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Florida Winter 2021-2022


JLM

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43.7F here this morning in Melbourne/Palm Bay

38.5 in metro area of Orlando

37.9 in Tampa

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Brevard County, Fl

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Last night proved why I worry much more about radiational events in my neck of the woods…

we ultimately went down to 37. Only went sub-40 for an hour or two. 

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Briefly dropped to 34...brrrr.

It's warming up slowly now but will still be a cold one at The Players today.

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Jacksonville Beach, FL

Zone 9a

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35.2F up here in the panhandle. I'll take it! Better than the forecasted 31-32F range.

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This cold front definantly over performed. In Miami they were forecasting mid 50s but most areas saw low 50s.  In areas west of 95 in Broward county there were widespread upper 40s. I hope the winds turn NE and strengthen by tonight, the 2nd night after a cold front is always over estimated for being too warm. The winds usually die off and the cold air mass that is trying to modify cools off quite efficiently once again. I wouldn't be surprised to see mostly 50s in SE FL tomorrow AM as opposed to the mid 60s they are forecasating currently.

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42.6 F was the low at my place last night up 15’ in the air. Same temp 2’ off the ground in the backyard, the front yard microclimate saw a toasty low of 47.8 F. 

1D61C020-C090-4E7B-990F-A696276F4A19.jpeg

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Hate to see this so late for the northern part of the state. However, a high today in the lower 70sF with a low in the lower 50sF earlier this morning is actually a pleasant great thing.

In South Florida we are now in dry season and the likelihood of any true further cold incursions is becoming less and less remote. We are reaching that point where we will be crossing our fingers for lows that drop below 70F…

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What you look for is what is looking

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Was 40F Safurday night, exactly as forecast. Hopefully we all have 50s and higher here on out. 

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Forecast low Saturday night- 29 deg: actual low- 26/27 

Forecast low Sunday night- 40 deg: actual low : 31/32 (with heavy frost)

(the reason I don't have an exact temperature is that my plastic greenhouse which I run a heater in is just a few feet beneath my weather station on the fence. There's a Wunderground weather station right in my neighborhood and in the past almost always exactly matches my temp. It was sometime earlier this winter that I realized my weather station was recording temps a degree or two warmer than the wunderground station and warmer than I thought given I live in quite a cold spot in town.

For this event, I had another thermometer I put in my orange tree canopy which was underneath the tarp with a couple heaters underneath. But before we got the heat going, that thermometer was recording a temp slightly colder (1-2 degrees) than the one out in the open above the greenhouse (which the heat was on at that time). So IMO, my temp was probably the same as the nearby wunderground station, but due to being above the greenhouse, with some upward radiating heat seeping out, my station is warmer than it should and had 28 as the low the first night (the wunderground station had 26!) and on the second night (this morning) my station showed 33 and the wunderground station had 31.)

But in all, thankfully, with a herculean effort to protect our citrus blossoms (which are having the most blooms I've ever seen)- they survived! and everything else in the yard came through ok. Even a few things I didn't cover did much better than I thought. Fig bush and chaste tree (vitex) only had a limited amount of newly emerging leaves/buds browned, and bottlebrush which were well into their first flush of spring growth and full flower buds developing didn't get one blemish.

Edited by Matthew92
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3 hours ago, Matthew92 said:

Forecast low Saturday night- 29 deg: actual low- 26/27 

Forecast low Sunday night- 40 deg: actual low : 31/32 (with heavy frost)

(the reason I don't have an exact temperature is that my plastic greenhouse which I run a heater in is just a few feet beneath my weather station on the fence. There's a Wunderground weather station right in my neighborhood and in the past almost always exactly matches my temp. It was sometime earlier this winter that I realized my weather station was recording temps a degree or two warmer than the wunderground station and warmer than I thought given I live in quite a cold spot in town.

For this event, I had another thermometer I put in my orange tree canopy which was underneath the tarp with a couple heaters underneath. But before we got the heat going, that thermometer was recording a temp slightly colder (1-2 degrees) than the one out in the open above the greenhouse (which the heat was on at that time). So IMO, my temp was probably the same as the nearby wunderground station, but due to being above the greenhouse, with some upward radiating heat seeping out, my station is warmer than it should and had 28 as the low the first night (the wunderground station had 26!) and on the second night (this morning) my station showed 33 and the wunderground station had 31.)

