Lowest temperatures ‘hardy’ palm trees can survive during UK winter

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Palm trees brighten up outdoor spaces while adding an exotic twist to a classic British garden. Palms are known for their large, evergreen leaves (known as fronds) that sit on top of an unbranched stem. Palms are among the best-known and most extensively cultivated plant families, and despite the fact they are usually native to tropical and subtropical climates, they are incredibly robust and can be found in nearly every type of habitat. Even if a palm tree may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of the UK weather, the tropical trees are incredibly adaptable and can survive the UK’s varying weather conditions.

William Mitchell, gardening expert at Sutton Manor Nursery, has shared whether palm trees can survive British winters.

William said palm trees are “low maintenance and can easily be grown in the UK”.

He continued: “As hardy plants, they can survive in temperatures down to around -5ºC/-6ºC, which means that they will survive most British winters.

“However, it should be noted that in the British climate, the trees tend to grow quite slowly.

“After being established in your garden, your tree might grow a foot in height and grow between two and seven fronds per year.”

If temperatures drop even further and your palm tree looks damaged, it’s likely most species of palm tree will recover fully.

It’s worth noting it could take a while for palm trees to recover after being damaged by extremely cold weather. Some experts suggest it could take at least six months for the plant to recover, if not longer.

When the plant starts to recover, new leaves will likely emerge from the centre of the palm.

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The gardening expert also warned palm trees do not like to be waterlogged but kept “moist”.

When you first buy a palm tree, you should water it every day during the first week it is planted in the garden and then several times a week after that.

Palm trees do grow quite slowly so if you want to give the plant a boost, the expert recommended giving your palm a slow, deep watering, until the water reaches the top of the basin.

Ensure the plant has good drainage and regularly check the moisture level of the plant to ensure it doesn’t become waterlogged.

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When planting the tree, you should choose a sunny spot and dig a hole twice the size of the pot that the tree was purchased in. The tree should be planted in well-drained soil.

There are a plethora of palm tree varieties, many of which can be kept indoors if you don’t have outdoor space.

William explained: “Palm trees can be planted in the ground, however, can easily be grown in pots, too, due to their slow growth and compact size.

“There are a wide variety of palm trees that can not only survive but thrive indoors, which is ideal if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space in your garden.

“Some of the most popular indoor palm trees include the Areca Palm, Yucca Palm, Kentia Palm and Date Palm.”

After an extended heatwave last summer, and some of the hottest temperatures on record in the UK, many gardeners are concerned about how their plants will fair as our climate gets warmer.

Luckily, palm trees are well-known for being drought-tolerant, making them the perfect candidate for a warmer climate.

William added: “Many of our palm trees are very easy to care for with minimum knowledge of plant care. Palm trees are very popular because they are hardy, versatile and look great in all types of gardens.

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