What Type Of Palm Tree Should I Plant In My Yard?

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

Palm trees are great to plant in a yard for all sorts of reasons. They provide great shade in your yard and around your pool or patio areas. They also tend to shed far less than other types of trees, which makes the ground around them easier to keep clean.

Palms are also long-lasting trees that give a burst of tropical life to any yard. With all these benefits, it is understandable why you might want to plant a palm tree. But what type of palm tree is best in your specific yard?

When selecting a palm tree to plant in your yard, you must factor in sun levels, the temperature, rainfall, and the amount of upkeep you can provide. Areca palms are great for many yard types, and Kentia palms are the perfect low-maintenance option. For tropical climates, try the quintessential coconut palm. Needle palms are great for cooler climates, while the California fan palm is ideal for drought-prone regions.

There are approximately 2,600 species of palm trees on the planet. With so many variations on this beautiful fronded tree, selecting one specific type for your yard can be a daunting task. The decision, however, must be made.

When selecting the perfect palm tree for your yard, your choice will depend on the soil type, sun conditions, climate, and level of upkeep you can provide. Below is a list of five fantastic palm tree species that excel in meeting the varying needs of anyone who is looking to plant a palm tree at home.

Five Perfect Palm Trees For Different Yard Types And Needs

  • Areca Palm: The ideal first palm tree for your yard
  • Kentia Palm: Best low-maintenance palm tree
  • Needle Palm: Perfect palm tree for cooler climates
  • Coconut Palm: Ideal palm tree for tropical locales
  • California Fan Palm: Best palm tree for dry climates

1. Areca Palm

Areca palm trees are an excellent option for anyone looking to add palm foliage to a yard but have never done so before. Areca palms offer beautiful palms, and they grow quite rapidly, especially compared to slower-growing varieties.

These palms need a bit of direct sunlight, but you can also plant them somewhere where there is a bit of shade. They grow upwards of eight feet tall, which makes them a great option to grow along a pool.

These palms like water but can tolerate a bit of drought. They are fairly easy to grow, and can even be potted and taken indoors during an overnight frost. Arecas are also resistant to several plant pests and diseases, which makes them easy to keep alive and maintain.

2. Kentia Palm

If you are looking for the ultimate low-maintenance palm tree, then look no further than the kentia palm. You have likely seen a kentia palm, as they are one of the more popular indoor palm tree species since they are quite difficult to kill.

While this species is popular indoors, the kentia palm is also a fantastic low-maintenance palm to plant in your yard. These plants are perfect if you want the tropical aesthetic of palm fronds but want low-maintenance plants in the yard. These plants survive and even thrive with neglect. They like humidity but can tolerate drought. They can handle plenty of shade as long as there is some direct sunlight.

3. Needle Palm

If you live in a climate that is often warm in the summer but has occasional frost and cold snaps in the winter, then a needle palm is for you. While most palm trees require subtropical or tropical climates, the needle palm is a very resilient and sturdy palm that goes great in areas that have occasional temperatures below freezing. In fact, this tree is so tough, it can withstand temperatures of zero to negative five degrees Fahrenheit.

So, if you live in an area where the weather feels tropical in the summer but can get cold in the winter, a lush yet tough needle palm tree is a great option for you.

4. Coconut Palm

One of the quintessential tropical trees, and perhaps the most famous species of the palm tree, is the coconut palm. Coconut palm trees line miles and miles of tropical beaches throughout the world. They also supply us with delicious coconuts for consumption.

If you live in a tropical climate like Hawaii, or in the Florida Keyes, coconut palms are a great palm tree to plant. These trees grow more than 20 feet tall and have a beautiful trunk. Best of all, mature trees produce 50 to more than 100 coconuts per year that you can eat. They also make great trees to hang a hammock.

5. California Fan Palm

If you live in a warm climate that gets very little rain, you might think having a palm tree in your yard is unrealistic. Sure, many palm trees prefer humidity and plenty of water, however, some palm trees can tolerate and even thrive in dry climates.

The California fan palm is an ideal tree to plant in your yard if you live in a drought-prone area. These palm trees provide beautiful large fronds that offer shade and a bit of lovely color to your drought-prone yard. These palms can also withstand some colder weather, which is great for those areas that experience cold desert nights in the winter. They also grow quickly and remain resilient once firmly rooted.

Tops Tips To Know When Selecting A Palm Tree For Your Yard

1. Know The Sun Level And Soil Type Of Your Planting Location

Make sure you consider more than how good a tree looks. You need to know what soil type you have, and how much sun the tree will receive. Palm trees can be particularly sensitive to their sun and soil needs.

2. Pick An Already Lush And Hearty Tree

When selecting your specific tree from a nursery, you want to pick a healthy tree. Not only should the tree be healthy, but it should also be lush with ample fronds. This suggests the plant is healthy and will likely adjust easier once planted.

3. Choose A Palm Variety That Coincides With Your Needs

Make sure you choose a plant that you can easily take care of. If you can’t spend much time taking care of the tree, choose a low-maintenance palm tree. If, however, you are an avid gardener with a green thumb, opt for whatever species you want to see thrive in your yard.

4. Look For A Well-Established Trunk

You'll also want to choose a tree that already has a solid and well-established trunk. A good and solid trunk is a sign that a tree is developing normally and is likely more able to withstand some difficult conditions and replanting. A less developed tree can be harder to keep alive during the transplanting process.

5. Inspect Heart Of Palm For Robust New Growth

Another tip to helping select the perfect palm is to look at the center of the palms. This area is known as the heart of the palm. Ideally, you should notice lots of new growth budding in this area. When shopping at a nursery, choose a tree that has lots of new growth in the heart area, as this tree is likely to stay lush.

Wrapping Up Best Palm Trees To Plant In Your Yard

Palm trees are a fantastic species to add to your yard. With more than 2,000 types of palm trees, there are trees for all sorts of climates and needs.

Make sure you choose a tree that works with your soil type, sun conditions, and the level of water you typically receive. Areca and kentia palms are easy-to-grow species that are great for those looking for something low maintenance. If you live in the desert, consider the California fan palm.

Coconut palms are fantastic in tropical areas, and if you live somewhere that dips below freezing in the winter, try planting the tough and resilient needle palm.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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