But in all, thankfully, with a herculean effort to protect our citrus blossoms (which are having the most blooms I've ever seen)- they survived! and everything else in the yard came through ok. Even a few things I didn't cover did much better than I thought. Fig bush and chaste tree (vitex) only had a limited amount of newly emerging leaves/buds browned, and bottlebrush which were well into their first flush of spring growth and full flower buds developing didn't get one blemish.

My forecast for Saturday night was 26F, i hit 29F. My forecast for Sunday night was 39F, i hit 38F. Very happy with the outcome of this freeze event. I observed no damage on anything. My tangerine tree had no damage. The tangerine tree actually felt the exact temperatures that was observed as the sensor was actually in the canopy of that tree. My readings are not very accurate when the sensor is close to the house, but when i put the sensor in that tree the reading usually matches nearby readings. And much like your citrus tree having more blossoms than you've ever seen, mine is absolutely covered this year. A little bit of fertilizer goes a long way with this tree. It also didnt lose but a few leaves over the winter (it has dropped several leaves in past winters, but not nearly ever the full canopy). 

My Majesty palm has survived the winter with some green remaining, especially on the spear. A new spear has actually appeared recently. This palm might just make a full recovery pretty quickly. 

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Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 1 W. bifurcata, 4 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 4 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. canariensis, 1 BxJ, 1 BxJxBxS, 1 BxS, 3 P. roebelenii, 1 H. lagenicaulis, 1 H. verschaffeltii, 9 T. fortunei, 1 C. humilis, 2 C. macrocarpa, 1 L. chinensis, 1 R. excelsa, 1 S. bermudana, 1 L. nitida

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I love the zone pushing throughout the northern portion of the state, particularly LA!

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What you look for is what is looking

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9 hours ago, JLM said:

My forecast for Saturday night was 26F, i hit 29F. My forecast for Sunday night was 39F, i hit 38F. Very happy with the outcome of this freeze event. I observed no damage on anything. My tangerine tree had no damage. The tangerine tree actually felt the exact temperatures that was observed as the sensor was actually in the canopy of that tree. My readings are not very accurate when the sensor is close to the house, but when i put the sensor in that tree the reading usually matches nearby readings. And much like your citrus tree having more blossoms than you've ever seen, mine is absolutely covered this year. A little bit of fertilizer goes a long way with this tree. It also didnt lose but a few leaves over the winter (it has dropped several leaves in past winters, but not nearly ever the full canopy). 

My Majesty palm has survived the winter with some green remaining, especially on the spear. A new spear has actually appeared recently. This palm might just make a full recovery pretty quickly. 

Very nice. I'm surprised you were a little warmer there. Many previous times this winter our temps were about the same.

Also, the duration of at or below freezing at my location the first night was pretty significant being several hours.

Edited by Matthew92
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@Matthew92 You seem to know plants, so I thought I’d ask you. 
Was taking a walk around my area here in Sandestin and found a yard that had this amazing cactus in it. Never seen these here before, so it was amazing to see it.
From what I’ve seen I think they’re pretty common in Central FL.  Always wondered what they’re called and if I could grow one here.  
Apparently they’re cold hardy enough for our coastal areas to have reached the size of the one in the pic. 

96BFF79E-A934-49C3-AFE3-F220664D5710.jpeg

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Another surprise was a house right next to the cactus one. It had several still green Papaya plants in it. The largest one actually had Papayas on it. 
Was amazed to see that after the light freeze we had on January 30. 

1DE1620D-96DC-4471-9A7B-83B7176FA10C.jpeg

95B999F3-93A2-4768-9BF0-3123651FC5F4.png

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@Estlander I believe the cactus is Cereus hildmannianus. Yes I do remember seeing a lot of them in Central FL. Some sources I've read show their hardiness as at least 9a and even 8b. I'd like to try one someday.

