Exoten und Garten Forum
Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board
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Trachycarpus fortunei is pretty much butt ugly in NE FL.
Message from Keith Winter Haven FL
Sandy acid soils harbor loads of nematodes that cause heavy root damage weakening the palm. If they are in heavy soils, the wet summers cause root and bud rot. If they are in swampy area, the roots rot. Thus, T. fortunei almost never look nice in NE FL. In areas with red clay, they look much better, especially under a pine canopy. But, with months of lows above 70, they just fail to thrive. If you compare any FL grown T. fortunei to the robust specimens in places with cooler nights (like NC, for example), ours pale in comparison. And they simply don't live as long. The most robust ones I see are along the Pacific coast, all the way from Seattle down to San Diego. The one exception is the black gumbo clay of Louisiana and TX. I've seen some very nice ones growing in hot, humid, often soggy places with black gumbo clay. I'm not sure why other than to say it meets their nutritional requirements and suppresses the parasites that injure them elsewhere.
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