Mullumbimby Palm Blog Archive March 2014

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Saturday, March 22, 2014


Swimming pools need be in the sun and also may have limited space around them. Large palms tend to need more space and small palms tend to need shade. Large palms need to be around 3 to 5 metres away from the pool because they will eventually drop seeds , dead fronds and bird droppings . Small palms do not have this problem but they tend to be understorey palms and need filtered light  not full sun.

Also avoid palms with spikes such as the Phoenix palms and messy palms like the Cocos, unless you are restricted by a cold climate. The Bismarkia is a very attractive palm but will take up a large area eventually ( 7metres across) But it can be trimed to a size. Therefore consider the eventual shape of the palm. Removal later on can be expensive.

Palms have a root ball and not a single tap root like trees  and the palm rootlets flow around pipes and along concrete  structures . So if enough space is left between the palm and the pool for the fronds not to drop into the pool, then there is plenty a space for the eventual diameter of the palm trunk. Large palms such as Bangalows should only be planted if you have the space or really want a large over hanging effect .In this case they make a fantastic background to a tropical garden in front.


The choice of palm will also depend on your climate. Palms to consider for a pool area in Melbourne  of a moderate size might be the Chinese windmill ( max height around 15 metres ) Foxtail ( max height around 10 metres) and Sugar Cane palm ( Dypsis baronii, max height around 8 metres), . Small palms for Melbourne might be Rhapis ( max height around 4 metres ) and Cascade prefer filtered light ( max height around 2 metres ) ,  Dypsis  albofarinosa ( max height around 4.5 metres )  and Dypsis  plumosa ( max height around 4 metres )  All these like full sun.


Sydney can use all the above palms and coastal Sydney where there is no frost can add Golden Canes ( max height around 8 metres ). They are a  great screening palm for fences and neighbours. The downside of being a good screener is they have lots of dead fronds that  maybe need to be removed. . A good medium size , very clean palm is the Solitare ( max height around 10 to 12 metres )

Other palms for Sydney may be the Bamboo palm ( Chamaedorea seifrizii, max height around 6 metres ) and the Areca palms of which the Areca vestiaria is  interesting.  It needs filtered light but has a red or orange (two different types). This is similar to the Lipstick palm which will not grow in Sydney.  The Areca vestiaria is not as spactular but makes  a good  alternative ( max height around 4 metres ). The Bottle palm ( Hyophorbe  lagenicaulis , max height around 3 metres)


The Gold Coast can grow all the above and add the Hawaiian Fan ( Pritchardia hillebrandii , max height around 7 metres ) , Christmas palm ( Adonida merrillii ,max height around 7 metres ) and the Aust Fan ( Licuala ramsayi , 15 metres plus , Nth Qld )



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