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Palms that do well/fine in shade in 9b?


FlaPalmLover

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I have a spot where I'd like to plant a palm that has a tropical look.  It's partly shaded and has some overhead canopy protection. I assume that palms that prefer full sun would be a bad idea, such as bismarcks, royals, etc. Maybe copernicia baileyana? (Although buying one with some size and having it installed wouldn't be cheap.) Just looking for ideas. I have a copernicia fallaensis that I haven't planted out, but I'm planning to plant it in a different spot that gets more sun as I know they prefer full sun. I don't think any of the archontophoenix varieties would be appropriate as I feel they are a little too thin looking for the spot. I have a foxtail that is right next to the spot in question that is currently doing fine (although not quite yet growing at the pace at which I'd like it to) and looking good, but I don't know if I should double down on risk by getting another semi-marginal palm for this spot when the foxtail may not make it long term anyway. Although by that same token, planting another foxtail could be a way of hedging my bets as at least one may be more likely to make it if I plant two.

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There quite a bit of rambling in your post so I'll just respond to the title.

Arenga engleri will do well in semi shade as well as anything understory like Chamedorea or Raphis. Be advised that most anything you plant right now would prefer afternoon shade unless it was field grown, since the sun is at its peak.

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Foxtail is fine with part shade, but I don't believe a Foxtail palm will flourish or survive long term in zone 9b.  It only takes one night to damage and/or weaken a palm to the point it never flourishes.  I would plant Phoenix Roebellini (pygmy date palm) which grows well in part shade or even full shade, handles 9b easy, no problems, and looks great as an accent to many taller palms too

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I think I'm just going to go with archontophoenix cunninghamiana. It should do okay under some canopy and it will be interesting to see how its cold hardiness compares to that of the nearby foxtail. 

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You already have a foxtail palm doing okay in similar conditions. While not fully shade-tolerant, it seems to be managing. Planting another one could indeed hedge your bets. However, be aware that foxtails can grow quite large and require well-draining soil.

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Copernicias want sun

Kentiopsis oliviformis happens to luv shade and does fine in it.   Archontophoenix purpureas look good in it too

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In my FL 9b shade I have Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana, Chambeyronia Oliviformis, Chrysalidocarpus Pembana, and Chambeyronia Macrocarpa. All of these species are fairly robust when grown in good conditions and prefer some shade, as well as the frost protection. If you could find an Oliviformis at decent size that would be my suggestion. Is a beautiful deep green, has grown through the cool months in dappled light, and is a truly large palm that stays reasonably sized for a long time. I also had a Licuala Spinosa clump but had to dig that up for fence work. As a fan palm, so long as you had irrigation it looks great in shade and definitely fills in. Mine had seen down to 27f with absolutely no damage.

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I agree with @RiverCityRichard's list for part to full shade.  Pembana loves full sun but is roughly as hardy as Lutescens, i.e. burn or defoliation in the upper 20s.  I'd plant Copernicia in full sun, especially big ones like Baileyana, Fallaensis, Hospita, Gigas, etc.  I have a Baileyana and Fallaensis planted at the same time and the same size initially.  The Fallaensis was in full sun and the Bailey in about 75% shade.  The Fallaensis grew steadily (but slowly) and the Bailey just sat there.  When I cut down the shade on the Bailey it exploded in growth and went from 1ft to 4ft tall in a bit over a year.  Both took 24-25F with heavy frost and had minimal damage.

In the shady spot I'd also look at stuff like Chuniophoenix Nana or Hainanensis; some Licuala like Sumawongii, Aurantiaca/Paludosa, Spinosa; Ptychosperma Macarthurii or Schefferi, maybe a few other oddballs like Ptychococcus Lepidotus.  Chuniophoenix are a lot like Rhapis but without the aggressively rhizome-spreading nature.

