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Old 09-25-2008, 06:47 AM
31 posts, read 134,140 times
Reputation: 36


I just moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and bought a fabulous home with an outdoor atrium that was already filled with gorgeous plants (potted). Several of them are tropical, including a little palm tree.

The builder told me I'd need to bring the plants inside for the winter or they'd die. My realtor told me palm trees do just fine here outdoors. I wish I knew exactly what the other tropical plants were to list here..

Who is right? Do I need to bring them indoors for the winter (and if so, how soon and how do I make sure I'm not bringing any bugs in with them?) or will they survive the winter outdoors?

I'd hate to have to bring them inside as my plant filled atrium will then be empty, but I'd also hate for the plants to die!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

PS, I am a complete newbie when it comes to gardening...that will change, though
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:03 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
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The only tropical plants I am aware of that might survive the Winter here is the windmill palm and maybe a couple other palms but not sure which ones. By the coast, more survive (i.e. banana trees, more plam trees, oleander) to name a few. I bring all of mine inside.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:08 AM
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I am inclined to agree with Janecj. First identify which palms you have. Then what is the coldest it gets inside the atrium? Is it part of the house or a seperate structure? Its possible that it could create a microclime which prevents freezing temps in Winter. If so, your stuff might make it with some mulsch layers. Or you could put lights and/or heatrocks inside it to prevent the temps from freezing.

But if they are true tropicals (i.e. Royal Palms, Coconut Palms, etc) I would bring them inside.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:15 AM
31 posts, read 134,140 times
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Thanks for the replies!

Since I just moved to NC I have no idea what the coldest it gets at all, never mind in the atrium - but I can say that the atrium has no roof.

If I bring them inside, what prep work should I do to ensure that I'm not bringing bugs inside with them?
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:16 PM
Location: somewhere close to Tampa, but closer to the beach
2,035 posts, read 4,321,044 times
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..as mentioned by the other posters,..the first step would be to identify both the palm as well as any other plants involved...also look over the usda or arbor day(most reciently updated maps..) hardiness maps to get a good idea of the general climate conditions for your area..

..if you are closer to the coast, you will definately have an advantage as costal areas
will stay warmer during the winter...some,more tender sub and moderate tropicals
may be able to withstand a occasional light frost in these locations..

..if the plants are true tropicals..ie: royal, adonidia, coconut, or other "tropical" type palms.. or plants like plumeria, clerodendrum, Brazilian cloak,or other things like heliconia
(tropical gingers),and others...then they probabaly best brought in for the winter

..when you bring them in, inspect for bugs and clean/spray plants as necessary.
..place any evergreen plants in an area where they will recieve winter sun..
..any plants which go dormant can be placed in a warm dry room or in the garage as long as the garage stays relatively warmer then outside..

..as for watering, keep plants a little drier then if they were outside..most indoor plants will not need much water during winter storage..in fact,several species will quickly succumb to
root/crown rot if given too much water during winter..

...some tropicals like cannas, hedyichum(butterfly and kahili gingers)..several
fan-type palms including windmill, perhaps needle, a couple palmetto
(sabal) species, and possibly a few others; several musa and ensata sp. bananas..some yucca,and agave species are hardy enough to handle areas of the state
closer to the coast...

Last edited by si33; 09-25-2008 at 12:24 PM..
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:09 PM
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I have a beautiful hibiscus that I wintered in our garage last yr, it came back beautifully this yr. Neighbors put them under the house. Just make 100% sure that you don't bring them out before the last frost (we had that terrible Easter frost a few yrs back).
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:38 PM
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I would recommend the Pindo Palm, Also the Windmill Palm, The miniature chusan palm, the needle palm, the saw palmetto, silver saw palmetto, and there are many more. I had a friend with the same problem. After him doing the research he found a place that offered many of these and more. Really rare and exotic palms and plants. He said it was called realpalmtrees.com something alont those lines Yeah that is what it was. They have a large selection and a forum that talks only about palm trees. Well just wanted to help in any way

LEt me know if you need any more advice or tips on which palm trees to get for a tropical feel. Oh and dont forget to look at the european fan palm. They are great palms.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:49 PM
Location: Kentucky
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The Needle Palm and Musa Basjoo Banana, as well as many kinds of Yucca do fine here and many houses have them growing here in their yards, so they would be fine there as well, because Raleigh stays a few degrees warmer than here in the winter.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:32 PM
Location: Northeast Tennessee
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Yeah, there are many "hardy" palms that will grow in most of the state... especially the eastern half. In the southeastern part of the state, some are out in the "wild" and I think there are several Cabbage palms if I recall on the coast of NC.

Windmill palms will easily survive. I know of several large ones in Raleigh.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:24 AM
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
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We had a pretty cold winter here on the coast of NC, and I've noticed that some of the hardy palms in my neighborhood look a bit frostbitten. The native species of palms that grow wild (I think they're saw palmettos) look fine, though.
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