Exoten und Garten Forum               Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board

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Re: So many broadleaved evergreens for zone 7/8 never used.

Message from Jim Wilmington DE 7a

East coast Zone 7 is a region where a whole lot of BLEs can grow. And yes, only a fraction seem to be used with any regularity. I'll play devil's advocate for a moment, though. It has been my experience that a few really interesting BLEs have issues in cultivation that A, aren't well known, and B, are often fatal to the plant, or set the plant back significantly that it begins to make sense NOT to choose those plants.

Great case in point: Portugal Laurel. It looked like THE Holy Grail of Zone 7 BLEs. ...Until I tried one. Grew nice for a couple of years, then a very hot summer (3 days over 100F) induced bacterial canker to infest the plant and effectually knocked it out. Joe K from this board had the same thing happen to his Portugal Laurel the same summer, 40 miles east of me. And his was a really good sized specimen, too.

Since that experience, whenever I come across in print or online a fascinating, hardy BLE that I never see anywhere around here, I now ask the question, "Is there a REASON it isn't used?" I'm sure with MANY plants, the answer would be no. But, and it's a big but, with many others, the answer is yes.

I'll give you another example. Yucca Rostrata. Supposedly hardy to Zone 5. Surely to Zone 7. Well, I have 3. After EIGHT YEARS, two of them could rightly be sold at a nursery in 1-pint containers. The remaining one is doing okay. Not fantastic, but it grows.

A lot of really cool plants aren't sure things when you plant them.

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