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Poolside potted palm or plant for almost full sun in 7b?

Posted by oakrunfarm 7b - NC (My Page) on
Wed, May 13, 09 at 9:59

Hello all,

I've been searching for tropical-looking plants or (preferably) palms that can go in a large pot planter and that will be able to deal with full or almost full sun daily.

Oddly, it seems most tropicals I have found don't like much sun.

I really love the look of sago palms, but I am not the best for keeping delicate plants alive, so I don't know that I want to invest a whole lot of money into something unless it is very hardy.

I don't mind moving them inside during the cooler months.

Suggestions would be most appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Poolside potted palm or plant for almost full sun in 7b?

Hey! I am working on almost the same problem. I am 1/2 zone colder, but get scorching summer and have full sun around the pool. I am putting Elephant ears (uprights, African masks, etc.) in containers with bright colored cannas (pink sunburst) and working on the filler.

Sagos aren't that hard to keep alive, so you could definitely go that route. Water them when they get dry, bring them in when you need a sweater on outside, then pretty much ignore them in the winter, with just occasional watering.

I also just picked up an Allamanda at Lowe's today that I am putting out by the pool. Talk about tropical looking! LOL!

I have a small brugmansia (Cassie's Curls) in a pot out there, too.

Good luck!


RE: Poolside potted palm or plant for almost full sun in 7b?

I think the reason some tropicals don't like much sun is that some come from the rain forest where they are shaded a great deal by taller trees. Thus there are some that are adapted to lower light.

However, and this is what prompted me to post this - do you ever notice how many houseplant tags (for tropical plants) always seem to say "bright indirect light" or "avoid direct sun" or just the general advice: "medium light". Yet plants like Rubber plant (ficus elastica) for example, grow in part to full sun outdoors. Schefflera, croton and Majesty palm as well. Maybe they won't do their best in full all day morning to sunset sun, but if you believe their nursery tags they shouldn't be put outdoors at all.

I do realize that you have to be careful when you bring a new palm home from the store though, that is, gradually acclimatize it to sun.

RE: Poolside potted palm or plant for almost full sun in 7b?

Can you get some Queen palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana). They are very tropical looking (resemble the Royal Cuban/Florida palm) but are much more cool weather tolerant and faster growing. (Never have had a problem with them in the most blazing, direct sun.) You will need a lofty ceiling to overwinter them as they are tall.

RE: Poolside potted palm or plant for almost full sun in 7b?

Two palms that should work in your zone are the needle palm and the dwarf palmetto. Both are bushes, and don't have trunks. They can take sun or shade. You shouldn't have to bring them indoors in the winter if the pot is very large; however, I would worry about the roots freezing in a small pot during long periods of bitter cold. Another thing you could look into would be banana trees if you bring them (or their roots) indoors in the winter.

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