Windmill palm is it dead?

poaky1May 15, 2013

I will describe what it looks like. Well, it's brown. Will it put out new growth? I bought a new one today. I will baby the new one next dormant season. The tan dead fronds make me think it's dead. I have another palm that may be okay. I can take pictures if needed but am hoping someone has had experience with the Windmill palm coming back from the roots or trunk buds etc.

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arctictropical(Z4)

Poaky, if the crown died, it's a goner. If it doesn't push up new green growth within the next month, it's toast. I lost my 16' Windmill palm this winter. I think I cooked it to death with a new trial method of keeping it warm with bubble wrap and a heating cable.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 12:35AM
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poaky1

I bought another one, but it looks like it isn't happy. It was in a greenhouse at the nursery. I have it in shade but will put it where it gets full sun gradually. I thought full sun in a greenhouse isn't the same as full sun outdoors. I will try to make it happy.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:39PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Sounds like you're doing the right thing. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 12:28AM
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poaky1

The windmill palm is still potted. It likes to be dry for a while after watering. I am going to try it protected in my small greenhouse in it's pot. If it looks too bad I'll move it I n the basement. My other palms, 2 of them will be sheltered inground. One is about 18 inches tall, the other is barely above the soil. I will try burlap wrap with a "umbrella" greenhouse opened on one side. It is clear and is exactly like an umbrella besides a zipper on one side to open/close the one side it's on. I got them from Big Lots about 5 years ago. They were good for protecting tomatoes when it wasn't warm consisitently, cukes also. When we get our coldest temps I can close the zippers up more.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 11:42PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I have a Trachycarpus fortunei here in zone 6. Overall height is about 4 feet, with about 2 feet of solid trunk. Last winter, as late as I could wait, which was around the end of December, I tied the leaves up and together, covered the whole thing with several layers of bubble wrap, and then covered it all with a clear tarp to keep out any water/snow. After about 6 weeks, it seemed safe to unwrap it. When I did, all the leaves were toast.......brown and smelly. I cut off all of the dead leaves, which left only one poor one with brown tips, and another one that I cut down to about 1/3 it's original size. I did leave the stems of a few others, because they were still green. It started growing again as soon as the weather warmed, and now has 6 new and healthy leaves, with 3 more spears visible and growing. I think I'll just leave it alone this coming winter and see how it does. I took this a couple of weeks ago. You can see the 1/3 old leaf on the right, behind the gladiolus flower.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:36AM
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poaky1

Bill, I am glad for you that your's eventually turned out good. Which zone 6 are you? Eastern or Western? I am Eastern. my in-ground palms are super short. I may try some Styrofoam shelters with a couple lights, and check often in case heat build-up is an issue. We can get bitter cold and then kinda-warm for a few days. It may be more consistent in zone 4, than zone 6. Anyhoo, I am going to try a semi-vented styro-teepee or box, contraption. I have one palm that may require a Styrofoam cup with vent holes for protection, it is really only an inch out of the soil. I have one that is o nly about 16 inches tall. I have a square Styrofoam box, it was from when my dad got delivery of liquid pouches of antibiotics that were delivered through an IV.I had to set it up for him so the machine delivered the right dose through an IV. Well, the pouches came in these big Styrofoam blocks with lids. These cubes are perfect for small palm styro-shelters, but may need some breathing holes in them.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 11:08PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Poaky, I thought my name here would let you know that I'm in Rhode Island (the ri part of bill_ri_z6b). So anyway, yes I'm in the east. This coming winter will be the first one where I won't protect it. I just can't do it anymore. So, if the weather is mild, it may survive. If not, then at least I have enjoyed it for a few years. I'm going to plant out some needle palms next spring. They're fairly small now and in a pot, so I can overwinter indoors this winter.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 7:55AM
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poaky1

Sorry Bill if the ri were in CAPS I would've made the connection. I have heard that after getting some maturity, some marginally hardy plants can overwinter in colder situations. In other words, if your palm is a few years old it may be okay outside if the zone is close to it's hardiness zone.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 2:03AM
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poaky1

You may have milder overall temps being so close to the ocean. I am assuming anyway. I have one identical to your photo, but it is in a pot which I buried in mulch and put in a new raised bed by my kitchen door. I will try it protected in an unheated greenhouse, maybe protected slightly with burlap or lights.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:30AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Yes, waiting for the Gulf Stream to turn up into Narragansett Bay! LOL! Then I can grow a lot more.
Of course we can always get a severe winter, and it would probably die. I have had success with camellias and crape myrtle, a gardenia, and several yuccas and cacti, rosemary and jasmine. My fig tree always comes back from the roots, and, if a mild winter, will often grow from the previous year's wood, as it has this year, so it's about 12 feet tall. Otherwise, it grows from the ground and my reach 6-8 feet at best. Always an interesting experiment.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:22PM
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poaky1