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I agree with @RiverCityRichard and @Merlyn’s lists. A. cunninghamiana’s cold tolerance under canopy is a good bet. It also grows tall fast and creates even more high canopy protection in short time to add additional shade loving palms underneath in the future (licuala’s, Kerriodoxa, Chamaedoreas). Under a thick overhead canopy , you can get away with a decent list of z10 palms to push. I would also throw on the list Satakentia liukiuensis, Chrysalidocarpus leptocheilos, Veitchia arecina, and Ptychosperma elegans. I’m growing all of these a few miles from you in Longwood, also Z9B. Leu gardens has a great display of these palms growing long term to get an idea of proper growing positions under canopy. 

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13 hours ago, Fishinsteeg234 said:

I agree with @RiverCityRichard and @Merlyn’s lists. A. cunninghamiana’s cold tolerance under canopy is a good bet. It also grows tall fast and creates even more high canopy protection in short time to add additional shade loving palms underneath in the future (licuala’s, Kerriodoxa, Chamaedoreas). Under a thick overhead canopy , you can get away with a decent list of z10 palms to push. I would also throw on the list Satakentia liukiuensis, Chrysalidocarpus leptocheilos, Veitchia arecina, and Ptychosperma elegans. I’m growing all of these a few miles from you in Longwood, also Z9B. Leu gardens has a great display of these palms growing long term to get an idea of proper growing positions under canopy. 

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I think the satakentia recommendation is brilliant, although I don't have the acreage/layout to have the fledgling tropical jungle that you have started, or to grow too many palms. I will see what I can find. Planting the cunninghamiana I got from you (it's still in a pot at the moment) along with a satakentia nearby would likely look pretty nice. It'll be really interesting to see your yard in 3-4 years. 

18 hours ago, lesliestone said:

You already have a foxtail palm doing okay in similar conditions. While not fully shade-tolerant, it seems to be managing. Planting another one could indeed hedge your bets. However, be aware that foxtails can grow quite large and require well-draining soil.

I agree. Another foxtail is tempting, and I may plant one elsewhere, but there are similarly tropical palms that are slightly hardier that might be smarter choices.

17 hours ago, TampaBayRay said:

Copernicias want sun

Kentiopsis oliviformis happens to luv shade and does fine in it.   Archontophoenix purpureas look good in it too

Yeah, copernicia isn't happening. I'll just stick with my fallaensis in the backyard. Kentiopsis oliviformis seems to be too hard to find to be practical.

14 hours ago, RiverCityRichard said:

In my FL 9b shade I have Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana, Chambeyronia Oliviformis, Chrysalidocarpus Pembana, and Chambeyronia Macrocarpa. All of these species are fairly robust when grown in good conditions and prefer some shade, as well as the frost protection. If you could find an Oliviformis at decent size that would be my suggestion. Is a beautiful deep green, has grown through the cool months in dappled light, and is a truly large palm that stays reasonably sized for a long time. I also had a Licuala Spinosa clump but had to dig that up for fence work. As a fan palm, so long as you had irrigation it looks great in shade and definitely fills in. Mine had seen down to 27f with absolutely no damage.

Oliviformis looks to be pretty rare/hard to find. I am giving up on wanting a larger palm in that spot. I think I will just cluster together 2-3 slightly thinner ones, although if I go with fish's recommendation, the satakentia seems to grow a wide canopy once mature. 

14 hours ago, Merlyn said:

I agree with @RiverCityRichard's list for part to full shade.  Pembana loves full sun but is roughly as hardy as Lutescens, i.e. burn or defoliation in the upper 20s.  I'd plant Copernicia in full sun, especially big ones like Baileyana, Fallaensis, Hospita, Gigas, etc.  I have a Baileyana and Fallaensis planted at the same time and the same size initially.  The Fallaensis was in full sun and the Bailey in about 75% shade.  The Fallaensis grew steadily (but slowly) and the Bailey just sat there.  When I cut down the shade on the Bailey it exploded in growth and went from 1ft to 4ft tall in a bit over a year.  Both took 24-25F with heavy frost and had minimal damage.

In the shady spot I'd also look at stuff like Chuniophoenix Nana or Hainanensis; some Licuala like Sumawongii, Aurantiaca/Paludosa, Spinosa; Ptychosperma Macarthurii or Schefferi, maybe a few other oddballs like Ptychococcus Lepidotus.  Chuniophoenix are a lot like Rhapis but without the aggressively rhizome-spreading nature.

