Types of Cold Hardy Palms
A list of the most popular cold hardy palms and the lowest winter temperatures they can withstand. Keep in mind that the cold tolerance of palm trees is not absolute.
Cold hardiness in palms is affected by the tree's age, health and placement in the landscape. The duration of the cold spell and what kind of weather lead up to it also play a role.
It is hardy to zone 7.
The Windmill palm tree is called the Polar Palm in Bulgaria where it has shown great adaptability to the winters. The climate of Bulgaria is similar to that of USDA zone 7a only much drier.
Mediterranean fan palms can withstand snowfall and are hardy to 5 deg F.
Covering the base of cold hardy palms with pine straw helps to keep them warmer.
It is best to keep palms on the dry side during the cold months to avoid rot. Most palm trees will recover from moderate cold damage but this can take a few months, so be patient.
Microclimate affects palm tree growth. Palm tress protected by the presence of other shrubs and trees will fair better. The degree to which a palm can sustain the cold is dependent on its age, overall health and genetics.
Like many other trees, palms are most vulnerable to frost damage while they are young. A mature tree will often shrug off a cold snap that would kill a newly planted seedling.
The most important time to protect your tree is during its first winter in the ground.
The Chinese fountain palm is hardy to 15 degrees F.
One way to do it is to ring the tree with chicken wire.
Fill the resulting cylinder with dry pine straw.
Cover the central growing point or "heart" of the palm as this is the most important part of the tree.
If this is damaged, the tree will not survive.
Cover most of the leaves but leave a few out so that the tree can receive some light. You can wrap the wire with clear plastic for added wind protection, but, if you do this, you will need to open the plastic on any warm days to allow the tree to breathe.
Cold hardiness is a genetic trait which a palm will pass to its progeny. So, if you find a palm you like growing in the open ground in a cold climate, try to obtain seed from it. The seedlings will be at least as cold hardy as the mother.
Here's a list of some cold hardy palms:
A Pindo palm is the focal point of this front yard landscape.
Beautiful blue Mazari palms are hardy to -3 deg F.
Pindo palms are hardy to 10 deg F.
Mexican fan palms are hardy to 20 deg F.
California fan palms are hardy to 10 deg F.
White Elephant Palms have survived 22 deg F. for more than 14 hours without damage in Florida.
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