All right, Floridians, it’s time.
It’s time to get down to business. It’s time to talk to you about a topic that’s near and dear to all of our hearts. It’s time to go Full-Florida, if you will.
Every week, we do our very best to offer you the best advice that our twenty years of experience can offer, right? (We like to think so, so we hope you do, too).
Don’t get us wrong, we’re proud to do it, And most of all, we’re happy to bring you our insight and advice on a myriad of different landscaping options. From top lawn care tips to Florida pests to watch out for to watering your trees the right way, there’s no landscaping topic out there we won’t share with you.
This article, though, is a little bit different.
Why? Because this article is a passion post of ours. It’s about one of our Florida staples. About a piece of Florida flora and fauna that’s inherently intertwined with our Florida pride.
That’s right. We’re talkin’ about palms.
Ah, the Palm. As Floridians, we love the Palm. We see them lining the streets, dotting our beaches, in our neighbor’s yards, in businesses’ landscapes – heck, we see them as soon as we cross the state line into our beloved peninsula. It’s no secret that the Palm is at the center of our Florida-lovin’ hearts.
If you think we’re talking crazy, you’re obviously not from around here – but that’s okay! We’re here to share our love of palm trees, talk about Palm care, and, most importantly, break down the top 5 palm trees that we think fit best into your Florida landscape.
Why Palm Trees?
Before we start writing full-blown love songs about palm trees—and please, don’t doubt that we could, when it comes to palms, we’re absolutely head-over-heels crazy for them—let’s first dive into why palm trees are a great choice for your Florida landscape.
- For starters, they sort of just go with that Florida image, right? White sands, blue skies, and of course, palm trees swaying in the wind – you really just can’t go wrong with that visual. Aesthetically, they’re everything a tropical Florida landscape could want. Palm trees look great in botanical gardens, shopping centers, swimming pools, and along the coast – they’re pretty much everywhere, and they look great.
- Aside from just aesthetics, though, palm trees make a great choice for Florida climate. As you obviously know, Florida has a hot, humid, tropical client – and it takes a special kind of tree to thrive here.
- Palm trees are pretty dang easy to take care of, too. This goes beyond the tricky Florida climate. As a rule, palms don’t need a lot of TLC from you.
- Palm trees can be absolutely skyscrapers or small little additions. Because they don’t require all that much attention, you can prune and trim them to your ideal heights or let them soar.
- They make for excellent shade in the hot Florida summer.
The Top Five Palm Trees for Your Florida Landscape
There are dozens—well, okay, hundreds, actually—of palms that could fit best with your Florida landscape, but we’ve narrowed it down to just a handful of some of our favorites.
Whether you’re looking for the ultimate poolside palm, or simply want one that can survive in full sun, we’ve got a few of the best options available for you.
Keep in mind that when it comes to palms, your options are not limited. There are so many different palms out there it’ll make your head spin! Don’t be afraid to give us a call and chat with us about all of your options!
Coconut Palm: The Full Sun Palm
When you randomly think of the word “palm,” this is probably the image that comes to mind. The coconut palm is one of the most well-known palms on the planet. It’s a hugely popular choice in Florida and is likely what you see lining the beach-front driveways in some of your more affluent Florida neighborhoods.
One look at this palm and you can understand why, right? It’s so obviously Florida, so tropical, and so appealing to look at.
The Coconut Palm Tree can grow up to 98 feet tall, has wispy leaves, and grows coconuts (of course). Without question, the Coconut Palm Tree is the quintessential Florida palm. It doesn’t require shade, it’s practically drought-proof, and is incredibly salt tolerant. These trees will thrive in the hot Florida sun and are great additions to coastal homes that have salty, humid air. Further, coconut palms are quite tolerant with waterlogged soils and being exposed to prolonged flooding. They’re also wind-tolerant, which is a great future for our hurricane-heavy state.
The Coconut palm is a fruiting tree and produces one of the most used nuts in the world (hello, coconuts). It will typically start fruiting anywhere between 6-10 years after the seeds germinate and reach their full production. It will continue fruiting until it’s about 80 years old!
Red Sealing Wax Palm : The Shady Palm
We call this unique beauty the Lipstick Palm. Any guesses why? (Hint, check out its red crown shaft—remind you of anything? Lipstick perhaps?) This tree is native to Thailand, so it’s quite used to tropical conditions and easily thrives in Florida—no matter what type of weird weather we’re dealing with.
This palm is special in appearance, but also special in that it will thrive in more than just full-on sun. The Red Sealing Wax Palm actually does well in relatively shady conditions. Lots of palm trees require full sun in order to grow their best, but this red palm will thrive when placed in shady spots.
