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 Palms. Is survival enough? 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:42 am
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Location: birmingham, UK
Post Palms. Is survival enough?
I've been guilty of this many times. Getting a palm that in the long run is not suitable for my climate. It may survive a winter 4 or 5 winters but long term the plant evidence in my area or lack of did not support this. I am interested in hearing whether you were content with just growing the palm. Is keeping it alive enough? I've become more of a wet blanket since the bad winter of 2010 in the UK. Personally I am never going to protect a palm. Eventually it will get to a size if you go down this route when it becomes impractical. Just interested to see other members opinions and outlooks. Has your outlook changed from when you first started this hobby. Does not have to be limited to palms

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Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:45 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
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Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
If it looks good to your eye? Thats good enough. Its the old GOTE philosophical question..why grow what doesnt compare to in habitat? Because I like that my potted 4' Plumeria flowers and has nice foliage all summer. Now,in soucal its an in ground bush. But do they not grow them because in the tropics Plumeria are lush heavy trunked tree's ?..nah. Los Angelino's are happy.
Now,if what you try looks sickly all year,or a vast majority of the year? Maybe give up. To me size is like Bonsai,healthy is what matters.


Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:24 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: Cornwall
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
For me Palms are a fringe interest and I expect them to look good all year, other plants I am happy to have grown it flowered it and lost it, just out of interest in the plant. But the palms I expect to do a job of work in the garden so I stick to those with a survival track record in the UK. I guess if your interest is Palms then it would be sufficient to have owned it for a while!

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:39 am
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Location: Redhill, Surrey, UK
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
I have to admit I have low tolerance levels to plants that merely struggle along rather than thrive.

I was perhaps more adventurous some thirty years ago but a sense of realism quickly set in after a succession of hard winters.

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:30 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:46 pm
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Location: Middlesex, UK
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
KeithL wrote:
I have to admit I have low tolerance levels to plants that merely struggle along rather than thrive.

I was perhaps more adventurous some thirty years ago but a sense of realism quickly set in after a succession of hard winters.


I agree with this.

Have had a load of plants in my garden that were experimental at best. They do well until either a surprise early frost or particularly cold winter killed them off. Followed by the disheartened disappointment.

There is always the option of digging them up (not for large palms or shrubs), but it always seems to annoy me somehow. Come October, all my hard work of the summer now looks like a patch of mini craters and I can't get into the greenhouse it's so full. And I lose some those plants anyway from being dug up, mildew etc.
It is frustrating :evil:


Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:46 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:58 pm
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Location: Oxford UK
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
There is a sense of realism Mo especially after the 09/10/11 winters where my minimums were -9C/-12C/ -11c respectively. But as the years go by with milder Winters it's forgotten somewhat. After saying categorically that I would not buy any more Butyagrus I go and buy two :oops: Beautiful palms that will look nice in my garden :wink:
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Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:45 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:06 pm
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Location: Islington, London UK
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
I apply different standards to the garden and the green roof.

In the garden, like several others on this thread, I've run out of patience growing stuff that won't prosper and always looks as if it's hanging on or recovering from a near-death experience. Anything marginal grows in pots and gets brought in for hard freezes. Unlike the green roof, I have to look at the garden all winter - most of the facade of the house is glass - and I don't like looking at elaborate protection structures or fleece "ghosts".

But the whole point of the green roof has always been to experiment, to see how wide a range of plants can be grown in 100-200mm deep soil on an exposed roof in London. So I'll try stuff up there that stands a 25% chance, just to see what happens. And the conditions are so extreme - more so in summer than in winter - that very few plants cling to life for years. Most species will either like the conditions or die out pretty quickly.

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:14 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:41 pm
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Location: Tring Hertfordshire UK
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
Mo a lot of the members on this and other forums have been pioneers in growing palms and exotics. When I started a long long time ago, it was difficult to even source a trachycarpus. Having found the UK Palm Centre over 20 years ago I progressed from cordylines, chamaerops and washintonia to a much larger range. I found the EPS and was encouraged by the articles that appeared in the Chamaerops magazine to try loads of so called hardy exotics. After spending vast sums of money on palms I had never heard of I then lost loads through bad winters. It was a learning curve experimenting with winter protection, correct positioning, good drainage, palm booster type products, etc.

I am glad I tried serenoa repens, livinstona, dypsis, nannorrhops and many more. Even though they all failed for me It was fun trying to grow them and sharing my experiences with others. I have learned the hard way, wasting loads of money on them but at the end I have butias, brahea, trithrinax etc that survive and do well.

I do some winter protection but not as much as I used to as many are now too big. What I have left are basically hardy enough to survive more than the average bad winter. Nature has already sorted out all the weaklings for me.

