DC Area Palm Growers-How do they look?

the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)April 26, 2006

I was initially worried about my Trachys, but now all but the two really windburned ones are pushing out new spears and really greening up. Even the damaged ones are responding to the warmer weather. How are yours looking this year after the winter? How about your other cold hardy tropicals. My Musa Basjoo is over 6 feet tall already and I can almost hear it screaming "FEED ME!"

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braspadya(z7a MD)

I kept my largest Trachycarpus fortunei outside in its pot all winter, with no apparent ill effects. I'm hoping to get it planted out in the next month.

My Meditteranean fan palm took a beating, though. It was outside most of the winter, except for a few of the coldest nights. Almost all of the suckers died in the winter, and the leaves on the main stem are just not looking too hot.

Lots of other stuff overwintered very nicely...Canna 'Red Stripe', Setcreasea pallida, Erythrina x bidwillii, and Zantedeschia aethiopica. And Musa basjoo is going to town....but that is no longer surprising :-)

The only other major casuality appears to be my dwarf pomegranate. This is the second one which has perished outside in a protected location in a raised bed during a pretty mild winter. I am really wondering what the folks at the US Arboretum have done to get their 2 trees to grow to such heroic proportions.....

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 9:40PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)


If I may make a suggestion, get that palm in the ground ASAP as it needs as much of the growing season as possible to get a good root system and store up sugar for the winter. Use a good 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer and amend the planting hole with compost and plant in mound for good drainage and mulch well. I left my palms in the pots outside too long and when it warmed up the roots dried out a bit. They seem much happier in the ground now and are starting to grow well.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 11:59PM
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thistle5(z7 VA)

My windmill also overwintered successfully, although I moved it from its pot to the ground kind of late, October, I think, & I don't think the location is too good, either, it's about 3-4 ft. in front of the dryer vent which spews moist, warm air whenever I dry clothes. It looks a little spindly, what would be a good fertilizer?
Also, in that 'tropical' bed I had 2 figs overwinter just fine, Battaglia's Verte & Mystery fig, just put in a 'Conadria' fig, all from the nice folks at Paradise Nursery in VA Beach-I now have 6 figs dotted around. To that area, which is mulched w/ cypress mulch (I have mixed feelings about that), I added centranthus ruber, 2 hypericum, 2 variegated lantana, 'Tropical Fruit'-I thought the lantana might have to be an annual (I'm from NC, where it's usually perennial), but one of mine from last summer, 'Desert Dawn' or Sunrise, I think, made it & has lots of new growth! I would like to add a fatsia japonica, a musa basjoo (have a dwarf Cavendish, but this won't overwinter, right? also, this area gets intermittent water), setacresia, Persian Shield (has anyone overwintered this?)
Most of my orchids, except for the paphs, are outside & doing fine- thanks again Braspadya, for the gift of the lovely plants! I also moved 4 hibiscuses outside, alittle spindly, but I cut them back hard & if it warms up soon, I hope they'll take off...Thistle

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 1:41PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

Thistle5: Any good 10-10-10 fertilizer should be fine and make sure that it is well mulched and watered over the hot growing season. A bi-monthly application of Miracle Gro is also very benefitial to palms while they are growing. A light application of Epsom salts is helpful too.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 11:01AM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

Recovery of all my palms seems to be very good. All are pushing, almost shoving out new fronds.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 11:29AM
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