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Washingtonia Palms Information


MarcusH

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One of the most common palm tree in the world comes in different varieties , Filifera, Robusta or Filibusta ( hybrid ) .  How much cold can it handle ? How leaf hardy is it etc etc etc  ? This topic should be all about Washingtonias . Starting off with my collection with 4 Filiferas and 1 Robusta.  Since they are still young it's hard to tell how "pure" they are but so far from my observations my Californias are Filifera leaning ( two of them I grew from seeds in 2022 / recently planted in ground ) and my Mexican is Robusta leaning .

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Just now, MarcusH said:

One of the most common palm tree in the world comes in different varieties , Filifera, Robusta or Filibusta ( hybrid ) .  How much cold can it handle ? How leaf hardy is it etc etc etc  ? This topic should be all about Washingtonias . Starting off with my collection with 4 Filiferas and 1 Robusta.  Since they are still young it's hard to tell how "pure" they are but so far from my observations my Californias are Filifera leaning ( two of them I grew from seeds in 2022 / recently planted in ground ) and my Mexican is Robusta leaning .

Went through 19F unprotected.  My Robusta isn't that leaf hardy but the fronds are already pushing out with increasing growth rate . My Filiferas didn't mind the cold just very little frost damage on leafes. 

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Did you answer your own question?🤔

That would depend on percentage of which species, location, duration, wet or dry cold, and just pure luck/genetics. Filifera is definitely leaf hardier than robusta, as well as trunk hardier.

There are a lot more hardy species out there than Washingtonia. Home Depot/Lowes is a convenient stop but not the end of palm selection. You don’t have to spend a fortune either.

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1 minute ago, Meangreen94z said:

Did you answer your own question?🤔

That would depend on percentage of which species, location, duration, wet or dry cold, and just pure luck/genetics.

There are a lot more hardy species out there than Washingtonia. Home Depot/Lowes is a convenient stop but not the end of palm selection. You don’t have to spend a fortune either.

It's not about what I know it's about Washingtonias in general so people who just started growing palms can learn something about it.  To some people it's all they want or can grow. This post is about Washingtonias only .  I personally know most of the answers I still like to hear experiences from others growing Washies. 

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Yesterday's pic.  Saw 11f several weeks ago and 6" snow Saturday.  Hardier as they gain mass. Ten years from seed. Filifera on the left. 12' tall x 14' wide. And it is currently wet 

IMG_20240212_161650_MP.jpg

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2 minutes ago, jwitt said:

Yesterday's pic.  Saw 11f several weeks ago and 6" snow Saturday.  Hardier as they gain mass. Ten years from seed. Filifera on the left. 12' tall x 14' wide. And it is currently wet 

IMG_20240212_161650_MP.jpg

That's a beautiful Filifera,  you know I never get tired of looking at Filiferas . There massive trunk and canopy.  I can't wait until mine look like yours.  Do you fertiliz and water your palm or do you let nature handle it ? 

PS I'm sure yours can handle single digits without a problem 😉

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Regrettably many people only look at a thermometer for palm survival.

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There is no definitive proof that the genus contains one species or two, since there is no strict genetic criteria that delineates species in palms. Just look at the yearly debates over B.capitata vs. B.odorata or the reclassification of Dypsis. 

Washingtonia has no genotype delineation and the two identified "members" interbreed producing fertile offspring.

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1 hour ago, MarcusH said:

That's a beautiful Filifera,  you know I never get tired of looking at Filiferas . There massive trunk and canopy.  I can't wait until mine look like yours.  Do you fertiliz and water your palm or do you let nature handle it ? 

PS I'm sure yours can handle single digits without a problem 😉

Handpicked seeds from momma in Cleburne.  Water from lawn sprinklers, no fertilizer. 

Saw 7f two years ago as did momma in Cleburne in 2011.

Thanks!

Edited by jwitt
Thanks
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1 hour ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

Regrettably many people only look at a thermometer for palm survival.

Some look at wet while the soil is acidic.

 

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2 hours ago, SeanK said:

There is no definitive proof that the genus contains one species or two, since there is no strict genetic criteria that delineates species in palms. Just look at the yearly debates over B.capitata vs. B.odorata or the reclassification of Dypsis. 

Washingtonia has no genotype delineation and the two identified "members" interbreed producing fertile offspring.

The most recent taxonomic work reflects this, currently there is only one accepted species with highly variable morphology (appearance) correlating with a north-south cline: Washingtonia filifera. Below the species level, W. filifera var. robusta is also accepted. But really what "we're" referring to as filifera or robusta represent the two morphological/distribution extremes found in California and the southern tip of Baja California Sur. 

https://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:267788-2

Edited by Xenon
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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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4 hours ago, jwitt said:

Yesterday's pic.  Saw 11f several weeks ago and 6" snow Saturday.  Hardier as they gain mass. Ten years from seed. Filifera on the left. 12' tall x 14' wide. And it is currently wet 

IMG_20240212_161650_MP.jpg

How are those seedlings doing ?

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Wet winters with lows of 25F killed my filifera.  Robusta appears to be hardier in wet, winter climates.  I had a small robust survive 19F with frost cloth.

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My two filibustas after the January arctic blast 2024. My lowest is 13.6F with 2.5 days below freezing. They got covered with freeze cloth and light strand of mini Xmas lights.  PXL_20240213_215340599.PORTRAIT.thumb.jpg.53c0b5a02943e92ac630395d4dd0fae1.jpg

 

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The other bit of info I would say about Washingtonia in general is that they hate being in pots.  I always found them temperamental and hard to keep looking good in pots, but in the ground they were happy as long as they got enough water.

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22 minutes ago, Trustandi said:

My two filibustas after the January arctic blast 2024. My lowest is 13.6F with 2.5 days below freezing. They got covered with freeze cloth and light strand of mini Xmas lights.  PXL_20240213_215340599.PORTRAIT.thumb.jpg.53c0b5a02943e92ac630395d4dd0fae1.jpg

 

In a few years they should be able to survive on its own if it gets that cold again . 

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Screenshot_20240213-201452.thumb.png.6dea189fa158f45b72e59ddcdfd1883a.png

2 hours ago, Ltapia said:

How are those seedlings doing ?

One set is caught in the pic.  Surrounded by rocks with some dry leaves.  Some appear alive and growth should resume within weeks. 

Also got some in the garage in deep pots. 

So, I have some seedlings, surviving their first winter using rocks and leaves.  

How are yours?

Edited by jwitt
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38 minutes ago, jwitt said:

Screenshot_20240213-201452.thumb.png.6dea189fa158f45b72e59ddcdfd1883a.png

One set is caught in the pic.  Surrounded by rocks with some dry leaves.  Some appear alive and growth should resume within weeks. 

Also got some in the garage in deep pots. 

So, I have some seedlings, surviving their first winter using rocks and leaves.  

How are yours?

That’s cool mines are still in pots I haven’t planted but this is a Rayado seedling same as yours .

IMG_0429.jpeg

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This is a bigger Filifera I recently have gotten and I have multiple seedlings from the same parent as well looks pretty pure really small teeth .Needs to be planted in spring asap .

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Edited by Ltapia
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I don't currently have proper photos of my Washies, just screenshots from a video I took on January 24th when I uncovered all of them. They might look a little rough, but I think they look pretty good considering they've been covered up for 2 months, but the photos don't do them justice. I only use a planket and Christmas lights.

I grew these from seeds that @Reyes Vargas sent from his tree that survived Palmageddon, which appeared to be dominated by filifera. These palms are 2 years old now and were freshly transplanted last summer, so I'm hoping for good success. The only damage I've noticed is to the tips, but I think that's normal anyway. Because even that Washie on Brag Blvd in Fayetteville in a mild winter can get brown tips, but the rest of the leaves remain green. Once these get larger, I'll leave them unprotected and see what happens.

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This one below just opened it's newest frond in that one warm week.

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I know this looks like it's getting strangled but the photo makes it look worse than it actually is, the christmas lights are loose.

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Edited by ZPalms
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11 hours ago, Ltapia said:

This is a bigger Filifera I recently have gotten and I have multiple seedlings from the same parent as well looks pretty pure really small teeth .Needs to be planted in spring asap .

IMG_0430.png

IMG_0397.jpeg

That's a nice one!  

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Took this picture a few days ago in Universal City by the post office.  Those are typical Texas Filiferas . 

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1 hour ago, MarcusH said:

Took this picture a few days ago in Universal City by the post office.  Those are typical Texas Filiferas . 

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those trunks are wayyy too smooth to be "typical Texan" 😂 

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Lucas

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5 hours ago, Little Tex said:

those trunks are wayyy too smooth to be "typical Texan" 😂 

They look wayyy too close to the utility / power lines also.

