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Thread: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

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    Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    I had a 15x10 foot pool put in my rear yard with some tiki huts about 3 months ago during the cold season. My wife wants to add plants and palms but we have never bought any online and we are not near a nursery that would have unique ones. Has anyone in this forum purchased plants or palms from any online store? if so, can you point me in the right direction on what to get and would the chlorine smell emitting from the pool kill the plants or palms? I am new to having and maintaining a pool and I never knew how difficult at first it would be, so any suggestions are welcomed.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Welcome to TFP!
    First and most important question is where are you located and what's the climate like? Mainly how cold is it in the winter and how much rain do you get? I've bought plants online, but nothing so large as a palm. Unless you find it locally, shipping will be a killer.

    Chlorine smell won't kill anything, and most plants aren't sensitive to chlorinated or salty water either.
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    If your pool has a chlorine smell, something is wrong.
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Online purchase of palms.... BAD IDEA. I repeat.... BAD IDEA.

    Landscaping materials should be purchased locally. PARTICULARLY big ticket items. Seeds, bulbs, fine for online, worth experimentation, it fails, so what. But the large permanent landscape items require some local knowledge of what COULD grow there. Not just winter temps, but soil conditions, water/drainage needs. You want someone who knows how to plant them correctly. Too high or too low or wrong soil means failure. If you are spending $100 and up for a single plant, you want to do everything right, not take a shot in the dark.

    If there are not local nurseries that sell palms, there is probably a reason. If you have to go 50 to 100 miles away to find a palm, it may mean that your climate is not suited to palms.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Thank you for both your time, I have a home in Rhode Island, and currently its 50 degrees outside and we get snow, especially this past year with a winter blizzard. I tried to find palm trees in our local nursery, but they dont have any. So my first stop was to ask the pros about pools and I found this place, which we are happy to find. My wife found a site called http://www.realpalmtrees.com and on their site they have pictures of what they consider snow palm trees or palm trees that survive during the cold. Let me know what you think "Melt In The Sun"...

    I am skeptical and my wife thinks we should try them out, but I have never bought plants or palms online before. That was our first issue, so I called up this company realpalmtrees and asked about if their palms are sensitive to chlorine and they said no, but I wanted to ask a pool specialist before I buy them. So I appreciate your reply about the sensitivity of plants and chlorine, it will make my wife and I feel better.

    "anonaperson" I try always to buy locally but trying to grow a palm seed would be rough in our climate and they already have them full grown.

    Another question about my pool, is I just had the pool service people want to put in a Hayward Star-Clear Plus and he charged me about 500 dollars to put it in, he said that it was going to clear the pool of contaminants and something about permaglass. Is that necessary or did we just get coaxed into purchasing something else for a pool?
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    anonapersona,

    Do you see what I look out at everyday after work? It looks so desolate, so thats why I wanted to spruce up the back yard. Any ideas?

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Hmm, palms are gonna be tough. No tall palms will survive the winters up there. Needle palms (Rhapidophyllum hystrix) is the hardiest of palms and should be able to survive a zone 6 winter, but it is a pretty small one that may not give the effect you're looking for. Windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are grown up to about MD or DC, but you're quite a bit further north than that. You might consider growing some in pots, if you have the space to store them inside for the winter. Mediterranean fan palm (Chaemerops humilis) and pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) are fairly small and pretty nice.

    Since those will be difficult and chance-y, I'd recommend you try some tropical-ish plants that aren't palms. Hardy Banana (Musa basjoo) would probably be good there. It'll freeze to the ground each winter, but grow big green tropical leaves in the summer. Yucca gloriosa/recurvifolia would probably also do pretty well. Canna lilies would be nice, but would need to be dug up each fall or grown in a big pot.

    You might also try sending a PM to tikifarmer...some pics from their Pennsylvania yard are here:
    a-few-pics-from-my-pa-backyard-t9709.html
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    There are a couple winter hardy varieties of bamboo you could plant for shade and screening. Biggest issue would be making sure you have a containment to keep them from taking over. Ive seen a few blogs on using concrete above ground planters to reign them in. Again, like others said- check with your local Nursery or State department of agriculture extension office.
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Hey, I live in Upstate NY where we get alot of snow and cold weather. I wanted a tropical feel to the pool, and was able to locate a plant called Musa Basjoo. Its a banana plant technically, but it won't grow fruit where I live. It grows pretty tall with large tropical leaves. There is a little work to 'winterize' it, plenty of info online. I purchased online from www.marthassecrets.com and was happy with her service. Maybe something to check out,
    Good luck.
    Upstate/Central New York. Roman style IG fiberglass pool, 13X33, 8800 gallons, installed July 2012. Pentair cartridge filter, 1 hp Pentair single speed pump. Taylor K2006 Test kit. Went BBB route in spring of 2013, no problems, no regrets!!!!!!

