Growing palms in zone 4

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by palmlover, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. lukeandpalms

    lukeandpalms Member

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    go for it!!! you will need some serious protection, though. i would suggest wraping burlap around the palm, and c-9 x-mas lights, then, you should prob. build a wood box and fill it loosely with straw. on days below +7F tun the lights on. you should place it on the south side of your house. also spray with fungicide before winter. dont let those part poopers discourage you:)
    happy gardening
    -luke
     
  2. palmlover

    palmlover Member

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    To lukeandpalms, Well thank you very much. That means a lot to me and I will keep you all in the loop as I progress with these palms. happy gardening to you and yours. again thanks for your encouragement.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008
  3. Tom24

    Tom24 Active Member

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    I have seen two California fan palms in utah I am not to sure how far north or south it was I just googled california fan palms under images and I saw this and I did not believe it. I grow many palms indoor and take them out during summer months so you feel like the tropics in the winter and the tropics during the summer months. If this helps you at all Palmlover try growing them by seed you feel much satisfaction growing them.

    Tom24
     
  4. lukeandpalms

    lukeandpalms Member

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    be warned, palms are like potato chips, you cant have just one:) this spring im ordering 6 more:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  5. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I never eat potato (no "e") chips, but I do have many palm trees.
    Cheers, Barrie.
     
  6. Tom24

    Tom24 Active Member

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    Hi palmlover I live in Southwestern ND, I grow many palms inside and in the summer I take them outside I have had many people admire them and even offer to buy them, what I am saying buy some palm seeds off the internet keep them indoors and then if you want plant them outdoors during the summer and then dig them up in the fall ,it will be messy and you might end up killing the palm in the process, but my suggestion is go to wallmart buy a big fancy pot , grow a good indoor palm and then take it or them outdoor during the summer that way you have the tropical look without the mess of digging them up and during the winter you have the tropical look indoors.

    Hope this helps,

    tom24
     
  7. dln949

    dln949 Member

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    I have successfully grown a trachy outdoors in the ground in zone 4 (SE Minnesota). It is doing very well. Yes, it requires protection in the winter.
     
  8. Canadianplant

    Canadianplant Active Member

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    how big is your trachy???? I bet when it gets big enough winter will take care of it. Im from northwestern ontario, which is a very similar climate. There isnt much chance that it will make it to maturity. Is it in a micro climate?
     
  9. dln949

    dln949 Member

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    It is about 4' - 5' tall. The only protection I gave it was in the winter - then I erected a minigreenhouse over it. It came through the winter just fine.

    Here's a link for other zone 4 outdoor palm growers: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tropesque/msg011214498206.html You may find this interesting. (Lots of photos, give it time to load.)
     
  10. jimhardy

    jimhardy Member

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    As far as the palms in bulgaria being in zone 8 goes,they have delt with temps as low as -21F more than once, That does not sound like any zone 8 I know of.They will need serious winter protection though,its really more a matter of how much time and effort you want put into it-I would never discourage anyone from trying,it is being done successfully by more and more people every year,go for it!!!
     
  11. DC United Palm Fan

    DC United Palm Fan Member

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    Hey Jimhardy! Welcome to the forums here! Nice to see ya!

    If people in zones 4 and 5 (I know you are in zone 5 and you do it!) can get their palms to survive winters just fine, well it gives me a lot of hope/ confidence I can do what Im trying to do here in my balmy, warm zone 7b/ Cold zone 8a!

    Welcome aboard!
     
  12. Jason33

    Jason33 Member

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    What ever Happens I want to know! So keep me informed. I would like to see what palm trees will survive those temps.
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The Bulgarian palms (Chusan Palms Trachycarpus fortunei, in Plovdiv) have survived temperatures down to -27.5°C (on 6 Jan 1993); Plovdiv is zone 7a (possibly just into 6?), not 8.
     
  14. jimhardy

    jimhardy Member

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    M.F.- I never said they are in zone 8,I was replying to a post farther up the latter, -18F max winter low.Amazing what Trachycarpus can handle whem a mature plant is est,I don't think I will try that with my palms though!
     
