Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese windmill palm).  The 10 F (-12 C) forecast for Saturday night will probably be close to the minimum temperature tolerance for this species.

I shouldn’t complain when friends in Wisconsin are “enjoying” -14 F (-25.5 C), but the past week has been cold for North Carolina.  The days have hovered right around or just below the freezing mark, and nights have dropped as low as 11 F (-11.5 C).  We have several more cold days in store, with low temps on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10 to 13 F (-10.5 to -12 C).  These temperatures aren’t unusual for a North Carolina winter, but usually they are short lived, and generally the lowest temperatures are accompanied by an insulating layer of snow.  It is quite unusual for weather this cold to persist this long when the ground is bare (we finally had a little snow last night).  Consequently, the ground has almost certainly frozen deeper than it has for years.

During the past few years, when winters were mild, it has been tempting try various tropical and subtropical plants outside in the garden.  Come spring, it will be interesting to see how many of those plants, mostly South African and South American, have survived.


8 thoughts on “Cold

  1. Poor American friends, this year you’re out of luck with the weather! A twitter friend is also in North Carolina and you must be very cold … I have 2 trachycarpus fortunei here and they resist at -18 ° C in theory. Here I have had no problem at -15 ° C. The youngest must be protected. I had tied the leaves on the stipe to protect it. It was good. Good luck and wait for spring … it’s coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess these are the winters which test for the hardiest cultivars. Maybe something good will come of it…. or it won’t be as damaging as it seems.
    At the very least I’m counting on a few new open planting spots this spring!


  3. The windmill palm really should be more popular than it is. I have noticed it in Portland, and have heard that it is available in Seattle. I certainly realize that palms are not for every landscape, and I actually think that they look rather silly in the Northwest, but it is nice to know that there is a palm for those who want to grow it in cooler climates.

    Liked by 1 person

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