windmill palm in Idaho?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by angel_suzy, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. angel_suzy

    angel_suzy Member

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    Hi, I visited St. George, Utah not long ago and fell in love with all of the palm trees. So I thought I would buy one and try to grow it in Idaho. The guy at the nursery didnt tell me too much about how to care for it... all he said was water it about once a week and keep it inside during the winter. It is fairly small 1 gallon, but I have noticed that one of the lower fronds started turning brown on the edges and it has climbed down almost to the base of it, the base of the frond is a bright yellow color. The rest of the tree seems just fine. Is this normal? can anyone tell me how to further care for my new palm? Or know of any web sites that can teach me palm tree basics? Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    New Palm Indoors

    Trachycarpus fortunei is an east Asian species that likes moist conditions, in its native region there is a summer monsoon with high humidity. If you are in a semiarid part of Idaho, your summer climate (and soil conditions) may be unsuitable. Also, the Sunset Western Garden Book rates Windmill Palm hardy to Sunset Zone 4. The same publication has Idaho zoned 1A, 2A, 2B, and 3A.

    St. George, other parts of southern Utah are included in Sunset Zone 10, High Desert Areas of Arizona and New Mexico . Perhaps you saw California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera or Mexican Fan Palm, W. robusta there.

    If you have a Washingtonia, it will likely need a much brighter, less arid environment than would be found in most indoor rooms. If you have a well-lighted sun porch, atrium or greenhouse it could do well, as a house plant in an ordinary interior I think it will have a bad time. Try to get it near a sunny window, away from heat vents/baseboard heaters. Filling a tray with pebbles and water and keeping the plant on that, while it is inside, may help. A Trachycarpus, if you somehow ended up being sold one of those in Idaho, will need similar coddling to make it through the winter inside.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2004
  3. angel_suzy

    angel_suzy Member

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    thanks for the help. But can you explain to me why it is turning yellow? I was looking at it again thismorning and the inner-most leaves, the newest ones, are beginning to turn yellow toward the base too. I'm afraid it will die, and I really dont want that. Could it be over watering? Or could it need fertilizer? Please help and thanks for the advise. Also, do you know any web sites that could help me learn more about windmill palms?
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe there's mites down inside there, maybe it is rotting off...if there's a greenhouse company nearby with someone on hand to assist with such matters, maybe you should haul it over there and ask them about it.
     
  5. There are actually many windmill palms and others that we grow here in the Boise Valley of Idaho. I landscape with several species and recently secured about 15 palms for one client and 3 fairly large ones for another. They seem to thrive in our arid climate and not too demanding on water. Most of the palms are anywhere from 3 feet to 12 feet tall and go through most winters with no cold damage. I also secured a few of my palms from a nursery in St. George, although the majority of mine have come from the Las Vegas area. Most of the palms I use will thrive and grow although the temperatures may drop to zero, which is fairly rare for here. I have had the palms suffer very little damage even at below zero temps.

    Thanks, Dale in Boise
     
  6. seahawks2884

    seahawks2884 Member

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    Angel Suzy I have done some research on Trachycarpus fortunei through the internet. I have also joined some cold palm forums www.palmsnorth.com, www.cloudforest.com.
    Just wondering where your trachy is in the hot sun all day ,how large the tree is, what size of pot it is in. Seems to me once a week if outside is causing the yellow on the bottom fronds of your Trachy .I just bought my first three large Trachy`s this year and I can tell you they love water every day as long as it is well draining soil .Stopped the yellowing bottom fronds right away, also 1 tsp of epsom salts per gallon of water in the spring time when you see new growth helps the yellowing. Please use distilled water, "any water stored in a container for 24 hours" should get rid of flouride, chlorine and any other unfreindly chemicals in your tap water? Also go to your nursery and ask for palm fertiliser.
    Good Luck
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Windmill palm has been grown in Grants Pass for years so arid climatic conditions apparently aren't necessarily an issue for this one. Outdoors there can be moisture evaporating from adjacent turfgrass and other plantings that make the environment more amenable, however.
     
  8. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    seahawks got some useful advice there. Also those websites will have some great advice for you, the first thread in this forum is all different web sites, all good.
    Is your palm still in the one gallon pot? might be root bound if it is.
    Carol Ja
     
  9. seahawks2884

    seahawks2884 Member

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    I forgot to mention using the epsom salts only once a month for the first 2 months ,and palm furtiliser as per directions .Your watering should pour out the bottom of your pot. Root bound is also a concern. Are the roots straining to get out the bottom if so I would not transplant now but wait till next season when you see new growth because it is getting late for new growth from transplanting.Only transplant it into the next size larger pot to protect it from root rot. The tree will want to start to slow down growth soon as the sun is getting lower in the horizon ,if you transplant now it is late for new growth! Hope this helps

    P.s. Thanks Carol for your comments
    JOHN
     
  10. Can you tell me how good they would grow in the Boise area? and if they look like a real palm tree you would see in florida? I am thinking about getting a few for my back yard. thankyou
     
  11. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    If you ask the right people ... they'll tell you these palms will grow "no problem" in places like Barrow Alaska. There's just no end to where these windmill palms will grow.
     
  12. seahawks2884

    seahawks2884 Member

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  13. The Windmill palms do fairly well here in Boise and the surrounding zone 6 - 7 area. They must be protected somewhat in very cold winters. This winter showed some leaf damage on the palms, but none really on my own at my house here in Boise. Some of the colder areas showed some damage, but the palms recover quickly and look very nice by early summer. They do look like you are in Florida or California but
    more like the desert of Arizona. There are 27 palms planted along a driveway here in the Boise foothills and I understand that another home owner has 40 planted around his swimming pool area. The palms do not like the occasional inversion that we get here in the Valley.
     
  14. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That's great you're able to successfully grow the Trachycarpus in Boise. I was always under the impression it was too cold and arid to grow these this far inland, with the influence of the continental air mass. No wonder there's such a passion and enthusiasum in places like Chicago, Toronto, New Jersey, etc. There should be semi trailer loads of these brought in and planted by their respective cities. Why didn't someone think of this sooner? There's a boat load of money to be made if you can lobby your city council to plant palms in mass.
     

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