Custom "tropical-look" landscaping for Middle Tennessee, Huntsville, and North Alabama ---- including cold hardy palms and bamboo
Info about growing cold hardy palms in Middle Tennessee and the Huntsville / North Alabama area.
Yes, palms WILL grow here in Middle Tennessee and North Alabama !!!! Keep reading........
or call 256-503-1710
David's Tennessee Palms --
There are 3 types of palms that are “temperate” zone plants and should be planted by those wanting to get started with growing palms in a temperate climate. These are the windmill palm, the needle palm, and the sabal minor.
There are many more that will also grow well, but require a little extra protection.
The purpose of this web site is to present the 3 basic hardy palm types that require no protection for most of the winters that we experience in zones 7 & 8. During really severe winter nights and during snow/sleet events, some protection is recommended.
These are quite easy to grow and require minimal care --
you don't need a green thumb to grow these !!!
Several palms will grow, and even flourish, in places like Tennessee/North Alabama, and even in Kentucky.
The trick is to choose the correct palm and get the right information. Some palms are cold-hardy, and I would classify these as “temperate palms”, as opposed to being strictly “tropical”-- like most of what you see sold in discount stores
and grocery stores, or growing in South Florida, Southern California, and Hawaii.
The cold-hardy palms can withstand temperatures well below freezing, some as low as +5 Fahrenheit,
or even lower when mature ! (Some even without any special protection !).
The Windmill Palm pictured above and on page 3 (see tabs at top of each page)
(Trachycarpus fortunei )
Description: A fast and easy-to-grow palm tree reaching 20 feet or more in the Southeast. Origin is China. The slender trunk is covered with a burlap-like fiber. Grows well even in clay. Grown in sun in Zone 7 and give it some shade in Zone 8, protect from strong winds. Hardiness: Zone 7b (5°F) and in Zone 7a (0°F) with minimal protection. Unhappy in Zone 9 and hotter in the Southeast. (See, it prefers our area over Florida !)
This is probably my favorite of the 3 considered, and is very cold hardy. A trunking palm (as opposed to the bushy look of the needle palm). Windmill palms are readily available. Avoid plants that are balled (B&B), as the roots have been disturbed. The established, container-grown plants are superior and will suffer a lot less transplant shock. Of course, the bigger the palm, the more instant gratification in your landscape. They especially look nice when planted in groups of 3 or more, and even better when different heights of windmills are grouped together, as shown at the top of the page.
Needle Palms (Rhapidophyllum hystrix)
Description: A clumping palm with medium-green leaves, growing slowly to eight to 10 feet tall and wide. It forms a stubby trunk with age. Named for the sharp needles that protect the crown, though the needles remain safely away from children and pets, as they are in the center of the plant Hardiness: Zone 6b or slightly colder when established, making it the world's hardiest palm.Some publications are quoting hardiness to -10 deg Fahrenheit.
This needle palm in Knoxville, Tennessee, survived a low of around minus 20°F in 1985. (photo: Will Taylor, a SPS member)
I am a long-time avid gardener, a member of the Southeastern Palm Society (SPS), and I enjoy palms, bamboo, and citrus.The SPS link is http://www.sepalms.org/
*** More temperate palms shown on the next 2 pages. Use tabs near the top of this page *** pg 1 of 3
Group planting of cold hardy windmill palms
Windmill palm in Huntsville, Alabama
Cold Hardy Palms: Windmill palms, Needle Palms, and bamboo for North Alabama, Huntsville area, and Middle Tennessee
PALM FERTILIZER --- Palms need extra nutrients like manganese, magnesium, and trace elements to do well..