John

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:06 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:08 pm
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands UK
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
As a newbie it is quite a dilemma. I have realised the hardy plants are slower growing than the non-hardy e.g. fan v feather, Dicksonia v Cyathea! I have a small garden and a really really small greenhouse and in turn a shrinking watch-list on ebay for seeds I want to buy. I have now deleted most non-hardy as I have come to realise they will come to grief with the limited greenhouse space available to me. I am becoming more and more interested in hardy agaves from seed as they will look good from small plants to adulthood and easy to manage in pots. I have to keep my wife happy too :roll: and would not be very popular with huge protective structures all over a small garden through winter. On the other hand I have bought a packet of C.medullaris spores and If by some miracle I manage to grow one I will greenhouse/conservatory it and then when it becomes too big the challenge of building a structure will be too great for me to ignore and what an achievement to even keep it going for few years in situ! Horticulture and engineering in one hobby eh and I am so impressed by Eduard's medullaris post. Fast growing plants from seeds (agaves and a few others excepted) are the way for me I think due to cost. Since large exotic/tropical plants and trees are so expensive I have chickened out completely and am going for a mixed garden now with the exotics as specimen plants.

I hope the rest of the winter weather is kind to the very brave on here.

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
Thanks for all your insights. Sometimes I see newbies trying stuff I know is not suitable for the climate. It's whether to offer advice as it can come across as negative. Sometimes I wish I had it in me to be brutally honest as I think this can be kinder in the long run and help. Something David Matzdorf would not bat an eyelid at. When you encourage someone but you know it's going to fail I think is cruel because you have experience they don't yet. I find it hard still. I need a backbone, right?

There's also palms that have survived but get worse looking year on year. Declining slowly. I am at the point where hardier but healthy is better than exotic but sickly

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Mo


Last edited by themes on Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:19 am
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands UK
Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
Brutal honesty every time for me :lol: advice can always be ignored in any case. I don't think it really matters with a packet of seeds but laying out hard earned cash for plants that aren't going to make it is depressing. It is very easy to get carried away by looking at all those exotic gardens on Pinterest in far off places!

Thanks for the honest thread.

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Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:57 am
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Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
I have tried many palms over the years but there is so many variables to say for sure that a lot will not grow in certain members gardens.

I cannot grow Washingtonia which infuriates me whereas they can be grown elsewhere.

I think you need to try 3 times before giving up.....lol
I have grown Livistona chinensis here for 3 years but it finally succumbed as did Guihaia argyrata etc etc
I see lots of members planting Juania australis outside and though I wish them well I know what is going to happen to these extremely expensive rare palms.

If you took notice of all advice given you would not get to try lots of great stuff.
I have plants here that I had been told point blank that they would not grow here Cyathea cooperii and Woodwardia radicans for two so if newbies can afford to lose them why not give them a go just try to place them in suitable micro climates in their gardens as per advice from us older members.

Good topic Mo .....


Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:17 am
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Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
I have also tried some species in the last 30 years but soon found out that you do not have to experiment outside with tropical species, there I have a few beautiful species that fill the house completely!

Make the mistake of going for large leaf shapes, luckily I have a woman who likes this :wink:

Eduard.

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Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:26 am
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Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
Good points.

Are you talking tree ferns in the house Eduard? From what I gather that's a whole other challenge re humidity etc but would love ferns in the conservatory if possible. Being cheeky some pics would be great if you have any.

Kev you will be amused to know I bought 25 spider plantlets from ebay which are growing on nicely. If I remember right it was your wife who said give it a go and they look pretty impressive in your garden as an edging so who would have thought! I just had to give it a go at only £7 for the lot. There are many variables as you say and I recently read about P.canariensis which like W.robusta get hardier as they age but that as well as the temps it is also wet roots that are an issue so chances can be improved by planting on slopes, adding gravel etc. It's all about budget for me so those two palms are 'quick' growing and satisfying to grow cheaply from seed to adult tree. My Canariensis germinated easily and are in the greenhouse but I will have to try the robusta again. I am interested by your Cooperii success as they are fast growing for ferns and plug plants are cheap as chips from Shady Plants online nursery. How do you manage it and is it unprotected in winter? Just bought a small T.Nova too - No patience and last of the big spenders so obviously ideally suited to this :lol:

By the way I have the RHS Gardening Encyclopaedia of Plants and Flowers and if you believe what that says NOTHING is anywhere near hardy!

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Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:25 pm
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Post Re: Palms. Is survival enough?
Hi, unfortunately tree ferns can only be indoors when the humidity is high enough, that is not the case with our cold winters and heating the house, but in a conservatory that goes well :wink:

Here a number of palms that are still there today, the last [sabal] has been gone for a while [to big]

Hyophhorbe lagenicauli ,
Image

livistona jenkinsiana,
Image

Phoenix rupicola,
Image

Latania lontaroides,
Image

Image

Kerriodoxa Elegans,
Image

Carludovica palmata rotundifolia,
Image

Sabal Dominensis,
Image

Eduard.

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2016 min. -07.0ºC --- max. 35.4ºC
2017 min. -08.1ºC --- max. 34.7ºC


Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:59 pm
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