Nothing says “living in Florida” more than palm trees in your yard. But there are more than 2,500 varieties of palm trees, and they represent a wide range of heights, shapes, sizes and requirements for successful growth. The choice of which palm tree is right for you depends on many factors – the amount of sun on your property, the proximity it is placed to a pool, driveway or residence, and your own commitment to maintenance are among them.
Palm trees both enhance and compliment the aesthetics of your Sarasota or Tampa area home. Which variety is right for you? Here are some of our favorite choices for South Florida landscapes.
Florida Palm Tree Varieties
- Coconut Palm Trees: These trees are what many people think of when they imagine a typical tropical landscape. These trees are towering, often growing to 90 feet tall, and exhibit the long palm fronds which provide shade in the otherwise full sun they require. However, it is important to properly prune and cut back seeds, as well as remove growing coconuts. In a residential setting, you don’t want a cocnut falling off the tree and injuring someone. Given their height, you may need to hire a tree service company to prune twice annually.
- Chinese Fan Palm: Another tree which grows best in full sun, the fan-shaped palm leaves live up to their name and offer abundant shade. This palm tree is much lower-growing than the previous option, generally only reaching about 25 feet in height. Its “weeping fronds” add interesting texture to a landscape or in front of a home.
- Lady Palm: These palm trees grow multiple, thin trunks and fills in with layers of green fronds. This palm clusters and grows slowly, providing ample privacy with its lush, full display of foliage. You may wish to strategically place to shield lanais or windows from the neighbors view.
- Buccaneer Palm: This native palm is a great choice for virtually any landscape or home. It is versatile,does well in many environmental conditions, grows slowly and thrives in full sun. Buccaneer Palms require virtually no water, so are drought-tolerant and low maintenance, especially during winter months. The Buccaneer generally reaches 10 to 15 feet in height, and its flat, fan-shaped leaves provide shade to your backyard or pool. Not to mention, their name just sounds Floridian!
- Montgomery Palm: This quintessentially elegant and tropical palm tree typically grows to about 35 feet, and features emerald green feathered fronds. Its long crown shaft gives it a formal, stately feel, making the Montgomery palm a favorite choice for formal entrances and upscale properties.
- Robellini Palm: This small variety of palm tree grows only 6 to 12 feet tall, making it perfectly suited for landscape bed areas and smaller spaces. The tree features a bushy palm crown with fronds that can create an overall canopy reaching about 10 feet, making a small but dynamic impact. The spiny branches are beautiful and add texture – but you should place the tree a few feet back from any walkways, as you do not want your friends or family rubbing up against them. If you are looking for another small palm option, check into the European fan palm.
When selecting any type of plant or tree for your South Florida yard or landscape, it is important to pick the right type for your climate and location. Remember, your yard may have different types of soil, wind exposure, or areas of sun and shade – so even on your own property, different palm trees may be appropriate.
If you have questions regarding soil health, fertilizing, or even how to best accentuate your lawn with natural features – stop by Big Earth Landscape Supply. Whether you are looking to landscape your home, or are responsible for a commercial property landscape project – we have what you need.