palm tree on pool deck

chayne

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i live in texas and i was thinking of buying a potted palm tree to put on our pool deck. i was just curious if anyone has any idea what would be the best. i really dont want it to get real tall since my pool deck is 4' off the ground. any help would be appreciated.
 

JoyfulNoise

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Sago palms are very nice, slow growing, low mess palm.

Just know that palms are grasses and need a lot of water with excellent drainage. Heavy clay soils are bad for palms. They also need specialize Palm food.

Search the forum for palms and Texas as there are some posts with great resources in them.


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Divin Dave

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small mexican fan palms would do well in a pot. I dont think they would get very big if kept in a pot, and they are fairly slow growing.

Sego Palms would also be an excellent choice IMO, but they look more like just a plant rather than a tree. They are neat to watch grow new frondeach spring. It's very wierd and it happens fast. Like some sort of alien from another galaxy.

both are attractive can tolerate fairly well what us Texans call cold.

If you are in to the tropical flavor, another thing you might consider are maybe some banana trees. They also do well in pots. You can leave em outside in winter if you want. They will turn brown in winter and look dead. But in February, just chop off the plant at soil level and cover with a little mulch. They will grow right back come spring time. They grow fast too and look absolutely awesome and have lots of "babies" that you can transplant into other pots, or maybe plant some around your deck.
 

JoyfulNoise

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Yes, banana plants are very nice and easy to care for. And yes, aliens did leave sago palms here when they visited earth to build the pyramids :cyclopsani:
 

chayne

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i do like the way the mexican fan palm. i was reading that it can grow to 100'. banana plants look pretty good too. i guess now i just need to go and look at them at a local nursery or maybe even home depot. i certainly appreciate the info
 

JoyfulNoise

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I'd stay away from the big box stores, they typically only get low quality plants and the people there do not really know much (in my experience). Find a local nursery where you can get specimen-grade plants and it would be good if they either specialize in palms or have someone on staff that knows a lot about them. In my town, I have three, very high quality nurseries all with a few miles of one another and each one has their own specialty. I can get specimen grade plants from them and they even offer some guarantees that if the plant does not do well, they will replace them.
 

MarkTX

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Nov 15, 2015
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There are palms that can survive a frost, and those that cannot (most of them). Not sure why you want a palm in a pot, but in my opinion the only potted plant I would consider is the Bird of Paradise. Potted, so can be brought in for the winter. As far as I know, all real palm trees need a a lot more soil than just a pot.
 

txnole

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Aug 18, 2014
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Where you are located in zone 8, you need a particularly robust palm to be potted outdoors year-round. I would suggest a windmill palm, mule palm or washingtonia palm. All of these are naturally cold resistant, with the mule and windmill being the better choices. They will constrain to the pot for some time, but may undergo stress once the roots exceed the full capacity of the container. Enjoy!
 

woodyp

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....................."They also need specialize Palm food."

Don't tell my Pindo palm that cause I'll have to start treating it like that overly picky eater cat I have. Guess I gotta go Google this now. Gee Thanks!
 

JoyfulNoise

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....................."They also need specialize Palm food."

Don't tell my Pindo palm that cause I'll have to start treating it like that overly picky eater cat I have. Guess I gotta go Google this now. Gee Thanks!
Usually it's the lack of certain micronutrients that palms suffer from. Palms are a little weird in that they need a source of manganese to be healthy and they require a small amount of boron as well or else you'll get crinkly fronds. Copper is also required in very small amounts a well. The biggest problem with palms though is watering - they need lots of water BUT not damp, clay soil. Soil that has good drainage is a must.

I typically use palm food spikes to keep a residual amount of fertilizer in the soil and then supplement with granular palm food dispensed by hand. I'll also add a small amount of boric acid (or, if I have it in the laundry room, some borax) to the soil to avoid leaf crinkle.
 

bdavis466

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Here in Southern California, Mexican fan palms are weeds. They will grow just about anywhere and are difficult to kill. Well maintained fan palms actually look very good but few people keep them trimmed and trunks shaved since it's so much work, especially once they grow taller than the reach of ladders.

