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Best Palm Trees for a Florida Backyard


When you think of palm trees, you probably think of tropical locales like Florida, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Did you know that there are actually several different types of palm trees? And that not all palm trees are created equal when it comes to growing in Florida. Some grow tall, some stay shorter, some have many offshoots around them, others grow a single trunk, and some are bushier making them better for privacy.

If you’re looking for the best palm trees for your backyard in Florida, here are a few of our favorite species:

1. Royal Palm Trees

One of the most popular palm trees in Florida is the royal palm tree. It’s no wonder why – these tall, slender trees are absolutely stunning, with their bright green fronds and smooth, gray trunk.

Royal palm trees can grow up to 60 feet tall, making them one of the tallest palm trees available. They’re relatively fast-growing, so if you’re looking for a palm tree that will make a big impact quickly a royal palm is a great option.

The only downside is Royal Palms can be very sensitive to cold, so they do best in southern Florida like Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Tampa and Orlando are on the very border of the hardiness zone, so even one cold winter could kill these palms if you live there. Jacksonville is probably a complete no on these trees as it’s too far north for these sensitive giants.

2. Coconut Palm Trees

Coconut palm trees are another popular choice for Florida homeowners. These tall, tropical trees are best known for their fruit, coconuts of course, but they also make a beautiful addition to any landscape.

Coconut palm trees can grow up to 100 feet tall, so they’re definitely one of the tallest palm trees you can choose. They’re also relatively slow-growing, so they may not be the best option if you’re looking for instant gratification. If you’re not planning on living in the same home for many years past planting these, you can always visit a nursery and purchase a more mature version of the plant to get a few years of extra growth.

Like Royal Palms, Coconut Palms are also grown in hardiness zones 10 or warmer. Sorry Jacksonville, but the farther south like Miami and Fort Myers area are best for these trees as well. You can probably get away with these a bit farther north like Tampa or Orlando, but you’re rolling the dice.

3. Saw Palmetto Palm Trees

If you’re looking for a smaller palm tree for your Florida backyard, the Saw Palmetto Palm tree is a great option. These dwarf palm trees only grow to about 10-15 feet tall, making them much more manageable than some of the other options on this list.

Despite their small size, saw palmetto palm trees are surprisingly hardy. They’re able to withstand high winds and salt spray, making them a great choice for coastal areas.

Saw Palmetto Palms can grow as far north as hardiness zones 6! Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa are ideal homes for these types of palms. Miami and Fort Myers can actually get too hot some years for these, but they shouldn’t completely die off from the heat with proper watering.

4. Sabal Palm Trees

Another small palm tree that’s perfect for Florida is the sabal palm tree. These palms only grow to about 20-30 feet tall, so they’re definitely on the smaller side.

But don’t let their size fool you – sabal palm trees are actually quite tough. They’re able to withstand cold temperatures and high winds, making them a great choice for areas that experience extreme weather conditions.

Sabal Palms are another great choice for anywhere in Florida as they thrive in hardiness zones 8-11 making them a bit more versatile to both the colder and warmer areas of Florida.

5. Areca Palm Trees

If you’re looking for a palm tree that’s both beautiful and low-maintenance, the areca palm tree is a great option. These palms are relatively small, only growing to about 20-30 feet tall.

But what they lack in size, they make up for in beauty. Areca palm trees have bright green fronds and a yellow-orange fruit that’s absolutely stunning. And best of all, they’re relatively easy to care for, so you won’t have to put in a lot of work to keep them looking their best.

Areca Palms aren’t the most cold tolerant as they do best in hardiness zones 9-11. Orlando and Tampa are the farthest north these thrive, and will do best anywhere south from there.


No matter what type of palm tree you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on this list. So what are you waiting for? Start shopping for the perfect palm tree for your Florida backyard today.






The author generated this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.

Posted on October 18, 2022

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