  15. twbt15

    twbt15 Member

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    Location:
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    We jsut planted 30 chinese windmill palm trees in Iowa. I am also open to advice on how to maintian them. To see our trees go to

    iowapalmtrees.blogspot.com
     
  16. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Recently I looked at a map and was kind of startled at just how cold Iowa gets (I did spend 2nd grade in Iowa City but haven't been back).

    Windmill palms do reasonably well in the Pacific Northwest, but their wet winter climate is utterly different from Iowa. Possibly gardeners in the mid-Atlantic states and warmer corners of the Midwest can help.

    I'd note that even though a place like Washington DC can get fiercely cold (check the cancelled second Reagan inauguration), the cold spells are fairly short.

    I suggest providing winter protection such that the trachys will rarely if ever go below about, say, 15 degrees and usually spend the night above 25. They won't need to be much warmer during the day, although above-freezing would be better. It wouldn't seem a budget-buster to create seasonal greenhouses with heat and some kind of automated vent to keep the plants from cooking. Maybe long door on one side to facilitate handling Christmas decorations. Along those lines, incandescent lights are really better as heat sources than as lighting.

    I don't know what to do about the summer heat. I have a little trachy in the yard, growing slowly but happily, probably because the coastal climate rarely allows day temperatures much above 90. We are just far enough inland to have a reasonable prospect of frost every winter. This allows a select few camellia and azalea varieties to thrive.

    In the summer you can do wonders with cannas. Some of the Yucca species are extremely hardy (especially Yucca glauca) and can help with the look.
     
  17. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The best advise I have is too late ... ask for advise prior to such a venture. These are well out of their sustainable range and extensive winter protection is needed.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  18. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Thinking a bit further about protecting Iowa palms:
    1. The ground near each palm can't be allowed to freeze. Palms don't go dormant, so the roots need to be able to gather water.
    2. Trunks can be insulated
    3. Crowns probably need to be given sunlight all winter, unlike those cycads in Japanese gardens that get their leaves wrapped up in thatch.

    So, maybe with the help of a suitable engineer:
    1. Possibly provide a concrete edging barrier around each palm, each equipped with heating cable.
    2. Trunks might be provided with wood (or metal)-sheathed insulation
    3. Leaves will need sun through the winter and need protection from excessive cold AND excessive heat. Greenhouse with automatic vent and heating systems?

    Winter-season removable custom conservatories for the palms might be fairly easy to engineer and could be really decorative. Act fast.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  19. Ottawa_Z5A

    Ottawa_Z5A Member

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    Greeting,. Hi I live in Ottawa, Ontario. which is a zone 5a. I have had my sabal minor, one of them has survived with almost no protection. My needle palm, survived with only a pot to cover it. I also have overwintered Musa basjoo. So for a zone 4 i recommend the needle palm, and the sabal minor. If you have a chance, please visit. www.webshots.com and search for Ottawa_hardy_tropicals.

    thanks,

    Adam
     
  20. Spirit2905

    Spirit2905 Member

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    I live in Erickson BC Canada9rural area just on the outskirts of the Town of Creston. In Creston(I think we follow zones 4b - 5b we have a few gardeners who have successfully raised a few different kinds of palms outdoors. They have mushroomed in size over the last 3 years. We have definitely been getting temperatures close to 40 degrees C. It seems to be increasing noticeably(Global Warming?) I will try to find out which palms these are and will find out about their special winter care. I hope this would be helpful to some.
     
  21. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Spirit2905 ... I'd be willing to bet, or at least start your search with Trachycarpus fortunei. They're readily available and with protective measures in your climate, the most likely candidates.

    Cheers, Barrie.
     
  22. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    There's plenty of palm enthusiasts in the coastal PNW. I left Portland, Oregon a decade ago, but it seems the little Trachycarpus I planted (picked up half price at the supermarket) has grown into a nice tree.

