How To Winterize A Palm Plant

This mature pindo palm, which is hardy to Zone 7b, is unaffected by a little snow.

You could blame it on adventurous gardeners or global warming, but palm trees are growing in unexpected locations. Thanks to the efforts of resourceful gardeners, palm trees are now flourishing in 40 states. With the help of winter-hardy palms, gardeners are bringing a touch of the tropics to places like New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and even Michigan. Consider including a winter-hardy palm into your gardening repertoire if you’re prepared to maintain your own backyard paradise.

The secret to growing palms in places where they aren’t common landscaping plants depends on a number of factors. Make sure the palm you choose is rated hardy for your growth zone first. There are several types of palms that can grow naturally in cold climates, such as the mountains of Afghanistan or even Bulgaria. Knowing the lowest temperatures that often occur in your region during a typical winter is also crucial.

Start with the largest plant you can afford and conveniently cover if you want to hedge your chances with winter-hardy palms. A larger palm has probably already been exposed to cold conditions and has grown somewhat tolerant of them. It also has additional food reserves to help it survive the winter and recover if the cold destroys the fronds that are already there. Plant in the spring to give the palm a growing season to take root. To make your plant more resilient to cold weather, use a high-quality palm fertilizer.

Many hardy palm gardeners advise keeping palms in pots their first winter to help them get used to the cold by putting them in the connected garage. Pick a location for planting that is protected from winds, preferably with a southern exposure and especially from chilly north and west winds.

Through the winter, keep an eye on the weather predictions. Plan to take action to safeguard your palm if a drop in temperature is expected. Your choice of defense relies on the size of your palm. The following actions can be taken to safeguard your palm:

Spray Wilt-Pruf or another antidesiccant on the foliage to assist stop moisture loss through the leaves.

  • Guard the trunk. It is crucial to safeguard the trunk because it transports water to the leaves. Wrap the trunk in burlap or a blanket and cover it with a layer of heat-producing Christmas lights (not LEDs). The most heat is often generated by C9 lights, but check the packaging to be sure. Some gardeners use bubble wrap on top of a layer of fiberglass-type insulation to wrap trunks.
  • Small trunkless palms should be covered in a frost blanket, and potentially some heat-producing lamps.
  • Put a layer of chopped leaves on top of the little palms. Don’t entirely suffocate the plant; just cover the base and the crown. During a cold spell, cover the leaf mulch with a box or blanket to protect the entire plant.
  • A palm should not be entirely covered (outside of sunshine) for longer than three days.
  • At all costs, guard the bud, the developing tip of the palm. Your palm will probably perish if it does. The infections that arise when moist conditions persist are very likely to affect this tip. A few days before a cold snap, many gardeners spray leaves with a copper fungicide to kill any potential disease organisms.

It’s worthwhile to put in the time to look into winter-hardy palm networks online to find out about local palm farmers and get local guidance.

Can a palm tree endure the winter?

Landscape design including palm palms is the best way to give an outdoor area a tropical vibe. However, they might be challenging to cultivate in borderline areas that occasionally encounter freezing temperatures. Fortunately, there are several palm tree species that can survive pretty well in temperatures that are close to freezing and even tolerate brief snowfall. Unfortunately, this does not apply to coconut trees (Cocos nucifera), as they cannot endure even relatively cold temperatures for an extended period of time. Coconut palms, which are native to the western Pacific, can only grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and higher. This means that in the United States, they can only thrive in the warmest, muggiest regions, such southern Florida.

Fun Facts

There are three types of leaves on palm trees: palmate, pinnate, and costapalmate, which is a hybrid of the first two. Lobes of a palmate leaf palm fan out from a central point. The structure is “fan-shaped,” with fingers extending outward from the palm like an extended hand. Individual leaflets branch out on both sides of a single axis in a pinnate leaf palm, which is derived from the Latin pinna or feather. The design is like to a feather. The Latin word pinna means feather.

Can palm trees be left outside in the winter?

