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Starting up cold hardy palm business


ChicagoPalma

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I know im about to go into winter, but its still way too warm, and im thinking about gettinga portable greenhouse, but with a heater and fan. and grow my palms there. It will grow there, and I will also ship palms during the winter if the temperature will not go below 20f that day.

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Im buying bulk palm seedlings from ohio and canada, and my wide arrangement of cold hardy palms will be butia, windmil, both washingtonia species, mule palm, all sabals and neede palms. Will also have some exotic varieties. If anyone wants to send some small palms, or freebies, or sell them to me, I would gladly accept, and for anyone who is interested, in dwarf butias, I may be selling them as well.

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You're better off keeping your purchases and sales within the US. Cross border business has the added dimension of phytosanitary requirements, delays and rejections at custom offices. It can be done but it becomes more of an inconvenience than some people are willing to manage. Access to plants you seek are readily available in the US anyway.  There are many established on-line nurseries already and competing with them is something to consider. I will in no way discourage you from following you goals and I wish you success.

 

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21 hours ago, ChicagoPalma said:

Im buying bulk palm seedlings from ohio and canada, and my wide arrangement of cold hardy palms will be butia, windmil, both washingtonia species, mule palm, all sabals and neede palms. Will also have some exotic varieties. If anyone wants to send some small palms, or freebies, or sell them to me, I would gladly accept, and for anyone who is interested, in dwarf butias, I may be selling them as well.

Just like Berrie said there's a lot of competition out there especially online.  I was thinking about it at one time but when I saw the competition I dropped the idea. Also in the southern part of the U.S. you can just grab seeds and grow them for basically free( that's what I do) . I will sell Filiferas, not to make a big profit I just like to see more cold hardy palms being planted in my area. I know the mother plants .  Some of them I gave away for free to people I know.  Good luck with your business.  I can send you seeds though.  

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Sounds like an awesome plan I have also been collecting so many Palms, seedlings and seeds that I have been considering starting up a small Cold Hardy Palm business.

PM Sent. 🙂

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Im thinking of selling them at my local home depot and advertise my plants are cold hardy. I will also probably sell guides or like kits for palm protection. Would love to see tropicals everywhere. Im also planning to sell dwarf butias, so I can sell and send to people who are interested on palmtalk.

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On 11/12/2023 at 11:39 AM, ChicagoPalma said:

I know im about to go into winter, but its still way too warm, and im thinking about gettinga portable greenhouse, but with a heater and fan. and grow my palms there. It will grow there, and I will also ship palms during the winter if the temperature will not go below 20f that day.

The portable greenhouse will only save you a few degree at night, and you're probably going to spend more money on heating every winter than you can make in sales.

A basement with grow lights is your best bet in your climate.

22 hours ago, ChicagoPalma said:

Should I use PE covers (polyethylene) or polycarbonate for the greenhouse? Will have supplemental heating.

From my limited research, poly-carbonate is the best to reduce IR loss.

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11 minutes ago, amh said:

The portable greenhouse will only save you a few degree at night, and you're probably going to spend more money on heating every winter than you can make in sales.

A basement with grow lights is your best bet in your climate.

From my limited research, poly-carbonate is the best to reduce IR loss.

Ill probably use polycarbonate, since our school has a greenhouse (probably polycarbonate) and insulates it with bubble wrap to grow food for the reptiles in the science room.

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16 minutes ago, amh said:

The portable greenhouse will only save you a few degree at night, and you're probably going to spend more money on heating every winter than you can make in sales.

A basement with grow lights is your best bet in your climate.

From my limited research, poly-carbonate is the best to reduce IR loss.

From my experience growing palms from seeds during the "cold season" where temperatures get below 65°F at night works best for me when I put them inside of the house.  I just place the seeds/seedlings close to the window and they grow successfully.  Some of my young palms are outside until it gets into the low 30s. It already got down to the upper 30s at night two times. 

