Picture of 9' Windmill Palm in bloom, zone 4

arctictropical(Z4)June 24, 2008

For those who are in zone denial, here is a picture of a 9' palm in bloom in zone 4. I purchased it as a 1 gallon size plant, kept it in house for two years and then planted it outside about 6-7 years ago. It has been growing like a weed.

Here is a picture of protection in the winter.

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That's simply amazing!!! Even with the protection, you'd think any semblance of a temperature below 5C would kill the thing off!

Just goes to show that plants can be a lot tougher than we think.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:51AM
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I forgot to mention that I do have three screw-in type flourescent light bulbs in the palm box for a little heat during the winter.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 12:05PM
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Happy2BeeME(4a NH)

Wonderful, now THAT'S ZONE PUSHING. Very nice but seems odd as in out of place making it a great surpize.
Thanks for sharing with us.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 12:48PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Very cool, I like your fruit trees in the background too!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 1:18PM
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WOW I bet that turns a few heads when people drive by it. Awesome..savona

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 5:08PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

As someone who's trying to create a tropical-looking garden, my hats off to you!

I did read that Mature windmill palms can be hardy to about 0 to 5F but I believe that's for short durations. So, having it survive Zone 4 is amazing. I guess those light bulbs warm it up somewhat?

You must be "proud" of your baby. I purchased a Chinese Fan Palm and Bismarck Palm but of course they are either houseplants I'll overwinter indoors or expensive annuals. The nice thing about your palm is you don't have to carry it inside, worry about providing good light over winter, worry about it adjusting back to outdoor light in spring, and it gets bigger and better each year. I know you've shown us your pictures before but this just confirms that it can be done and that Northern gardeners stop at nothing to grow their favorite plants.

Amazing and Thanks for sharing,


    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Glen, thanks for your comments! I have a butia that has been outside for 3 years now and is doing great. Are you going to try growing a palm outside some day? My two Mediterranean Fan Palms survived -40 F. temperatures about 5 years ago, under the styrofoam boxes, so I imagine you could try doing the same thing in your area.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:57AM
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explorer_mb(z1b MB Canada)

Congratulations, that is simply amazing...
I've seen alot about them in southern B.C. but,never would have thought them to make it in Zone 4, even with the protection...

Somehow I don't think it would make it outside here no matter what I did, lol.

I was wondering what plant that is next to it under the smaller box in the winter pic..? Looks like another tropical plant in the summer pic...


    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 8:04PM
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my jaw just hit the keyboard!! That is SO awesome to see.
just amazing!
ps...you will be building a bigger box before you know it:)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 8:07PM
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explorer mb, in answer to your question about what is under the two smaller boxes in the winter picture, they are "Texas Star" banana plants. In the Fall, I cut the leaves off and the plant down to three foot stumps before putting the boxes on. Similar to the Trachy, when I pull the boxes off in the Spring, they are still alive and green, ready to grow!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:07AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Arctictropical, does the box going over the bananas also have the fluorescent light fixture in them to provide heat like the palm one? It must and it appears it's just enough heat to make a difference. Can I ask what kind of light fixtures the screw-in flourescent bulbs screw into? Did you just buy a socket, some wiring, etc and create your own light fixture?

I am tempted to try this and perhaps I should look into buying a cold hardy palm. Regarding bananas, I obtained a plant of musa basjoo this year (Japanese fibre banana) and the root supposedly survives -20C/-5F or colder if well mulched. It likely wouldn't survive here mulched, just too cold for too long, but if covered with a box and the light for a bit of warmth to keep the soil warm, who knows?


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:35AM
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Good morning Glen. Yes, the small boxes over the bananas have one flourescent light. I just use the inexpensive plastic or ceramic light fixtures that cost a couple of dollars each. Yes, I wired the boxes myself. Since the boxes are so small, one light bulb puts out enough heat that builds up nicely inside. One year I lost power to the banana boxes and they froze to the ground, but sprouted from the underground corms in the Spring. "Texas Star" is supposed to be about as hardy as basjoo, and produces edible bananas, but I don't ever expect to get any in my climate. Go for it!


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 10:28AM
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That is so cool, I just recently bought 10 Windmill Palm Seedlings to attempt to grow in my Dayton Ohio area home. This truly gives me some hope that I will succeed! When you moved this inside, did it go through any shock? How late in the season did you leave them outside prior to bringing them in for the protection?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Hi Jamie! I actually don't bring it inside for the winter. It is protected by the styrofoam box in the second picture. I have two Mediterranean Fan palms that have been outside for 12-13 years. The Windmall palm has been outside continually for about eight years. I also have a Pindo Palm that has been outside for three years. One of the Mediterranean palms has fronds as wide as the Windmall palm but it is only about 6 feet high since they are slower growing. The largest three palms bloom each year.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 10:30PM
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