Winterize the palms

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Winterize the palms: winterize

On the other hand, the assured forecast of meteorologists that the winters in Germany remain hard and cold is as previously known. The family of palm family knows more than 2,600 species. Among the best known representatives are dates, hemp and yucca palms, which flourish magnificently even under Central European climatic conditions and are an eye-catcher in every garden. While the palms are used in their original homeland as a high-quality building material and partly as a raw material in food production, in Germany they are almost exclusively used as a decorative element in the garden, on terraces but also in living rooms.

Which palm species is optimal for our climate?

Basically, we distinguish between room or container plants and there are such specimens that are planted in the ground. In all three variants, it is recommended to resort to winter hardy palm plants, which under certain circumstances can grow up outdoors throughout the year. Hemp, honey and needle palm trees have a good chance of surviving an average winter in our latitudes, but there is no guarantee for that. Basically, hardy palms are divided into three groups:
  • Frozen species (-6 to -12° C)
  • Conditionally hardy species (-10 to -15° C)
  • Hardy species (-14 to below -16° C)
Another important factor for successful wintering is the duration and number of possible frost periods. Relatively good breeding results have been found so far in the following types of palm:
  • Blue Hesperia Palm (-8 to -10° C)
  • Woolly jelly palm (-8 to -13° C)
  • Vulcano dwarf palm and blue dwarf palm (up to -15° C)
  • Chilean honey palm (-12 to -16° C)
  • Needle palm (-14 to -24° C)
  • Kumaon Hemp Palm (-13 to -18° C)
The plant should have a minimum diameter of 50 cm and a minimum age of four years when purchased.

Choose the right location

The best results are achieved when the young palm is slowly getting used to the future location. After the purchase, the plant should first get used to the site climate for a few weeks before it is planted out. Thereafter, it may spend a week or two in the tub in a partially shaded spot and slowly become accustomed to direct sunlight. Plant fleece can protect well from the midday sun and makes the palm resistant to sunburn. The final location is ideally south-facing and close to the house, the weather side should be avoided. The ideal time for planting the palm is between (frost-free) March and June, in mild weather and the autumn months are still well suited. In any case, there should be plenty of time left for the plant to adapt to its new location and to develop new leaves and roots. Palm trees love well-drained and loose soils, which should not be overly clayey or sandy. Optimal for healthy growth is a nutrient-rich soil with a PH between 5.3 and 7.5.

Thorough fertilization brings the best rearing results

Much does not help much, especially for the fertilization of the different types of palm trees, which should take place exclusively during the growing season. Ideally, a commercially available fertilizer for foliage plants contains phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. The best results are achieved with a mixing ratio of 8-6-8 or 8-6-10. If the pH value is not in the "green" range, it may also be enriched with lime, depending on the degree of hardness of the irrigation water. Previous experience has shown that hardly any plants have been received because of lack of fertilization, but rather because of an overdose of nutrients.

Cut palm trees, but when?

Regarding their pruning, palm trees, especially those that grow up in the field, are very easy to care for. Yellow tips or trays should not be cut off until completely dry. Each frond that is removed reduces the plant's power reserves, which it desperately needs for winter storage, among other things. The only exception are branches that have been damaged by frost or leaves that are attacked by fungi.

Pest removal is especially important in palm trees

Washington robusta - mexican washington palm

As dangerous enemies, especially the young palm plants, are the red spiders and spider mites, which can cause death in case of prolonged infestation. Reliable remedy here only chemical agents that are sprayed up to a total duration of six weeks. Leaf, shield or mealybugs, on the other hand, are harmless and can easily be sprayed off with a sharp jet of water or are collected by hand.

Protective measures for successful wintering

While the hibernation of indoor palm trees does not cause any significant problems, for tub plants a not too warm and not too dark basement room or the stairwell is the ideal location during the frosty season. A little more care is required when raising in the field. Top priority: The root ball must not completely freeze through, while the above-ground parts of plants even long-term and strong frost hardly anything. A winter protection made of bubble wrap has proven itself, which is pulled over the entire plant. In particularly cold regions, temporary greenhouses are used, which can also be equipped with heating. On frost-free days, however, these protective measures should be relaxed again, as otherwise fungal infection or rot on individual plant parts can form. Fertilization can be safely dispensed with during this time and the irrigation should be extremely moderate.

Winter palms and hardy palms

Most of the palm trees can be put into the garden in the summer without damaging the plant's direct sunlight. Usually, the palms are housed in the house in winter again. The situation is different with winter palms. By cultivating different plant species, it is also possible to overwinter these specimens outdoors. This is convenient and saves a lot of work since palm trees can become very large and therefore not easy to transport.
Even with hardy palms, however, there is a lot to consider. Basically, the plant should receive a sheltered location. The trunk is covered around the tree disc with bark mulch. This allows heat and moisture to be stored. Even palm trees cultivated in planters should overwinter at sheltered locations. The bucket can be additionally insulated with foil. Above-ground plant parts can be wrapped in jute or protective fleece.

Hibernate other types of palms in tubs

Preferably, the planters are made of frost-resistant materials. Palm trees, which receive the necessary winter protection, can hibernate up to -20 degrees Celsius outdoors. To accelerate the growth, a special palm fertilizer is recommended, as the plants have special nutritional requirements. Special fertilizers are precisely tailored to these needs and thus support an optimal supply of the plant. Whether fan palms, bamboo palms or hemp palms, winter palms are becoming increasingly popular.
There are also hardy species among the yucca palm trees. The Yucca filifera is one of the most popular Yucca species and can tolerate -8 degrees Celsius. However, winter protection is no guarantee for the undamaged winter in the garden. The roots of the palms are very sensitive, with potted plants are particularly vulnerable. Due to the low earth volume, they can freeze faster and should therefore be particularly well protected.
Overall, the effort that a palm needs for its successful rearing and wintering is barely greater than it is needed for other plants in the garden. In any case, the reward of this work is one of the most magnificent and imposing plants that nature offers to humans and those who have healed themselves for thousands of years.

Video Board: How to Winterize Potted Palms in Canada.

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