outdoor container palm suggestions needed

ddggFebruary 25, 2010

I live on a lake, my deck is directly on the water.

Very windy, cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

This spring I would like to put a couple of potted palms

or other large tropical plants on my deck for privacy and beauty. I doubt any palm would survive the winter, the north wind blows directly off the lake onto the deck. But maybe could take indoors for next winter. Or, do you think Majesty Palms, or someother "disposable" (although I would hate to)tropical plant would survive in pretty much direct sun and wind on my deck for the summer. 6-8 tall and/or wide or so. Thanks for the suggestions.

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Boca_Joe(zone 7A)

I have learned after many years, the disposable option is teh way to go. WIth all of the cheap plants at Home Depot and COSTCO etc.. not worth the buggy, brown troubled mess all winter.

If you do go with a keeper, I would definitely leave it in its pot and then just sink the pot into the planter pot on the deck. That way in the fall , if you do want to take the plant in, you just lift the plant and pot out, blast off the pot and leaves with the hose and then bring inside!

Majesty palms are a good choice as well as giant white bird of paradise.

good luck!

Boca Joe

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 4:51PM
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I suggest you plant a windmill palm or pindo or sabal all are winter hardy n zone 8

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 8:35PM
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My favorite palms for that extra tropical look would have to be Syagrus (Queen palm), followed by Phoenix roebelini (Pygmy date), and maybe Phoenix canariensis. All would have to be protected from frost. I overwinter my queens in the garage (they are tall so the house is out of the question, and also they DO NOT get buggy if kept cool and humid over the winter. What I like about the Pygmy is that it looks like the stereotypical palm tree (trunking and feathery fronds)--but one a small, manageable, containerized scale. The canariensis is cold hardier but can be prickly sharp and more Mediterranean-looking than tropical but they are massive palms and very robust (but need hard frost protection). If I had to choose one, I'd pick the Queen palm and worry about raising the roof for this big boy.--If you can only overwinter in the house,I would go with larger Pygmy dates. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:02PM
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bihai(zone 9)

My Pygmy Dates and Queen palm have made it outdoors here planted in the ground without damage for 8 years...until this winter. We had a record 13 nights, straight, below freezing. They are very badly burned.
Its too early to tell yet if one of the Pygmy Dates is dead, it still has one green frond. The Queen may be okay too, have to wait and see. When spring really comes, I'll go out and test the last emergent frond. If it doesn't pull out, I'll know they are still viable and I need to wait. Same with most of the Pygmy dates, except the one lucky guy.

In contrast, my Pindos, Mediteranean Fans, Sabals and my Needle Palms are all intact, not even leaf burn. I would recommend those to you for container palms for your deck. The Needle is the hardiest, it will survive temps below zero. The only problem is, large specimens can be hard to locate and expensive. All of mine are over 20 years old.

I have a few Saribus palms planted out, they are very hardy, but the leaves always burn in a hard freeze so they look unsightly for a bit.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 7:15PM
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Bihai, I agree that Pindos, Med. Fans, Sabal and Needles are MUCH hardier than Queens and Pygmy Dates but the poster expressed the desire to plant in containers (not in the ground) and I'm sure even these would suffer some in a container in a zone 8 winter (unless protected)--containers are just MUCH colder than the ground. So, if the poster is going to have to protect anyway, he/she might as well consider something that is much more tropical-looking and faster growing. Of course, if the poster is willing to plant in the ground and be patient, then they can consider Sabals (especially like S.mexicana), Chamaerops, Raphidophyllum (Needles) or a Pindo (Butia capitata). I wish you luck with the Bihai, I had spear pull on one two years ago but it has since completely recuperated. First summer season was disappointing but last summer it took off and even flowered. Time will tell. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 7:46PM
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bihai(zone 9)

why waste plant dollars on 'disposable' plants, even in containers?
Dollars are dollars.
Why not get the most for your dollar?
And why fuel the market for 'disposable' plants? All that does is drive the cost of all plants up over time.

And I do know the botanical names for my palms, LOL.

Whatever. I am of the school that a life is a life, and nothing should be 'disposable'. There are plants meant to last one season (they are called ANNUALS) but palm trees are not annuals. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 8:04PM
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I never said anything about disposable plants--the original poster did. I agree that it seems to be a waste to buy a temporary, seasonal plant and I never do it. By principle, I won't even buy a cut pine for X-mas. I've had some of my containerized plants for over 20 years (the Cycads). With a bit of knowledge and experience, it's not difficult to containerize and maintain most any palm, or most any plant. Further, I was agreeing with you about the potential for permanent, in-the-ground palm plantings. PS., My inclusion of the Latin names for the plants was for the possible benefit of more inexperienced growers--obviously not you.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 8:58PM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

What if a palm is kept outdoors (Z8, Z9) in a large enough container (15, 25, 45 gallon)? Will it survive the freeze being in that massive container? I see palms left in such containers in nurseries in Z8 survive all winter. Probably even Z7B.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 12:44PM
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Depends on the species, some are very cold tolerant, others wouldn't survive Z10. You also need to remember that in the ground plant roots are fairly well insulated if the ground isn't too wet. The cold can only penetrate from the top. In a pot the cold penetrates all around.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:06PM
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a needle of a fortuni, somthing like that would make it easy and you could keep them growing for years in pots

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 11:56PM
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