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faq - frequently asked questions

Palms

  • What other really hardy palms are available?
  • How is information on cold hardiness to be interpreted?
  • Are potted palms equally frost resistant?
  • Are all parts of a palm equally frost resistant?
  • Where can I find out more about cold-hardiness in palms?
  • Are palms suitable for hydro culture?
  • Which palms provide the best cut-foliage to be used in flower bouquets?
  • What are the hardiest palms?
  • Which palms are the fastest growing?
  • Which fan palms produce edible fruit/nuts?


    What other really hardy palms are available?
    The following species are quite cold hardy, to around -10C (14F), some a little more: Brahea armata, B. decumbens, B. dulcis, B. moorei, Butia capitata, B. eriospatha, B. microspadix, B. paraguayensis, B. yatay, Chamaedorea radicalis, Chamaerops humilis, Phoenix dactylifera, P. theophrastii, Sabal etonia, S. mexicana, S. palmetto, S. uresana, Trachycarpus latisectus, T. oreophilus, T. martianus (Nepal form), T. princeps and Washingtonia filifera.

    How is information on cold hardiness to be interpreted?
    The temperatures indicated may be endured without damage for a brief period of time by mature palms that are well established in the ground. Many other factors need to be considered though, such as duration of the freeze, sunshine, daytime temperatures, general climate, rainfall and humidity. Also, mature palms are considerably hardier than seedlings and there are differences in hardiness between individual palms.

    Are potted palms equally frost resistant?
    No. Palms which are planted in the ground will be better protected from low temperatures than potted palms. In pots, frost can penetrate the root ball more rapidly than in the protective soil.

    Are all parts of a palm equally frost resistant?
    The roots are the most sensitive to frost while the trunk and central bud or 'heart' may survive well after the leaves have perished. A defoliated palm may well regrow in spring or summer.

    Where can I find out more about cold-hardiness in palms?
    The various palm society magazines provide the best information. If you are seriously interested in the subject, consider becoming a member with the European Palm Society, the Pacific Northwest Palm & Exotic Plant Society, or your local branch of the International Palm Society. Follow the links on the bottom of our homepage to find out more.

    Are palms suitable for hydro culture?
    This is possible for most varieties. Further information can be obtained from books, discussion forums or palm societies.

    Which palms provide the best cut-foliage to be used in flower bouquets?
    The foliage of the following palms is suitable for this purpose and can be stored at low temperatures when being shipped with cut flowers. Also, they produce a reasonable quantity of leaves per year: Caryota mitis, most Chamaedorea ssp., Phoenix roebelenii, most Rhapis ssp., Wallichia densiflora.

    What are the hardiest palms?
    The following varieties can resist freezes down to -15C (5F) and some even lower, in order of decreasing hardiness: Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Sabal minor, Trachycarpus nanus, Sabal x texensis, Nannorrhops ritchiana, Trachycarpus takil, T. fortunei, T. wagnerianus, Serenoa repens, Jubaea chilensis, Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera and Trithrinax campestris.

    Which palms are the fastest growing?
    A small selection of very fast growing palms is Caryota maxima (Himalaya), Washingtonia robusta, Syagrus botryophora, Wallichia disticha, Veitchia arecina, Syagrus romanzoffiana, Roystonea oleracea, Dypsis cabadae, Chamaedorea tepejilote, Carpentaria acuminata, Archontophoenix alexandrae and Archontophoenix cunninghamiana.

    Which fan palms produce edible fruit/nuts?
    There are many fan palms with edible fruits, such as Sabal bermudana, Chamaerops humilis, and Brahea edulis. However, none have sufficient quality to be seriously considered for human consumption.

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