Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - November 09, 2012

From: Dale, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: Freeze-resistant palms for Central Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I live in Lytton Springs just north of Lockhart. What is a good hardy palm that I can get that will grow without the worry of freeze?

ANSWER:

There are two cold-tolerant palm species native to Texas.  Sabal mexicana (Mexican palm) is found along the lower Rio Grande.  Like all palms, it grows slowly, but ultimately can reach 50 feet in height.  Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto), on the other hand, only grows to about 5 feet and is found in Central Texas.  Sabal palmetto (Cabbage palmetto) is a native of the southeastern U. S. coast, and Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm) grows in desert canyons of California.  These are described in a useful web site describing palms suitable for the Dallas area. Some non-native palms are also listed there, along with tips on cultivation of palms.

A variety of palms can be purchased at Central Texas nurseries, as listed on this Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center web site.  Images of the U.S. native palms are shown below.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas palm
Sabal mexicana

Texas palm
Sabal mexicana

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Cabbage palmetto
Sabal palmetto

California fan palm
Washingtonia filifera

More Transplants Questions

Leaves falling off live oak tree in Eureka TX
August 22, 2009 - I have the same question; it is in Navarro County in August. The leaves are falling off my live oak tree, they are brownish yellow, but it is not oak wilt. What might it be? This year I put mulch arou...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting and Pruning Callicarpa
August 21, 2014 - I saw the previous question about Callicarpa from the guy in Texas and I have two questions based on the response. In SW Vermont, is late fall still the best time to transplant my Callicarpas? Also, i...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of non-native Purple Orchid Tree
March 09, 2009 - We planted purple orchid tree Texas,zone 9 two weeks ago and all leaves turned brown.My husband used root stimulator with enough water as the instructions said.We took all brown leaves off and now it...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Sideroxylon lanuginosum in Austin
August 12, 2009 - I have a tall (30-40 ft) Sideroxylon lanuginosum in my backyard. Last fall hundreds of saplings popped up in my yard following runners from the tall tree. I would like to keep a few of these sapling...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Colorado blue spruce in Indiana
August 16, 2005 - I live in Indiana. I have a Colorado blue spruce that I would like to transplant to a different part of my yard. What is the best time of year to transplant it? It is only about two foot tall.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.