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Overwintering Chamaedorea Seedlings


amh
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Winter is coming and I have a bunch of Chamaedrea radicalis and microspadix seedlings(1 pint containers) to protect. My question is, what is the minimum temperature that these plants should be exposed to at this size?

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Don't have experience with these but just looking at common sense nothing below 32F and to be safer no frost which can occur at higher temps into mid -upper 30's.  Mainly because I see hardiness of adult palms in the low 20's?

Edited by Allen
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8 minutes ago, Allen said:

Don't have experience with these but just looking at common sense nothing below 32F and to be safer no frost which can occur at higher temps into mid -upper 30's.  Mainly because I see hardiness of adult palms in the low 20's?

Thanks, your advice makes sense, the adult plants are supposed to be hardier than 20's, but I have doubts about the seedlings.

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8 minutes ago, amh said:

Thanks, your advice makes sense, the adult plants are supposed to be hardier than 20's, but I have doubts about the seedlings.

Realistically they would probably only die if the soil in the pot freezes which would generally be after a sustained colder mid-high 20's.   But I wouldn't chance it on small ones.  When I have pots before that i want to leave outside I bunch them together and put them in a sheltered spot if possible (By foundation or under canopy) and mulch then in.  

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Youtube (TN Tropics) 60+ In-ground 7A palms - (Sabal) minor(7 large + 27 seedling size),  brazoria(1) , birmingham(4), louisiana(5), palmetto (1)  (Trachycarpus) fortunei(7), wagnerianus(1),  Rhapidophyllum hystrix(7),  15' Mule-Butia x Syagrus(1),  Blue Butia capitata(1) +Tons of tropical plants.  Recent Yearly Lows -1F, 12F, 11F, 18F, 16F, 3F, 3F, 6F, 3F, 1F, 16F, 17F, 6F, 8F

 

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Not below 32F because you don't want your 1 pint(!?) containers freezing solid and possibly damaging the roots of your Chams. C. microspadix and radicalis may be hardy to low 20s but that is predicated on them being planted in ground not subject to a deep freeze.

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1 hour ago, amh said:

Winter is coming and I have a bunch of Chamaedrea radicalis and microspadix seedlings(1 pint containers) to protect. My question is, what is the minimum temperature that these plants should be exposed to at this size?

Aaron, 

I understand wanting to be cautious.  I agree with Allen's 2nd post.  When I lived in 8b Huntington and Bastrop I only brought my cold-hardy palm seedlings indoors when temperatures were forecasted to drop below 20° and I never saw any damage.  I would keep them under a covered porch or patio up against the building which protected them from frost and added a couple of degrees.  This included strap-leafed Trithrinax, Butia, Brahea and Phoenix seedlings which are equally or less hardy than C. radicalis/microspadix as mature palms.  This is because we almost always get above freezing by noon or sooner the following day so plants are typically only exposed to freezing temperatures for 10 hours max.  An exception to this would be an overnight low of 25° with a high of 30° the following day (pretty rare though) and I would bring them inside on these occasions.

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21 hours ago, Fusca said:

Aaron, 

I understand wanting to be cautious.  I agree with Allen's 2nd post.  When I lived in 8b Huntington and Bastrop I only brought my cold-hardy palm seedlings indoors when temperatures were forecasted to drop below 20° and I never saw any damage.  I would keep them under a covered porch or patio up against the building which protected them from frost and added a couple of degrees.  This included strap-leafed Trithrinax, Butia, Brahea and Phoenix seedlings which are equally or less hardy than C. radicalis/microspadix as mature palms.  This is because we almost always get above freezing by noon or sooner the following day so plants are typically only exposed to freezing temperatures for 10 hours max.  An exception to this would be an overnight low of 25° with a high of 30° the following day (pretty rare though) and I would bring them inside on these occasions.

That's pretty much my normal strategy.

23 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Not below 32F because you don't want your 1 pint(!?) containers freezing solid and possibly damaging the roots of your Chams. C. microspadix and radicalis may be hardy to low 20s but that is predicated on them being planted in ground not subject to a deep freeze.

Most of the really cold temperatures are radiative, so the soil dries out before ice can form. I've had a few pots freeze in the past, but every thing survived.

 

Thank you everyone for your input.

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Hi Amh!

