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Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Posted by HardyPalmFreak (7b)(Bronx, NY) (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 7, 12 at 0:08

Where can you purchase cold hardy palms in that area? Would the box stores like Lowes and Home Depot sell them? I might be going down there this month and I wanted to know if there were any specific spot selling cold hardy palms, especially Needles, Sabals, and Waggies.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

I got mine from Ralph at Pungo Palms ( ) in Virginia Beach, I believe the Sandbridge area. Very nice, gave me a tour of his nursery, which is actually his house. Had a large selection of just the type of stuff you are looking for. Brought home a large selection of hardy palms, yuccas, cacti. etc... in smaller containers, which was perfect because we had to squeeze them into the nooks and crannies of our fully stuffed vacation-mobile.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

A little closer to home, I saw Needles, Windmills, and CIDPs at my local HD yesterday for $30. Was tempted to get one of the Needles. Looked to be abt 3 gallon pots and pretty well established. Might wait, however, for the nursery in Colts Neck, where I get annuals at an absurdly low price, to begin advertising. Last year, they had windmills and queens dirt cheap considering, and they were healthy plants.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

I go to Virginia beach every year and I always stop by Pungo palms. Its definitively worth visiting.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Thank you very much for your feed back! I will definatley be visiting this pungo nursery! Trishmick - where exactly was that Home Depot? Thanks again.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

The Home Depot in Virginia Beach/Norfolk does carry hardy palms. I was there a few years back, and they had Med Fan palms and Dioon Edule, which was cool to see. It's nice to support the local nurseries, but I think the big box stores have a bigger selection sometimes at better prices. I remember going to Panama City Lowe's and buying a 25 gallon needle palm for $89, so I always opt for Lowe's/HD if they're located where you're going.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Store is on Rt. 66, eastbound side in Neptune. So, if you're heading to the Shore, take a look. Never seen them there before...usually its Lowes. Again...better option possible at a small nursery elsewhere. Little early yet...

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

If the Lowes and Home Depots here in Coastal Delaware carry windmills, minors, needles, med fans and pindos, I can only imagine that the ones in VB carry an even wider selection.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Will try all of the box stores first then. Thanks again fellow palm fans!

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

I have to interject and hope not to offend anybody but please do not stop at a big box store! Having been to the Virginia Beach stores, I can assure you the selection is poor, as it is with all big box stores, the plants are poorly taken care of , and you might save a few bucks to buy from somebody who knows absolutely nothing about plants! People who think the selection is good at a big box store don't have any good nurseries left in their area because Lowes, HD and WalMart ran them out of business. It is very sad to me to see all of the really good nurseries gradually go out of business because the idea of customer service has gone from spending time with your customers, sharing your knowledge and providing services that big boxes can't, to a 1 year guarantee on plants! All people care about now is getting their single variety of arborvitae or rhododendron available for a couple of bucks less, planting it wherever they want despite the growing conditions of the plant, killing it and getting their money back 1 year later. These are the idiots that buy a rhododendron, plant it on a pile of rocks in full sun and wonder why it died. And the worst part is the big box doesn't pay the price, the wholesaler does. I refuse to shop at certain big box stores and only buy at some of them when I absolutely can't find something anywhere else.

Go to Pungo Palms first at least, Ralph has plants big and small at better prices than the big box, he'll provide you with education, his experience, and the plants I got from him I got a great deal on, and the selection, if Ralph carried 100 varieties of cold hardy palms and subtropicals (all of the kinds we talk about here and read about in books like "Palms Don't Grow Here"), the big box stores had maybe 2. Sorry for the rant, but the big box stores are why everybody's landscapes look the same, and as a salesman who knows people don't buy from people they don't like, who are we actually buying from at a big box. A nameless, faceless, gutless corporation that pays people who know nothing about a trade minimum wage, ships jobs overseas and puts our neighbors and good paying jobs out of business.

So go to a big box if you want rhododendrons, pear trees and the same standard perennials you can get at every single big box no matter where you go in the country, along with the odd trachy or needle, or go somewhere else and get dozens of varieties (and cultivars) of palms, yucca, cacti, agave, citrus, etc... You won't regret going to Pungo first.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

I totally agree with Brad about the big box stores and how they hurt smaller garden centers (as well as hardware, other mom & pop stores, etc) and I prefer to patronize the smaller places. That being said the small garden centers aren't selling hardy palms here. The few that do only carry one variety of windmills. Lowes and Home Depot carried five and six varieties of hardies.

True, they were mostly blue pot palms for what that is worth. Some people think the blue pot hardies, but I generally have had great luck with them. Like any purchase, its important to be educated and know what you're looking for because as Brad said you won't get much information at HD or Lowes or Walmart. Perhaps VB is different since it much palmier area (plus they'll have more selection).

Definitely check out Pungo Palms first! Although a friend of mine was disappointed with their lack of selection (picky? Or just a bad time to visit?). But from his posts, I'm sure Hardypalmfreak knows his palms well enough to make educated purchases at Pungo, Lowes, or any garden center there. Enjoy!

