Exoten und Garten Forum               Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board

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How long should I push my luck?

Message from Ken in cold z6a Ohio

Looking for a little advice...

I haven't covered anything yet. I have a T. fortunei, S. minor, and B. capitata that have been in the ground for three years now. Trachy is over 6 feet tall, and starting to trunk, the others are waist high. My coldest morning so far was 19.5F. This morning was 25F. Some days are only making highs into the 30sF. The sun is not very strong, but still feels good. All of my palms are in exposed locations, not near the house.

The forecast for next weekend is around 60F for highs, with no temps below freezing for maybe a week or two. I'd like to leave my palms enjoy the sun and these temps, but at what point is there more damage than it's worth? I'd doubt that they could survive two months of 35/20F, even though that's not extreme temps. I think the duration of cold and repeated freezes would do them in.

So, what do you think should be a "trigger point" when I should cover? Would it be an absolute low, or a number of nights below a certain temp, or freezing precip? I'm curious what the more experienced growers think.

I also have a needle that's been in the ground for about 10 years. It may not need any protection this year.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.


Exoten und Garten Forum               Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board