitely more cold hardy with more trunk just like royal palms. I honestly can’t think of a crown shafted palm that would make it more than a few years at a time in Gainesville. Perhaps Dypsis decipiens if it liked the Florida climate and soil in general. I’d still like to think someone will someday figure out how to get Dypsis decipiens to grow here reliably B)

Don't know if this would help with Dypsis decipiens or not, but it can't hurt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEbp2Vh9m9E

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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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10 hours ago, ruskinPalms said:

I’m gonna say no to foxtails up there. I lost a couple small ones with maybe a ring or two of trunk starting to form in jan 2018 when it got down to around 27F to 28F around here. They are definitely more cold hardy with more trunk just like royal palms. I honestly can’t think of a crown shafted palm that would make it more than a few years at a time in Gainesville. Perhaps Dypsis decipiens if it liked the Florida climate and soil in general. I’d still like to think someone will someday figure out how to get Dypsis decipiens to grow here reliably B)

My DD is still alive and kicking in Ocala... Id give it a go in a protected location in GVille. Foxtails no way though

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-Krishna

Kailua, Oahu HI. Near the beach but dry!

Still have a garden in Zone 9a Inland North Central Florida (Ocala)

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  • 6 months later...

Hi @metalfan, I'm curious if you happened to put a foxtail in the ground last spring and if you have any updates--especially whether or not it survived the colder freezes around Christmas 2020 (I'm also in Gainesville)?

I, too, was surprised to see these at walmart and put one in the ground and one in a pot. The frozen foxtail at McCarty doesn't make me hopeful, though...

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