Who here is growing palms well north of their growing zones?

wheelman1976August 1, 2011

While it seems "normal" to see someone in the northern areas of the US to have a windmill palm in their yard and making it through winter with protection, I am curious who has other palms that are well out of their growing zones and succeeding with them? If so, what types and what's your process for overwintering them?

I'll admit, I'm intrigued by the mule palm and whether I could make one work in Michigan or not....

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I have some in northern utah, trachys have made it through 2 winters with just lights around the truck they mostly defoliate but recover the cidp gets a styrofoam enclosure with a space heater usually from early december to early march. Meds get wrappped with c9 bulbs and some burlap or plastic a couple times a year on really cold nights. Here are some pics.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:26PM
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Wow ttls1, thats really really impressive! I cant say that I have ever seen a Phoenix tried in a zone 7, but I have considered trying them and maybe if I get a really nice one for a good price somewhere, I will try them outside!

So far my most tender palm that I have succeded with is my Livistonia chinensis . Its a zone 9a palm (maybe 8b in a shady spot) but it survived last winter with no damage (until I was too lazy to put protection on it in late Feb when it got down to 20F). I gave it christmas lights, a frost cloth, and a plastic garbage bin.

This year Im trying a silver saw palmetto with the same protection as my Livistonia. Its a zone 9a palm also (I've heard them dying in the low 20s, unlike the green form which can handle teens). Its going to be a challenge, but Im not adding lights to any of my Trachycarpus this winter (since I had one do well without heat last year) and I guess I will be giving that palm the christmas lights instead!).

Sabal Domingensis didnt make it (but it got close). They are definitely zone 9 palms, but I can tell they arent very big fans of frosts when young.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:55AM
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The least hardy of the "hardy"???

1.Tree ferns(5 varieties)
5.Butia Eriospatha

After that
2 Needle palms
9 varieties of Trachy
2 varieties of Sabal

Also trying a Brahea "super silver"

About 30 or so palms planted out.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:17AM
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jimhardy, do you have all those still alive growing in a 5b? I'm curious what you do for protection through the winter for each?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 9:40PM
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orchiddude(+7b ALabama)

I grow spindles, bottles and some others in North Alabama. I will try to post pic later today.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 7:41AM
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Here are a few pics....
I cover the Cactus and some of the palms in the middle
with a plastic sheet pulled over arched cattle(fencing)panels.
This is good unless you get 15" of snow. )-:

I also make some covers with wire fencing,etc.
I put a couple of layers of opaque foam insulation
and 1" bubble wrap around it.
The bigger "g-house"is heated with a space heater,the
smaller styrofoam rose covers etc,are heated with x-mas lights.

Ice station zebra.(-:

Last Sept,before things were dug up/covered up.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:12PM
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Maybe I should start a thread, but I'd love to see some photos of how people wrap their palms for the winter and how they protect them... This last post is quite interesting. I'm curious, since I have two newly planted windmills here in michigan, how much sunlight do they need to get? Or can you enclose completely where they don't get any sun (such as a plywood enclosure).

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 4:35PM
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Palms will go dormant in the winter when temps drop below a certain temp. Is it 50? Anyone? So they don't need water or sunlight.

Others in colder zones can give more advice since I've never covered my windmills in winter. Perhaps a thread dedicated to winterizing palms and photos of members' techniques might be in order. There are older threads on here too you can research.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:21PM
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There is a device called a Thermocube you can use....
one model turns power on/off at 35F/45F.
This is just a 2 outlet out of one device with
a built in thermostat.
The nice thing about keeping palms above
freezing is you avoid constant bud freeze.
I use these devices with my Washys/Tree ferns and will
expand to all the palms outside the big enclosure this year.
This is a good range to keep it from growing-
the cooler it stays the less the concern for light,
I have overwintered plenty of palms in leaf cages
(or the like)where there is no light.

Trachys will keep growing below 50F,when soil temps go
below 50F they will stop or grow very slowly.

Check out the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thermocubes

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 12:00AM
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k4idx(7 -GA)

I have a Livistona Chinensis planted in my yard that has returned every year for the last 3 years. This one was given to me and I wasn't crazy about it, so I actually don't provide any protection for it but it's thriving on the southside of the house! Also, I have a Phoenix Sylvestris on the southeast side of the house that's growing faster then kudzu! These are in addition to Trachy's, Butia's, and Med Fan's.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 5:18PM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)

Hi Wheelman,

I really like what you did with the palms.

Here's a picture of my tracky this summer - its been growing ouside 2-3 years.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:22AM
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thanks Brooklyngreg on the compliment. I have to admit, I'm rather impatient.... as long as I don't kill my first two this year, I want some bigger ones next year. I want to feel like I'm walking around Miami in my back yard!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 9:54PM
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