The cold snap!

Posted: 13 Dec 2008

The cooler weather looks set to continue and here in the UK we have had another week of depressingly low temperatures, though on the positive side this has given us some sunny days too!

Today though is cold, wet and windy and I had planned to wrap a couple of my plants today. I find most years I leave it later and later and in fact protect less than I used to. Generally I now place a horticultural fleece sleeve over only a handful of my juvenile palms.

I appreciate in areas that get harder cold and colder weather that can stay set for some time more protection is advisable and pays dividends as long as you can let the plants breath....don't be tempted to use plastic and bubblewrap as that causes too much moisture to form around the plant which leads to rot.

Interestingly I learned today that the winter in Auckland, New Zealand, of course they are into summer now!, was cool and long and this has had an impact on some palms. Most notably perhaps Parajubaea coccoides. I have been lucky enough to see the magnificent examples of these in a number of gardens when I visited the area a few years ago. I understand now though that the cool and wet winter has caused many to suffer crown rot which is a great shame. Perhaps something for those of us in colder and wetter areas to learn from should we be lucky enough to try this 'temperate' palm.

I believe that some of the other species of Parajubaea may offer better long term prospects for us than coccoides and I know such species have started to become available commercially and many are trying them. It will be good to learn how everyone who does try them gets on!

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