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On 3/15/2022 at 12:46 PM, Estlander said:

@Matthew92 You seem to know plants, so I thought I’d ask you. 
Was taking a walk around my area here in Sandestin and found a yard that had this amazing cactus in it. Never seen these here before, so it was amazing to see it.
From what I’ve seen I think they’re pretty common in Central FL.  Always wondered what they’re called and if I could grow one here.  
Apparently they’re cold hardy enough for our coastal areas to have reached the size of the one in the pic. 

96BFF79E-A934-49C3-AFE3-F220664D5710.jpeg

I believe it's called the hedge cactus as a common name. They're very much seen around Orlando. Hardiness is typically listed as 9b to 11b. Here's one near my hood. 

Screenshot_20220317-002116_Maps.jpg

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My grandma has a huge one of those. Pic taken after part of a rotten, 75 year old slash pine came crashing down and destroyed part of it. 

8857B28D-1F0B-424B-AC19-733178F5E2DB.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

One topic related to winter that I have been thinking about is how NOAA seems to interpret the standard dry season as drought on the drought monitor each year. Sure, they indicate the drought as "S" for seasonal impacts, but it is truly a drought when it happens each year.  When some of my family first moved to West Central Florida they would complain about how dry it was in the late winter and spring each year always telling me about how low the ponds were and the "terrible drought".  Then by June each year the rains would come or perhaps the first tropical system of the year, and it would be back to a daily flood. So then I ask, why classify the conditions that are pretty much normal each season as drought? Are parts of Central American countries really considered to be in drought each North American winter? A true drought should not start until the rainy season is proved to be delayed, or in a weak rainy season. 

What do you think?

Screen Shot 2022-03-28 at 5.28.33 PM.png

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3 minutes ago, ChristianStAug said:

One topic related to winter that I have been thinking about is how NOAA seems to interpret the standard dry season as drought on the drought monitor each year. Sure, they indicate the drought as "S" for seasonal impacts, but it is truly a drought when it happens each year.  When some of my family first moved to West Central Florida they would complain about how dry it was in the late winter and spring each year always telling me about how low the ponds were and the "terrible drought".  Then by June each year the rains would come or perhaps the first tropical system of the year, and it would be back to a daily flood. So then I ask, why classify the conditions that are pretty much normal each season as drought? Are parts of Central American countries really considered to be in drought each North American winter? A true drought should not start until the rainy season is proved to be delayed, or in a weak rainy season. 

What do you think?

Screen Shot 2022-03-28 at 5.28.33 PM.png

..Thinking You meant " Northern Hemisphere Winter  " Since Winter isn't exclusive to just N. America .. And yes, for a good chunk or real estate south of the U.S., and north of the Equator, " Winter " is their dry season, especially in lower elevation areas.. In numerous places down there, that means NO meaningful rainfall November or December until May or June..  South Florida, particularly south of roughly Naples; ..Texas ..the southern most part of the state at least.. and ( to some extent ) far S. / S.E. AZ usually get more of their rainfall in Summer, rather  than in the Winter or Spring months..  the main reason it is a big deal when our Summer Monsoon season fails..

Some " Summer rainfall " areas would still normally get some  precip. in Winter ..and / or Spring, especially regions on the northern boundary of the " winter dry " subtropics .. In issuing such a map, the Drought Monitor is indicating the Winter/ Spring " Dry " season in such regions will be drier than normal..   Makes perfect sense..

Now, if the summer rainfall season were to fail miserably in say FL., then yes, you're truly entering a longer term Drought situation..

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On 3/28/2022 at 6:33 PM, ChristianStAug said:

One topic related to winter that I have been thinking about is how NOAA seems to interpret the standard dry season as drought on the drought monitor each year. Sure, they indicate the drought as "S" for seasonal impacts, but it is truly a drought when it happens each year.  When some of my family first moved to West Central Florida they would complain about how dry it was in the late winter and spring each year always telling me about how low the ponds were and the "terrible drought".  Then by June each year the rains would come or perhaps the first tropical system of the year, and it would be back to a daily flood. So then I ask, why classify the conditions that are pretty much normal each season as drought? Are parts of Central American countries really considered to be in drought each North American winter? A true drought should not start until the rainy season is proved to be delayed, or in a weak rainy season. 

What do you think?

