I am thinking about buying Queen Ann palms. Can I keep them in the pots till spring? They are approximately 8 feet tall. I live in the Houston, Texas, area.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Cindy: Queen palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana) are considered a tropical for those of us gardening in Kentucky, however, I believe you are gardening in hardiness zone 9, so you can add them to your landscape as a permanent addition. If you want to purchase them now and keep them in their nursery pots until spring, you certainly can but they will require more maintenance on your part in terms of consistent moisture than they would if they were in the ground. If you choose to keep them in their containers, it might not be a bad idea to keep them in a sheltered space, still in the full sun but somewhere the roots can be protected from hard freezes. Placing bags of mulch or loose pine straw around the containers will help. These palms are quite tolerant of cold weather and can handle temperatures into the mid-20s, but the roots will be more susceptible to damage if they are left in their containers exposed to the elements. Ideally, they should be planted in the ground or into a larger container so there is more soil mass that can keep the moisture and heat in. These fast-growing palms are native to Southern Brazil and Argentina. They require a minimum of six hours of full sun each day and prefer slightly acidic soil. Consider space limitations when you plant them since they can reach upward of 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide.