As stated before Phoenix roebelenii are
hardy to around 24°F (-5°C) and even lower if temperatures
are brief and day temperatures warm up above the freezing mark.
But what if temperatures are forecasted to be in the lower 20s
(-7°C) and only warming up to say only 31 to 33°F (-1to
1°C) during the day, or temperatures are forecasted to stay
below freezing for a prolonged amount of time? This might be
the time to protect! Since pygmy palms are small, this is quite
easy to do.
First a word of CAUTION! Phoenix roebelenii is armed with sharp, spiny,
needles on the petioles towards the inside and close to the leaf
base . Needless to say they can hurt and be quit painful if one
gets punctured by these lethal armaments. So eye, head as well
as body protection is a must! A leather coat, gloves and some
sort of head protection is advised, as well as goggles to protect
the eyes, as its useless trying to enjoy something you can't
see, let a lone being the cause of your blindness! Always Use Caution!
Supplies you will
need: I find
that bungee cords work the best, Two (2), at least 25-30 inches
(63cm-75cm) bungee cords well do just fine. Also some sort of
fleece or heavy duty insulating protective covering, a wool blanket
works very well, try and find an old wool army blanket, check
out a GI surplus store in your area. Next, you want a plastic
or water proof tarp and finely you'll need a supply of mulch,
straw, hay, pine needles or leaves. It is also advised to get
a helper when doing this, it makes it much easer and faster to
The procedure: Loop bungee cord around trunk
and attach both ends to form a complete loop and slide upwards
bring all the leaves together into a bundle. This may require
some assistance from your helper, also note that two bungee cords
maybe required. Cover or wrap the bundled leaves including the
trunk with a wool blanket and cover palm completely with a water
proof cover making sure that this tarp extends all the way to
the ground. Mulch the root area with about six (6+) or more inches
of mulch (15cm+) the more the better, and water well before freeze.
Remember frost is more damaging than the cold unless temperatures
are below freezing (26°F -3°C)
for an extended period
of time. Also keep the soil around the root system from freezing.
When to remove protection: If temperature rebound to above
freezing and the weather has modified to a mild state, immediately
remove all protection. If temperature are to remain below freezing
it is best to leave protection on until temperatures moderate.
Note: do not remove
the mulch. Always Use Caution when working
around any Phoenix species!
when finished viewing