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Old 03-28-2008, 06:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Drummer Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

I am interested in types of plant that
are tropical looking for zone 7. Any ideas
thank u for any ideas.
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Depends if you're willing to bring them inside to overwinter, or if you just want to mulch them in.

You can definitely get away with aroids, like Alocasia, Colocasia, and Xanthosoma. Maybe even with Anthuriums if you treat them like bulbs and dig them up for the winter. These are common to the tropics, have big showy leaves (giving the collective family the common name "elephant ears") and if you cut them back and mulch them in heavily they should overwinter in Z 7.

You can probably also grow Callas and Ginger, as annuals, and I know people who are successfully growing various palm trees outdoors in Z 5, so it should be possible for you.

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Old 03-28-2008, 10:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Where in NJ are you located? You can grow palms, citrus, agave, cactus, yucca...
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Lorax

Interested in what kind of palms that would grow outside year round here.

Plus know of two fellows that you could say are in a contest of collecting palms, and would pay dearly to find ones they could leave outside snow and bitter cold!
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

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Lorax

Interested in what kind of palms that would grow outside year round here.

Plus know of two fellows that you could say are in a contest of collecting palms, and would pay dearly to find ones they could leave outside snow and bitter cold!
The two palms you could try to grow are Rhapidophyllum hystrix and Sabal minor.

In order for them to grow well, you'd have to choose a good location near your house that is protected from strong winter winds and the soil should drain well. Since palms are much hardier with size, you should start with a 15 gal. size or larger and protect them for 3 years so they can acclimate to your climate.

He is a recent post of a R. hystrix in Zone 6:
Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board: z6 Needle: sad, shaggy & sizzled, any hope for the seeds?
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

with protection when below -10 celcius you can try trachycarpus fortunei, tr. wagnerianus, tr. takil and butia capitata, butia eriospatha, serenoa repens, chamaerops humilis , Jubeae chilensis and brahea armata (with rain protection)
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Thanks John and Daen,

Wold these take -10F (-23C) and with what kind of protection?
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Thanks for all the ideas I will try
some of them. I have a small palm some one
gave me a couple of years ago . I am not sure
what it is I think it is a needle palm.very slow growing
and I have some yucca palms. I will take some pics
when the weather is warmer.
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Sorry I missed that I am in South Jersey
Thank U.
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

D & T, with christmas lights etc. it is possible!
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Try several Yucca species! They should love the long, warm, North American summers!
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Would they need wrapped or shelter? Cause with windchill it can feel like -30 to -40F.
The first winter need to be stored in cooler weather(like low heat garage) then each year let them get colder?
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Quote:
Originally Posted by paula View Post
Sorry I missed that I am in South Jersey
Thank U.
I would try figs (will need cover many years), evergreens such as Magnolia, and you may be able to grow a live oak.

If you live close to Franklinville, there is a nursery called Triple Oaks that has some of the plants you may be looking to plant.

Quote:
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Would they need wrapped or shelter? Cause with windchill it can feel like -30 to -40F.
The first winter need to be stored in cooler weather(like low heat garage) then each year let them get colder?
They should be planted directly into the ground in order for the roots to take in the soil.

There isn't a set temperature in which these palms survive. With more summer heat, they become much more capable of surviving lower temperatures during the winter. There are many Sabal and Rhapidophyllum that have survived -10F to -20F without protection but most of them have been grown further south.

For protection, they should be first planted in a location like I described above. You can use burlap and plastic to protect them during the winter as well as a heavy layer of mulch to keep the ground well insulated from freezes. After 3 years, they may be able to survive temperatures down to -10F without protection (damage) but other factors such as summer heat/water, cold temperature duration, wind, winter dryness (hardier)... are all big factors of whether or not they will survive.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

thank you very much for the info
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

There's a big difference between a palm tree "surviving" and a palm actually THRIVING and growing to look like something.
The palms you are talking about, the R. hystrix and the Tachys, are pretty slow growing and it would take them years and years to get any size on at all anyway, and at so much less than optimal temperature (that much below zero for prolonged periods is WAY not optimal) they will be even more slow.