Screen Shot 2022-03-28 at 5.28.33 PM.png

Agreed. My grass is crunchy and brown, slightly behind schedule for this time of year. We actually had somewhat consistent, heavy downpours throughout the early part of the dry season earlier this year, coinciding with strong cold fronts (that also knocked off mangos and mango flowers) and that kept everything relatively green up until early March. It has now been several weeks without any  meaningful rain and the high sun angle and wind and warmer temps have really dried things out. I have had to water my plants and trees consistently...but as you mention, this is something that is quite seasonal and happens every year. Some years are drier than others, and I agree with you that when it's late May and the rains haven't commenced, it feels more like a drought as the rains should be kicking in by then. But as a side note, our rainy season is somewhat irregular too. It isn't a daily downpour...I would say good rains usually happen two days in a row for me and then 5-7 dry days with just light and brief showers here and there or brushed by nearby thunderstorms in the meantime. Sometimes the dry period is up to 10 days which REALLY dries things out fast in the summer. Other times, nearby areas get hit with heavy rain and certain areas are bone dry, despite it being a very wet pattern. The rains are just so localized, it's easy to miss out on them. Of course there can be rainy periods where there are several days in a week with heavy rains and floods as well,. But overall, irrigation is required, even in the summer, for anything that is still getting established. 

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Regarding seasonal drought, pretty much every April, May and the first week or two of June are extremely dry here until the summer storm season gets going. The end of strong cold fronts and daily strong sea breezes keep the rain away from me here during that time for the most part. The rains start earlier on the east side and inland parts of peninsular Florida. I will be spot watering with the hose as usual for the next couple of months until the summer storms start. 
 

As a side note, I’m recording my lowest low for this winter as 31F. No real damage, and no casualties from this winter. Both my coconuts are alive and the bigger one that caught crown rot last spring that I dumped peroxide into is actually making a comeback and I have high hopes for it recovering well this growing season. 
 

B1A66CA6-CAAE-45D6-8314-AC2FC5CF6C20.jpeg

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Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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Anyone with cold damaged arecas have tips? Mine are growing damaged spears and some are pulling out. Should I wait or cut the tall ones down so the smaller ones take over? I must have lost 2 years of growth height wise because of the freeze. My foxtail is finally pushing a green spear. The white birds are recovering quickly.

20220403_185941~2.jpg

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1 hour ago, TampaPalms said:

Anyone with cold damaged arecas have tips? Mine are growing damaged spears and some are pulling out. Should I wait or cut the tall ones down so the smaller ones take over? I must have lost 2 years of growth height wise because of the freeze. My foxtail is finally pushing a green spear. The white birds are recovering quickly.

This usually happens because of an infection in the crown.  Get yourself a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and pour some down the spear leaf into the crown.  You can also remove the spear so you can fill the resulting hole with peroxide.  Either way, make sure you get 360 degrees around the spear so the infection will be killed on all sides.  You can use copper fungicide if you're worried about the peroxide turning to water and sitting in the crown.  With the lutescens, you could just whack that tall trunk out of there, but I know you want to try to save the stem because it is the largest. 

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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On 3/13/2022 at 9:17 AM, Jimbean said:

43.7F here this morning in Melbourne/Palm Bay

38.5 in metro area of Orlando

37.9 in Tampa

Just saw this.  41.5 and 41.9 were the minimums of my two thermometers in south Tampa

Tampa, Interbay Peninsula, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10A

Bokeelia, Pine Island, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10B

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On 4/3/2022 at 9:11 PM, kinzyjr said:

This usually happens because of an infection in the crown.  Get yourself a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and pour some down the spear leaf into the crown.  You can also remove the spear so you can fill the resulting hole with peroxide.  Either way, make sure you get 360 degrees around the spear so the infection will be killed on all sides.  You can use copper fungicide if you're worried about the peroxide turning to water and sitting in the crown.  With the lutescens, you could just whack that tall trunk out of there, but I know you want to try to save the stem because it is the largest. 

Thank you. I just did that to the lutescens per your advice. I am pretty surprised how delayed the damage is. I guess the crowns where damaged during the freeze and now their being pushed out. I fertilize them with Sunniland Palm fertilizer and some milorganite and with the rains the last week or two hopefully that will stimulate some growth.

