Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Washingtonia Filifera – Doesn’t like getting wet !!!

It seems that suppliers of the palm don’t seem to care whether they give you a Filifera, Robusta or a mongrel of the two. It can be very confusing as at first sight they look almost identical to each other. However, from my own experiences with these palms they are very temperamental to the British weather conditions. Filifera can quite happily shrug off -7c so long as it doesn’t get wet. If you have rain followed by a measly -5c then it will defoliate... old leaves, new leaves, the lot will wilt, go brown and hang there looking very sorry for itself.

The year before I kept one inside the house for the Winter. Despite being ‘dry’ atmosphere lovers it decided to shrivel all of its leaves up into brown paper. I was really surprised by this behaviour?

This is a real pity as I think this is one of the more attractive fan palms with its dark orange trunk and light green leaves. On a good note though, it will return when the weather warms up. It will initially push out a mass of small leaves and then give you one or two big ones again. It can take it 2 years to start growing proper size leaves again.

This palm is a fast grower in the UK, as fast as the Trachycarpus family. However, I would not recommend it for the NW of England as we always get wash-out Winters which means this palm will not really thrive and seeing as bringing them indoors or leaving them outdoors during the Winter defoliates them unless you are a fan of totem poles I would not bother..

No comments: