En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Survival of non-native windmill palm in Zone 6b

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - March 28, 2009

From: Sterling Heights , MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Survival of non-native windmill palm in Zone 6b
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Will a windmill palm survive a Zone 6b Michigan climate; if so would I have to wrap it up in burlap in wintertime?

ANSWER:

The windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei), is also referred to as Chinese Palm. This Sun Palm Trees website Windmill Palms - Cold Hardy Palms says it is the most cold-hardy of palms. However, this Floridata site on Trachycarpus fortunei states that the acceptable zones for this plant are USDA Hardiness Zones 7b to 10, and that it should be in a sheltered spot in Zone 7. Sterling Heights MI appears to be in Zone 5b to 6a (average minimum temperature -15 to 0). If the plant is in a sheltered area, with its roots in the ground (where they will be warmer than in a pot) you might be able to pull it through by covering it. If you have it in a pot, it should be brought indoors and kept in a bright window until the temperatures start to go up.

All this having been said, we wish you would plant something else. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is devoted to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Plants native to your area would already be acclimated to the normal climactic conditions, soil and rainfall. With a quick scan of our Recommended Species for Michigan, we found 4 shrubs that would do very well there, are native to Michigan, and wouldn't require an electric blanket in the winter: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick), Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea), Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry) and Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood). If you get tired of keeping your palm warm enough to survive or if it doesn't survive, you might consider one of these suggestions or some other shrub native to your area.


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Ceanothus americanus

Amelanchier arborea

Cornus sericea

 

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Specifications for a property in Corning CA
March 29, 2012 - Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of non-native Viburnum lantana
July 23, 2007 - Could you tell me what this plant is? I have no idea! Vib Iantana Mohican - this is all the info. I have, other than it can grow in the mid-west.
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native chocolate mimosa
August 07, 2008 - I have a one year old chocolate mimosa that has grown 2.5 feet in height. It has seven leaf stems two feet from the bottom and only three at the top canopy. The trunk is only three quarters of an inch...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of overgrown non-native boxwood from Round Rock TX
February 19, 2011 - We have several large over-grown Japanese Boxwoods that we'd really like to trim down in height about 10 to 12 inches, however most of the middle and lower sections of the bushes are bare or very spa...
view the full question and answer

Pruning time of non-native oleander
February 11, 2005 - When and how should I trim oleanders that turned brown after our first freeze?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center