Potted palm trees can add an exotic, tropical ambiance to your garden. Palm trees are symbolic plants that have been celebrated since ancient times. Although palms ideally need warm climates, you can grow them in other areas with a little extra care. In this article, we’ll look at 30 types of potted palm trees that are suitable for growing outdoors.
- Benefits of Growing Palm Trees in Pots
- Key Considerations When Growing Palm Trees in Pots
- 30 Types of Potted Palm Trees Suitable for Outdoors
- 1. Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
- 2. Lipstick Palm (Cyrtostachys renda)
- 3. Pindo Palm (Butia capitata)
- 4. Silver Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
- 5. Manila Palm (Adonidia merrillii)
- 6. Royal Palms (Roystonea spp.)
- 7. Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis)
- 8. Bottle Palm (Hyophorbe lagenicaulis)
- 9. Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)
- 10. Silver Thatch Palm (Coccothrinax proctorii)
- 11. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
- 12. Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata)
- 13. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- 14. Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
- 15. Bismarck Palm (Bismarckia nobilis)
- 16. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
- 17. Coco Palm (Cocos nucifera)
- 18. Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum)
- 19. Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)
- 20. Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
- 21. Pineapple Palm (Phoenix canariensis)
- 22. Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana)
- 23. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
- 24. Guadalupe Palm (Brahea edulis)
- 25. European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)
- 26. Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
- 27. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
- 28. Macarthur Palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii)
- 29. Chinese Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)
- 30. Mexican Blue Palm (Brahea armata)
- Essential Potted Palm Tree Care
- Potted Palm Tree FAQs
- Beautiful Outdoor Potted Palms – Wrapping Up
Benefits of Growing Palm Trees in Pots
If you live in a colder climate, the best way to still enjoy palm trees is to grow them in pots. This allows you to move them indoors or to more sheltered locations during the winter. Growing palm trees in pots also help you manage their size and move them around easily.
Key Considerations When Growing Palm Trees in Pots
Although palm trees are relatively hardy, they won’t appreciate cold or frost. If you’re planning to grow palm trees outdoors in pots, you’ll need to protect them during the winter. Wrap pots in fleece or bring potted palms indoors.
Palm trees hate waterlogged soil, so a well-draining growing medium is essential. Use horticultural sand or grit to improve drainage within the soil base.
Growing a palm tree in a pot naturally restricts its size. Choose smaller palms or slow-growing varieties, so you don’t have to repot them constantly. Container palms should be repotted every 2 to 4 years.
30 Types of Potted Palm Trees Suitable for Outdoors
1. Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
Kentia palms (Howea forsteriana) are slow-growing palms native to Lord Howe Island in Australia. In their native habitat, Kentia palms can grow over 40 feet tall. These palms produce reddish-brown fruits and creamy white flowers, even in the Northern Hemisphere.
Kentia palms first came to Europe during the 1870s and quickly became popular as ‘parlor palms’. Kentia palms can tolerate cooler temperatures of approximately 25ºF but prefer to stay around 50ºF.
Grow Kentia palms in USDA Zones 9b to 11 and provide bright, indirect sunlight. These palms are drought-tolerant and can survive with low humidity and infrequent watering.
2. Lipstick Palm (Cyrtostachys renda)
Lipstick palms (Cyrtostachys renda) are slow-growing palm trees native to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Also known as red palms, lipstick palms form clumps with several stems and bright red leaf sheaths. During the summer, lipstick palms produce clusters of small green flowers followed by dark purplish-black fruits. These palms can reach up to 50 feet tall in the wild.
Lipstick palms thrive in USDA Zones 10b to 12 and are hardy down to 40ºF. Ideal temperatures range from 75 to 85ºF. Lipstick palms require high humidity levels, so grow them in sheltered areas away from strong winds.
3. Pindo Palm (Butia capitata)
Pindo palms (Butia capitata) are relatively compact palms that can grow up to 20 feet tall. They showcase crowns of dramatic, drooping fronds that can spread up to 15 feet wide. Pindo palms are native to Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.
Also known as jelly palms, Pindo palms produce edible fruits that taste like pineapples. The fruits can even be used to make jams or marmalades.
Pindo palms do best in USDA Zones 9 to 11. These palms grow particularly well in southwestern states such as California and Texas. These hardy palms can tolerate temperatures that drop to 14ºF.
4. Silver Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Silver saw palmetto palms (Serenoa repens) are compact, slow-growing palms native to the southeastern United States. Saw palmettos rarely grow higher than 10 feet, although they can spread up to 20 feet wide. Some specimens can live for hundreds of years.
Saw palmettos produce silver or light green fans of waxy, sharp-toothed leaves. Silver saw palmettos also have cream or yellow flowers from late spring to midsummer, followed by reddish-black berries.
