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What is a better palm Saw Palmetto or Sabal Minor


Colin1110082

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Which one of these is more recommended for a zone 6A climate? Thank you. Which one is more likely to live or in other words which is more forgiving? Does one prefer more sun over the other?

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I wouldn't recommend either in 6A but if I had to pick, I'd definitely go with the sabal minor. 

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Admin please remove 

Edited by N8ALLRIGHT
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 I'm in zone 6b. With just a little protection I grow sabal minor and needle. Mine are in full sun. Skip the saw palmetto if you want hassle free. Get a mccurtain or Cherokee sabal minor if you can. Those varieties come from some of the most northern natural locations for sabal minor. And in zone 6a every degree of cold resistance helps. I see you are in Massachusetts so you won't get the summer heat I do in Missouri. Plant them on a south facing side of your house if you can.

Good luck :greenthumb:

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32 minutes ago, N8ALLRIGHT said:

 I'm in zone 6b. With just a little protection I grow sabal minor and needle. Mine are in full sun. Skip the saw palmetto if you want hassle free. Get a mccurtain or Cherokee sabal minor if you can. Those varieties come from some of the most northern natural locations for sabal minor. And in zone 6a every degree of cold resistance helps. I see you are in Massachusetts so you won't get the summer heat I do in Missouri. Plant them on a south facing side of your house if you can.

Good luck :greenthumb:

Yes, sometime this week or next I’m going to place an order from northeast Ohio palms for Sabal minor 3 gallon. If needle is better then I can do that but it seems both are the same, if anything minor being a bit more resistant since the spear is under ground 

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I've lost Serenoa at 20°F. It definitely likes sandy soil. It is no way as hardy as S.minor, which survives all kinds of abuse.

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Sabal minor is better. it grows pretty well in zones 6-11 I believe and is hardier than the saw palmetto (which is already hardy in its own right). Sabal minor is a better choice for hardiness since it can tolerate down to 0F and possibly even short bursts of -5F, while also keeping the palmetto look we all love :). you might need some protection for younger specimens though. IMG_3820.thumb.jpeg.acf10f93357b4ac5fe71bccac4c24fe4.jpeg

IMG_3821.jpeg

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If you're in less than Zone 6b, you're definitely going to struggle to grow any palms. Needle palms would probably be your best bet somewhere with humid winters or Mazari palms somewhere with dry winters. Nonetheless, if you have a really good microclimate like a hot dark flowerbed along a dark south-facing wall or something, saw palmetto may actually be a better bet than dwarf palmetto unless you live in an existing mild-winter microclimate along the base of a mountain range or something (e.g. certain warmer neighborhoods and suburbs of Denver). Dwarf palmettos have underground trunks, so if the ground freezes too much, it's game over. Saw palmettos are less cold-hardy in places like Tennessee where the ground doesn't freeze except on extremely rare occasions (and even then still not by enough to actually freeze palmetto sap because the sugars they develop in our long hot summers acts as an antifreeze), but unless you're very lucky to live in a hectometers- or kilometers-wide microclimate with mild winters somewhere like Denver, a Zone 6a place is definitely going to be subject to soil freezing in winter, which may kill dwarf palmettos even if you somehow had a good enough meters-wide microclimate aboveground to grow the likes of saw palmettos or European fan palms.

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I'm just a neurodivergent Middle Tennessean guy that's obsessively interested in native plants (especially evergreen trees/shrubs) from spruces to palms.

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2 hours ago, L.A.M. said:

If you're in less than Zone 6b, you're definitely going to struggle to grow any palms. Needle palms would probably be your best bet somewhere with humid winters or Mazari palms somewhere with dry winters. Nonetheless, if you have a really good microclimate like a hot dark flowerbed along a dark south-facing wall or something, saw palmetto may actually be a better bet than dwarf palmetto unless you live in an existing mild-winter microclimate along the base of a mountain range or something (e.g. certain warmer neighborhoods and suburbs of Denver). Dwarf palmettos have underground trunks, so if the ground freezes too much, it's game over. Saw palmettos are less cold-hardy in places like Tennessee where the ground doesn't freeze except on extremely rare occasions (and even then still not by enough to actually freeze palmetto sap because the sugars they develop in our long hot summers acts as an antifreeze), but unless you're very lucky to live in a hectometers- or kilometers-wide microclimate with mild winters somewhere like Denver, a Zone 6a place is definitely going to be subject to soil freezing in winter, which may kill dwarf palmettos even if you somehow had a good enough meters-wide microclimate aboveground to grow the likes of saw palmettos or European fan palms.

The Sabal minor hat I will buy will be planted on a raised flower bed in the corner of two vinyl walls and in the winter I will mulch it really well and if it gets below 20 for the first years I will cover it with leaves and straw. It is facing northeast in the corner and gets 6 hours of direct sun a day and is protected from wind in almost all directions 

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Skip the Saw Palmetto. Go with the Needle and/or Sable Minor. I planted 3 Saw Palmettos in the best location I have and all 3 were clobbered in what was just a typical Winter here. Having seen fields and forests full of them during family trips to the South on I-95, I  thought they would be pretty tough and would do ok in 7A. Nope.