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2 minutes ago, MarcusH said:

From my experience growing palms from seeds during the "cold season" where temperatures get below 65°F at night works best for me when I put them inside of the house.  I just place the seeds/seedlings close to the window and they grow successfully.  Some of my young palms are outside until it gets into the low 30s. It already got down to the upper 30s at night two times. 

The freezing temperatures just slow the cold hardy palm growth, but when you get to the cold climates everything freezes. Above 20 degrees, you're fine, but when you are in the teens or lower, the dirt freezes in the containers. Washingtonia hybrids are good to the high teens in containers, but will start having trouble at 15F.

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19 minutes ago, ChicagoPalma said:

Ill probably use polycarbonate, since our school has a greenhouse (probably polycarbonate) and insulates it with bubble wrap to grow food for the reptiles in the science room.

The PE covers help protect from frost, but generally are a season extender. 

Did you have a thermometer in the school greenhouse?

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1 hour ago, amh said:

The freezing temperatures just slow the cold hardy palm growth, but when you get to the cold climates everything freezes. Above 20 degrees, you're fine, but when you are in the teens or lower, the dirt freezes in the containers. Washingtonia hybrids are good to the high teens in containers, but will start having trouble at 15F.

I'm not doing it professionally.  I grab some seeds from wherever I can find some Filiferas here and there . Now I have 23 seedlings . In late February after the last freeze I'm going to transplant them to bigger pots . Not in a hurry .  But you're right washies can take a beating. 

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On 11/13/2023 at 9:26 AM, ChicagoPalma said:

Im thinking of selling them at my local home depot and advertise my plants are cold hardy. I will also probably sell guides or like kits for palm protection. Would love to see tropicals everywhere. Im also planning to sell dwarf butias, so I can sell and send to people who are interested on palmtalk.

You may find that "selling to The Home Depot" will be more difficult than you realize. Even in a palm growing climate, many so called gardeners have little to no interest in palms. It's a niche market and reduced further once potential buyers discover the tasks involved in wintering palms in a cold winter climate. I owned my own nursery selling exotica for our zone 8 climate on a ½ acre property, and now my step daughter owns an 11 acre nursery which I have assisted with periodically. Enthusiasm is only part of the equation.

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27 minutes ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

You may find that "selling to The Home Depot" will be more difficult than you realize. Even in a palm growing climate, many so called gardeners have little to no interest in palms. It's a niche market and reduced further once potential buyers discover the tasks involved in wintering palms in a cold winter climate. I owned my own nursery selling exotica for our zone 8 climate on a ½ acre property, and now my step daughter owns an 11 acre nursery which I have assisted with periodically. Enthusiasm is only part of the equation.

Its just an idea, but after we had our big block party, Im sure we will have some buyers throughout northern illinois. Probably first selling locally and then expand.

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I believe home depots inventory is regulated by corporate level contracts.  I asked a few years ago if I could special order some palms, I was told that there is zero possibility, even the manager of the store has no way to influence what they get, everything is locked on contract by corporate.  

I asked a couple times one year and decided to stop asking. 

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5 hours ago, Jesse PNW said:

I believe home depots inventory is regulated by corporate level contracts.  I asked a few years ago if I could special order some palms, I was told that there is zero possibility, even the manager of the store has no way to influence what they get, everything is locked on contract by corporate.  

I asked a couple times one year and decided to stop asking. 

I've seen some local nurseries sell at homedepot.

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7 hours ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

Established nurseries presumably, not fledgling nurseries.

They all started somewhere..

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On 11/13/2023 at 12:26 PM, ChicagoPalma said:

Im thinking of selling them at my local home depot and advertise my plants are cold hardy. I will also probably sell guides or like kits for palm protection. Would love to see tropicals everywhere. Im also planning to sell dwarf butias, so I can sell and send to people who are interested on palmtalk.

HD, Lowes and WM pay you for what they sell. The plants they kill, you don't get paid for. The plants that customers kill in the first year will be debited from your account.