My favorite palm tree is the Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix Canariensis). They are somewhat fickle, very slow to grow and require months of babysitting after a transplant. They sure make a statement though.

There is a nursery near me that takes fan palms and lays them horizontal to the ground until the trunk starts to grow upwards. They then rotate it and repeat the process. They call them Tornado Palms. They look similar to this:

tornado palm - Google Search

- - - Updated - - -

Sorry, I just saw you were looking for a potted Palm... Disregard the last post.

What about a Pigmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)? They handle the cold relatively well.

A Mediterranean fan palm is another good choice. A Mexican fan palm would outgrow a pot in a very short time
 

woodyp

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My Pindo is 8 ft. tall or so. How much borax would you recommend and how often? Handful at a time dispersed?
 

JoyfulNoise

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My Pindo is 8 ft. tall or so. How much borax would you recommend and how often? Handful at a time dispersed?
http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/PD-83.pdf

http://www.palms.org/palmsjournal/2007/v51n3p115-126.pdf

I applied about a 1/4cup per tree of granular boric acid on wet soil and then irrigated the area as normal. That area covered about three palm trees. I also only apply twice per year. My palms are, unfortunately, planted on very heavy clay soil which makes micronutrient uptake very difficult.

You only need trace amounts of boron as excessive boron can interfere with carbohydrate formation.




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woodyp

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I hear ya'. I dug a 3 ft. deep hole to plant mine in so it's basically a potted plant in the clay pot I dug into! Doing well for two summers so far I guess-------just no fruit or pretty flowers so far like the pictures of them I see on the net. A gal friend of ours has had one planted for 4 years or so I guess which is smaller than mine. It put out fruit last year and freaked her out! Thanks!

To the OP. I've read that these pindos do well in pots too.
 

JoyfulNoise

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I think the fruit is more of a nuisance and pest attractor than anything else. I usually trim off the fruit stalks when I see them growing since they are basically useless and will only deprive the tree of nutrients. No need to fight for nutrients when the fruit is useless.

I planted a Persian lime tree in my front and basically dug out a 4ft diameter hole that was about 4 ft deep. I mixed A LOT of bags of organic compost (and some very strong horse manure...phew!) into some of the native soil with a ratio of 75:25 (compost:native). I have to dig out a irrigation trench around it this season as I'm going to switch to flood irrigation for water since the citrus trees really don't like constant wet soil and the drip lines just keep the area too wet. I've gotten a couple of dozen, excellent limes from it over the years and it's a really nice tree. Though I will say citrus is a royal PITA to care for around here because the swallowtail butterflies love to lay their eggs on them and then the orange-dog caterpillars will strip a tree bare (and they are nasty looking little worms!).

I've recently started 5 apples sprouts from seeds and plan to nurse those in small pots for the next year or two and then plant them out back near my casita. I'm looking to grow them for wood and shade (since apple trees can get pretty tall) as opposed to fruit. It'll take many years of nursing to get them to be viable but once they set, the lack of dwarfing characteristics and natural growth patterns should make them a nice tall and hearty tree. And hey, if I get an apple or two from them, that's fine by me...
 

Acmfl

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Apr 7, 2014
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If I remember correctly when I lived in Grapevine, I had a Pygmy date palm in a pot. It just needed a lot of water and protection from freezes. Don't banana trees get those horrible big banana spiders? :eek:
 

woodyp

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"It is considered relatively fast growing for a palm tree, (pindo) and can produce delicious edible fruit after 7-10 years. Many folks use this fruit to make a sweet jelly, hence the name Jelly Palm."

........but it's a Jelly Palm!
 

bmoreswim

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And the hardiest palm on earth...the Needle Palm (Rhapidophyllum hystrix).

http://www.chillypalmtree.com/NEEDLEPALM.html

I bought two about three years ago out of curiosity. I'm in Maryland. They are still alive but hardly thriving. Having survived lows around 0 with no protection.
 

JoyfulNoise

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YIKES!! Those needles look like a property liability claim waiting to happen...but it's a nice looking palm.


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bmoreswim

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Yeah, it's the price admission for a Palm up here. Toughen up or hit the road.