In marginally hardy zones, we strongly urge that trachycarpus be planted early in the season to allow for good root development before winter. Windmill palms are rather fast growing in good conditions.
More Information About Trachycarpus
Palm trees in the genus Trachycarpus (aka Windmill palms) are the second most cold hardy palms (Rhapidophyllum is first). Back in the 1980s we tried several windmill palms but had no luck with winter survival. We then began searching for special individual trees that were especially cold hardy, collecting seed to obtain offspring with cold hardiness (thank-you, natural selection). Thanks to members of the Southeast Palm Society, who also supplied seed of especially cold hardy selections over the years.
Windmill Palm Growth
Trachycarpus is a group of 8-9 species of trunked palms, native primarily to Asia. They range from the dwarf Trachycarpus nanus at 3' to Trachycarpus fortunei, which can top out at 40'. With the exception of Trachycarpus nanus, windmill palms are rather fast growing in good conditions, which include full sun and clay-based soils. While they will tolerate light shade and sandy soils, their growth will slow dramatically.
Cold Hardy Windmill Palms
Windmill palms are one of the few cold hardy palms that love cool Pacific Northwest climates as well as the summers of the mid-South.
When to Plant
Our windmill palms are delivered while still young, in 1 quart sized pots unless indicated differently. Each windmill palm will not have the same degree of winter hardiness, but experience has shown us that offspring from cold hardy trees will have a much better than average chance over most trachycarpus for sale in the Deep South. In marginally hardy zones, we strongly recommend that trachycarpus be planted early in the season to allow for good root development before winter. In colder climates, we recommend growing windmill palm as a house plant for a season until it gets larger. Even then, we suggest some sort of winter protection for the first few years, such as a blanket or heat tape around the trunk.
More and more folks seem to be experiencing zone denial with the cold hardy palm trees...isn't it great! When you're ready to buy a trachycarpus, we hope you'll check our list of windmill palm trees for sale.