We have Needle Palms (R. hystrix) in our yard that are about 26 years old and they are only about 5-6 feet tall. This species doesn't really "trunk". That's how slow they are. They are completely hardy here and well suited to our climate. They would probably also do okay in New Jersey in a protected location, as they are hardy to about zero degrees, but below zero for prolonged periods every winter? Probably not.

They are also extremely expensive palms to get one of any size, because of their slow growth. A 10-15 gallon size can cost over $200.

You should check out the palm pages at Jungle Music in California. Lots of great info on those pages as well as some cold hardy palm pages that might give you come guidance.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:05 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

trachycarpus fortunei grows here when estibalished in full ground 30 cm in a year.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

I have successfully overwintered palms in temperatures of -37* in a heated shelter. I am still altering the shelter structure to create a better winter environment. Last winter the heating cost was $80~. The shelter kept the interior temperature above -5*C/23*F. A European fan palm (Chamaerops humulis) came through the experience with little damage while a Jelly palm (butia capitata) sustained about 30% frond damage primarily due to sunburn in the spring and insufficient soil moisture.

For zone 5 or 6 I would recommend Sabal minor. Plant it about 2' from a south facing wall(preferably stucco or brick) of a heated building. Use 1" styrofoam board to insulate the soil by creating a 3 sided box that extends from the building's foundation and surrounds the palm's root ball. the box should be level with the soil surface and extend 1' deep into the soil. For the winter build a 3 sided box that will just contain the leaves. Use 1" styrofoam board to insulate the box and paint the interior of the box a flat dark color to provide passive solar heat. Secure the box to the ground and make sure that the sides form a windproof seal with the building(foam rubber works well without marking the wall). Leave the top of the box open as long as outside temperatures are above -10*F. When temperatures are forecast to go below -10*F put an insulated top on the box until temperatures recover. The inside of the box top should be painted a highly reflective color to reflect the heat back into the box. When the box is removed in spring cover the palm with a sunscreen to allow it to adjust to increased light.

Try Palms in Colorado Springs (USDA Zone 5b)
These people have been experimenting with overwintering palms in zone 5b.

If you want to try something easy and cheap use a Livistona chinensis (Chinese fan palm) instead. It is a cheap palm found in most box stores tropical plant sections. Instead of building a winter box, mulch heavily. The leaves will die back to the ground but the palm should regrow from the roots. It worked in Ontario in zone 5a, but not for me in zone 3a.

If you want to try something expensive and time consuming, contact me.

Most of the people growing palms in Zone 7 and colder are experimenting and learning from their and others mistakes.

Allen
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Lilith, I agree that it is important that the palm thrive rather than survive. This is why I went to the trouble to keep the shelter temperature above -5*C instead of closer to -10*C to -12*C 'survival' temperatures. It is also the reason that I continue to try to create a better winter environment.

It also cost me $550 to buy the 2 15 gal palms and have them shipped in their pots instead of 'bare root'.

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Old 05-13-2008, 11:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Cold Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

Allen, I agree with you. But many people are not looking at it from the standpoint of "greenhousing" their plants like you and I do (I don't protect the palms that we are talking about in this thread as they are all 100% hardy here where I live but I do grow and protect quite a few zone 10+ palms). They are somehow thinking (and I am NOT saying that any of the folks participating in this thread are thinking this way, I am just saying you would be surprised how many folks DO think this way) that they will just plant the palm (or other plant) outside in the yard and when winter comes it will miraculously overwinter somehow. They don;t realize that more will be required than a sheet thrown over it, or even a bit of agricultural grade frostcloth in below zero temps, LOL.

As long as you are willing to take some fairly extreme measures and put effort into it you can overwinter anything anywhere. But having something planted out and simply left to its own devices year in and year out is another matter altogether.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical looking plants for zone 7 or lower

I knew someone here in holland and he overwintered a bismarckia for 2 years in full ground in our wet& cold winters and short summers

was Tetrapanx already mentioned? also a great looking tropical plant, with a little protection it will survive your winters!

crinum x Powelii is also quit hardy
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