Ask a Question forum: What to add to Potted Pygmy Date Palms?

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Southern California
UBC
Oct 26, 2017 6:16 PM CST
Hi all. I have seven potted pygmy date palms around my pool. Four are in 24 x 24 pots and three are in 36 x 36 pots. I want to add some color around the base of the planters to fill in the open areas. Originally, I thought about a red Bougainvilla. But those will go dormant soon and I'd ideally like to find something with year round color. Can I put a sedum in the pots? Is that crazy to put sedem (which requires almost no water) in a pot with a palm (which requires some water)? BTW, I'm in Southern California (Zone 10b) and the pool area gets pretty much full sun, except the late afternoons.

What other options would you suggest? I'm open to planting more than one thing to mix things up.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 26, 2017 7:13 PM CST
Hi and welcome to garden.org. I think you're going to have to do some trial and error to find out what will grow in pots with your Pygmy Dates. Palms have a pretty dense root ball, and will very likely choke out a lot of plants. I wouldn't plant anything that needs a lot of water because either you'll be overwatering the palms, or underwatering the other plants.

The Sedums would be one of my first tries, along with some sun-loving Bromeliads. (although the Broms can be prickly, not so great around a pool, maybe but the Pygmy date palms are thorny too) I'm thinking the palms would slurp up most of the water so you might not have to worry about the Sedums getting too much. Bromeliads would need the foliage sprayed with the hose fairly regularly, which the palms would love, too.

Another good choice, but I don't know how well it does in your dry So.California weather is Tradescantia Purple Queen. It has elegant purple foliage that sort of creeps along the ground, and will trail out of the pots gracefully if you want it to. Here's the link to it in the database if you want to see some pictures. Purple Queen (Tradescantia pallida)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Southern California
UBC
Oct 26, 2017 8:59 PM CST
Hi, thanks for your reply. I actually thought about the Purple Queen. I think it could work because it enjoys full sun and is hardy.

If the sedum idea works, I'm leaning towards a combo of a red sedum sprium with donkey tails to hang out of the pots. I think that could make for a good look. I might even throw in some copper sedum, which grows amazingly well here.

Another good option may be to mix crassula campfire in with the donkey tails.
[Last edited by UBC - Oct 26, 2017 9:06 PM (+)]
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