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General Care

March 17, 2018

Question

I planted 6 Pindo palms poolside in 2012. The landscaper said they would survive south Arkansas winters just fine, and they did, until the single digit temps of this winter that we had even here in Camden.  Now most of the fronds have turned brown or gray, although there are still a few that are somewhat green. Are they dead? Cutting off the dead branches would sure give them a butchered look. Should I just cut my losses? Not sure how I can get them dug up other than with a backhoe! 

AnswerYou are not the only one with this question.  The only answer I can give is I am not sure.  I have looked at some and there is still green in some of the trunk.  If the center most frond on your palm is still green and doesn't pull out easily, then chances are good the palm is still alive.  It is not going to be a gorgeous plant any time soon.  Palms will not begin putting on new foliage until the weather warms up considerably.  If it does begin to put out new fronds, don't be alarmed if they are somewhat deformed at first, but with time they should fill out.  Cut off all the brown fronds and keep your fingers crossed that they will leaf out. 


 

October 7, 2017

Question

Can you identify this plant which was purchased at a local nursery a year ago? It had no tag and they did not know what it is. It has some flowers year-round but is currently covered with blooms. Thank you for any information you can provide.

Picture of Tibouchina

Answer

The plant in question is a Tibouchina – commonly called Glory Bush.  It is not considered winter hardy, so you will need to bring it indoors this fall.  It is a beautiful tropical plant with deep, rich purple blooms. 


 

December 3, 2016

QuestionI have potted palms in metal urns on my north facing in, well-covered front porch in Dumas, Arkansas that I'd like to overwinter without moving them. The porch is 10' deep, open on the ends & is as wide as the house. Do you think they would make it through winter?  How do I care for them?

 

Answer

It depends on what type of palms they are.  We have several varieties that are winter hardy in various parts of Arkansas.  The windmill palm should survive statewide, but in Dumas you should have luck with several including the windmill palm, the sago palm, date palm, sabal and pindo palms. If you have the large houseplant-type palms – parlor palm, Kentia palm or fishtail palm, they would not survive outside, even with protection in south Arkansas unless it is a very mild winter.  I would opt for replanting with a hardy variety next year then you don’t have to worry.


 

December 3, 2016

Question

I have a scheffelera that began as a small-medium sized potted plant a few years ago.  We have re-potted it 3 times, each time to a much larger pot.  It has now grown to a large tree but is still in a pot.  We just moved it into the garage for the winter and will keep it there until the maple tree that we keep it under leafs out again next spring.  Since this has grown so large, would it be possible that it would overwinter next year if I planted it in the ground next spring? We live in Beebe.   It has a huge root ball and rather large limbs now and it absolutely gorgeous and I certainly don't want to lose it but it is quite hard to handle when re-potting since it has gotten so large. It is about 7-8' tall.

 

Answer

Scheffelera’s are tropical plants and would not survive anywhere outside in Arkansas.  In the future, if your plant is root-bound, instead of increasing the pot size with each repotting, shear off some of the roots and repot in the same container with fresh soil.  This alleviates the root-bound conditions, but limits top growth as well.  As you upgraded each year, you gave the plant carte blanche to grow bigger each season.


 

September 2011

QuestionI have a plumeria tree. It is now over 5' tall and I moved it to Arkansas with me six years ago from California. I bring the plumeria in every winter, and so far it has done great. The problem is now it has outgrown the pot that it's in. When would be the best time to try to repot the plant? In a few weeks it will start to go dormant and lose all of its leaves. Should I repot before or after?

 

AnswerI think it would be easier on you and the plant to repot when you move it back outdoors next spring. Some folks even store their plumeria bare-root—simply pull it out of the soil, let dry and store in protected, cool, dry place. Think about those chunks of stems you can buy with no roots in Hawaii, and then they magically grow, once potted.

September 2010

QuestionI saw this plant at a hotel in Aiken, South Carolina and I would like to know what it is and if it would do well in the Little Rock area? The climates seem to be comparable.

 

AnswerIt is a cycad commonly called Sago palm: Cycas revoluta. It has been overwintering in central Arkansas, but it often freezes back to the ground and then starts over in the spring. Last year with all the rain we had, and colder than normal winter, we did lose some. Drainage is critical. If you want them to start large each season, then they can be brought inside or in a garage for overwintering.


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