Washingtonia Robusta GROWTH rate

r0bustaMay 21, 2008

I am VERY confused on this subject.

I am interested in how much growth washingtonias can achieve when in best environment? I've read somewhere that they can grow 6 foot per year. Is this true?

I have a robusta thats approx 90cm tall and is growing fairly quickly, I've only had it for about 5 months though. It's roots are stabilized and everything.

How much growth should i expect per year approximately?

I know it depends on the soil, sun etc. but just keep in mind, it has plenty of sun, and the soil is great.

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bradleyo_gw

I'd be afraid of them in their best environment. This is how big mine was at the end of the year. When I re-potted it last May, it was about 8 inches high and just getting its first strap leaves. This pic is from last fall. Notice beer can for scale.

Keep in mind, this is in a pot in Pittsburgh. I put mine in the ground a month ago, and despite exceptionally cool weather (temps 15 degrees below normal and massive amounts of rain), it is out growing all of my other palms.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 6:37AM
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andyandy(6bMI)

If you have it in the ground and you are in a natural envirnment for it I could believe 6 feet per year. They fly when it is hot.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

I don't know about six feet per year. Three feet of trunk in a year is possible though. I had a three year old seedling with four feet of clear trunk. I don't know if you would call that a seedling anymore though.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 1:44PM
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r0busta

Wow, great robusta bradleyo. Thanks for the replies.
Hopefully my robusta will achieve 6ft per year :P

Does anyone want me to post some photos?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 8:16AM
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andyandy(6bMI)

This one will be four years old this July. it has been outside for about 4-5 weeks. The two spears you see have "fanned out". it's been cloudy and low 60s most of the last week so it hasn't done much. That should change starting tomorrow when a warm front moves in. it has about 2.5 feet of trunk.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:43AM
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bob_westmich_zn6b

Good post! I recently purchased a Robusta seedling. It is about 18 inches tall with two fans and a third starting. It has been a dreary and cool May here in West Michigan. I can't wait to see what it will do in some hot sunny weather!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 1:22PM
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bradleyo_gw

Actually I mistyped earlier. Last May it was getting its first charcter leaves, it had already put out 3-4 strap leaves. Anyway, here is a picture of it in the ground this spring.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 6:20AM
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r0busta

^wow, thats unusual. How come it is green all the way down?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 8:40AM
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bradleyo_gw

what do you mean? i don't understand your question.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 5:02PM
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r0busta

It's just unusual to see a robusta without any trimmed fronds thats all :P

What i ment was, the trunk is green all the way down and there's fronds growing out the whole way through

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 1:35AM
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bradleyo_gw

It's just young, that's all. Once it experiences an all-out Pittsburgh winter, we'll see how much green is left.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 5:47AM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

I have a 8 ft. tall one in SC (8A) and it's not growing much.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 11:49PM
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butiaman(8a Douglasville,GA.)

I bought a 3 gallon Washingtonia Robusta from HD last week.I potted it up tp a 5 gallon size pot.It was all green with no fronds that had been cut off.The bottom 2 fronds started turning yellow with brown tips three days ago.I took it out of the pot today to check if the potting mix was staying to wet.It was damp in the bottom of the pot,and I had not watered it since I potted it up.I was useing Jungle Growth potting mix.I changed the potting mix to the mircle grow for palms.Does it sound like it was staying to wet or could this be a sighn of a nutrient deficiency?I put one TBSP. of Carl Pools fertilizer in with the palm potting mix.I did this because I looked up Washingtonia robustas and it said to give them a good fertilizer while there growing.Should I water everyday or let it dry out between waterings?It was still growing while the bottom fronds were turning yellow with brown tips,but I noticed the secound set of fronds was starting to get brown tips.What does it sound like is going on,did I do the right thing?Oh by the way the palm has always been in full sun.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:53PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

Robustas love summer moisture when its warm outside as long as it drains out pretty well (keeping the soil a little moist, but not in standing water). These plants love heat, sun, and fertilizer.
I think that it could just be in shock right now. Sometimes palms decline for no real reason other then some stress. Cut out all the dieing leaves and maybe some of the brown tips so it looks a little better.
Im sure that in a few weeks it will start looking really nice again.