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

I stopped by home depot in Virginia beach last year they had a few cold hardies but nothing compared pungom palms.

In the past i boutgh the following from pungo palms

potted sabal palmetto
sabal blackburnia
variegated giant reed
various cactus
variegated ycaa alofolia and glorisa
cold hardy agaves
pindo palm
musa basjoo

If i remember correctly i think i remeber seeing
cold hardy citrus, hibiscus
other cold hardies

You would never find any of this at big box stores

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

I too have to give a plug for Pungo. Ralph and Kathy are amazing and have more knowledge in their little finger than anyone combined at the big box stores. In addition, the palms at Pungos are raised in Virginia and are probably a bit more cold hardy.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Thanks again for your honesty. Will check Pungos first!

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Funny. A lot of venom directed at HD and others, with good reason in many ways. I rarely buy plants there since I can usually get a better variety and more volume elsewhere at the same or lesser price. Anyway, had time while working, so I stopped by my local HD again to see how those hardy palms were doing. Very windy day 'round here yesterday. Saw that many were gone and several still there had been blown over and not uprighted. Same with a whole bunch of Majesties. I set a Sabal Minor back on its feet and noticed that it was just about shot. Lots of soil missing and bone dry fronds to the touch. Similar conditions on most other types still out there. Shame. At that point, they should have been giving them away.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Hi Guys !!

Sorry i'm late to the party!!!

Been working alot around here and i don't get to visit as often as i'd like...

Pungo Palms is a great place to visit... I actually talked to him 18+ years ago when i was starting to become interested in palms. Nice Man... lots of dogs tho! LOL.. (Friendly ones..)

Coastal Landscping is on the way to Pungo Palms... (Tom) another geat guy!!!

Winesett Nursery is out there in that area as well. ALthough, it is a large is not a "Box store" and is family owned. Great place to visit. You must look at all three because they are all out in the Sandbridge area ( Pungo) area of Virginia Beach.

The Big Stores do have lots of Hardy Palms.. I noticed they are carring more and more now . I try not to get to close because i have enough big palms in my yard. (I cant believe i just said that!!) LMAO...

Justin also has some great palms and he could help you. ANother "Local" man who has a great selection. "Paradisepalms" is the name of his business.

McDonalds Nursery has lots to offer, but are expensive...

There is another nursery at the Farmers Market. i cant recall the name, but i can find out if you want me to !!!

Four Seasons on Military Hwy...

I would also like to say that going with the small family owned business are the best way to keep them floating.

Hope this helps...

Take care all...


RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Where the HECK ya been, Laura? Have missed you since our "date" at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Went to Pungo Palm Nursery and he had so many different types of cold hardy palms. I bought two Takils and a Waggie! But he had many kinds of sabal minors, Trachycarpus palms, needles, and many more! Thanks for the recommendation fellow palm enthusiasts! Visited many locals in both Virginia beach and Delaware. Will post pics soon and will post videos soon on my channel on YouTube. Btw all of the home depots and lowes stores had minors, needles, meds, windmills and cycads bot healthy and beautiful specimens and large ones too. Will keep you all posted on the pics and videos.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Can't wait for those pics

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach


Norfolk Botanical Garden




RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Those beach side Hurricane cut palmettos in VB really take a beating. The palmettos deeper into the wooded neighborhoods look happier away from the cold ocean wind.

Sorry I didn't know you were in the area when you Rte visiting Rehoboth Beach. You found the palmiest property in town. I know the owner and get was one of the palm pioneers on the Delaware Coast. There are many more, but mostly hidden behind homes (like my place) and surprisingly a lot in the newer suburban type of neighborhoods. It'll get palmier in the years to come with the variety of hardiness being sold at garden centers. We are in a bit of a sweet spot as we really don't need to winter protect windmills.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach


Great looking pictures!!

Makes me smile to see the pics of VB... especially down at the area around King Neptune!!!

Hope that you were pleased with the trees that you brought home!!!

Hey Wetsuiter!!

I have been working to much and im ready for a break!! I have really been busy with getting my other trees (Plumies) ready for the season and starting cuttings and pruning and repotting... then watching the temps rise and fall here has been exhausting.. I think i have moved the trees in and out at least five times. The temps went down to the mid to upper 30's last night. Hopefully this will be the last of the lows like that!!

I am still around.. : ) The show at PHL was wonderful!! Lots of fun!! Hope all is well with everyone!!!

Take care,


RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

A Monkey Puzzle tree together with a Lawn Jockey. Appealingly zany. Great shots. Thanks.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

AWESOME PICS! Thanks for sharing! Glad you enjoyed Pungo, if you don't mind I'd love to see your stash that you bought, esp. from Pungo. I hope you told Ralph and family I said Hi.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach


Will post pics soon of my new palms. Thanks guys for the responses and suggestions!