Sorry Bill, I thought RI was closer to the Ocean than it is I guess. I will be protecting the 2 palms that are in the ground. I still have a windmill palm like in the photo above that you posted it is still potted though.. My 2 that are in-ground are not the same as your photo. They have fatter leaf sheafs that aren't as WAXY as Trach. Fort. I have tan leaves and green leaves or sheafs on one, and a green leaf barely above the ground surface on the other. I may plant the true Trachy. Fortunei next spring after last frost. My real Windmill palm seems to like it kinda shady vs sun, and that limits where I can put it unless it can adapt. Arctictropical had his in full sun, but in zone 4, is zone 4 out west more sunny than zone 4 in the east? I would think it may be.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:23AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Hi,
I think out in the west they generally average more sunny days than we do. Rhode Island is on the ocean.........our nickname is "The Ocean State" so not sure what you mean that it could be closer to the ocean. It's right on the ocean. Great beaches here if you ever visit. Anyway, I'm in Providence, and the USDA map has me in zone 6b, but the last 10 years or so we've never seen anything here colder than 7ú in my yard.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 6:46AM
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poaky1

Well, Bill in Rhode Island I had always thought, if you are close to the ocean, the winter wasn't as extreme as yards/properties away from the water. I noticed that 200 miles from my home in Pa. That is 200 miles east to the coast, towards the Atlantic ocean was zone 7 . And my hometown of Smock Pa was zone 6. The Ocean had helped my mother in laws Maryland home near the bay and the ocean be zone 7 and palms grew there and not possible in my yard. Sorry, my mind drifted away, anyhoo, if I can protye3ct i5t right I could surely gain 1 growing zone with right protection. Tommorrow is supposed to be our first frost.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 10:30PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

We may get our first frost/freeze tonight. I can't protect my Trachy this year so we'll see what happens. Maybe the winter will be a mild one. From what I've researched online, I may have T. wagnerianus and not fortuneii. I think fortuneii has larger leaves and wagnerianus has smaller ones, like mine and grows them in a spiral fashion around the trunk, like mine. If it is wagnerianus, it's supposed to be a little hardier than fortuneii, so we'll see.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 5:20PM
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poaky1

I just wrapped my 2 in ground palms with burlap around the bigger one with the pleated wider non-waxy looking leaves. The one that was at ground level, pushed out about 3 inches lately. I filled up a wire basket with fall leaves and secured it to the ground, covering the barely there palm. I used sulfur containing powder, to help with rotting issues. The original palm in this thread did die over last winter, I never covered it. The bigger palm I mentioned in this post was from winter 2012-2013 and I never covered it. New growth came back from the stem/trunk, so it may be the one that you Bill in RI mentioned you have that is hardier, the Wagnerianus. Sorry about my not knowing that RI is on the ocean, I really should get a map before I talk to people about where they live. I knew it was near the ocean, but not exactly how near.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:41PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

RI is on the coast. Google Earth if you have it (or Google Maps) will give you a good idea. Lots of people also confuse Rhode Island with Long Island, so they think it's part of New York state. To make it worse, they often confuse Providence, the capital of RI (where I live) with Provincetown, MA. Now Providence is a fair sized city, about 210,000, and 1.6 million in the entire metro area. Provincetown, on the other hand, is a small town at the very tip of Cape Code in Massachusetts and has a population of just 3,500 or so.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how our palms do this coming winter.

Do you grow any other "iffy" plants? I have had good success with hardy Camellias, a Gardenia, some jasmines and hardy rosemary plants (2 kinds), as well as cacti and yuccas.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 10:18AM
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poaky1

I have an Ansete banana that I will be trying to protect in-ground this winter. Also a cactus that is not stressed by zone 6 at all. I am almost afraid to say, Hope you have a sense of humor. That Rhode Island is near the ocean from watching "Family guy". Many episodes of Family guy have Peter Griffin being a member of a fishing boat crew, and Rhode Island is mentioned here and there. Anyway, I have 2 palms in-ground and 1 potted in my unheated greenhouse, and 3 seedlings. Really it is 2 seedlings in 1 pot, and 1 pot with 1 seedling. I have them outside on my porch. I am not sure if I should put them in the cold greenhouse or in the basement, which never goes below 66 F.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 12:26AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Yes, the Griffin family lives in "Quahog" Rhode Island. Of course there is no such town here, but then it's "Family Guy" LOL!

I would think that your palm seedlings would do better in the basement, provided they can get some light, because they will probably continue active growth at 66 or more degrees.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 2:20PM
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poaky1

I actually thought it might be real after seeing quohog clams on a label of a can. I think I will bring the potted palms in, I will plant them outdoors next spring.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 11:50PM
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alex_7b(7b/8a)

Guys, Bill has proven that with protection, T.fortunei can survive z6b.