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On 2/13/2024 at 5:36 PM, Chester B said:

The other bit of info I would say about Washingtonia in general is that they hate being in pots.  I always found them temperamental and hard to keep looking good in pots, but in the ground they were happy as long as they got enough water.

That, and they look top heavy and susceptible to toppling in the wind. 

 

washingtonia-17.jpg.3c5782a73f6f11251241063e29b60028.jpg

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59 minutes ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

That, and they look top heavy and susceptible to toppling in the wind. 

 

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That’d be one hell of a patio plant 😂

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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

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6 hours ago, Little Tex said:

those trunks are wayyy too smooth to be "typical Texan" 😂 

I know right . Over here in SA it's more of a mix where some trunks show a lot of scars and some holes on older palms but we also have a lot of Filiferas with a smooth grey trunk.  

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1 hour ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

They look wayyy too close to the utility / power lines also.

I don't know why a lot of folks here plant them right next or underneath power lines. Lack of IQ ? 

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2 minutes ago, MarcusH said:

I don't know why a lot of folks here plant them right next or underneath power lines. Lack of IQ ? 

Lack of foresight, those plants are probably >55 years old

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Lucas

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I’ve always wondered, what if for some reason power lines were installed over the top of a younger tree? I imagine they would cut it the same as any other but that doesn’t seem very fair lol

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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

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In Southern California they are everywhere , under power lines where the linemen trim them or even top them (killing the palm) . They get very large in a relatively short period of time , especially Robusta. One of my neighbors had one come up in his yard and when it got about 2’ tall , dug it up and left it in a pot in my court yard. It never set back , it just grew ….rapidly! I planted it at the bottom of my hill and now it is huge . I keep it trimmed so it doesn’t take up too much view. It’s almost time to have it trimmed again. I may have it removed at some point 

IMG_3699.jpegLess than a year ago it was trimmed up to just a few fronds!

Edited by Harry’s Palms
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14 hours ago, JLM said:

I’ve always wondered, what if for some reason power lines were installed over the top of a younger tree? I imagine they would cut it the same as any other but that doesn’t seem very fair lol

As a matter of fact I actually know of a place, a short drive away from where I live where they removed a group of not large  Washies that were growing under the powerline. I assume the power lines were there before 

 

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4 minutes ago, MarcusH said:

As a matter of fact I actually know of a place, a short drive away from where I live where they removed a group of not large  Washies that were growing under the powerline. I assume the power lines were there before 

 

They removed the trees in 2022 . It's sad to see that they had to be removed . San Antonio isn't really a palm friendly city I don't understand why.  

Screenshot_20240216_112007_Maps.jpg

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15 hours ago, MarcusH said:

I don't know why a lot of folks here plant them right next or underneath power lines. Lack of IQ ? 

Same thing here with Trachycarpus. It's like the person planting them never look up, or expect the palm to grow upward.

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18 minutes ago, MarcusH said:

They removed the trees in 2022 . It's sad to see that they had to be removed . San Antonio isn't really a palm friendly city I don't understand why.  

Perhaps relocated?

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Pure filifera -  Natural stand in Joshua Tree National Park

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Pure robusta  -  Natural stand near Guaymas, Mexico

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting phenomenon.  Whenever I can I check on my palms to see how they overcame the last hard freeze.  All of my Washies seem to be fine and pushing out new fronds.  However, my Robusta decided to let go of one of multiple fronds that are currently growing out of the bud. I don't know if this damaged frond was the newest growth or part of the older fronds . Did anyone experienced similar situations? 

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39 minutes ago, MarcusH said:

Interesting phenomenon.  Whenever I can I check on my palms to see how they overcame the last hard freeze.  All of my Washies seem to be fine and pushing out new fronds.  However, my Robusta decided to let go of one of multiple fronds that are currently growing out of the bud. I don't know if this damaged frond was the newest growth or part of the older fronds . Did anyone experienced similar situations? 

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The new growth point at the base of the spear is the most cold sensitive part of the palm except the roots.  So if you see any frond damage you should be preventatively spraying copper fungicide roughly weekly when daytime temps are in 60's or above until you see a spear push all the way up.  

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@MarcusH

Had the same thing happen with many filifera. For me it was almost always fertilizer applied too late in the season(nitrogen).

For me, a true lawn winterizer works great for filifera, it fertlizes the roots over the winter, and the nitrogen is not released until the following spring. Perfect in my colder climate. 

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