En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Failure of Gerbera daisies in hanging basket
July 08, 2008 - I had perennial Gerbera daisies in a hanging basket, the flowers died,I was not sure whether to remove just the flower or to go from the flower to the stem at the plants main stem? There is nothing re...
view the full question and answer

Non-native vines poisonous to animals from Park Ridge IL
June 18, 2012 - I have a Star Jasmine and sambac Philipine Jasmine Plant . Are they poisonous to cats or dogs. I have them in the house.
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
January 27, 2012 - I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.
view the full question and answer

Help with non-native plants in California
January 14, 2014 - I am growing some beads of pearl in my front yard in front of a pepper tree that has been around for over 150 years. My question is what can I do to get my beads of pearl to grow without cutting down ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center