As to the original post, Don't count a Trachie dead until July 4th; it may take that long to push up a new spear.
You will be better off to grow the thing in a pot until the roots fill a 5-gal (14" dia) pot. Until then, fortuneis will lose a spear below 20ú. I suggest dopping the pot in the ground around Easter and taking it out around Thanksgiving. Let it get big before you release it into the wilds of your yard. Then follow Bill's protection method.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 12:14PM
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poaky1

Good to know alex. I just don't know if I let it get that big, will it be too big for me to move ? The greenhouse may be fine if I protect it with burlap while it is in the greenhouse. Next winter maybe. I need to make my greenhouse stronger, we had a storm and the windows blew out, just the cheapo thin panels. Harbor freight cheapo greenhouse.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 12:47AM
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poaky1

I have housed the trachy in the house upstairs. I can't keep it moist enough to keep nice green fronds. I will be putting it in my basement where all my houseplants but a few succulents are. Upstairs is too dry. My dad is always making it too hot (hence dry) upstairs. Can I expect new spears/foliage once I get it in the moister basement? It hasn't had any frost/freeze damage at all. I should have move it sooner. It has been dry for about 3 weeks, ever since the worst continuous -0F has been going on.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:42PM
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poaky1

If anyone cares, I never moved it downstairs, but will today. It may be too dried out and not send out more fronds

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 4:23AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Poaky. Hopefully it will leaf out. All I know is since they are temperate climate palms, they do better in cooler weather than hot dry climates. As long as the temperatures are above 20 degrees in the winter, they will probably survive no matter where you put them.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:47PM
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poaky1

There is a good chance that this palm has dried out enough to kill it. I just now put it in the basement. If it dies, because I let it dry out. I am hoping I can place it where it won't dry out and die.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 2:29AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

I'm still having sad thoughts about my 16' Trachy that I cooked to death under bubble wrap. But I have two Waggies that I'm keeping inside until they are too big, and they will go outside. This year I think I will plant my Pindo Palm and another Mediterranean Fan Palm outside. My Mexican Blue Fan Palm (Hesper palm) looks awesome. I still cover it up on cold nights but it's looking great and growing. I haven't uncovered my 18-20 year old Med palm yet. The box is too big to fiddle with until I take it off for good until next Fall. I intend on uncovering it in a week.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 1:24AM
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poaky1

Arctic, I had thought you stopped with the tender plants. So you can uncover a Mediterranean palm in the 2nd week of April in zone 4? They are the semi-short kinda-wide plants in Drier climates. I guess that is a less than specific description. I have seen them when they showed snow in the middle-east. I can't remember the exact area, though.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 4:12AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Poaky1..... The Mediterranean Fan Palms are quite hardy. Almost as hardy as the Windmill Palms. The oldest palm I have outside is a Med Palm. It's been outside about 20 years. It grows in height about 1/2 the pace of the Windmill palms. It is over six feet tall but has a very thick truck, as thick as my Trachy's was. Since it is a clumping palm I cut off all of the new suckering plants several times during the growing season. A little snow won't hurt them. Temperatures in the 20's won't hurt them either.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 11:14PM
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poaky1

Good to know Arctic. I may try to build some shelters this spring, to try to protect a couple palms. Your garden pics are inspiring, to say the least.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:11AM
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poaky1

I have just planted in a raised garden bed, a windmill palm. I have planted it close to our main door, which has an outdoor plug. The last palm I had tried was no where near an electric source. I lost last years zone 6 palm, because I never put much effort in to protection of it. I think if I plant and protect in this area, I can maybe plant some palms, and have success.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 12:47AM
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bearthompson(7A-7B border (Northern VA))

I'm in Zone 7 Northern Virginia (Washington, DC suburbs), and after this record-cold winter, my 3 Himalayan Windmill palms (Trachycarpus) look completely dead (all leaves dead -- including "spear leaves" at apical meristem). l'm curious to know whether others in this area with Trachycarpus palms have noted any signs of life in them.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 6:32PM
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poaky1

Sorry for your loss bearthompson, last winter has affected many gardeners. I am starting out with a new Trachy this spring, and will be adding lights next winter. I ordered some of the Mediteranean fan palms, and they are brown already. We had no frost, we had tons of rain. Wait a minute maybe the "mediteranean" fan palms need dry soil. My soil gets tons of rain. Unless we get a drought, which we had in the 80's. I know I can't grow tender plants, unless they are near a plug. I tried burlap on a windmill palm, it is brown. I will give it til June 7, 2014. If no green then, it's dead for sure. Bearthompson, you may need to replace yours, just be prepared for a quick cover, if need be next year. You may never see such carnage again, though. Wondering bearthompson, if you have any live oaks, how have they fared? Any near you looking bad/good?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 11:38PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

After loosing my oldest palm tree (Mediterranean Fan Palm) that has been outside for over 20 years, I'm starting over! Never give up!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 3:48PM
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