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Old 08-28-2015, 06:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

I came across some info about these palms being fast growers, maybe a weed, and hardy down into the low teens, maybe zone 8. I have a shop that I believe should stay at least around 20 in the coldest part of winter that has a ceiling of about 14 feet, but even higher if you could place the top of the palm between the rafters. I know there are hardier palms, but their growth rate is painfully slow, speedy growth is what I am looking for. Anyone in California or elsewhere familiar with these Washingtonia palms? I intend on growing a few with the germination, or purchase dates staggered to have new palms as the older ones get too tall and have to be discarded, or perhaps they would be stunted a bit in the pot. Even better if I could preserve them. But even though they are a fast grower, that would be years from now anyway, just not as long as cold hardy palms. I am a little concerned about the pots I grow them in getting too cold in there, but I will pile mulch or something around them to insulate, and I have learned by experience you can keep floor temps in unheated greenhouses above freezing with some plastic, frost cloth insulation. Needle palms, and sabals are just too slow and short, and windmills are not that fast either, and borderline hardy here. I would rather just grow this drought tolerant palm in a pot (Better for pot culture hopefully), dig a hole in spring, and plop the palm pot and all in it each year for instant palm.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

Siege
Here are some articles from palmtalk.org
that might be of interest to you...

Pindo Palm for Zone 7 - COLD HARDY PALMS - PalmTalk
Washingtonia filifera after 15F (-9C) - COLD HARDY PALMS - PalmTalk
Cold Hardy Palm List. - COLD HARDY PALMS - PalmTalk
Check out the Cold Hardy Palms Section.
Members closer to your zone have given advice on the forum.

In SoCAL they grow like weeds and pop up in any crack on the side walk.
I have the thinner trunked Washintonia robusta that grew in my back yard.
The tip of the tallest leaf is 10 feet high and a spread of over 6 feet after 4 years.
Check out the links because there more selections
that can be grown in your zone and lower.
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Bananas View Post
Siege
Here are some articles from palmtalk.org
that might be of interest to you...

Pindo Palm for Zone 7 - COLD HARDY PALMS - PalmTalk
Washingtonia filifera after 15F (-9C) - COLD HARDY PALMS - PalmTalk
Cold Hardy Palm List. - COLD HARDY PALMS - PalmTalk
Check out the Cold Hardy Palms Section.
Members closer to your zone have given advice on the forum.

In SoCAL they grow like weeds and pop up in any crack on the side walk.
I have the thinner trunked Washintonia robusta that grew in my back yard.
The tip of the tallest leaf is 10 feet high and a spread of over 6 feet after 4 years.
Check out the links because there more selections
that can be grown in your zone and lower.
Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

Washingtonia palms are definitely growing like weeds here in Southern California and that is why I do not like them as much any more than I used to.
I used to live in Europe and each vacation to California I brought home seeds of all different kind of plants.
If I remember it right, each and every Washingtonia seed germinated and we had them everywhere in pots. Yes, they grew super fast and it was a challenge to bring them back into the house or greenhouse over the winter.
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

They are one of my favorite palms! They grow here but past three winters have been abnormally cold. Some 20footers died and others larger or smaller just burned. Then took awhile to come back. We had two tiny 12" ones and with in a year they were almost 5ft. But moved and dug them up in the winter and replanted and they died.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

I have read some cases of them growing 4 feet a year, I dont think they would grow that fast here because of winter, but even 2 or 3 feet a year would be good, maybe get some decent sized ones in 5 years or so to set out each spring from the shop. I bet you have the two kinds growing there together, the Robusta is less hardy than the Filifera, and the Robusta are probably the ones that died.
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Last edited by siege2050 : 09-02-2015 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

Not sure. They have always been called Mexican fan palms. We have several native palms here as well. Sabal minor,needle palm but might be extinct now days and then cabbage palmetto. Sabal Palmetto was native to the outer banks when settlers first arrived but killed it off.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

We have a native palm in Oklahoma strangely enough, Sabal McCurtain from McCurtain county. Its very hardy but kinda slow growing.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

Here is my seed grown filfera. It has usually received some form of supplemental lighting during the winter and pushes out a few fronds.

May 2013


April 2014


Aug 9, 2015
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

Wow, thats pretty good for 2 years from seed! I like that I can hopefully store them in the cold shop during winter when they get a little bigger, and I started thinking there are probably a lot of other zone 8 trees, or shrubs I could overwinter in there that can tolerate down into the low twenties, just have to make sure the roots stay warm. People always talk about storing things in garages that stay above freezing, but there should be a lot of plants that can take the temps of an unheated garage that stays a bit below below 32F at times. I could probably cover the pots with plastic and tape it up to the stems, and put light bulbs under there to heat it. I might try some other stuff like Mexican Bird Of Paradise, or Senna alata, etc. I am still not clear what the killing temps for woody brugmansia stems are without actual frost, but it would be a lot better if I could keep them out of the greenhouse during winter to save space, maybe wrapped in burlap or something.
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Last edited by siege2050 : 09-04-2015 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 12-11-2015, 03:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Washingtonia filifera palm, how fast do they grow?

Here is my Washingtonia update, about 3 months old and already 1.5 feet tall just growing under fluorescent lights, so I do believe the claims on the net about 4+ feet of growth a year. It should store quite nicely in the shop over winter in the future. Judging by the color on the stem, I am guessing its a Fillabusta hybrid so should take below 20F pretty easy. Germinated in 7 days in a glass of water, I will overwinter them the first couple of years in the greenhouse to adjust them to the cold before storing in the shop. Thanks Crazy Banana for the seeds!
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Last edited by siege2050 : 12-11-2015 at 04:04 PM.
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