When it comes to palm trees, there are so many to choose from. Lots of varieties are available. To pick the right one, some factors need to think about. Here are some of them:
What Palm Trees Produce Fruit?
Most palm fruits are edible. However, it does not mean that all are pleasant to consume. Also keep in mind that not all varieties of fruit can be eaten raw. The familiar ones are coconuts and dates. Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is very popular. Coconut water makes a natural, refreshing drink. The nutmeat has many culinary uses. The tree, unfortunately, can grow up to 100 feet tall. Obviously it is not a choice for a greenhouse or a small back yard. Further, to produce fruit, coconuts need a daily temperature above 72 F. Dwarf palm varieties are available. They grow tall slowly and start bearing fruit early. For people who are into edible palm trees, another option is to grow date palms. Out of the varieties of date palms, the true date (Medjool) is the most sought after. The cold hardy palm is known for its tasty delicious fruits. Mature trees reach heights from 40 to 50 feet.
Palm Trees That Grow Indoors
The fact that palm tress can act as a natural humidifier and detoxifier make them excellent indoor plants. They can help remove carbon monoxide and replace the air with fresh oxygen. Though many palms need to be planted in a sunny location, some species are more tolerant of shade. They grow very well indoors. The kentia palm (Howea forsteriana), for instance, is considered the toughest of all indoor palm trees. The slow growing palm will thrive in low-light situations. The slender trunk and arching, feathered leaves make it a wonderful specimen to grow as ornamental. The pygmy date (phoenix roebelenii) is another gorgeous palm that does well indoors. It grows to a maximum height of only 10 feet. The fronds have sharp needle-like spikes, so it may not be a good choice for a high-trafficked area. However, it cannot be argued that it is the sharp spines that make for an astonishing view.
Palm Trees That Tolerate Cold
Most palms are tropical in origin. Some species, however, live and thrive in cold conditions. The sabal minor, for instance, has remarkable cold tolerance. The species of palmetto palm can be seen in northern regions where temperatures are not so forgiving. Dwarf palmettos reach heights under 10 feet at maturity. They grow very slow and do well in shade. The characteristics make it an excellent companion to larger palm trees. Pindo palm (Butia capitata) is another commonly grown palm in colder regions. It produces edible fruit that can be eaten fresh. The fruit can be made into jam or jelly. People have also made wine from pindo palm. Other cold weather palms that can be found in nurseries include windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) and beaked yucca (Yucca rostrata). The sago palm (Cycas revoluta) is also well known for its ability to withstand cold. It is actually not a palm, but a cycad. But with similar characteristics, it will easily create a tropical feel to any environment.
Palm Trees That Stay Short
Many palms do not grow tall. They reach heights under 20 feet at maturity. The lady palm (Rhapis excelsa), for instance, only grow to 7 to 8 feet. This makes it an excellent addition to a relatively small yard. Lady palm trees are often grown indoors or in shade. With deep green foliage, it can be a great choice for people who want to add life to a room. The jade empress (Rhapis multifida) is another variety that should be considered. It also grows in a bushy appearance and serves well as a decorative house plant. Talking about low growing palms, not all of them are shrub-like. The pygmy date, for instance, grows up from a single trunk. Other varieties that grow in the same way are bottle palm, spindle palm and parlor palm. On average, they all grow under 12 feet tall. Those shorter palms are perfect for residential gardens with height restrictions.
Natural Privacy Wall
A lot of palm tress are worthy of growing for landscape purposes. They can give a sense of the tropics with little cost. A number of palm trees can also serve well as living wall or privacy fence. The areca palm that shares similar traits as the bamboo palm is perfect to be used in this application. It is considered an easy palm to take care of. It is also very cost effective. Its fast-growing nature makes it a great choice for people who want to quickly establish a natural privacy fence for their landscape. Mature trees reach approximately 20-30 feet high. Not too short and not too tall. The dense foliage can be very useful to protect areas of a property from noise and traffic. Areca palms are often mass planted to create an even better privacy screen. Depending on what you want to achieve, the needle palm can also be a good choice. It has a similar look to the lady palm. But with a bushier growing habit, planting multiple needle palms is another easy way to create a solid wall of foliage.