Phoenix roebelenii

(page 3)

Make sure a thermostatically controlled plug point is close at hand. Any good qualified electrician can run a supply from your house to a junction box mounted on the garden wall or fence. From there it is relatively easy to run a circuit to a number of waterproof sockets around the garden and power them with a thermostat back at the junction box set to come on once the temperature drops below +4°C. Short of a fuse blowing or a power strike this system works well. Never be tempted to set the temperature too high. It is essential that your plant remains dormant during winter.

Whilst using electricity around the garden it might be worth fitting a circuit breaker, especially with kids around.

Beware in March/April when it is still too cold to dispense with protection; the sun shining through the plastic covering your plant can literally cook it alive. Never allow your heating cable runs to touch one another, this can cause overheating and probably result in damage to the cable, and never allow the cable to come into direct contact with the leaves.

Well there you have it. Not cheap. The essential heating system can be quite expensive depending on how many sockets you install, but on the other hand no serious palm nut should be without it. Owning what must surely be one of the most beautiful palms in the world and to enjoy sitting under its swaying fronds on a hot summer day sipping your favourite cocktail more than justifies all that expense and trouble.

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