I just like the copernicias. I read somewhere that baileyana can tolerate part shade, but that might've been incorrect. Ptychosperma is an intriguing recommendation but I'm not sure if those would look good in this particular spot... I picture those in a backyard by a pool or something. Some of your other recommendations give more of the tropical jungle vibe than I'm going for.

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@FlaPalmLover I think most of the Copernicia can tolerate some shade, they just might grow really slow.  And they are already slow growers.  So a Bailey in 50% shade might take a decade to get from a big 3 gallon to 6' tall.  I planted the Bailey and Fallaensis in March 2019 and they are still less than 5' tall...more than 5 years later!

Ptychosperma are good if you like the "torn leaf end" look similar to fishtail palms.  The same goes for the closely related Arenga species. 

I like the idea of Satakentia in a spot like that.  If you like fan palms too, Sabal Mauritiiformis is a good part-shade big palm.

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On 7/10/2024 at 9:51 AM, Fishinsteeg234 said:

I agree with @RiverCityRichard and @Merlyn’s lists. A. cunninghamiana’s cold tolerance under canopy is a good bet. It also grows tall fast and creates even more high canopy protection in short time to add additional shade loving palms underneath in the future (licuala’s, Kerriodoxa, Chamaedoreas). Under a thick overhead canopy , you can get away with a decent list of z10 palms to push. I would also throw on the list Satakentia liukiuensis, Chrysalidocarpus leptocheilos, Veitchia arecina, and Ptychosperma elegans. I’m growing all of these a few miles from you in Longwood, also Z9B. Leu gardens has a great display of these palms growing long term to get an idea of proper growing positions under canopy. 

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Awesome collection you have going. I didn’t think of the Satakentia as a 9b option, have heard mixed reviews. You’re about 15 miles south of me, how much cold has yours taken? If they can really handle 9b winters in this area that gets my vote for any yard with a part shade canopy spot around here. 

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1 hour ago, RiverCityRichard said:

Awesome collection you have going. I didn’t think of the Satakentia as a 9b option, have heard mixed reviews. You’re about 15 miles south of me, how much cold has yours taken? If they can really handle 9b winters in this area that gets my vote for any yard with a part shade canopy spot around here. 

Agreed... it seems to me satakentia is an amazing palm for 9b. In my opinion, they kind of look like a coconut with a crownshaft. 

 

Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. 

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@RiverCityRichard @FlaPalmLover they are possible in 9b, but it’s still a push. My satakentia was planted from a 5 gallon in early spring of 2022, and saw 27 degrees during the windy Christmas freeze of 2022. Under the oak canopy it still received about 60% leaf burn from that event. It took a whole year to grow out of the last signs of leaf damage. It’s finally throwing out new spears one after the other and hopefully it has some more size now to handle the next cold event better. 🤞if you have a protected spot, give it a go. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Fishinsteeg234 said:

@RiverCityRichard @FlaPalmLover they are possible in 9b, but it’s still a push. My satakentia was planted from a 5 gallon in early spring of 2022, and saw 27 degrees during the windy Christmas freeze of 2022. Under the oak canopy it still received about 60% leaf burn from that event. It took a whole year to grow out of the last signs of leaf damage. It’s finally throwing out new spears one after the other and hopefully it has some more size now to handle the next cold event better. 🤞if you have a protected spot, give it a go. 

 

 

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Not too shabby for its first year in the ground. Hopefully they gain a bit of hardiness with size. I’ve got an overgrown one in a 15g pot. Have gone back and forth about planting it. We hit the same temp here during that freeze. Hopefully we’ll get another warm winter and yours can get some size before the next inevitable 2010 style cold snap. 

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I think I would choose satakentia or chambeyronias each do great in shade 9b if you water enough.  If I had to choose just one it would be satakentia.   

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Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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Kentias and Majesty palms I would try. Cheap, easy to Get and a tropical look .They do great in part shade. 
 

here is one of my Majesties that survived -5 with a bucket over it. Spear pulled and everything. However it recovered nicely. 
 

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