wintering splitleaf palms

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by dpawson, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. dpawson

    dpawson Member

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    surrey bc
    I have two new, very happy palms in the garden.
    do I need to dig them up and bring them indoors-
    or will they survive winter here? do I wrap them?
    how? or seriously mulch? or....
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    "Splitleaf palm" doesn't tell anyone what kind of plant they are, specifically - which it will be necessary to know before being able to give specific advise. However, if you are sure these are tropical plants they must come in immediately - September would have been better. You do not want to wait until it gets any colder, for one thing a sudden dramatic change in temperatures can damage plants. Indoor and outdoor temperatures should be as close as possible when house plants are moved outside for the summer as well as when they are brought back in. In this climate the period when it is as hot outside as it is inside is so short it might be better in most instances to keep house plants inside all the time. Another thing is that bugs and slugs may come in with them in fall and have to be dealt with.

    If you are asking instead about windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) this popular species is hardy outdoors (in the ground) under most circumstances in Vancouver area. Another common choice that you are perhaps asking about (wouldn't think of this one as a "splitleaf" plant but maybe it is what you have anyway) is Cordyline australis. Although fairly fast growing and able to re-sprout from the roots when the top is lost to cold this does die back periodically here, the top at least only being hardy to about 15-20F. Like the windmill palm, it wouldn't, however be likely to succeed as a house plant during the winter. A cool/cold greenhouse with nearly outdoor conditions but excluding damaging hard frost would be quite suitable.

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