    For drier climates, some of the woody lilies might be worth checking out. I think Yucca parryi has been tried with some success. Maybe the spectacular Dasylirion wheeleri? (Amazingly enough, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami has a happy old D. wheeleri. It isn't supposed to tolerate humidity. But in this case, the plant's growing on limestone and has perfect drainage).
     
  23. Canadianplant

    Canadianplant Active Member

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    From what ive found out, general hardiness ratings are just "scientificaly" proven temeratures. Alot of the books and authers dont go very in depth about how they generate these ratings. I bet the use the cities that commonly grow these plants, instead of a very broad search on individuals ( this would take much much longer to do). They probably take into account some of their personal experience.

    The one thing that ive learned, is that people religiously stick to what theyve read, and are afraid to try things that are really "unable to grow". IF people didnt listin, there wouldnt be any palms in BC. Im not saying the books are wrong by any account. All im saying is that, if you dont try, you will never know. Im in the same zone as the person that started this thread, the only problems i can see are that like many people have said here, we dont get too warm during the day, so it will be really hard to make sure the whole plant stays warm enough.

    Also stated, lots of the hardy palms are from dry areas. In my experience, dry cold is warmer then the moist cold youd get in minnisota. In -12 in calgary, i was still wearing shorts. Now being back by the lake, it feels way colder outside, due to the moisture.

    Right now im trying bamboo. ITs rated to zone 5. So im not pushing the limits too much. But as far as I know no one up here is trying this bamboo. And ive been told that its gonna do fine, and that it doesnt stand a chance, even with protection. In this climate, i think palms are a stretch. But if your willing to provide heavy proection ( that link you were shown, is very helpful, contact her, shesll explain how she overwinters them.), by all means try some palms. Id reccomend hardy ones that stay small, or grow slow so their easier to prtotect. Or, try some hardy bamboo or banana. Try some outside for the winter, and then dig some up and store them in your basement. Most bananas you can cut down to a foot tall stump, and bury it in leaves or what not. Thats what i did for my banboo.

    Another suggestion is to place them in different areas of your yard ( close to your house, east/west/south facing areas, between fences, behind a garage), you may have microclimates that raise your growing zone one or 2 steps. My grandma is growing wisteria ( it doesnt flower, but it comes back every year, bigger and sronger), thats rated to 5b. ITs been there for years.

    The one thing that i dont really hear mentioned much is that, it may grow for years, and nor have a problem. But it may not grow like youd expect. Suckering plants may not sucker, flowering plants may not flower, large trees may only become medium sized shrubs etc. I only expect my bamboo to max out at 6 feet, even thought it says 8-10 feet, just due to the winter, and the fairly short grwing season here.

    Im not going against any info givin here. Everyone , here has tried and tested information. I am just giving my opinion on the situation, givin that, llike the person who started this thread, love palms, but wold really really have to work hard to get them to survive up here. BUt I have also come to terms with my climate here, and am starting slow, and trying things a bit closer to my hardiness zone, before i go spend 500 bucks on a bunch of bamboo and bananas that im not sure are gonna make it... My advice is to start slow, try a few plants that arent in you zone, but are a zone or 2 warmer, then work from there. Itll give you a good indication of where the micro climates are in your property, and give you much neede experience in growing warm climate plants in the wintery north......

    Good luck!!
     
  24. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    Excellent advice! Just to commet on your Bamboo, I am trying the same one as you (I think there was another thread on this), and I just bent it over to the ground and covered it with leaves. Did you cut yours down? Don't they keep growing from the top? You could be losing a lot of height that way.
     
  25. Canadianplant

    Canadianplant Active Member

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    Didnt cut them, just buried it under 3 feet of leaves, and bend the tops, and buried them, threw some thick plastic over the leaves, weighed it down at the edges with rocks, then covered tha tin more leaves. I was told not to cut this type down for some reason. Im assuming because its a clumping type, not running. ITs small enough rigt now, but when its bigger.. i have no idea... lol
     

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