Sunday, 22 February 2009

Best Palms for North West UK

These are the following palms which I guarantee you will have absolutely no trouble with in the North West of England. The NW gets a good deal of Winter frost, as low as -12c I have seen, but it seems to generally get no lower than -8c. I shall also explain why some of the 'popular' varieties sold at garden centres are maybe not so good.

No Protection Needed
  • Trachycarpus Fortunei - Indestructable and fast growing fan palm. No protection needed.
  • Trachycarpus Takil - Larger leaved version of T. Fortunei. Hard to come by !
  • Trachycarpus Wagnerianus - Stiff leaved version of T. Fortunei. Good for windy gardens.
  • Butia Capitata - Excellent and architectural feather palm. Slight blue tinge to most.
  • Butia Eriospatha - Awesome greener and lighter leaved variety of Butia which continues to grow even in the Winter !!!
  • Jubaea Chilensis - Excellent feather leaf palm which is slow growing and incredibly expensive.
  • Chamaerops Humilis - Slow growing fan palm which suckers at the base and forms a bush. Very spikey though.
  • Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera - Bluer version with narrower fingers or leaflets.

Some Protection Needed

  • Brahea Edulis - Beautiful green fan palm which is hard to get, but seems to be a great contender if not wet in Winter when a baby, so try and get a mature one (-8c will kill it if unprotected).
  • Brahea Armata - Expensive blue fan palm which gets some yellow spotting in Winter if left unprotected (-8c damages if unprotected).
  • Phoenix Dactylifera - Surprising toughness unprotected (-6c will damage if unprotected), but will brown and yellow a bit in harsh frosts.

Forget these

  • Bismarkia Nobilis - This will die I guarantee it at -1c !!!
  • Livistona Chinenses - This will die anything below -4c even if fleeced.
  • Pheonix Roebelenii - This will damage badly at -2c and die at -4c.
  • Washingtonia Robusta - This will die at -4c and will need a really hot summer if it is to return.
  • Washingtonia Filifera - This will die at -6c and will need a really hot summer if it is to return.
  • Butia Odorata - This close relative of B. Capitata will die at -4c if this occurs for more than one night in sequence with near freezing daytime temperatures.
  • Butia Yatay - This will die at -4c if you get a sequence of these with low temp days in between.
  • Phoenix Caneriensis - Very popular palm which will damage very easily at -4c if it is not in a sheltered area. It will die at -6c unless the following days and nights are above freezing. It is most vulnerable to Spring frosts. It may come back if the following Summer is hot.

All the above finding have come from my own experiences with these guys so please beware of the false claims of garden centres... all they want to do is cash in on a craze and have no regard for the plants welfare.

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