Zone 6 regions are not among the coldest in the nation, but they are chilly for heat-loving palm trees. Can you find palm trees that grow in zone 6? Do hardy palm trees exist that can take below-zero temperatures? Read on for information about palm trees for zone 6.
Hardy Palm Trees
If you live in zone 6, your winter temperatures dip down to zero and sometimes even to -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 C.). This is not generally considered palm tree territory, but zone 6 palm trees can happen.
You’ll find hardy palm trees in commerce. Some of the hardiest available include:
- Date palms (Phoenix dactylifera)
- Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis)
- Mediterranean fan palms (Chamaerops humilis)
- Windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei)
However, none of these palms carries a zone 6 hardiness label. Windmill palms are the best at cold weather, thriving to 5 degrees F. (-15 C.). Does this mean that it is impossible to find palm trees that grow in zone 6? Not necessarily.
If you want to find palm trees for zone 6 gardens, you may have to plant what you can find, cross your fingers and take your chances. You’ll find some online tree sellers that list windmill palms as hardy to zone 6 as well as needle palms (Rhapidophyllum hystrix).
Some gardeners do plant these types of palms in zone 6 and find that, although the leaves fall off every winter, the plants survive. On the other hand, many hardy palm trees only survive as zone 6 palm trees if you offer them winter protection.
What type of winter protection might help zone 6 palm trees make it through the cold season? Here are a few ideas for how to protect cold hardy palm trees in freezing temperatures.
You can assist your cold hardy palm trees to survive by planting the trees in the warmest, sunniest spot in your yard. Try to find a planting location that is protected from winter winds. Winds from the north and the west are most damaging.
If you anticipate cold snaps and take action, your palm tree has more of a chance of surviving. Just before a freeze, wrap the trunk of your cold hardy palms. Use canvas, blankets or specialty wrap from garden stores.
For smaller palms, you can place a cardboard box on top of the plant to protect it. Weight the box down with rocks to prevent it from blowing away in the wind. Alternatively, bury the tree in a mound of mulch.
Protections must be removed after four or five days. While this vigilance and plant protection makes palm trees for zone 6 high maintenance, it’s still worth the effort to enjoy a nice tropical flair in the garden. Of course, many palm trees grow just as well in containers which can be brought indoors with the onset of cold weather.