If you have an unusually shady yard but are looking to insert a little Florida into your landscape, this might be the perfect palm for you! It adds a pop of color, doesn’t require much maintenance, and can grow up tall. Though it’s technically thought of as an ornamental shrub, this palm can actually grow up to 52 feet tall if properly cared for (and if desired—otherwise, pruning it will keep it as a miniature version of a palm).
Buccaneer Palm: The Poolside Palm
In Florida, a poolside palm is a must-have, but with all the factors that you must consider for a palm that’s in your pool landscape, it can be hard to narrow down your options.
The Buccaneer Palm is one of the best bets for a poolside palm tree because they’re great all-around palms that don’t require too much extra maintenance.
This palm is a slow grower, will thrive in full sun (which is often necessary for poolside plants), is (mostly) drought-tolerant, and can provide you with shade if the palm leaves grow full enough. This palm will typically grow to about 15 feet, but needs patience (as we said before, it’s a slow grower). If you’re looking to put up a palm by the pool that doesn’t require much extra attention, this durable and versatile palm is one of the best options to consider.
These palms are endangered Florida natives that used to be found abundantly in the Florida Keys—now, they’re a little harder to come by in the wild because of wild collecting. This palm grows super well and can tolerate all of the wind, salt, and coastal damage the wild Florida weather will throw at it, making it an excellent choice for a poolside paradise right on the coast.
We recommend these palms for folks who aren’t always so keen to get out in their landscape and give their plants love—these bad boys won’t require much attention at all and will look beautiful in your landscape no matter what.
European Fan Palm: The Tiny Palm
If you’re looking for something small in stature that leaves a big impression, then the European Fan Palm could be just the tree you’re searching for.
This unique-looking palm is a tiny, somewhat furry, little tree with pomade-style leaves that fan out to create a lot of shade (despite its small stature) They often range from green to silver, making the tree appear to change hues as the leaves grow out.
The thing we love most about the fan palms? They’re tiny, sure, but boy are they hardy. They won’t buckle when a random Florida cold snap makes an appearance in January—a fact we can’t always guarantee with other types of palms. These palms look great as accent pieces but also can make your poolside paradise shine when planted in stunning clusters.
It’s a versatile choice, brings lots of color and texture to your lawn, and won’t grow more than 15 feet at most. They’re low maintenance, bring the tropical look to your lawn you’re craving, and are notably one of the easiest plans to own. (You’re probably starting to see that trend amongst all of the palms we’re mentioning, right? Trust us, it’s one of the many benefits that a palm can bring to your landscape).
The Lady Palm Tree: The Versatile Palm
If you haven’t noticed, most every type of palm (well, most every type we’ve mentioned, anyway), is incredibly versatile. But none are quite as versatile as this little lady, the apple of our eye—The Lady Palm Tree.
Though it’s not scientifically known as the Aristocratic Lady Palm Tree (its actual name in Latin is Rhapis Excelsa), it certainly makes sense to call it that. For one, this is a lovely looking, dignified Palm, but it’s also an incredibly hardy, durable tree, too.
This palm will live and thrive in both low-light and bright filtered light, making it ideal for both outdoor and indoor living!
Lady palms are incredibly versatile when it comes to soil, climate, and environment. It’s also incredibly easy to care for. She’ll need a little shade and fertile organic soil to grow her best, but she’ll be exceptionally tolerant with poor light, dust, and drought (things that are common with indoor culture). She’ll grow slow and steady!
It’s a full, lush, palm that grows up to 6 feet, shoots out stems and canes of about 1 inch wide, and can flower with light green, yellow, and pink blooms. These are popular palm shrubs, but they can grow into larger, fuller palm trees, too. They’re a great pick for Florida because they can handle the one-off surprise freeze and will continue to thrive in degrees as low as 15 F.
We fully expect you to be palm crazy after reading this article—if you’re not, we suggest maybe taking another scan. Palms have so much to offer, they can bring extra spunk to your landscape, provide a cohesive landscaping plan, and are incredibly easy to care for.
Yeah, it goes without saying. We absolutely love palms in our Florida landscapes.
If, for some reason, palms still aren’t your cup of tea (we won’t be mad, even if we don’t fully understand it), we suggest that you check out some other Florida-friendly plants, Florida-friendly flowers, Florida-friendly grasses, Florida-friendly groundcover options, and more.
The coolest part about Landcrafters? We’ve got an entire team of experts who can recommend an incredible number of plants that will work flawlessly for your landscaping needs.
In fact, we can get nearly any plant you could possibly desire! So, reach out to us today for custom-tailored advice and a free and easy quote. Just give our office a call at (727)-201-3947. If you want some other palm-inspired inspo or want to get the insider tips and tricks about Florida landscaping in general, check out our regularly-updated blog here!
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