Successfully overwintering palms: How to overwinter planted palms outdoors and indoor palms indoors. With expert tips on care after the winter.
The world of palm trees is diverse. Some specimens can withstand snow and frost. But which palm species are hardy? When do palm trees get too cold? How do you overwinter palm trees in the room – outside in the pot and the garden bed? And how do I properly care for palm trees after winter? We answer all of these questions in this article.
When does it get too cold for the palm trees?
When it gets too cold for the individual palms depends heavily on the respective species. Indoor palm trees that are outside in the summer – for example on the terrace or balcony – do not tolerate much cold. If the temperatures outside drop below 20 ° C, it’s time to bring the indoor palm back into the room.
In the case of hardy palms that are in the pot outside, you should start protective measures for the winter before the first frost. The roots in the pot can easily freeze and should therefore be protected before the temperature is below freezing for the first time. In the case of hardy palms in the garden bed, one should look carefully at the respective species and its frost tolerance.
As soon as temperatures drop and approach the frost tolerance range of your palm, you must take protective measures – preferably when temperatures are still five degrees above the stated frost level. So you play it safe and don’t endanger your palm.
Summary: When do palm trees get too cold?
- Indoor palms: At temperatures below 20 ° C
- Palm trees outdoors in pots: Before the first frost
- Palms in the garden bed: As soon as the temperatures are five degrees above the specified frost hardness
Hibernate palm trees indoors
Although different types of palm trees have very different requirements for their winter quarters, there are still some general rules of thumb for all palm trees in winter. First of all, it is important not to expose the palm to large temperature fluctuations. She doesn’t like drafts any more than she doesn’t like moving too often in the apartment.
It is better to put the palm in its winter place at the beginning of November and leave it there until spring. In general, it applies to all palm trees that temperatures should not fall below 10 ° C. Otherwise your palm will get too cold. However, most palm species don’t like it warmer than 20 ° C in winter either. Therefore, a heated winter garden or a light place in the stairwell is more appropriate than the warm living room for wintering.
Light also plays an important role for palm trees in winter. The location should therefore be as bright as possible. However, please do not expose the plant to direct sunlight. Since the growth decreases in winter, less watering and no fertilization are necessary during this period. Before watering, check the substrate for moisture with your finger. The top layer of the substrate should always be dry before watering again. To do something good for your palm tree in dry indoor air in winter, you can spray it with water from time to time.
How are palm trees overwintered indoors?
- Avoid temperature fluctuations
- Maintain temperatures above 10 ° C
- As bright as possible, no direct sunlight
- Only pour now and then
- Do not fertilize
- Sprinkle with water now and then
Hibernate palm trees outside in the bed
In fact, some palm species defy the cold winter when there is frost and that can be planted permanently in the garden. In general, you should ensure that palm trees are only planted out when they are at least four years old. Before that, the young palms are too sensitive to the cold. If the palm is old enough and firmly rooted in its place in the garden, it is important to protect it in winter.
The most important thing here is that the roots of the plant are well protected from frost. This is especially true for palms that are less than ten years old. Because by then the roots have not yet reached deeper soil layers where they are less likely to freeze to death. Protect the sensitive palm roots with a 20 to 30-centimeter thick layer of mulch made of leaves, brushwood, or straw.
Then it comes down to protecting the above-ground part of the plant. If you have a palm tree with a trunk, wrap it with a jute sack or a straw mat. The palm fronds are tied together individually or as a whole and the top of the palm is also wrapped in jute or a straw mat. So the palm is well protected and insulated to survive the winter months. Snow is also a good insulation layer and should therefore not be removed.
How are palm trees overwintered in the bed outside?
- Protect roots with a layer of mulch
- Tie the palm fronds together
- Wrap the top of the palm in a jute sack or a straw mat
- Also, wrap the palm trunk
- Snow helps to isolate and should therefore not be removed
Hibernate palm trees outside in a pot
In the case of palms in a bucket, a distinction must be made as to whether the respective species is frost-tolerant or not. If it is not a frost-hardy palm species, the plant must be overwintered indoors. However, if you have a winter-proof specimen, your palm can, with the right precautions, spend the winter in its bucket outdoors.
At the end of autumn, bring your palm to a sheltered place, for example near a house wall. To protect the bucket from frost from below, the pot should be placed on a wooden plate or a plexiglass pane. Isolate the tub and protect the roots from freezing by wrapping the planter several times with bubble wrap, coconut fiber, or jute. If your palm has a trunk, this is also wrapped with insulation material.
Finally, protect the palm of your hand by putting a jute sack over the palm fronds. So nothing stands in the way of a successful wintering of your palm tree. Care in winter also means that the plant is only very rarely watered and not fertilized at all. In spring you should remove the frost protection early after no more frost is to be expected because, under the many layers of insulation material, the palm tree quickly becomes too damp in thaw.
How are palm trees overwintered in pots outside?
- Bring the palm to a sheltered place
- Frost protection from below
- Isolate the bucket
- Wrap trunk around
- Put the burlap sack over the palm
- Water only rarely
- Do not fertilize in winter
- Remove frost protection early in spring
Fertilize palm trees after winter
In spring, the overwintered palm tree has to be used to sunlight again. If palm trees are placed in the blazing sun too quickly, they can get sunburn. To avoid this, the palm trees in the tub are only exposed to the sun for a few hours in the first few weeks of spring.
After two to three weeks of adjustment, they can then move completely to their sunny and bright summer quarters. Spring is also a good time to repot your palm in case it is getting too tight in its pot. As soon as the roots of the plant have penetrated the entire substrate in the pot, it is time to repot.
After winter, your palm gets more light and warmth and it starts to grow stronger again. Now you can pour more often again. But you should absolutely avoid waterlogging because palms are very sensitive to roots that are too wet. You can also start fertilizing again in spring so that the palm grows well. The nutrients can be given very well in the form of fertilizer with an organic long-term effect.
It supplies the palm with all the important nutrients sustainably and gently throughout the summer. Our Gardender organic universal fertilizer with organic long-term effects is ideal for palm trees in pots and the garden. In contrast to liquid fertilizer, you do not have to re-fertilize every two to three weeks.
How are palm trees cared for after winter?
- Slowly get used to the sun again
- Repot if necessary
- Water regularly
- Avoid waterlogging
- Fertilize once in spring with a fertilizer with an organic long-term effect
Hardy palm species
So-called hardy palms can sometimes even tolerate temperatures as low as -25 ° C. We have put together an overview of hardy palm species and their frost tolerance for you below.
Which palm species are hardy?
- Blue needle palm ( Trithrinax campestris ): Winter hardiness down to -15 ° C
- Blue dwarf palm ( Chamaerops humilis var. Cerifera ): Frost resistance down to -10 ° C
- Chinese hemp palm ( Trachycarpus fortunei ): Frost tolerance down to -18 ° C
- Needle palm ( Rhapidophyllum hystrix ): Frost tolerance down to -20 ° C
- Wagner’s hemp palm ( Trachycarpus wagnerianu s): Winter hardiness down to -16 ° C
- Blue palm lily ( Yucca baccata ): Winter hardiness down to -25 ° C
- Filamentous palm lily ( Yucca filamentosa ): Winter hardiness down to -25 ° C
- Dwarf palmetto ( Sabal minor ): Frost tolerance down to -20 ° C
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