Outdoor Areca Palm in SoCal

cmventuraNovember 19, 2010

Hey guys, I want your opinion. About 5 months ago I purchased (from Home Depot) a beautiful Areca palm for $15. It was in their indoor plant section, but since it was only $15 I thought what the hell I'll put it outside in half-day sun. It has been doing GREAT! growing and shooting new spears (no acclimatization at all) So...I decided, today, to buy another one. Difference is, this one will receive more sun and it's in a much windier spot. I know these are all over the tropics, where the equatorial sun and wind hits them hard, but they look so beautiful always. Anyone has had experience with these in full sun/wind?...how about night time lows now that winter is approaching. We don't have freezer here ever (except for VERY rare occasions) I'm in zone 10b...some say it's 11 - Santa Monica, California.

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The wind might be a problem and the sun during extremely hot and dry days, but if you keep them well watered during very hot days they will be fine. Maybe you can get one of those fan misters and put it near the plants (but I assume that if you are in a zone 10b you are very close to the water which means that it probably doesnt get extremely hot and dry often.
Anyways these palms will be fine in the cooler weather however they may not look there best. They shouldnt die if temperatures stay above freezing, or even if they dipped a little bit below freezing occasionally/

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 6:05PM
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There are many contradictory USDA zone maps about, but the correct ones show no zone 11 in California, and there is no zone 11. Zones 10b are very rare, but parts of Santa Monica could indeed be zone 10b. Either way, what do you mean by 'Areca palm'? Areca palm is a common name for Dypsis lutescens, a very easy and commonly grown palm in southern California (I can even grow them here in zone 9b in San Fernando Valley, though they don't tend to look as nice as those grown in Santa Monica). OR, Areca is also a genus of palm which is a very tropical genus, of which there really is only one species (triandra) that can survive anywhere in California reliably for more than 2-3 years (and still tends to look pretty bad). I have seen both for sale at Home Depot, though only seen Areca triandra offered a few times. The other is a staple for them, and is commonly sold as an indoor palm, though it performs far better outdoors (struggles mightily with low light situations) in California. Excellent and beautiful palm... it will look incredible in 10-20 years.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 1:27AM
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They really like full sun. They can put up with outdoor shade-but the fronds tend to be weak and stretched. Thats my SF bay area experience..with Santa Monica like weather more or less. The one hard freeze in 20 years that's been our struggle with tropicals-lol.
I have one in ground and a newer one I bought in January '10 that actually has trunk. Its even sent out a horizontal flower stalk that grew slowy to 6" sideways..and still is in progress. Jeez,how long can a palm flower stalk take to open?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 12:25PM
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You should have no problems growing Dypsis lutescens in Santa Monica. It is a very tolerant palm. If you grow it in shade, you will have the nice green trunks. If you grow it in sun, the trunk will turn orange.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 12:29AM
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