Return to the Tropicalesque Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Are my washingtonias dead?

Posted by jimhokie 7a/7b (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 3, 07 at 13:51

Sorry in advance for this long post. When I found this forum, I didn't realize there were so many people like me out there, pushing the zone limits in order to have a tropical landscape, if just for the summer. This sounds like a place I can learn much from others that have been doing it for awhile, and maybe I can help out at some point with my limited experience.

Here's the issue that lead me to this forum. I planted 2 washingtonia robustas outside 2 years ago and they survived the first winter. All foliage turned brown, but new growth came back in the spring and thrived all last summer. This past winter, the foliage again died, but new growth has yet to come out. I assumed they were dead and started to dig them up yesterday, but noticed the roots appeared to be healthy when raking mulch away from the base. So now I'm wondering if there is still a chance they will come back. I cut off the dead leaves about a month ago (should I have done that as soon as they died instead of leaving them on all winter?) and noticed the top of the plants were rotten. Yesterday, I cut the top 4-5" back to what appeared to be non-rotten plant. Is there still hope for these palms? A local garden center suggested giving them another month, but if they are definitely dead, I'd like to get replacements started as soon as possible.

Last winter wasn't that bad except for one cold snap, but I don't think it got as low as 15 more than 3 or 4 nights. I had them wrapped well I thought, which brings up another question. Does it hurt the plants to be wrapped for the winter, and a warm spell hits in January, reaching the mid-70's for several days? Any tips on how best to protect w. robustas in my climate beyond mulching the base and wrapping the trunk in burlap?

I also have 2 windmill palms I planted at the same time, which survived with no damage, even though the only protection I gave them last winter was to mulch the base heavily. I'm resisting the urge to just plant more windmills, but I much prefer the look of the w. robustas and would like some variety as well. I already bought a replacement w. robusta and a pindo palm and am debating just putting them in pots to allow for overwintering in my garage instead of planting them, but I already do that with many bananas and hibiscus that already take up a lot of space, so it would be nice if I can keep them in the ground and properly protect them.

Thanks in advance for any info or tips offered!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Are my washingtonias dead?

I am no expert but I would suspect they will live. I planted 2 last year and they looked completely dead this year until a few weeks ago. I am in a warmer zone but I did NO protection and they are ok plus this was their first year.

just an opinion but give it a little time

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Tropicalesque Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here