I've been growing Chamaedorea radicallis for about 8 years now and have found that it's safe to leave them out in minor frost and short freeze events. Here are the temperatures that spur me to action:

Above -2°C (28.4F) = Nothing

Long multi-day freeze with temperatures dipping to around -3°C (26.6F) = Minor efforts; put pots close to the house, under an overhang, or shove all the '-5/-6°C marginal plants' together in a pile with a lose tarp over them. C. radicallis should be fine at these temperatures, but the forecast could be wrong. A few times per year, short -3°C overnight lows happen without me knowing ahead of time, and the unprotected plants sail through just fine.

-5°C (23F) or below = if the -5°C temperatures are only going to last a couple hours, I'd pile up the plants together and secure a tarp over them to minimize airflow. For longer duration freezes at -5°C or if temperatures are dropping lower, I'd add old holiday lights under the tarp for extra heat, or bring the plants in.

 

From memory, I've only seen damage to my unprotected Chamaedorea radicallis in long freezes below -5°C (23F). When young seedlings have gotten severe cold damage and fully fried, they usually do survive, but our cool summers make the recovery a very slow process, so I try to avoid it.

 

Long story short, I wouldn't worry too much above 25F, but I'd do some level of protection at or below that temperature.

 

Cheers!

 

Sam

Edited by Phyllostachys
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45 minutes ago, Phyllostachys said:

Hi Amh!

I've been growing Chamaedorea radicallis for about 8 years now and have found that it's safe to leave them out in minor frost and short freeze events. Here are the temperatures that spur me to action:

Above -2°C (28.4F) = Nothing

Long multi-day freeze with temperatures dipping to around -3°C (26.6F) = Minor efforts; put pots close to the house, under an overhang, or shove all the '-5/-6°C marginal plants' together in a pile with a lose tarp over them. C. radicallis should be fine at these temperatures, but the forecast could be wrong. A few times per year, short -3°C overnight lows happen without me knowing ahead of time, and the unprotected plants sail through just fine.

-5°C (23F) or below = if the -5°C temperatures are only going to last a couple hours, I'd pile up the plants together and secure a tarp over them to minimize airflow. For longer duration freezes at -5°C or if temperatures are dropping lower, I'd add old holiday lights under the tarp for extra heat, or bring the plants in.

 

From memory, I've only seen damage to my unprotected Chamaedorea radicallis in long freezes below -5°C (23F). When young seedlings have gotten severe cold damage and fully fried, they usually do survive, but our cool summers make the recovery a very slow process, so I try to avoid it.

 

Long story short, I wouldn't worry too much above 25F, but I'd do some level of protection at or below that temperature.

 

Cheers!

 

Sam

Thank you for the input and knowledge. I'm in an area that sees the upper teens a lot, but the temperatures are predictable so I can plan accordingly.

Have you had any freeze damage to more mature plants? It appears that C. radicallis is one of the winners from last February's extreme freeze here in Texas.

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I only have 3 mature, trunk forming Chamaedorea radicallis so far (1 female -called Palmella-, 2 males), and they are all in the same pot together. Since these are my main source of fresh seeds, I've been too afraid of losing them to leave them totally exposed. Many of Palmella's seedlings are flowering, but often they haven't been in sync and haven't produced many seeds.

That being said, my pot of 3 mature palms did have some damaged from the winter wet+cold last year, though it was because of my fault. For a minor cold snap, I laid them on the ground on their side, piled up with other plants under a tarp. I got lazy and didn't take the tarp off, thinking it wouldn't hurt if they stayed there for an extended period. The forecast kept calling for another bout of cold, which seemed to always be pushed back, so I left them there for multiple weeks. When I took the tarp off, I noticed fungal/rot had set in where the tarp was touching the leaves and stems.. Ironically, the palms would have been just fine with the low temperatures, had they been exposed during all that time. They haven't put out much growth this summer and are still recovering and looking dishevelled.

I originally got these from an old colleague of mine. He always protected his mother plants every year, until one year he forgot them outside during a cold snap and they died. I don't remember what the temperature was, but I remember being surprised that they didn't just have foliar damage at that temperature, but the stems collapsed and they died.

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5 hours ago, Laaz said:

I have loads of both in the ground & they were untouched at 16F in 2018.

Good to know the hardiness is much better than officially reported, mine will see 14F to 13F, but under live oak canopy.

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35 minutes ago, Laaz said:

As long as they are not in containers which will freeze solid you should do well.

They will be going into the ground in about 2 years, but for now, they will stay in pots.

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2 minutes ago, Laaz said:

Microspadix

 

 

1 minute ago, Laaz said:

Radicalis

Nice! I really like these palms and wish I had known their hardiness much sooner.

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