Yes, they can. In Vancouver of course but did you know they can grow in Southern Ontario? In fact at our location in Brantford, Ontario we have a few different varieties that will withstand Canada’s Winter.
With a little help there’s no need to shy away from these ever popular exotic plants.
One of the first questions people ask about a certain palm is its cold hardiness or cold tolerance (both mean the same thing). This refers to the minimum temperature that a palm can withstand before it begins to freeze to death. Different types of palms come from different parts of the world. Some come from tropical rainforests while some come from hot, dry deserts. A palm’s natural habitat is where it has been growing since the beginning of time (in most cases). Thus, the palm has become accustomed to the climate, conditions, and environment around it. If a palm is subjected to colder or drier conditions than it is used to in its native home, it can suffer damage or even death.
Simply put, a palm has a temperature and humidity range in which it is able to photosynthesize and grow. If the temperature falls below this range, the cells in the palm’s leaves (chlorophyll) stop photosynthesizing and begin to die. The leaves will be the first to go, followed by the stems, crown, and lastly the main trunk. Some palms have been chilled long enough to lose all their leaves (defoliate) but not long enough to freeze the grow point (crown). In this case, the palm will usually recover by pushing new growth once temps become warmer. Full recovery can take years.
If the temperature hits 18 degrees for just 30 minutes, the Bismark will sustain minimal leaf burn (probably just at the tips) and likely will not die. However, if the temperature drops to 18 degrees and remains there overnight, the palm will probably sustain complete leaf burn (causing all leaves to die) followed by freezing in the growth point, or heart. Once the heart is damaged beyond recovery, the palm will likely die a slow death over the next few days. Sometimes, the freeze damage to the heart is minimal enough to cause slow decline and death over the course of weeks or months. Once a palm is defoliated (loses all of its leaves) it loses its ability to photosynthesize light and push new growth. Even if the heart is not killed by the cold, the loss of leaves basically cuts off the palm’s food source and the trees will starve to death. Some species are resilient enough to force new growth even after all leaves have been killed. The chances of this happening become better if the weather quickly warms up, the growth point is treated with a fungicide to prevent further disease, and the palm is already mature (able to utilize reserves of sugar and water from its stem).
DURATION OF WARMTH
Is it beginning to become clearer why duration of warmth is important? Even if both locations drop down to 35 degrees for the same amount of time and the same number of days in a given year (both are Zone 10b), the Coconut has a better chance at survival following cold snaps because it is warmer, on average, throughout the year. The Florida Coconut will also grow faster, larger, and with less care than the California Coconut. The other major factor that affects cold hardiness is relative humidity.
XLB Palm Trees, Ontario’s palm tree specialist, provides businesses and home owners throughout Ontario with the opportunity to create custom tropical designs into their landscaping portfolio. To enhance your outdoor lifestyle with unique spaces, XLB Palm Trees offers tropical and cold hardy tropical plants and palms. From backyard oasis, cottages or private events to restaurants and custom projects, XLB Palm Trees offer the highest quality plants.
XLB Palm Trees hand selects the inventory from our own supply in Vero Beach, Florida. Every palm and tropical plant is shipped and packaged with care, arriving in Ontario in a matter of days, guaranteeing the highest quality product to you. Contact us for more details and what cold hardy palms we have available.