No, your Majestic palm cannot be placed outside all year round as it becomes very sensitive to cold temperatures and may even perish under such conditions. Make sure it receives a temperature between 35 and 80 degrees F if you truly want it to survive.

Furthermore, you should examine your hardiness zone. You can successfully grow your plants outside without too much stress if your hardiness zone is in the range of 9 to 11.

However, you shouldn’t leave the plant outside for an extended period of time if your area experiences regular cold or harsh winters. To prevent the plant from dying or attempting to grow unpotted, you must give it plenty of attention.

In any case, it would be better to bring your plant inside over the winter to avoid any mishaps brought on by snow, ice, and everything in between.

Even if you would normally live these palms for their tenacity, if you expose them to temperatures between 10 and 34 degrees, they would eventually die, making it nearly impossible to recover the plant.

Palm plants can you survive the winter?

Whether they are in a pot or are a part of your landscaping, palm trees may give your house a tropical feel. When fully developed, palm trees are often highly durable and resistant to many weather conditions. Despite the fact that this is the case, you might be asking how to get your palm tree ready for the winter.

In-ground palm palms can be maintained alive over the winter by using techniques like burlap wrapping, non-LED Christmas lights, heat tape, and insulation made of chicken wire and other leaves. For the winter, potted palm plants can be brought indoors and kept in a well-lit space.

Other information about your palm trees, such as their type and if they have previously been exposed to cold weather, is important to know in order to winterize them (most larger palms have).

In the winter, how can I keep my palm warm?

  • Put on gloves. The best gloves for keeping your hands warm are those made of wool, leather, or synthetic material with insulation capabilities. But because it can get rather wet in the winter and wet gloves lose their ability to retain heat, it’s crucial to also have a pair of waterproof gloves.
  • Lower your sleeves. So that cold air cannot enter, keep the spaces between your gloves and garments to a minimum.
  • Find the proper fit. Make sure your gloves aren’t too tight since warm air has to be able to move around your fingertips.
  • Take a wiggle! Wiggle your fingers and toes if they feel cold to encourage blood flow.

Do I need to remove the Brown palm leaves?

Both too much and not enough water will harm palm trees and cause leaf browning and yellowing.

The majority of palms prefer to have 50% of their soil dry before being irrigated. Always be sure the soil needs water before applying it. Wash the saucer thoroughly, then drain any extra water. Overwatering can cause yellowing and eventually root damage.

When the leaf tips dry out and turn brown, this is a typical issue known as “tipping.” The most frequent culprit is tap water, which has salts, chlorine, fluoride, and other potentially dangerous substances in excess. Use distilled water or rainfall to avoid this.

If you start to see salt buildup as a white crust-like coating on the soil’s surface, you can flush the soil a few times a year. To accomplish this, remove the top layer of dirt and water your palm slowly but liberally with a volume of water that is roughly four times that of your pot. Before repositioning your Palm, allow the water in the pot to completely drain and remove any extra water from the saucer.

Nutrients in the potting soil are replenished by fertilizer, but too much fertilizer can cause leaf tips to become brown and compromise plant health. Only fertilize palm trees in the spring and summer when they are actively growing. Palms that are dormant don’t require more fertilizer. Use palm tree fertilizer at the rate suggested on the box. Remember: more fertilizer is not necessarily better. Never fertilize dry soil because doing so can cause the roots to burn.

Warm temperatures are necessary for palms to thrive. Despite being often kept warm, indoor plants are nonetheless susceptible to cold harm. Plants should be kept away from windows and doors that draft because the cold air can brown the tips of the leaves. In the winter, keep plants away from windows because leaves contacting the glass might freeze and become brown. Avoid placing items directly in an air conditioning vent during the heat.

Throughout the growing season, palms grow new leaves. A palm tree leaf gets dark as it nears the end of its natural life, starting at the tip and continuing until the leaf is entirely brown and falls off. The brown tips are normal and not cause for alarm if only one or two leaves are browning and new foliage is still coming in.