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    I think that after you've invested several hundred in these new palms said to be cold tolerant, you may find that you have to wrap them up and add heating cables and a second cover to keep them alive over a normal winter. At that point, the view won't be much different. Just a lot more work.

    You ought to go to the local arboretums and famous large gardens locally to see what the master gardeners there can do with the best knowledge and soil and help available. If they cannot grow a palm outside, you have no chance of doing it. If they can, find out how much work it takes.

    "Tropical" effects can be achieved with large leaved plants that show color. You need something that will screen the neighbors house but not add a lot of leaves or seeds to you pool. Evergreen would be nice if cold and snow can be tolerated. Again, a tour of the local famous gardens and arboretums will show you labeled plants that you may consider. Ask about years to maturity, for you want screening now, not 15 years from now. Here in TX I would suggest wax myrtle, grows like a weed into a big round dense evergreen shrub of 18'+. Not sure what works where you are that grows that fast. "Fast growing, dense, evergreen shrub" is what you want. Alternate with smaller mix of large leaf colorful shrubs (golden euonomus?) and a few large leaf deciduous or perennial shrubs that will emerge behind some sort of large grass. Here in TX I'd say giant liriope with caladiums in between and gingers behind and a sprinkling of lantana where I could tuck it into the gaps. I don't know what those would be where you are. Ask for an evergreen grass about 18" tall, and some sort of tropical plants that will stay in the ground and grow in the summers (cannas? gingers?), and then add summer blooming bulbs like caladiums and summer blooming flowers of any sort. This will leave you with a great look for summer when the bulbs and flowers emerge, and in winter you will still have the framework of the large evergreen shrubs and the low green grasses between.

    PS, if you enlarge the beds along the fence, be sure to allow for walkways to the slide, for wet feet will create muddy pathways. The pool decking to the slide seems too narrow to me.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    Hmm, palms are gonna be tough. No tall palms will survive the winters up there. Needle palms (Rhapidophyllum hystrix) is the hardiest of palms and should be able to survive a zone 6 winter, but it is a pretty small one that may not give the effect you're looking for. Windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are grown up to about MD or DC, but you're quite a bit further north than that. You might consider growing some in pots, if you have the space to store them inside for the winter. Mediterranean fan palm (Chaemerops humilis) and pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) are fairly small and pretty nice.

    Since those will be difficult and chance-y, I'd recommend you try some tropical-ish plants that aren't palms. Hardy Banana (Musa basjoo) would probably be good there. It'll freeze to the ground each winter, but grow big green tropical leaves in the summer. Yucca gloriosa/recurvifolia would probably also do pretty well. Canna lilies would be nice, but would need to be dug up each fall or grown in a big pot.

    You might also try sending a PM to tikifarmer...some pics from their Pennsylvania yard are here:
    a-few-pics-from-my-pa-backyard-t9709.html
    Thanks alot for quick response and info, so yes I found out through the realpalmtrees nursery that it is not guaranteed to survive cold weather but that you can wrap them up during the freezing months with burlap and place christmas lights or heating wire to keep them from freezing. I think I am going to go with the needle palm and the Mediterranean fan palm because they are not that tall and placing them in pots like you said. I have a slight overhang to keep the snow from falling on them and if these are considered snow palms then they should do good under the overhang patio area.

    I heard about the Musa Basjoo, but very skeptical, I banana tree that survives freezing temperatures.... wouldnt more people grow bananas up here? My neighbor told me the same thing about the Banana plant and they do sell them online, but still somewhat skeptical on them growing, you know what I mean.

    Yes my local nursery does have the Canna Lilies, so Ill pick some up soon, and report back with a updated picture. We also saw the pygmy date for sale online, but it has thorns or spikes on them, and I have little ones running around all the time. Thats all I would need, a poked eye and Im sleeping on the pullout couch for weeks...lol

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Burlap, lights or heating cable, and another layer or plastic will be what it takes to protect the foliage. But in a pot, you will still lose the roots unless you can move it to a warmer spot like a garage or sun room. That is a bunch of WORK for something that is still chancy. Kinda like crepe myrtle in Delaware, it survives, but hardly gets a chance to bloom due to the weather. Really, there are so many cool plants that work in your area, surely there is something that has big colorful leaves that survives there without so much hassle.

    I had a friend who moved from Maryland, went crazy for palms. Grew one from a coconut in his front yard. Bad choice from a design perspective but he really, really wanted that tropical look. He moved before it got 5' tall.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    If you are worried about spines, well, I've never actually seen a needle palm, but I assume they're called that for a reason! Med fans have 1/4" very sharp thorns along the petioles (leaf stems), so not an eye danger, but still not friendly.

