Washington – a popular perennial palm tree, whose height in the natural environment reaches more than 20 meters. Types of Washington are very similar, but they have a number of distinctive features. The plant belongs to the family Palm (Palmae). Distribution has been received from the southwest of the USA, and also the northwest of Mexico. The name of the palm was given in honor of the first American president, the famous George Washington.
The plant grows mainly in regions where the Mediterranean climate is dominant. Existing at the moment two kinds of palm trees washingtonii in natural habitats can withstand short-term frosts, not exceeding -12 degrees.
Initially, Washington was used as an ornamental plant only in the cities of California, in some cases in Florida. Grow it in the room is very difficult, in this environment, this kind of palm tree never blooms. In interior design, very young specimens are most often used. However, on the balcony or in the backyard, if the climate allows, the plant can grow quite successfully.
It should be noted that Washington is not suitable for landscaping production areas, as it does not tolerate high air pollution.
If the types of Washington palm trees grow in a natural environment, then these are fairly tall plants with large leaves. The plant has branchy inflorescences-cobs and leaves, whose diameter reaches 1.5 m. The trunk of the palm is rough, gray, the height does not exceed 30 m. The old leaves can not fall off for a long time, as a result of which the trunk is covered with a dense “skirt”.
The plant belongs to the number of so-called fan palms, since its leaves take the form of a fan. The resulting fruits are spherical, they are rather fleshy, the seeds are lignified. They are often fond of spitting birds.
Types of Washington
To her family there are only two kinds of palms:
- Washington is a filthy one (washingtonia filifera). The name of this species is translated from English as “California fan-shaped palm”. This is due to the fact that the plant initially grew only in the deserts of this state. In these places, Washington is filamentary, as it is also called, forms forests and reaches a height of 20 meters. Its greyish-green fan-shaped leaves are large enough, they have thin threads of white color. This was the reason for the appearance of the name of this species. The flowers of the plant collect in the paniculate inflorescence. In winter, the plant prefers rather low temperatures – up to 15 degrees.
- Washington is powerful (washingtonia robusta). This species is native to Mexico. In nature, such a palm tree reaches an impressive height – up to 25 meters. However, the diameter of the trunk remains relatively thin and does not exceed 70 cm. Unlike the previous species, strongton, as it is also called, is distinguished by a more spreading crown. Its leaves are not so large, bright green, they do not have threads, but there are sharp thorns on the petioles of leaves. Flowers of this species acquire a pink color, inflorescences rather long. The palm is sensitive to low temperatures, and therefore in a rest period it should remain warm.
In order for a plant to develop in a normal rhythm, certain conditions must be provided. Washington needs a bright light, in the summer, the temperature should be at least 20 degrees. As for air humidity, 55% will be enough, and the maximum threshold is 75%. The palm positively reacts to fresh air, therefore by the end of spring it is advisable to transfer it to the garden. In this case, it should be protected from drafts, as well as precipitation, since such conditions will only harm Washington. If you grow it in a house, then you need to choose the warmest and lightest rooms. Only adult palms can withstand poor lighting.
In warmer seasons, abundant watering is required. For this purpose it is recommended to use warm water. Watering should be carried out intermittently so that the top layer of the soil can dry out. In winter, you can limit yourself to rare watering, and therefore short-term drying will not bring any harm. However, it is necessary to avoid strong drying of the soil.
In summer it is desirable to maintain a high level of humidity in the room where Washington is growing. To do this, you can spray the plant. If the room temperature exceeds 20 degrees, the plant can well withstand such conditions, but for better development it is better to install it on a pallet with wet gravel. It should be regularly wipe the leaves from dust. In order for the palm to become covered with leaves evenly, it is possible to unfold it with respect to the source of natural light.
For normal growth of the palm can use a ready-made substrate. Top-dressing should be carried out in the spring-summer period, approximately every 15 days. For this, the use of ready-made liquid fertilizers, which are intended for fertilizing palms, is allowed.