moving windmill palms indoors for winter?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Unregistered, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. I have 2 2-3' potted windmill palms that I have brought indoors for the winter (Surrey, BC) - the bottom fronds are drying up and turning black and dying. What should I do?

    Thanks
    Lori
     
  2. lukeandpalms

    lukeandpalms Member

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    windmill palms like lots of water. put it in a sunny spot. i hope this works 4 u
     
  3. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Trachycarpus fortunei (Windmill palm) does better outside year round in our climate. They tend to need a period of domancy brought on by winter. However it's not uncommon to see small amounts of growth even in winter.
    Any of the dead fronds can be cut off near the trunk.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Growth in winter would indicate it actually would prefer to have suitable conditions for growth throughout the year. The frequent yellowness of fronds made during cold weather also indicates it is actually a warm climate plant expecting to have a much longer growing season. However, as far as palms go it is a cool climate type not suited to the dark and arid conditions of most ordinary interiors. Instead leave it out, if containerized wheeling into a garage or other protected area during Arctic fronts and then back out again when it warms up.

    Do not allow containerized specimens to freeze up like bricks.
     
  5. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I agree with Ron B's statemant although not all yellowing of these palm fronds is indicative of them requiring a warmer climate. Nutrient depletion is common in our area of high winter rainfall and nitrogen deficeincies are typically the cause of yellowing leaves. I use a slow release nitrogen fertilizer in the Autumn which greatly helps with this situation.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The N becomes unavailable when it cools off, implication is the palm keeps growing because where it's from it doesn't cool off enough to interfere with N availability. But the main indicator is continuing to grow late in the fall or at other times when it is not really appropriate for the north - classic sign of a southern/warm climate-adapted plant.
     
  7. hrandolph

    hrandolph Member

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    I grow Trachycarpus fortunei (Windmill palms) outside all year. In the winter, I wrap a 36 inch buplap folded in half around the trunk up to where the new growth is coming out. Then I wrap a 9 ft. pipe heating tape around the trunk over the burlap to where the new growth is coming out. I rewrap over the heating tape with more burlap. Then I cover the burlap with plastic from wjust below where the new growth comes out to the ground. I only turn the heating tape on when the temperature goes below 28º F If you leave it pluged in it comes on at 37º F. It is only 18 watts. Last winter I had no cold damage, and it grew like wild fire last summer.

    Cheers,
    Henry Randolph
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    It is colder there. Here the problem would be freezing of the pots. Established windmill palms in the ground wouldn't be bothered by 28F (see today's Botany Photo of the Day).
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    At the risk of getting completely off topic,

    "...main indicator is continuing to grow late in the fall or at other times when it is not really appropriate for the north - classic sign of a southern/warm climate-adapted plant."

    A number of our native and other introduced plants from northern climates, also exibit winter growth, so not exclusive to southern climate plants.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Northern adapted plants respond to decreasing day length and shut down in fall. Which native trees and shrubs are you referring to? It could be argued that an ill-timed frond here and there does not constitute as much of a case of being out of sequence as a plant like a crape myrtle that just keeps blooming away until interrupted by frost, and may die back because it did not mature it growth in response to fall. However, we already know that windmill palm is from southeast Asia, as is crape myrtle.

    Southern hemisphere feather palms also show the same behavior here, although perhaps a bit more dramatically. Once weather warms in summer it stops - bleached-looking centers no longer apparent.
     
  11. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Ron B ... I wouldn't have really noticed much of the native plants as I have very few it seems. I did however notice activity on Mahonia and Madrone (see pics). I wonder what would have started them at this time of year?
    I did also see the usual swelling of buds and early growth on some non-native Rhodos, Pieris, Viburnum, Bergenia, Daphne, Fatsia and the usual array of plants long associated with NW gadrening.
     

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  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Many in your list are early-blooming plants coming on now as their season is starting. Opening of dormant buds on plants that shut down earlier in fall is not the same as trying to grow new leaves during cold weather, that fail to develop properly (this may happen to that new growth on the madrona, which is also a unique species for this region that originated farther south and migrated up here, from a milder climate) or do not mature until warmer weather comes.

    Fatsia is actually slightly tender here and may collapse during hard winters.
     
  13. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Here's a long term Fatsia japonica.
    Cheers, LPN.
     

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  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    "May collapse" does not equal "they all freeze and die completely, without growing back so there are no big ones around".
     
  15. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Certainly ... and I wasn't eluding to that. It does however seem like it's been quite some time since the last "collapse". (if this specimen is any indicator)

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Note also that it has no signs of new foliage growth. The flowering of these in fall does not demonstrate that it's not true that plants showing a tendency to make unsuccessful new growth during unsuitably cold weather are likely also to be ones ill-adapted to northern climates, where it is necessary to respond to seasonal changes in autumn in order to survive the winter.

    Where there is no serious winter cold, involving penetration of the soil by frost, bitter winds etc. no need to quit growing in fall.
     

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