hot gardens sunflower logo hot gardens red logo    
   A Master Gardener's guide to gardening in a hot dry climate 
Leafy trees Fruit trees Palm oasis Vines, Climbers Shrubs, hedges
Fast growing trees Nut trees Ornamental grasses Garden walls Birds and bees
Beautiful borders Replace lawn Succulents, cactus Public gardens Pots on patios
Roses Free newsletter Month-by-month Desert dirt Home

Hot Gardens Newsletter:
June 2008

Previous newsletter listed by month and topic

Snowy Palms.  We were amazed to receive an e-mailed photo from a friend in London in early April showing several inches of snow on the small palm tree in her front yard.  (What's this?  A palm tree in a London garden!?)  As surprising as the photo is, we know that all palms love heat and, as a bonus, some palm trees are quite hardy in cold temperatures.

snow on palm tree london This photo of a snow-covered Mediterranean Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis) was taken in London in early April, 2008. 

(Note: after the even colder winter of 2010-2011, this palm tree still lives and grows! And in 2017 it's still thriving in a sheltered corner of the garden!)   
palm tree london Later the same day in 2008 the snow had melted, but even those few hours of sub-freezing temperatures damaged the fronds slightly, turning them brown on the edges.

Photos by Joan Padro. 
All Rights Reserved

The  shrub-size Mediterranean Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis), shown in the photos above, is ideal for small gardens and has survived brief cold spells down to 0 F. (-18 C.)  And "brief" is the important factor; their survival depends on daytime warming after a night of chill.  

canary island date palm The Canary Island Palm, (Phoenix canariensis) will withstand temperatures to 20 F. (-7 C.) at least for a short time.  After a cold snap the fronds will turn brown and may very slowly regrow.  

Its cousin, the Date Palm, ( P. dactylifera), a native of the Middle East, is even hardier.  It has been known to survive and regrow after experiencing temperatures down to 5 F. (-16C.)


california fan palm The California and Mexican Fan Palms, (Washingtonia filifera and W. robusta), natives of Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, are also rugged, surviving cold weather as low as 18 F. (-8 C.)  

Both Washingtonias and both Date Palms reach heights of 60 to 100 feet, making them not particularly suitable for residential gardens -- although we see them planted around homes everywhere. After a few years' growth they are more like columns in a yard than trees.

You can see other palms, including shorter ones, here.

Weather Proofing Palms

Some people wrap burlap around the trunks of their palms in an effort to shield them from the cold.  Unless, however, the burlap is very thick and wrapped around the heart of the palm -- which is just below the top of the trunk where the fronds emerge -- wrapping will not improve survival chances.  Wrapping the lower part of the trunk will provide no benefit at all.

If you palm tree appears badly damaged after a cold spell, don't rip it out immediately.  Wait a few weeks to see if new green fronds begin to appear.  

Already retired? Still need more income?
Read the best-selling guide to 69+ ways to earn extra money.
Kindle   Nook   Kobo   iTunes

Planting Palm Trees

If you have to replace your palm, plant a new one during the summer. Palms usually thrive when planted in warm summer months.  They like warm soil on their shallow roots.  For more about palm trees go here.

Retired? Still need more income?
Woman in apron
69+ ways to earn extra money
'Working After Retirement'
iTunes   Kobo

How retirees earn extra money while traveling
mature couple outdoors
Kindle   Kobo

More gardening news for you
fan tex ash rio grande succulents in bloom yellow garden wall
The glorious Fan Tex ash
is just one of many trees
suitable for hot, dry climates.
Not only are cactus and
succulent borders water-wise,
they bloom beautifully.
6 ways to turn
drab garden walls
into walls of beauty.

Our 8 Most Popular Hot Gardens Newsletters: 

Mixed lantana Flowering plants that reliably bloom in scorching mid-summer heat. Australian acacia shrub. Australian plants and trees that grow well in hot, dry climates
Mediterranean fan palm Weather-proofing palms for winter; cold weather palm trees. White roses for night garden A white garden for night time viewing.
Trimmed myrtle and boxwood Topiary can be easy to create and add charm to your garden. Geranium in pot on patio Techniques to combat death by heat exhaustion of plants in pots.
Octopus cactus Cactus as security barriers for your property. Aloe in bloom South African aloes for brilliant late winter color in your garden.


Custom Search

Entire website, wording, design, photos © Copyright. 2003-2017 Carol Lightwood  All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy   About