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Please stop by my place in va beach off London Bridge rd we have more palms than anyone around this area and much better quality. You have to stop by and at least check things out!

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

great pics, HPF!! Thanks for sharing :)

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Will keep that in mind tropicspalms. Thank you zocalo1!

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach (More Pics)

Here are the pictures of the needles, sabal minors, waggie, and takil that I purchased in Virginia Beach.





Needles and Sabal Minors



I know a great deal of people don't believe a true Takil when they see one, but according to Ralph from Pungo Palms in Virginia Beach this is a takil. He even has two large takils on his property and showed the difference between a fortunei and a takil. As you can see from the picture the really curved, bulging trunk is a give-away sign of a tru takil.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Im not sure if thats a takil. I think they have silvery undersides of the leaves, The leaves are also deeply divided and they grow a bare trunk when they are older. I have a trachy thats suppose to be a takil, but im not sure if it is.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

I'm not so sure it's Takil either. I know ralph is convinced of it but there has been much discussion on other boards and the general concensus is that true Takils could not be that old here. You may have a nainital which is close to a Takil and a great palm, but the subject is highly controversial , you should post these on the hardy palm and subtropical board for a better opinion

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

I hope it is though.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

HD here in Sandbridge area is selling Phoenix "Sylvester" as "cold hardy." I am not sure that I am buying into that being hardy ENOUGH. Lowes sold Coontie's and they aren't that cold hardy either. I think Phoenix Canary Island would make it here, and I've grown Washingtonia Filifera successfully.

Rehoboth, I wasn't aware that palms grew so well there, but it makes some sense, since you are situated south of the Delaware Bay similar to Va Bch being south of the Chesapeake. Have you seen any Sabals there? That's one tree that I think is at it's northern limits in Va Bch. The Dentons (Pungo Palms) have beautiful specimens around 30 feet tall in their yard that they grew from seed. Yeah, I've been there a couple times for potted sabals (I prefer over the ones that were dug up) and citrus. He sure knows his stuff, and is willing to give you PLENTY of knowledge.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lago Mar Weather

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Lago, yeah the Delaware Coast has a pretty favorable climate for windmills and such. They are not is wide spread because people just aren't aware of such thing as cold hardy palms and the availability is not as great as in VB. It's getting better. The early "palms pioneers" like the Royal Rose B&B shown above illustrate the great potential here. They have been my garden inspiration and I have windmills lining my Victorian wrap around porch.

We are a high end zone 7b here according to the 2012 USDA map. Earlier revisions by AHS and Arbor Day placed the immediate coast as the northern most extreme of 8a. That latter point seems to really ruffle feathers for some reason. But those of us who live on the coast know that we're in a bit of a sweet spot. You hit a very interesting point about the geography of our coast (Delaware Bay to our north) mimicking VB coast (Chesapeake Bay to their north). They are a good half zone milder being 100 to 120 miles due south, but also closer to Gulf Stream which is deflected out to sea by the OBX of NC. We recognize we're not VB climate, but we're not far off either, which people find hard to believe.

I agree with you that pot grown palmettos are a better long term survivor. They are hard to come by in most places in the areas. Never seen here. There are some very rare palmettos here. I did a thread in the fall (Sabal Palmettos in Delaware) you can look for. There is a hurricane cut palmetto near Bethany Beach that was planted by a friend if mine at his former garden center. It was growing slowly and had some setbacks. But he sold the center to a woman who is "palms clueless". She didn't protect it winter a year ago, but surprisingly it recovered nicely and was getting a decent green crown by November. Then she cooked it with lights wrapped in plastic this winter. We write it off. Shame. It would've been better off left alone. After this mild winter, it would've come through perfectly and had a great summer growth a head of it. Yesterday, my friend texted me that the palm is still alive! It has 8" of new green growth pushing out of the top. It just shows the resilience of the mighty sabal palmetto.

Hurricane cut palmettos are a poor choice for marginal areas like here. But that one is an interesting experiment. A smaller, pot grown palmetto has been at a Fenwick Island (inches above the MD/DE line) for a few summers, is un protected other than seated infringe of a very short wall. It looks great and is example of why this type should be tried more often. Again, they are not available. I've read extensively about palmetto and most sites say they are an 8a tree, but hardy to 7b with good seating. I'm going to do a drive to Gary's nursery this week to pick up pot grown 7 gal. palmettos and a Birmingham.

Besides the "Sabal Palmetto in Delaware" thread, I did "A palmy visit to Bethany Beach" a few weeks ago, you might find interesting. Bethany Beach seems to have an even sweeter microclimate because if the Inland Bays to their northwest, which may moderate cold winter winds.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

What is that spikey plant in front of the Royal Rose Inn in Rehoboth Beach? I've seen those around but I don't know what they are.

RE: Norfolk & Virginia Beach

Monkey puzzle tree. They can get really big, so not the best place for it in a constricted front town garden. Also everyone stops to hawk and touch the really sharp spiney leaves.

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