Q: Will palms grow in cold climates?
Yes, they will. I have a few of them in my own yard. Palms are normally associated with tropics; however their range also extends into more northerly territories. There are a few species of palms whose cold tolerance reach into the single digits Fahrenheit, or even below. The needle palm (rhapidophyllum hystrix) is cold hardy below zero degrees for short periods of time. Some of these palms come from mountain regions; some have a natural genetic hardiness apparent through experimentation.
Q: What is a "climate zone?"
The USDA designates climate zones in the US, based on temperature variations. This is done for agricultural purposes, based on the seasons. A Zone 6 climate, for instance, experiences a yearly low of -10F. Zone 5 might receive a low of -20F.
These climate zones are a good guideline for gardeners looking to understand what sort of temperature variations occur in their area.
Q: Is my palm/banana hardy here?
Check the climate zone rating of the species against the area where you live.
- USDA 2003 Zone Map
- Look up Zone by zipcode
Finding out the specifics can take care and patience. I will provide ideas and instructions for establishing your palms and bananas so they can achieve their maximum hardiness.
Part of adventurous gardening is the art of experimentation. Not all plants will survive straight out their first winter season. Some plants may grow fine in one part of your yard, but perish in another. There are many elements that have to be understood about one's climate and geographical situation.
Q: How do I protect my palm/banana over the winter?
There are a few methods, which are illustrated in the "Cold Hardy Tropicals" section on this website. If your question is not answered there, then please contact me via our contact form