Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14C (7F)

Simba

Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14C (7F)

Post by Simba » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:07 am

A few people have been asking me for more detail about how I wrapped and protected my two revolutas, so here goes....

The hard winter of 2009 caught me unprepared, and the only protection that I gave my revolutas was a tarpaulin, hastily thrown over the top, and weighted down, so that it didn't fly off.
When I eventually uncovered, they looked in a dreadful state, I was gutted, I really thought that I had killed my favourite plants.

But I was amazed when June came around and I was rewarded with the beginnings of fabulous flushes of more than 30 new fronds on each.
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As winter 2010 approached, I was determined that I would make a far better job of protection for my revolutas than I did previously....

First thing I did was to stuff scrunched up balls of horticultural fleece on the crown of the caudex. No skimping. This was about 4 or 5 inches deep.
This can be quite tricky because of the prickly nature of revolutas, so I carefully pushed the fleece into place using a bamboo cane.

Next thing was to bind the fronds tightly together using string and wire.
My thinking was was that bound tightly, they would keep warmer than being loosely bound.
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Next the unprotected caudex would have the cat's fleece blanket folded over, and wrapped around, and then I used a spare roll of weed supressing membrane, which was wrapped around the caudex, and crucially I believe, it covered the surrounding soil to protect from frosts.
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But similarly with the potted revoluta, the pot and soil was wrapped protected from feeling the frosts.
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Once this was done, I then proceeded to wrap the fronds with layers of horticultural fleece.
As before, no skimping. I went round and round and round, and over the top too... :roll:
When I had decided that was sufficient, gardening wire was wound around to hold it all in place.
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Finally, I borrowed the wife's thick towelling dressing gown.
Well she wanted a new one for Christmas anyway.... :lol:
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Yes it was a lot of effort and perhaps excessive, but then, who would have guessed that this part of Essex would plummet to minus 14, very nearly minus 15...!!
I wouldn't protect all my plants to this level, but for me, I have two very special Cycas revolutas and they are completely worth the effort.

When they were finally unwrapped at the end of February after being in their coccoon for nearly 4 months, I think that the end justified the means....
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And now that the fronds have relaxed a little after their prolonged binding....
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I am not going to claim that they are undamaged, but considering that this is after minus 14 I am chuffed to bits with how they now look....

bev

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by bev » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:25 am

Cheers for that info simba, you've saved me asking the question! icon_salut

Cheers

Lee

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Arlon Tishmarsh
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Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by Arlon Tishmarsh » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:58 am

Did your wife get the new dressing gown she wanted ? or is she still thawing out :lol:

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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:33 am

You did the right thing Simba. They have come through winter amazingly well and will give you pleasure all through the spring, summer and autumn.

Tom2006
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Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by Tom2006 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:39 pm

Great stuff! The lengths we go to eh! :lol:
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.

Mr List

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by Mr List » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:19 pm

just curious why you didnt bring the potted one inside?

i havent the guts to put one in the ground both mine are staying potbound.

Bob

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by Bob » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:24 pm

Glad you put this up Simba, I'll be planting mine out this year as it takes up too much room in the g/house. That dressing gown pic made me :lol:

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DiCasS
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Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by DiCasS » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:29 pm

A great 'how to' Simba. You know I'd love to have the nerve to try mine planted out, but when it comes to the crunch I always back out :( and there it is dragged backwards and forwards every year with the promise of a permanent planting.

One of these times :lol:

Di
I'm at an age where my back goes out more than I do.
Supporter of the N.A.S.

countrylover

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by countrylover » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:20 pm

I know a bloke who grows his cycads in the ground and as a protection he uses old tyres stuffed with rockwool. He also wrap a string of xmas lights around his plants in case temps inside that 'rubber column' drop below -15. a pane of glass on top of it protects plants from precipitation. Must ask him if I could present pictures of his method here.

Simba

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by Simba » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:05 pm

That would be interesting to see Country lover...

I have already bought mountain sleeping bags for my revolutas in readiness for next winter..

palmking

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by palmking » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:43 pm

Seriously impressive. I lost my large one last year, having been planted and protected outside for the previous 5 yrs. -10.3c was enough.

I've just picked a new one up,almost as large and seriously cheap from a local GC.

Paul

countrylover

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by countrylover » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:22 pm

So, I'm allowed to present you a sago history in pictures
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countrylover

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by countrylover » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:29 pm

no happy ending this year. He said only one of his cycads had survived for sure. The rest have spongy stems :(
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Simba

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by Simba » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:24 pm

That is very sad to hear, he had a lovely collection of revoluta there, and obviously tried really hard to protect them.

Looks like the Cycas Panzi was the one that survived for sure...?

countrylover

Re: Cycas revoluta - Protection against -14

Post by countrylover » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:33 pm

Probably Cycas panziblahblah is hardier than revoluta.

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