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Tel: (619) 291-4605     Fax: (619) 574-1595   
Email: phil.bergman@junglemusic.net

Nursery Location:
450 Ocean View Ave, Encinitas, CA 92103
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9AM -4PM

Palms and Cycads that will Grow in your area

Palm Trees and Cycads That Will Grow in Your Area

by Phil Bergman

Greetings from Jungle Music Palms and Cycads in Encinitas, CA. 

I hope that you and your garden are both thriving.  Below is a short article on one of the most common difficulties people have in creating a beautiful garden in their locality.  It presents the problem and hopefully a solution for our readers.

Having a nursery for over thirty-three years, it has long been apparent to me that many people who want to create a lush and beautiful garden don't really have any idea of which species of plants to select for their garden.  Sure, there are some self-educated enthusiasts who have studied up and arrive at our nursery knowing exactly what they want.  But, by far, the majority of people need some guidance.  They need advice as to which species will survive in their area and which species they really like the most.  And, they need to know the cultural requirements of these species.  They often have the concept that they'd like their yard to "look like Hawaii", but have no idea where to begin and what species to select.

bismarckia palm tree Dypsis manajarensis palm tree palms
macrozamia  Dioon califanoi  Encephalartos inopinus 

Unfortunately, not everything will grow everywhere.  Mother Nature designed it that way.  As an example, I get calls weekly from people who would like to grow the Red Sealing Wax Palm here in Southern California.  This is not possible in our locality and would require a garden in the warmest area of the tropics.  Southern California just gets too cold for this species.  Limitations of what one can grow are typically based on weather characteristics; each given area can support certain species and not others.  Limiting factors include such things as cold experience during the winter, maximal heat during the summer, air humidity and intensity of sun.  Selecting the right species of palms can be challenging.  Hopefully we can help you with some palm ideas. 

An overly cold winter can be a devastating thing to the garden of those who didn't research the best species for their locality.  And, such losses might incorrectly lead a person to the assumption that "everything dies" in their garden.  This is not the case.  They have either chosen the wrong species to grow or have not been informed about the cultural requirements of the plants they did purchase.  Staff at home improvement stores are famous for not knowing much about the species of plant they sell.  Some inappropriately assume if the store sells it, it must grow "here".  Unfortunately, many times this is not the case.  In our area in Southern California, such stores sell Coconut Palms by the thousands and 99% of these are dead by the first winter.  The same could be said for a shade loving palm placed incorrectly in full sun with a subsequent rapid decline.  The customer either didn't recieve or didn't follow proper culture.  People also assume that any palm will grow indoors.  But, there are certain species commonly sold as "house plants" that are near impossible to grow inside.  And yet they are sold as houseplant.  All of these failures result from not being told which species to grow in a given area and not getting appropriate cultural advice.  To solve the problem of what to grow and how to grow them, one either has to do a lot of research himself or get help from an expert. 

encephalartos lehmanii

Palms, cycads and other tropical plants are the mainstays of creating a lush, tropical garden.  There are literally thousands of different species of these plants and all have their own specific growth requirements.  And, each of thse different species have different cultural requirements.  Of all the factors involved, winter's cold is by far the most important thing to consider.  Plants are quite predicatable in their cold tolerance. I would refer people to our Cold Hardy Palm article at this site for informaton on cold tolerance.  At a certain temperature the plant fails to thrive.  At a lower temperature it dies.  These occurrences are fairly predictable.  Nurserymen in the business of growing many palm and cycad species have come to understand the cold tolerance of all the species. 


Next are the cultural factors such as sun or shade, air humidity, drainage, etc.  To accomplish success, a consumer must either learn these things through many hours of research or count on a nurserymen to give him good advice.  He should recieve a list of species he can grow.  He must then deicide which of these species he likes.  And finally, for the species he selected he must receive accurate cultural advice.  It is literally that simple: Know what one could grow and how to grow them.  It's the same whether you're starting a brand new garden or just adding a few species here and there in the garden.


Ceratozamia hildae Burretiokentia hapala


It is possible to create a palette of plants that you like and have success with them.  All that is needed is guidance.

The most common thought of source for help is to hire a designer or landscape architect to help with design issues and species.  Or, one an rely upon the advice of an experienced friend and get additional assistance from books and the Internet.  And, another possibility is to obtain sound advice from an experienced nursery that has the knowledge and experience to guide its clients.  Our staff at Jungle Music has literally had near 90 years of experience in helping customers achieve their goals.  With 33 years experience and having grown almost any species possible in Southern California, we feel that we've got the experience and can easily share our ideas with yoiu.  And,  we have compiled alot of data to help current customers achieve maximal success.  


There are several ways we offer help to customers regarding which species of palms or cycads would do well in their area.

1.  You can review the wealth of information at this site, either on palms, cycads or tropical plants.
2.  We have a free consultative service for serious customers who come to our nursery.  Most find this very efficient, time saving and rewarding.  After you get here, we sit down, look at dozens of photographs from an assortment of refernce books and sites, and help you come up with good landscape design ideas that give you the exact look you are trying to create with the perfectly chosen species.  If you wish, bring photos of your yard.  From our years of experience with the species, we also will explain to you cultural conditions needed, growth rates, and each species ability to survive in your area.  This is a popular service we offer because enthusiast get to pick the exact species he likes and can grow.
3.  For those who feel it's necessary, we offer local on site consultations.  A staff member actually comes to your home, inspects your site and offers suggestions on species that he thinks would work well for you.  There is a charge for this service and we usually reserve this for customers close to our locality.
4.  For mail order customers, contact me by phone or email.  Perhaps we can give you some ideas of species that would do well in your area. 

cycads palms

There are very few specialty palm and cycad nurseries in the country.  We feel that our assistance is valuable to everyone.  We actually advise botanical gardens, landscape architects, designers and major landscape companies.  So, whether you like cold hardy palms or exotic tropical type cycads, we can offer information for you and your garden.   

  Dypsis decipiens  


Thank you for reading this.  I hope we will see or hear from many of you.

Phil Bergman


Jungle Music Palms and Cycads

Nursery: 450 Oceanview Ave, Encinitas, CA 92024

Phone: 619 291 4605

Email: phil.bergman@junglemusic.net 

Prices: On Cycads, $25 and up, depending on the cycad

Nursery Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9AM to 4:00 PM



Last modified: June 19, 2014



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