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I agree with the rest. Go for a Sabal minor. Saw palms are hardy to about zone 7b but need sandy soil. They used to do well for me when I lived across town but now my soil is very clay like and they hate it .

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Zone 8a/8b Greenville, NC 

Zone 9a/9b Bluffton, SC

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+1 for Sabal Minor

6-24-2024

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Emerald Isle, North Carolina

USDA Zone 8B/9A - Humid Subtropical (CFA)

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1 hour ago, NC_Palms said:

I agree with the rest. Go for a Sabal minor. Saw palms are hardy to about zone 7b but need sandy soil. They used to do well for me when I lived across town but now my soil is very clay like and they hate it .

saw palmettos also aren’t aren’t as hardy as a Sabal Minor.

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I think a needle palm is the only thing that's going to survive without protection there. With heavy heavy protection, maybe sabal minor, but I find it hard to believe there will be no blizzards or polar vortexes in Massachusetts except on the cape. Leaves and straw are not going to be enough to protect the bud of the palm, which will be above ground and exposed to everything. I didn't know there were any places in Massachusetts where it doesn't routinely go far below 20F for days at a time between January and late February. 

Another advantage of needle (R. hystrix) over the palmettos is that it has multiple leaf bases and so can survive as a clump even if some of them die. In contrast, with the sabal minor, there is only one growth point and if it can't make it the whole plant is done. 

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S. minor and needle can take a week or more without going above freezing.  Small unestablished needles can die from spear pull but are more frond hardy

S. minor vs some of our hardy evergreens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGfuuUy97E

S. minor vs needle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQIR66ZUiCE

My MOST damaged regular S. minor after -6F .  Established Needle palms behind it completely undamaged

https://youtu.be/xLmsaMHjYk8?t=343

 

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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),  18' Mule-Butia x Syagrus(1),  Blue Butia odorata (1) +Tons of tropical plants.  Recent Yearly Lows -6F, -1F, 12F, 11F, 18F, 16F, 3F, 3F, 6F, 3F, 1F, 16F, 17F, 6F, 8F

 

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13 hours ago, Allen said:

S. minor and needle can take a week or more without going above freezing.  Small unestablished needles can die from spear pull but are more frond hardy

S. minor vs some of our hardy evergreens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGfuuUy97E

S. minor vs needle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQIR66ZUiCE

My MOST damaged regular S. minor after -6F .  Established Needle palms behind it completely undamaged

https://youtu.be/xLmsaMHjYk8?t=343

 

I’m just afraid that needle will spear pull in our  cold and wet winters so I’ll get Sabal minor I still have to order it 

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19 hours ago, njpalmguy said:

saw palmettos also aren’t aren’t as hardy as a Sabal Minor.

They're not. I have never seen one planted further north or west of Raleigh in my area. Sabal minor is definitely a better palm for colder climates 

Zone 8a/8b Greenville, NC 

Zone 9a/9b Bluffton, SC

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17 hours ago, Allen said:

S. minor and needle can take a week or more without going above freezing.  Small unestablished needles can die from spear pull but are more frond hardy

S. minor vs some of our hardy evergreens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGfuuUy97E

S. minor vs needle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQIR66ZUiCE

My MOST damaged regular S. minor after -6F .  Established Needle palms behind it completely undamaged

https://youtu.be/xLmsaMHjYk8?t=343

 

I think that settles it, we have wet and cold winter and get lots of snow and ice so therefore I will buy a sabal minor! i’m surprised your holly defoliated, we have one and it does well in the winter. We could have different varieties. Is it still alive? 

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58 minutes ago, Colin1110082 said:

I think that settles it, we have wet and cold winter and get lots of snow and ice so therefore I will buy a sabal minor! i’m surprised your holly defoliated, we have one and it does well in the winter. We could have different varieties. Is it still alive? 

We had a quick fast extreme long cold after warmer temps.  Holly lived with dead branches and completely defoliated. 

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),  18' Mule-Butia x Syagrus(1),  Blue Butia odorata (1) +Tons of tropical plants.  Recent Yearly Lows -6F, -1F, 12F, 11F, 18F, 16F, 3F, 3F, 6F, 3F, 1F, 16F, 17F, 6F, 8F

 

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On 6/25/2024 at 12:53 PM, Colin1110082 said:

I think that settles it, we have wet and cold winter and get lots of snow and ice so therefore I will buy a sabal minor! i’m surprised your holly defoliated, we have one and it does well in the winter. We could have different varieties. Is it still alive? 

I also saw mature ones at a Seasons restaurant, but they don’t really to bring them inside during the winter and I hope they know that… I mean they do switch out the vegetation and meals every season which is pretty obvious so no stopping them 😭

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