Is the hemp palm hardy? So hibernate Trachycarpus properly

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Is the hemp palm hardy? So hibernate Trachycarpus properly: trachycarpus

Characteristic of the Asian high mountain Trachycarpus palm are their fan-shaped, long-stalked leaves. The trunk is covered with fine or coarse fibers that fall off over the years. Hemp palms can be planted in the garden but also kept in the tub, with specimens in the tub make other demands on the hibernation.

Hardiness of the hemp palm Trachycarpus

If you want to keep a palm tree outdoors in Germany, you have to pay attention to a good winter hardiness. Here stands out the hemp palm Trachycarpus particularly. Originally it grows in mountainous regions with a very harsh climate, at altitudes of 2500 m above sea level. Here, these plants are subject to strong temperature fluctuations and are exposed to otherwise adverse conditions.
The best winter hardiness of up to - 17 degrees, the Chinese hemp palm (Trachycarpus Fortuneivar Tesan), which incidentally is also the best known and most popular hemp palm species. Other subspecies still tolerate temperatures between -7 and -13 degrees. How winter-proof a hemp palm actually is, depends on the respective location, the age of the palm and its size. Even young hemp palms and specimens in the bucket are usually only partially hardy.
In addition, the winter hardiness of individual plants also plays a role in the number of winters that they have already spent outdoors, even at higher temperatures. The better they are used to the frosty climate or the later they are planted outdoors, the better they can handle it. In general, it is advisable to hemp palms, which are younger than 4 years and much smaller than 100 cm, to overwinter in the house.

Winter protection begins at the plantation


Winter protection does not start with the first few degrees, but already during the planting, with the choice of the right location. No less important is the condition of the soil.
  • Location should be protected from the wind
  • Ideally, in front of a south-facing house wall
  • Climatic conditions are best here
  • Pay attention to well-drained soil
  • Soil should not be wetted even if rainfall persists
  • Preventively best a drainage layer in the planting hole
  • Drainage should be 10 - 15 cm thick and consist of coarse materials such as gravel
  • Mix loamy soil with plenty of coarse-grained sand for better permeability
Even if the location and soil conditions are optimal in the open air, you should neither put the winter protection on too early nor leave it too long on the plant. Only when prolonged frost and temperatures below minus 5 degrees are expected, it is time to provide the hemp palm with appropriate protection. As soon as it gets milder, from about March, it should be removed again.

Hibernate in the garden

When it comes to properly protecting planted hemp palms, one should first know that winter wetness is much more threatening to these plants than frost. This is especially true for the root area and the sensitive heart of the plant. Nevertheless, they are quite robust and with a little help, they can survive many winters unscathed.

Protect root area and trunk

When temperatures fall below -5 degrees, both the air and the ground temperature, it will be time to take protective measures. First, the root area is provided with a cover. This can be a humus layer consisting of dry leaves and compost or bark mulch. The cover should be about 30 cm thick to prevent the floor from completely freezing. In particularly cold winters and temperatures below - 12 degrees it is advisable to protect the trunk as well. This can be done by wrapping it with several layers of fleece, jute or burlap.
Tip: Alternatively to a cover of leaves and brushwood, root and stem can also be protected from freezing with palm tree heating.

Palm heating against extreme frosts


A palm heating is a special plant wintering system in the form of a heating cable. This can be used both in the root area and to protect the trunk.
  • To protect the root, bury the heating cable around the root area
  • Then connect the cable to the mains
  • Wrap the trunk first with a reed mat
  • Then wind the heating cable spirally from below over this mat
  • Then attach the cable with tape to prevent slipping
  • Wrap jute, fleece or similar, breathable fabric over it
  • Avoid direct contact of the heating cable with the trunk
If the temperatures reach extreme minus degrees, the hemp palm can be additionally wrapped with a foil. However, this should be removed as soon as the weather improves and temperatures rise again.

Heart of hemp palm protect

The most sensitive part is undoubtedly the heart of the Trachycarpus. Here, in the vegetation point, the palm tree forms new fronds.If too much water penetrates and freezes, the ice crystals that are present can damage the tissue of the young fronds, especially at the leaf roots. If the temperatures rise, the dead tissue can rot and destroy the entire palm heart, the plant dies.
From a temperature of - 12 degrees, the palm fronds are usually frozen. If you then touch the unprotected fronds, for example, to shake the snow from the leaves, the fine capillary can break in the leaves. The result is that through this capillary no plant juice can be transported in the spring and the damaged frond dies.
The best way to protect the heart and leaves is to loosen or tie up the fronds with a rope or rope. It's better not to use a binding wire as it could cause damage to the leaves. In case of prolonged rainfall, no matter if it is rain or snow, there is an additional moisture protection in the form of a foil cover.
Under no circumstances should the film be closed at the bottom to prevent the formation of condensation. To prevent the cover from being blown away by the wind, you can use two smaller stones attached to the bottom of the foil. If the weather improves, the foil must be removed.
Tip: The palm fronds should be dry when tied up. In addition, one should choose for this action a day with dry weather.

Hibernation in the house


Hemp palms of the genus Trachycarpus should be planted at the earliest at the age of 3 - 4 years in the garden. Only then are they robust and big enough to survive a normal winter outdoors, of course, with appropriate protection.
  • Specimens that are younger, better winter in the bucket frost-free
  • Add plants as soon as outside temperatures drop to - 5 degrees at night
  • Winter quarters should be bright and cool
  • Temperatures ideally between 5 and 10 degrees
  • The cooler the room, the darker the hemp palm can stand
  • Temperature fluctuations, by repeated switching, preferably avoid
  • Wintering of older palms in the tub, in mild locations outside possible
  • They tolerate temperatures of -6 degrees
  • Good protection against frost and moisture is especially important here
  • Plants in the bucket are generally more sensitive to frost
  • Location in front of a sheltered and shady wall is recommended
To protect against frost and moisture from below, place the bucket on a Styrofoam plate, a wooden pallet or similar. The bales are covered with a thick layer of leaves and sprigs of pine and wrapped around the bucket several times with fleece or reed mats and additionally with a bubble wrap. If the temperatures continue to fall, it is better to spend an older palm in the house too.

Care in winter

Planted hemp palms must be watered every now and then in winter, but only sparingly and only on frost-free days. Plants that do not survive the winter are often dried up and not frozen. However, fertilizers should be completely avoided. When hibernating in the house, it can come due to the dry air quickly to infestation with pests. To prevent this, it may be helpful to occasionally spray the plants with lukewarm water. Before moving to the open air in the following spring is a good time to repot a Trachycarpus, if necessary.

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