Good luck!
-Alex

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 1:46PM
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james760

i agree with Alex, its just suffering from shock. watering every day or other day should be sufficient durning warm/hot weather if the drainage is fare!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 3:06PM
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butiaman(8a Douglasville,GA.)

It's been so hot here for the last two weeks that we have afternoon thunderstorms everyday.I dont have to worry about watering anything.Thanks

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 10:40PM
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lzrddr(91360)

This is a very fast growing palm in southern California- easily our fastest, though certainly not the fastest growing palm in the world (many palms grow a lot faster in the tropics). But it really is a weed here.

This shot shows a typical sidewalk crack full of weeds.. .these are less than a year old

Here are some 2 and maybe 3 years old, also weeds spread by birds pooping out the only partially digested seeds

Then some manage to get up to this size (about 4 to maybe 5 years old) before the city comes along and chops them down)

Here is about an 8 year old palm that looks like it's gonna make it

Palms about 20-25 years old here

Over 50 years old here, starting to pray to the Pacific Ocean, the direction just about all avenue palms finally lean toward once they get tall enough

80 year old palms in Los Angeles

And lastly, a shot of a couple mature palms, one W filiferi, and one W robusta... no idea if these were planted at the same time, but if so, they seem to be keeping pace.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:53AM
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jimhardy

Great shots doc!

I would love to see a collection of Trachy pics on a new thread if you feel like posting one,
I-and I think the peeps on EPS-really enjoyed your pics of Latisectus and Oreophilus,
some even speculated(if I remember correctly)that the Oreo's might be Takil.

Would love to see a Trachy thread with your favorite Trachy shots,I am a Trachoholic!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 7:16PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

Mine in Zone 8A does not grow much. It is planted next to a brick house (about 2-3 ft. from a wall and window) on the South side and gets sun most of the afternoon, but not on late afternoon. It's been planted about 5-6 inches lower, I believe and I just undug the bottom part and it did not release any roots as suggested by the nursery who planted it. They planted another Robusta way too high, i believe exposing at least 3 inches of roots. As you can see in the photos, it has not grown much by June 6, 2010 and it was planted in August 2009 and had plenty of care and I fertilized it in May with spikes. Then I drove to Barnwell, SC which is close to where I live and all these Washingtonias there that were mostly brown and broken in this last winter have full heads of green again. So Washingtonia Robusta seems doing wel in Zone 8A here in SC, yet mine is not growing much. I just undug the extra 5-6 inches round the tree to see if that will help it grow still this year. The nursery refused to replant them on a proper depth unless I pay them. Any suggestions?

Pictures:

Washingtonia in Barnwell, SC (below):

http://yfrog.com/0fpalms028j

My Washingtonia Robusta in Zone 8A (below), the half-green frond I believe is still from last winter, two stems grew between 5 and 8-10 inches but no new fronds yet and it's June already.

http://yfrog.com/9gpalms046j
http://yfrog.com/jxpalms044j

Here is a link that might be useful: My Washingtonia Robusta in Zone 8A

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 11:29AM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

Here I took a photo of Washingtonia Robusta growing in shade in Barnwell, SC. No problem. Yet in the same area mine is not growing much (see above post).

http://yfrog.com/5ipalms040j

Here is a link that might be useful: Washingtonia Robusta growing in shade in Barnwell, SC (Zone 8A)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 12:04PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

I would ask for a refund and tell them its not growing and to do something about it!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 12:54PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

Here I took a photo of Washingtonia Robusta growing in shade in Barnwell, SC. No problem. Yet in the same area mine is not growing much (see above post).

http://yfrog.com/5ipalms040j

Here is a link that might be useful: Washingtonia Robusta growing in shade in Barnwell, SC (Zone 8A)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 11:44PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

I just noticed that my last post got reposted somehow... ? Probably because after reading it I clicked on BACK button, but usually websites prevent from such posts happening.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 11:46PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

Does anyone know how many inches of soil has to become dry for Wash. Robusta before watering again? Also, does this apply for newly planted Robustas as well? Thanks. :-)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 2:58PM
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fr8train(4 Wyoming)

