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What are the FASTEST growing COLD HARDY Palms?


Dwarf Fan

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I know both Washingtonia Robusta & Filibusta grow super fast as does Sabal Louisiana.

What other Cold Hardy Palms grow quickly?

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My Trachy grows pretty quickly during the warm month with LOT of water and fertilizer.   If you are in a place like Texas, Trachy in shadier areas, as I’ve seen them get scorched by the sun, particularly if there’s not regular deep watering.

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I'd say a mule for you but you can't beat a Trachy for us really cold folk.  The way you care for your palm is the key to fast growth and placement.

Edited by Allen
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YouTube https://www.youtube.com/@tntropics - 60+ In-ground 7A palms - (Sabal) minor(7 large + 27 seedling size, 3 dwarf),  brazoria(1) , birmingham(4), etonia (1) louisiana(5), palmetto (1), riverside (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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Depends on the location. I can get close to 3 feet of trunk per year on my fastest Trachycarpus fortunei. 

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20 hours ago, Dwarf Fan said:

What other Cold Hardy Palms grow quickly?

Depends on how you define "cold hardy" and "grow quickly" as well as location/growing conditions.  If you consider cold hardy to be any palms that can handle a quick drop to 25°F you have many options.  If you consider cold hardy to be palms that can be grown in USDA zone 8 your choices are obviously much less.   My Copernicia alba pushes 3-4 new fronds every couple of months during the growing season but doesn't gain much height in the process so is growing quickly defined as by number of fronds produced or added height in a given amount of time?  That being said my Livistona nitida grows as fast as a Washingtonia filibusta hybrid in both number of fronds and height gained.  It is probably considered a zone 9a palm but can handle a lot of cold also.  Most of the Butia hybrids grow quickly considering both criteria but can be variable due to the Butia heritage.  I'm growing 2 standard mules that are not growing nearly as fast as ones that I had in San Antonio.  Syagrus romanzoffiana is another palm that is putting on additional height very quickly for me and can be considered cold hardy as a zone 9a palm also.  Bismarckia nobilis is another zone 9 palm that can grow quickly in well draining soils but I am not experiencing much speed in my garden with mostly clay.  For what it's worth my Sabal Louisiana is not growing very fast either due to conditions.  Here is my Livistona nitida from earlier this year bought as a strap-leafed seedling in late 2019.  The base diameter is currently about the size of a basketball.

 

IMG_20230605_190101.thumb.jpg.9265876ba5534e60383db43d2c0aa595.jpg

Edited by Fusca
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Jon Sunder

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21 hours ago, Fusca said:

Depends on how you define "cold hardy" and "grow quickly" as well as location/growing conditions.  If you consider cold hardy to be any palms that can handle a quick drop to 25°F you have many options.  If you consider cold hardy to be palms that can be grown in USDA zone 8 your choices are obviously much less.   My Copernicia alba pushes 3-4 new fronds every couple of months during the growing season but doesn't gain much height in the process so is growing quickly defined as by number of fronds produced or added height in a given amount of time?  That being said my Livistona nitida grows as fast as a Washingtonia filibusta hybrid in both number of fronds and height gained.  It is probably considered a zone 9a palm but can handle a lot of cold also.  Most of the Butia hybrids grow quickly considering both criteria but can be variable due to the Butia heritage.  I'm growing 2 standard mules that are not growing nearly as fast as ones that I had in San Antonio.  Syagrus romanzoffiana is another palm that is putting on additional height very quickly for me and can be considered cold hardy as a zone 9a palm also.  Bismarckia nobilis is another zone 9 palm that can grow quickly in well draining soils but I am not experiencing much speed in my garden with mostly clay.  For what it's worth my Sabal Louisiana is not growing very fast either due to conditions.  Here is my Livistona nitida from earlier this year bought as a strap-leafed seedling in late 2019.  The base diameter is currently about the size of a basketball.

Good questions I should have provided more context, for my purposes I am using the Palmageddon low on Padre Island of 20°F or “Bullet Proof” Palms as I have heard them referred to.

As far as FAST  well I am open to anything faster than say S. Minor and C. Humilis would be great those are both pretty SLOW!

Syagrus romanzoffiana - All Queens DIED on Padre Island during Palmageddon along w/ most Pygmy Dates & all Foxtails. NOT a Cold Hardy enough option here.

Copernicia alba - Cold Tolerance seems very suspect for my region I wouldn’t gamble on it personally.

Livistona nitida - I looked at at this one but seen that the Chinensis was more cold Hardy and went with it instead. So far the Chinensis are both FAST and not too fussy! Your Nitida looks nice, you are fortunate you have more options in the Valley.

Bismarckia nobilis - Takes damage here but survives, there are a few here that survived Palmageddon, but I personally don’t like the look of Blue Palms.

Butias & Butia hybrids - Bullet Proof (I am getting several Butia Hybrids this Fall/Spring and I have Odorata seeds I got for free from a neighbor).

Mules - Bullet Proof (I am definitely getting a Mule or two this Fall or Spring).

Sabal Louisiana - Bullet Proof and I just have a new Band but it is already moving way more FAST than the other Bands I got at the same time. 

 

Edited by Dwarf Fan
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3 hours ago, Dwarf Fan said:

Copernicia alba - Cold Tolerance seems very suspect for my region I wouldn’t gamble on it personally.

Livistona nitida - I looked at at this one but seen that the Chinensis was more cold Hardy and went with it instead. So far the Chinensis are both FAST and not too fussy! Your Nitida looks nice, you are fortunate you have more options in the Valley.

If you check the freeze data section for Copernicia alba and prunifera, both species survived 14°F in Gainesville, FL in historic winter of 2010.  Mine survived 20°F in 2018 as a strap leafed seedling plus Palmageddon (9° wrapped in lights). I'd consider it bullet proof in your area.  My Livistona nitida survived Palmageddon here (22°F unprotected with no damage) but one I had in San Antonio did not survive 9°F unprotected.  I still think it would do OK at 20°F however.  Joe LeVert had one in 8b Augusta, GA for some time but don't know what lows it faced.  I would give it a try vs. a Washingtonia.

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Jon Sunder

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My Livistona decoras have grown hecka fast! Along with what the others have mentioned. Washy's- out where I work it's crazy how fast the naturalized ones grow and we specifically neglect them.  I chopped a youngster that had probably about a 3" bud down flush to the ground with a sawzall blade and the next year it looked like nothing had happened to it. 

 

My youngest L. decora was planted in 2010 and it's got at least 20' of clear trunk and a nice fat base from sipping on water/ swampy dirt its whole life. My two oldest ones were planted in like 2005. I had to cut one of them down 2 or 3 years ago because the 20' of trunk it had was growing at a wonky 45 degree angle and was mechanically breaking. if it was to fail completely it would have fallen into the house and probably busted up the stucco and windows so it had to go. The other one probably has 15 to near 20' of trunk but is growing slower since I'm not as generous with the water on that side of the yard. I like it the most because it has a nice smaller diameter trunk with attractive leaf scars. The base is still probably 2' diameter.-it just tapers down more dramatically than the younger one.

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Oakley, California

55 Miles E-NE of San Francisco, CA

Solid zone 9, I can expect at least one night in the mid to low twenties every year.

Hot, dry summers. Cold, wet winters.

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