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1 hour ago, ChicagoPalma said:

They all started somewhere..

of which I've seen first hand on several occasions. Know in detail, your local bi-laws.

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53 minutes ago, SeanK said:

HD, Lowes and WM pay you for what they sell. The plants they kill, you don't get paid for. The plants that customers kill in the first year will be debited from your account.

Im confused, you sell the plants to them or you give the plants to them and they pay you everytime someone buys?

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38 minutes ago, ChicagoPalma said:

I'm confused, you sell the plants to them or you give the plants to them and they pay you everytime someone buys?

I don't know the exact details, but you establish accounts with them and when they or their customers kill plant, you give them credit.

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3 hours ago, SeanK said:

I don't know the exact details, but you establish accounts with them and when they or their customers kill plant, you give them credit.

Sounds absurd, give them money for something that happens in their care..

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Happy news! My sabal seeds have arrived! So expect to see some Sabal minor, Sabal Minor "McCurtain", sabal mexicana, sabal brazorienzis, and the alleged sabal orgeon.

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I also have plants for sale already, I have a large 7g windmill palm, which i was going to plant, but I might sell.

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2 hours ago, ChicagoPalma said:

Sounds absurd, give them money for something that happens in their care..

It's tough doing business with the big-box stores. It's their way or the highway. May be better off selling to smaller local niche nurseries.

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Banana Joe on Salt Spring Island says that he sells his palms in local grocery stores and I believe a couple other "mom and pop" style places in town.  

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4 hours ago, SeanK said:

It's tough doing business with the big-box stores. It's their way or the highway. May be better off selling to smaller local niche nurseries.

Ill probably sell the Lurveys, they have the best landscaping trees and the best palms I've ever seen. They even offered windmill palms! But 3 gallon of course.

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To all who were interested in buying dwarf butias from me, I have been informed that there are none in stock, and rps has nothing in stock as well, so I will contact some other people, and if anyone could send me patricks email, he has a dwarf butia hybrid I think for sale.

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Another announcement, Im planting a 8ft butia or windmill this upcoming spring from our local nursery, if it is a butia, I will send seeds to anyone who is interested.

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3 hours ago, Jesse PNW said:

Banana Joe on Salt Spring Island says that he sells his palms in local grocery stores and I believe a couple other "mom and pop" style places in town.  

I get my seedlings from Joe all the time,extremely knowledgeable and,  yes he does sell them in local stores.  Windmills on the coast of BC and Vancouver Island,  are almost weedy.

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8 hours ago, ChicagoPalma said:

To all who were interested in buying dwarf butias from me, I have been informed that there are none in stock, and rps has nothing in stock as well, so I will contact some other people, and if anyone could send me patricks email, he has a dwarf butia hybrid I think for sale.

I just PMed you Patrix email address.

I have a feeling that obtaining Dwarf Butias is gonna prove to be a bit of a challenge, that said I really hope you are successful though, please keep me on your list for any Butia (NOT odorata/capitata) that you are able to get your hands on, your Washy seeds will ship out tomorrow.

Dan

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Im informed that I have been able to recieve butia lepitdospatha, arenicola, and butia paraguayensis seedlings. Sadly It goes above 100 dollars the price, and im trying to find a way If I can buy them bulk. Or seeds

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Sadly after our big freeze, our largest robusta seedling got spear pulled, I used hydrogen peroxide, and had to to trunk cut it yesterday because the dead rotting plant flesh would either be pushed out by the healthy growth or it would get stuck and rot more. Over night it is pushing new growth after the cut, I also tugged on my date palm spear too hard and it came out, healthy though, but it’s regrowing.

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On 11/16/2023 at 9:00 AM, ChicagoPalma said:

Can you accept butia yatay? I have those.

Yes interested PM sent.

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On 11/16/2023 at 9:00 AM, ChicagoPalma said:

Can you accept butia yatay? I have those.

What was your source for the B. yatay seeds?

There seems to be a question to the authenticity of some of the seeds on the market.

 

 

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