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5 hours ago, TampaPalms said:

Thank you. I just did that to the lutescens per your advice. I am pretty surprised how delayed the damage is. I guess the crowns where damaged during the freeze and now their being pushed out. I fertilize them with Sunniland Palm fertilizer and some milorganite and with the rains the last week or two hopefully that will stimulate some growth.

It can happen under the radar pretty easily.  There was some advective cold this year, and that's one of the indicators for me to keep an eye out.  We also had a heavy frost in the parts of the front yard not under oak canopy and a lot of rain while the temperatures were under 50F.  That's a lot of bad stuff in just a few weeks.

My first Archontophoenix alexandrae bit the dust with the same symptoms your Dypsis lutescens had this year.  At first, relatively typical damage for a rough winter.  I went out in the yard one day and noticed the spear had rotted and came right out of the crown.  If I had kept a better eye on it, it would still be around.

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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41F tonight, should be the last dip into the low 40's till Fall, or at least thats the hope!

Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 1 W. bifurcata, 4 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 4 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. canariensis, 1 BxJ, 1 BxJxBxS, 1 BxS, 3 P. roebelenii, 1 H. lagenicaulis, 1 H. verschaffeltii, 9 T. fortunei, 1 C. humilis, 2 C. macrocarpa, 1 L. chinensis, 1 R. excelsa, 1 S. bermudana, 1 L. nitida

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5 hours ago, JLM said:

41F tonight, should be the last dip into the low 40's till Fall, or at least thats the hope!

The panhandle might as well be in another state climate wise. 

Brevard County, Fl

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17 hours ago, Jimbean said:

The panhandle might as well be in another state climate wise. 

Inland panhandle perhaps, yes. Stark difference, however, between the coastal areas and inland here.  Recorded 50F as my last night's low here on the coast.

Destin, Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach and eastern part of Panama City Beach haven't gone below 34-32F this winter, while many inland southern Florida locations have dropped to 29F. Not to mention the 23-26F range experienced in many parts of central and northcentral FL.  Plenty of stations recorded 19F in areas just east of Homosassa Springs and in other parts west of I-75 on the peninsula.

Bottle Palms, King palms,  Sea grapes, Nicolai Strelitzias etc. are all looking good in Destin, while several posters have posted damage to theirs in Central Florida after this winter.

Since the January 2017/18 winter,  I've had three 10a winters in a row, and a 9b winter this year.  So, overall not too bad.

Looking at tonight's temps throughout the state, I can't say you guys down there are exactly basking in the warmth compared to us :) 

panhandle.JPG

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Edited by Estlander
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Im surprised we dont see trunking Queens everywhere in Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach, but people just dont really try anymore since we get that one freeze every 10 years or less that kills all the less hardy stuff. Then again, i havent really checked out these areas in detail to see how many Queens/other palms are living in the area.

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Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 1 W. bifurcata, 4 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 4 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. canariensis, 1 BxJ, 1 BxJxBxS, 1 BxS, 3 P. roebelenii, 1 H. lagenicaulis, 1 H. verschaffeltii, 9 T. fortunei, 1 C. humilis, 2 C. macrocarpa, 1 L. chinensis, 1 R. excelsa, 1 S. bermudana, 1 L. nitida

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  • 3 months later...
On 1/31/2022 at 10:25 AM, NickJames said:

Last night was another rough night, got down to 30 and stayed there for many hours. Zero wind was recorded the entire evening. When I say zero, I mean literally nothing - which I’m sure exacerbated the situation. It’s possible there was some mixing higher up without the wind block I get from neighboring properties. 
 

Moderate frost. Not nearly as bad as last Sunday night’s frost. 
 

Yet again - the propane tank top heaters saved the coconut and adonidia. I very much regret not buying more propane tanks and using them on my royals as I firmly believe the tank top heaters are some of the most effective options, particularly during radiational cooling. I don’t drink or gamble, so plants really are where my money goes. 
 

I do also love the dramatic looking ice that forms on a propane tank that is rapidly exhausting its supply. 

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Same I don’t drink or gamble either. Palms is where my money goes as well! but how do you use the propane for heat? Would love to know. Since I have a few Juvenile queens I want to heat up this winter 

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