I personally get a lot more growth out of my robusta than I do out of my filifera. The filifera seems to only grow when I take it inside for the winter and stop watering it. Right now it's been raining almost every day and it's stopped growing completely, I have it in the garage now and I'm hoping it will recover once it dry's up.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 6:00PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

typically in the same place and conditions r. will grow 3x faster than f. or more. That is increase of trunk height.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 8:18PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

That is so frustrating when a 10 ft. tall Wash. Robusta stops growing the next spring it was planted after (planted in Aug. 2009). It showed promising although not phenomenal growth and then stopped growing right in the middle of growing season... weird. I hope someone who has many years of W.R. growing experience can advice how to make it grow again. The soil has dried out yet it does not show any signs of growth or decline.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 10:37PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

In my area temperatures have been 15F minimum, which makes it to (almost) zone 8B. Although 355 days a year the temperatures here are matching zone 9A/9B. Therefore it's rather a transitional zone 8A/8B. Wash. Robusta should grow here without problems same as it does without any problems in Barnwell, SC, Columbia, SC, Augusta, GA (deeper inland) and in Orangeburg, SC. After a lot of research myself I came up with an idea that it does not grow probably because its roots are suffocating from being planted about at least 3 inches too deep. All palms in Barnwell were planted correctly and mine was planted too deep. The nursery refuses to replant it unless I pay for replanting, yet they told me they fired the guy who was planting my tree. Go figure.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 3:14PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

Yesterday we replanted my Washingtonia Robusta higher with it's trunk fully above soil level. When we pulled it from the ground, the root ball was quite small, maximum 3 feet wide, probably a little less. I was afraid pulling it will create a big mess around it, but it was not. I suppose Washingtonia does not let it's roots neither very deep neither far away from the tree?

I will keep you posted whether it resumes it's growth now or else.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:19AM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

This winter (2010/2011) I have two new Washingtonias overwintering without protection (they are all brown and "broken" now in this z8b weather) in Zone 8A yet so far we did not have anything below 17F (couple of nights only) and the rest was 20F or above (nights only), which I consider mostly zone 9A weather with two nights into z8b, so basically where I live is about 20 miles south of the z7b "border" yet we are having mainly z8b weather most of the time, while temps below 15F are rare. Wonder if the USDA zone maps are outdated by now.

P.S. I suspect that my Washingtonias are Washingtonia Filibusta (hybrid of Washingtonia Filifera and Robusta), because they have some (not many) threads like Filifera does. Yet they don't like even the Zone 8B weather. Mine are about 8-10 ft. tall, but I saw small ones just 2 foot tall ones in town nearby and some of them even got little to no damage this winter. Go figure....

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:09AM
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jimhardy

Any pictures?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:19AM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)

Hi Neonrider,
I have an idea what can help you.
The smaller washy's in town could be located a little better somehow(microclimate-wise). I really would consider some protection for yours (on bad winters)since you are relatively close to z7b. Although temps have not been record cold, the south has had lots of frozen precip and just keeping a washy dry can add half to a full zone of protection. It may not be to late to protect the buds.

Also I observed the cold has been more consistent than usual down south. My family's house in south Florida saw below freezing a few times; which is a real shock for their coconut trees. The house is literally a 3.5 hour drive south of the cocnut tree line.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 3:17PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

My older Washingtonia has died (not growing at all), but the other two overwintered without protection and are now growing since February, although do not have full fronds developed yet, just about a foot of new growth. All I did was pour copper fungicide after the freezing temperatures once. The fronds on one Washy are rgowing but the central bud... half of it is kind of brown and yellowish green below and very soft and looks in trouble.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 11:02PM
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kaotickelly

hi i just planted a W. Robusta and i did alot of research and went through all the steps of soaking and everything. I made a very cheap green house out of soda bottles i sowed 1/4" deep. so i wanted to know how long it could take for it to sprout. and if anyone has any tips for me that would be great i live in new mexico and the summers are hot but the winters are very cold so if it can grow in like ohio and pennsalvania im sure it can grow in NM right? you can email me on some tips for care and how to prepare and care for it in the winter if they even grow i just planted them on 08/31/11 yesterday so cant get ahead of myself klucio@live.com

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 11:39AM
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