The right way to remove any brown tips from your plant is as follows:

  • Amass your resources. Paper towel, some rubbing alcohol, and a pair of well-kept scissors or pruning shears are all required. (The alcohol wipes included in first-aid kits are excellent!)
  • Before starting and after each cut, wipe the sharp scissors or pruning shears’ blades with rubbing alcohol. The blades should be wetted with water before cutting if you are simply removing brown, crispy leaves that have become that way due to aging, a lack of moisture, or sunburn patches. This will help to avoid damaging vital tissue.
  • At the base, close to the stem, or at the soil, remove any leaves that are completely brown or yellow. Make sure not to tug on the leaves as this could harm the plant’s vital components. Remove only the afflicted section of the leaf if only a portion of it is brown or yellow.

Important: When pruning, take care not to take more than 30% of the entire plant. To avoid removing an excessive amount of leaves at once, you might need to prune in phases.

How should a little palm tree be wrapped for the winter?

If your palm is little, you can weigh it down by covering it with a box or blanket. Never keep the cover on for more than five days. A little palm can also be mulched with straw or another material. When the weather starts to warm up, remove the mulch right away.

There are four fundamental ways to wrap a palm tree to winterize it: using heat tape, chicken wire, Christmas lights, and water pipe insulation.

Holiday lights

The simplest approach is to surround the palm in Christmas lights. Use the more traditional bulbs rather than the more recent LED lights. Wrap a string of lights around a bundle of leaves that have been tied together. The tree should be protected by the heat from the lights, and it looks festive too!

Chicken wireFor the chicken wire approach, arrange four stakes in a square with the palm in the center, spaced three feet (1 meter) apart. To make a basket that is about 3-4 feet (1 m) high, wrap 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of fence wire or chicken wire around the posts. Put leaves in the “basket. Early in March, get rid of the leaves.

Insulate pipes

Mulch the soil surrounding the trees when utilizing water pipe insulation to safeguard the roots. Water pipe insulation should be used to cover the first 3–6 leaves and the trunk. To prevent water from entering the insulation, fold over the top. Remove the mulch and wrapping once again in March.

Thermo tape

Finally, you can use heat tape to winterize the palm tree. Retract the fronds and knot them. Starting at the base, wrap the trunk in heat tape, which may be purchased at a building supply store. At the base of the trunk, leave the thermostat exposed. Up till the top of the trunk, keep wrapping. A 15 (4.5 m) long heat tape is required for a palm that is 4 (1 m) tall. After that, cover the trunk in three to four layers of burlap and tape it shut. Wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap on top of everything else, including the fronds. Connect the tape to a ground fault outlet. Just as the temperature starts to warm up, take off the wrapping to avoid rotting the tree.

I can’t handle all that labor. I’m slack. I utilize the holiday lights and cross my fingers. There must be a ton of additional ways to safeguard palms from the cold weather. Use your imagination, but make sure to unwrap the tree as soon as the weather starts to warm up and avoid wrapping it too far in advance of the cold.

How can you avoid having frozen palms?

When a serious ice storm is predicted or when it will be below 25 degrees for a full day, you should wrap your palm. For this, keep a long piece of frost cloth and a strong strap or rope on hand. The same materials can be utilized repeatedly. The fronds should be tied together first.

Wrap the palm tree thoroughly in the frost cloak. Work your way up and over the top of the palm starting at the base. The region where the fronds (leaves) develop must be safeguarded at all costs. That is the palm tree’s center.

Wrapping the frost cloth with rope or straps from bottom to top will keep it firmly in place and prevent wind from yanking it loose. Remove the frost cloth when the temperature rises to more than 32 degrees.

How can palm palms be kept alive indoors?

Your palm need feeding around a month after planting. Give indoor palms something they’re likely to adore because they might be finicky about what they eat for dinner: Shake ‘n Feed Palm Plant Food from Miracle-Gro. It was created specifically for palms and has all the elements they require, such as magnesium, iron, and manganese to keep fronds from turning yellow and curling. Additionally, it will keep your palms nourished for three months. Make sure you adhere to all of the label’s instructions.