Palm, Landscape Plant Features
Palm trees are perfect for creating a tropical feel. There's an astonishing variety available! you can grow landscape palms of various sizes, shapes, and colors -- even hardiness -- so there's a perfect palm for every yard. Tall palms create an elegant look and cast pools of shade. Use dwarf palms in landscape beds and borders, to create a privacy hedge, or give your yard an exotic look without a lot of maintenance.
Because there's such a wide variety of palm trees available, it's best to do a little research before buying one to make sure you're getting the best type for your space.
In areas where palm trees aren't hardy, they make striking container-garden plants, adding a dash of drama to decks, patios, and other outdoor spaces. Palms are lovely by themselves, but also pair beautifully with easy-care annual flowers and tropical plants such as lantana, mandevilla, pentas, and portulaca.
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Palm, Landscape Growing Instructions
There's no one-size-fits-all answer for growing palms. Most like full sun, but a few do well in some shade. Most are drought-tolerant, but a few like wet soil, so make sure you choose carefully.
When growing palms in container gardens, it's important to use a pot that's either wide enough or heavy enough so that your palm doesn't blow over in strong winds. Water container palms regularly so they don't dry out; even drought-tolerant types need regular moisture when potted. This may mean daily watering, depending on the type of the palm, size of the palm, the size of the pot, and other factors.
Note: Landscape palms are not intended for human or animal consumption.
If you live in a cold climate and you want to save your palms for the winter, you can bring them indoors before the first frost. When wintering palms indoors, it's best to give them as much light -- natural or artificial -- as you can. Water when the top inch or so of the soil dries. Palms typically use much less water in winter indoors, so take care not to overwater them. Then in the spring, you can move them back outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Outside: Part sun
Constantly moist soil, Low water needs, Medium water needs
Super-easy to grow
Varieties: Our Favorites
Often used as a hedge plant in the tropics, bamboo palm forms thick colonies that grow about 10 feet tall and have feathery fronds. It grows best in part shade. Zones 10-11
Also called areca palm, butterfly palm is a dwarf variety that grows 10 feet tall and has light green feathery fronds. It thrives in sun or shade. Zones 10-11
Canary Island date palm is an especially popular, slow-growing palm tree that can reach 50 feet tall over time. It has a thick canopy of feathery fronds. It does best in full sun with regular watering. Zones 9-11
Often grown as a houseplant, cat palm is a beautiful tree in the tropics that grows about 10 feet tall and thrives in shade. Zones 10-11
Chinese fan palm is one of the more common varieties in the tropics. It has, as you might guess, fan-shaped, dark green leaves. Growing about 25 feet tall, it thrives in full sun. Zones 9-11
Christmas palm earns its common name for its bright red fruits that appear in autumn and winter. A dwarf variety, it grows about 15 feet tall and thrives in full sun. Zones 10-11
Coconut palm is a lovely tree with feathery fronds and a graceful shape. Commonly grown in the tropics, it's a low-maintenance plant that grows 60 feet tall and thrives in full sun. Zone 10-11
Technically not a palm, coontie is a Florida-native shrub that grows about 4 feet tall and wide, eventually forming an impressive colony. Coontie grows best in part shade and attracts butterflies. Zone 10
Dwarf palmetto is a North American native shrubby palm that typically grows up to 6 feet tall. It has blue-green, fan-shaped leaves and does best in part sun. It's quite drought tolerant. Zone 7-11
A dwarf, hardy palm, European fan palm has gray-green leaves and grows about 15 feet tall. It thrives in part shade and is hardy in Zones 8-11
One of the more distinctive palms, fishtail palm is an elegant tree with feathery fronds. It grows 30 feet tall and thrives in full sun. Zones 10-11
Kentia palm is a taller variety that can reach 40 feet tall when happy (but is more commonly seen growing 20-25 feet tall). It has feathery green fronds and thrives in shade or part shade. Zones 10-11
An excellent palm tree for shade, lady palm grows up to 15 feet tall and has dark green, shiny fan-shaped fronds. Zones 8-11
Among the most elegant of palms, majesty palm prefers consistently moist, or even wet, soil and shade or part shade. It has lush green, feathery fronds and is often grown as a houseplant. Zones 10-11
A low-growing hardy palm, needle palm has dark green, fan-shaped fronds and is easy to grow, creating lush colonies. It typically grows about 6 feet tall and grows in shade or partial shade. Zones 8-11
Pindo palm is a lovely tree with feathery, arching fronds. It grows 20-25 feet tall and thrives in full sun or part shade. Zones 8-11
Also called roebelenii palm, pygmy date palm is a dwarf, easy-to-grow variety that typically grows about 12 feet tall and has feathery fronds. It grows best in full sun. Zones 10-11
Chamaerops humilis cerifera
This palm tree has a lot going for it: It's dwarf (15 feet tall), it's hardy, and easy to grow. Plus, it has strikingly beautiful silvery-blue fan-shaped fronds. It grows best in part shade. Zones 8-11
Spindle palm is an elegant, slow-growing tree for full sun that typically grows up to 25 feet tall. Water spindle palm regularly during dry spells. Zones 10-11
An exceptionally beautiful tree, sylvester palm is a slow-growing variety that can reach 40 feet tall. It offers thick, feathery, blue-green fronds and does best in full sun. Zones 9-11
Triangle palm is a distinctive tree that earns its name because its blue-green fronds grow stacked in rows, creating a triangle effect. It grows 35 feet tall. Water triangle palm regularly. Zones 10-11
Windmill palm is an especially hardy species that has dark green fronds. It usually grows up to 20 feet tall, but can grow twice that in ideal conditions. It tolerates part shade and likes regular watering. Zones 8-11