I have cold hardy palms (Trachycarpus fortuneii), and some of them were affected by the winter cold we had in February this year in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We had a lot of snow and a full week frost day and night (which is quite unusual here). While some palms were not affected, the largest palm I have turned yellow and seems dead now. I have some pictures of this palm, it is in a 6.5 L container. In the pictures you can see that the core where the growth occurs is also yellow and not green anymore... Is this palm really dead, or do I still have a chance on a revival?

The situation here now is that spring has been quite cold (many frost nights), so also the palms that were not affected (which still look green), are not growing either yet. So it is hard to say if the affected palms don't grow because of this or are already dead.

What do you think, wait for summer, or remove it?

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  • Doesn't look good does it. Turn it out of its pot and check the roots, because if the pot froze during that very cold week, the roots will also have been frozen, in which case its a goner. If the roots look fine, maybe wait and see, but it does look as if the central growing point has been killed, unfortunately.
    – Bamboo
    Apr 28, 2021 at 18:34
  • Oh dear... Thanks @Bamboo, good tip! I will check the roots to see if I can learn more about its condition.
    – benn
    Apr 28, 2021 at 19:26
  • @Bamboo If a palm's roots freeze it kills it? The roots can't thaw and still function? (Real questions, not implying any knowledge to the contrary!) Apr 29, 2021 at 6:40
  • The biggest risk to plants in containers outdoors is if temperatures fall below freezing day AND night for a week or more - the soil in the pot is likely to freeze, and the roots of any plant with it, and that kills the roots.
    – Bamboo
    Apr 29, 2021 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


Snow should not be a problem, and also some freezing: we had much snow this year, and sometime (every 10-20 years) we have also -10 degree centigrade, and anyway this palm is still a very invasive plant here.

As Bamboo wrote in comment: the pot is cooling much more the roots. You should cover the pot with leaves, or with some garden sheet, or put the pot in your vegetable garden so that the pot is underground. Also putting the pot inside a second pot could help (but not on extreme freeze).

Palms are monocots, so with own special growth. In this case you should check in the middle of the palm (from top). If you see no green (eventually you should move the "branches" and the "jute" to check better) the plant will not grow any more. [Hint: this is also the best way to kill a palm].

I think the plant is still alive, but it doesn't look so good: was it on shadow last year? The stem seems too triangular for an healthy palm. Ideally it should be more cylindrical, and so it should have also more protection on the growing central bud.

  • Good observation @Giacomo about the health. I have the palm a year and it was in full sun last year, but when I bought it the plant had very long and leggy leaves which is a sign of shadow. I'll check the roots, like Bamboo advised, when we'll get some better weather here...
    – benn
    Apr 30, 2021 at 10:28

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