    Musa basjoo is for real...it will completely freeze to the ground, but come back from the roots.

    Botanical gardens is a good suggestion.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Jeffrey, I don't know if you picked up on it a couple of post up or not. Take a picture of your back yard and go to your local nursery(s) and see what they reccomend or perhaps they can give you the name of a good landscaper. I have not done it, but one of my neighbors spent the couple hundred dollars to have a "real" landscape designer draw up a plan (and they did the work).....they said it was the best money they ever spent and I did agree with them, the place really, really looked good. They have a lot better idea of what's out there than you or I ever will.....that was hugely obvious as half the stuff in the neighbor's yard we would have ever thought about using (or knew about).

    Just an idea.

    Bob E.

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    there is a great site of palm experts as palmtalk, there are a few that will grow there.

    see http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php ... rdy-palms/

    perhaps
    Dwarf Palmetto Palms
    Mediterranean Fan Palm Trees
    Sabal Palms

    but post your question there these folks know their stuff.

    Also as suggested bamboo can take very low temps

    see http://www.tropicalbamboo.com/find_bamboo.asp

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Daniel
    Yes my local nursery does have the Canna Lilies, so Ill pick some up soon, and report back with a updated picture. We also saw the pygmy date for sale online, but it has thorns or spikes on them, and I have little ones running around all the time. Thats all I would need, a poked eye and Im sleeping on the pullout couch for weeks...lol
    I have two pygmy date palms in my sideyard and the thorns are vicious. I have stuck myself a few times while carefully trying to get some weeds that were growing under them. I could not imagine the pain of falling into one.
    13,500 IG plaster, 4 person spillover spa, Intellipro pump, IC40 SWCG, EasyTouch4, Pentair CC150 cartridge filter, LED lights, TF100 testkit.

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    My husband is bleeding this very minute from trying to cut the fruit sprays out of the Pindo (Jelly) Palm. If you leave this stuff, it bears fruit that can be made into jelly. If you do not cut it early or pick it as it matures, the birds and squirrels take a bite or two, then the rest falls into the yard and causes a great stink. And draws rats. As Bill said, when I fussed at him for getting up on the ladder when I was not there to steady it, "It's not falling out of the palm that is the problem, it is falling INTO the palm." I pulled a half inch long thorn from his scalp this morning, buried up to the hilt from yesterday's work in the Chinese Fan Palm. Couldn't believe that he went to bed with that still in there. He said it felt like a nail in his brain when he got stuck.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Safetybob
    Jeffrey, I don't know if you picked up on it a couple of post up or not. Take a picture of your back yard and go to your local nursery(s) and see what they reccomend or perhaps they can give you the name of a good landscaper. I have not done it, but one of my neighbors spent the couple hundred dollars to have a "real" landscape designer draw up a plan (and they did the work).....they said it was the best money they ever spent and I did agree with them, the place really, really looked good. They have a lot better idea of what's out there than you or I ever will.....that was hugely obvious as half the stuff in the neighbor's yard we would have ever thought about using (or knew about).

    Just an idea.

    Bob E.

    Hey Bob and everyone,

    I spoke with real palm trees and asked if the could show me what its going to look like after purchasing the palms, which I plan to order soon, when the weather warms up just a tad. I am going to take it to my local nursery this weekend, but I really like palm trees for the pool area. It just seems more like a vacation when there's palm trees. I will find out this weekend and let you all know about the local nursery and what he suggests. For now I am uploading the design with the company at http://www.realpalmtrees.com created for my "Pool Vacation". What do you think? Does it look more tropical or like a retreat? I am going to make my final decision after this weekend on whether I buy the palm trees online or not. My wife agrees with going to a local nursery and finding new species of plants and it sounds exciting, so that's this weekends mission!

    Also thank you all for your comments and help, we really do appreciate it and we will keep you all informed

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    Remember, their mission is to take your money, not sell you plants that will survive.
    -Pindos will NOT survive there without a greenhouse. That is a waste of money. They are zone 8 plants, you are in zone 6. That is a 20 degree difference!
    -European (=Mediterranean) fans: ditto. 20 degrees too cold.
    -Windmills and needles are iffy, and probably will require a substantial effort to protect them each winter.
    -If you're going to do yuccas, that one (beaked = Y. rostrata) is not a very tropical-looking species. Pendulous yucca (Y. recurvifolia) would be better, given your goal.

    Visiting nurseries is a good idea. I think spending thousands on palms and then having them die will be a huge disappointment.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Im purchasing some plants and palms for my pools

    U know there are many bamboos that can do real low temps and look tropical

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