Palm trees can be a great plant that adds tropical variety to your home and landscape. However, many palm trees require a lot of attention and cleanup, making them less than ideal for someone who just wants a nice tree to look at.
But lucky for you, there are several palm trees that are relatively easy to maintain. To make it easier for you, we have done the research and created a list of some great palm trees that anyone can maintain. Keep reading to learn about 11 low-maintenance palm trees that could be perfect for you!
1. Kentia Palm
Howea forsteriana, the Kentia palm, is also known as the Thatch Palm, Sentry Palm, and Paradise Palm. It has a reputation for being a fantastic indoor palm tree, handling a variety of indoor conditions with much more grace than many other indoor palms. Grown outside, they can grow to over forty feet tall, but when indoors they rarely reach heights over ten to fifteen feet.
These seedlings have been grown indoors in California, so they’re already acclimated, and they are ready to grow inside your house! Seeds from this palm can take up to two years to germinate, so buying a seedling is your best bet.
2. King Palm
The King Palm (archontophoenix cunninghamiana) is the name for several different, albeit closely related different kinds of palm trees. Most often, when someone is talking about a King Palm, the one that is being referred to is the archontophoenix cunninghamiana. The others are the Alexandra King Palm, The Walsh River Palm, The Myola King Palm, The Purple Crown Shaft King Palm, and the Peach River Palm.
This particular palm doesn’t make a great houseplant; since it grows faster, it will do best when grown outside in rich soil that drains well. It will do best in full sun, but in areas where there is little humidity, the leaves may burn and form brown spots.
3. Pineapple Palm
Pineapple palms (Phoenix canariensis) are also known as Canary Island Date Palms. Well known for their distinctive look, they are one of the most popular and widely cultivated palm trees in the world. They require full sun in order to grow properly and will do best in zones nine through eleven.
They are slow growers and need soil that drains well, but they can also tolerate salt, so they can be planted near beaches. They will reach heights up to sixty feet tall, and thanks to their pineapple-shaped bulge, they have a name that will be easy to remember.
Purporting to sell seeds that have an 80% germination rate, the company that sells this product is so confident in their service that they actively encourage people to leave reviews of their order.
4. Piru Queen Palm
The Piru Queen Palm, syagrus romanzoffiana, can grow to fifty feet tall. They do best in zones nine through eleven, and will blossom in the summer! When it comes to planting this palm tree, whether as a seed or a seedling, it should be grown in acidic soil in order to make sure it doesn’t end up with mineral deficiencies, which will happen if it gets planted in alkaline soil.
If it gets planted in a very hot area, make sure to give it extra attention during dry spells, as it doesn’t do well without water for long periods of time. They grow naturally in the more wet areas of the tropics, which is why they have a higher than average need for water.
5. Date Palm
Date Palms are one of the most well-known palms, known throughout the world for the dates they produce. Referred to by their Latin name phoenix dactylifera, they have been around for over fifty million years and have been a staple food product in many countries for thousands of years. These trees can reach up to seventy-five feet in height and grow many surface roots that help it collect the water it needs for the fruit. Make sure to plant it in an area with lots of vertical and horizontal space.
Soak your seeds in water for up to a week, and then sandwich them in wet paper towels until they begin to sprout. Once they start to sprout, they’re safe to plant! Keep them indoors until they’ve attained decent height.
6. Alexander Palm
The Alexander Palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) is actually a variety of King Palm. However, this specific variety comes with a couple of perks that its relatives don’t. Many outdoor palm trees grow quite large, taller than seventy-five feet with a very wide canopy. Alexander Palms keep a fairly slender trunk and have a smaller canopy. They only grow to about twenty-five feet tall, making them the perfect mid-sized tree for your yard.
They will do best in warm areas, zones nine through eleven, and unlike many palm trees, can even be placed in large containers. Fertilize this tree once in spring, summer, and fall to keep the fronds in the best and greenest condition.
If purchasing this plant, make sure not to plant it in an area where it will be exposed to temperatures below freezing, as this has a good chance of killing the palm.
7. Adonidia Palm
Adonidia palms are also known by a different name, the Christmas Tree Palm. This peculiar name comes from the red fruits that it grows in the fall and winter, giving this palm tree a very specific Christmas kind of feeling. Also known as the Adonidia merrillii, it falls under the category of “self-cleaning” palm trees, meaning that it just drops its dead fronds.
They do best in zone ten, as they shouldn’t be exposed to cold or frost.
If purchased in a container, you can keep them there until they’ve grown large enough that you can tell they need more room. At that point, you can transplant them into the ground around your yard.
8. Pygmy Date Palm
Pygmy date palms are a great choice if you are looking for a tree that will give you a lot of texture and color throughout the year. The trunk of the tree is not smooth like many other kinds of palm trees and is instead very rough in appearance and touch. In clear contrast, the fronds of this tree are very light and airy.
These palms are slow growers but can be planted in areas where larger trees can’t!
9. Foxtail Palm
Once you have seen a foxtail palm, it’s easy to understand how they got their name. With foliage far denser than that of many other varieties of palm trees, the palm leaves themselves often bend over, giving them a shape very similar to the tail of a fox.
Growing best in growth zones ten through eleven, the wodyetia bifurcate grows more quickly than some of its counterparts, and it doesn’t require much of your attention. Click here to read about how fast palm trees grow. It is resistant to drought but will have the best foliage when given the water that it needs.
When purchasing these seeds, you will also receive planting instructions to help you have the best chance of germinating some of them. Make sure to follow the directions carefully, as palm tree seeds can take a very long time to grow.
10. Areca Palm
When it comes to houseplants, there are easier alternatives. The Areca Palm, or Dypsis lutescens, needs bright light in order to thrive and is very sensitive to mineral buildup from fertilizers. Also known as the Yellow Palm, the Golden Cane Palm, and the Butterfly Palm, it’s a very aesthetically pleasing houseplant, and can be a cheaper option for those not wanting to spend the money on an actual tree. Click here to find out how much palm trees typically cost!
Generally staying around five feet tall as a houseplant, these seedlings ship in a four-inch pot once they grow to around fourteen and sixteen inches tall.
11. European Fan Palm
Chamaerops humilis, or the European Fan Palm, is the only palm that is native to Europe and is much more resilient than many other types of palms. You can plant this palm outdoors in hardiness zones five through ten. They can grow up to fifteen feet tall and will have a foliage spread of up to ten feet.
Also known as the Mediterranian Fan Palm, their fan-shaped fronds make them a very distinctive palm, prized by many gardeners and landscape artists alike. Unlike many palms, they do not do well with salt, so don’t plant them near any bodies of saltwater.
This low maintenance palm doesn’t require much water and will do best in partial sun to full sun.