Silver saw palmettos can tolerate coastal habitats in USDA Zones 7 to 11. These palms are hardy down to 10ºF and grow in either full sun or partial shade.
5. Manila Palm (Adonidia merrillii)
Manila palms (Adonidia merrillii) are native to the Philippines and are now naturalized in Florida and the West Indies. These palms can grow up to 25 feet tall and are common in urban areas.
Manila palms are also known as Christmas palms because they produce bright red fruits in winter. Young plants have up to 7 fronds, while mature plants can accommodate as many as 12.
Manila palms do best in full sun or partial shade. These palms are hardy down to 30ºF in USDA Zones 10 to 11. These low-maintenance palms are also self-pruning.
6. Royal Palms (Roystonea spp.)
Royal palms (Roystonea spp.) are native to the Caribbean, Florida, and Central and South America. The genus contains 11 species of tall palms with singular stems. Most royal palm species will reach between 65 and 100 feet tall. Each frond can measure up to 15 feet long.
Royal palms are hardy in Zones 10 and 11 and can tolerate temperatures as low as 30ºF. Most species can grow in full sun or partial shade and require moist soil. Royal palms can grow in open areas and can even withstand hurricanes.
7. Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis)
Chinese fan palms (Livistona chinensis) are native to parts of China, Japan, and Taiwan. These palms can grow between 30 and 50 feet tall. They’re also called fountain palms due to their cascading fan-shaped fronds that can grow up to 5 feet long.
Chinese fan palms are durable, low-maintenance palms that thrive in Zones 9 to 11 and are hardy down to approximately 15ºF. Chinese fan palms can tolerate partial shade but prefer 6 to 8 hours of sun.
8. Bottle Palm (Hyophorbe lagenicaulis)
Bottle palms (Hyophorbe lagenicaulis) are unusual palm trees native to Mauritius. The trunks of these palms are swollen, resembling a bottle. Bottle palms can grow up to 15 feet tall and approximately 8 feet wide.
Bottle palms are susceptible to cold and can only be grown outdoors in Zones 10 or 11. They cannot tolerate temperatures that fall below 32ºF. Bottle palms also need full sun, although they can grow in partial shade. These palms grow best in Florida or Hawaii.
9. Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)
Majesty palms (Ravenea rivularis) are native to the humid swamps of Madagascar. These palms can grow up to 100 feet tall in the wild. In gardens, these slow-growing palms reach between 20 and 50 feet.
Majesty palms are hardy down to 25ºF in USDA Zones 9b to 11 but prefer temperatures between 45 and 85ºF. Majesty palms require warm, humid climates and can thrive in heavy clay soils. Grow them in sheltered locations that provide partial shade. These palms are not drought-tolerant.
For more, see our in-depth guide on where to positon Majesty Palms for optimal Feng Shui benefits.
10. Silver Thatch Palm (Coccothrinax proctorii)
Silver thatch palms (Coccothrinax proctorii) are an Endangered species native to the Cayman Islands. These rare, slow-growing palms can grow up to 20 feet tall. Each plant has a slender silvery trunk with a canopy of 6 to 8 fronds.
Silver thatch palms are hardy down to 28ºF and grow best in Zones 9b to 11. These palms can grow in full sun or partial shade and are relatively drought-tolerant. They can grow in coastal areas and have a high salt tolerance.
11. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
Commonly grown as indoor palms, Areca palms (Dypsis lutescens) can also be grown outdoors in pots. Areca palms are native to Madagascar but have become naturalized throughout the Caribbean. Thesepalms can grow up to 40 feet tall with fronds reaching almost 10 feet long and offer a host of uses and benefits.
Areca palms thrive in USDA Zones 9 to 11 and require full sun or partial shade. Areca palms require moist, fertile well-draining soils. These cold-sensitive palms require temperatures of at least 55ºF otherwise they display signs of brown tips or yellowing fronds.
12. Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata)
Foxtail palms (Wodyetia bifurcata) are stunning palms native to Queensland in Australia. The species is named after an Aboriginal man who first showed the palm to botanists in 1978. Foxtail palms grow over 30 feet high with smooth gray trunks and fronds measuring up to 10 feet long.
Grow foxtail palms in USDA Zones 10 and 11 and provide at least 6 hours of full sun daily. Foxtail palms require warm temperatures of approximately 65 to 85ºF to grow at their best.
13. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata) are unusual trees native to parts of Mexico. The bulbous trunk is swollen at the base to store more water. Ponytail palms produce slender strap-like leathery fronds and can live for centuries.
These palms will reach over 15 feet tall in the wild, although container plants usually reach approximately 6 feet tall. Ponytail palms do best in USDA Zones 8 to 12 and need around 6 hours of full sun daily.
14. Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
Queen palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana) are every bit as majestic as their name suggests. These palms are native to South America and have graceful arching fronds that can measure 15 feet long. Each tree can reach up to 50 feet high and produce edible orange fruits.
Queen palms are hardy down to 15ºF in Zones 9a to 11. Water queen palms a few times a week and provide full sun or partial shade. Remove any brown or dead fronds to keep the tree looking fabulous.
15. Bismarck Palm (Bismarckia nobilis)
Bismarck palms (Bismarckia nobilis) are native to Madagascar and produce impressive crowns of silver-blue fan-like fronds. These palms also produce brown flowers and fruits. Although wild Bismarck palms can reach over 80 feet tall, garden specimens will grow up to 40 feet tall.
Bismarck palms are low-maintenance in Zones 10 and 11 and are hardy down to 30ºF. Bismarck palms need rich, well-draining soils and grow at a moderate pace. When pruning, only remove leaves that are completely dead and cut at the leaf base.
16. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Lady palms (Rhapis excelsa) are cultivated palms that originate in China and Taiwan. They showcase delicate glossy green leaves that can grow up to 2 feet long. These leaves emerge from slender stems that are similar to bamboo canes. Small yellow flowers emerge in summer.
Lady palms are ideal for growing in pots due to their small size and slow growth rate. These palms rarely grow larger than 13 feet high. Lady palms are suitable for Zones 9 to 11 and are hardy down to 18ºF.
17. Coco Palm (Cocos nucifera)
Coco palms (Cocos nucifera) are famous for producing coconuts – one of the most iconic fruits in the Caribbean. These palms grow to 100 feet tall, with fronds measuring up to 20 feet long. Each tree can produce as many as 75 coconuts per year once it reaches maturity.
Coco palms need warm conditions in Zones 11 and 12 with between 70 and 80% humidity. Coco palms are only hardy down to 40ºF but prefer temperatures between 70 and 95ºF. It takes between 6 and 10 years for a coco palm to start producing coconuts.
18. Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum)
Cat palms (Chamaedorea cataractarum) are small palm trees native to parts of Mexico and Central America. These palms are trunkless and grow in clumps of cane-like stems that produce shiny dark green fronds. Cat palms grow up to approximately 7 feet high and can spread up to 8 feet wide.
Cat palms can be grown in Zones 10 and 11. Although cat palms are hardy down to 20ºF, anything below 50ºF will start to cause leaf damage. Grow cat palms in partial shade and water whenever the top 2 inches of soil feel dry.
19. Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail palms (Caryota mitis) are native to tropical regions of Asia such as China, India, and Indonesia. These palms have delicate, beautiful leaves that resemble fishtails. Fishtail palms produce clusters of stems that can grow over 30 feet tall.
These palms are suitable for growing outside in Zones 9 to 11 and require high humidity and grow best in full sun or partial shade. Fishtail palms are slow-growing but benefit from large pots because they produce multiple stems.
20. Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
Pygmy date palms (Phoenix roebelenii) are native to parts of China, Laos, and Vietnam. These palms are medium-sized palms that grow over 20 feet tall and produce dates. Container-grown specimens will grow to approximately 10 feet tall.
Pygmy date palms are hardy down to 25ºF and can survive light frosts in Zones 10 and 11. Pygmy date palms can grow in various soil types and prefer full sun or partial shade. Take care when handling pygmy date palms because they produce thorns measuring up to 4 inches long.
21. Pineapple Palm (Phoenix canariensis)
Also known as Canary Island date palms, pineapple palms (Phoenix canariensis) are indigenous to the Canary Islands. These solitary palms can grow up to 65 feet tall and have trunks that resemble pineapple fruits. Pineapple palms have impressive crowns of approximately 125 leaves, with each frond measuring up to 20 feet long.
These palms are hardy down to 18ºF in Zones 9 to 11 and grow best in full sun and rich, well-draining soils. Pineapple palms don’t need pruning often, but dead leaves should always be removed.
22. Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana)
Sentry palms (Howea belmoreana) are closely related to Kentia palms, with both species indigenous to Lord Howe Island in Australia. These palms can reach up to 40 feet tall, with a beautiful canopy of fronds spreading approximately 10 feet wide. Each frond can be up to 5 feet long.
Sentry palms can be grown outside in Zones 9b to 11 and are hardy down to 25ºF. Provide partial shade and temperatures of approximately 50ºF wherever possible. Feed sentry palms with slow-release fertilizer once every four months from spring until fall.
23. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
Parlor palms (Chamaedorea elegans) are another popular indoor palm that can also be grown outdoors. These palms are native to Guatemala and parts of Mexico and grow in clumps of slender stems. These palms rarely exceed 16 feet high in the wild and usually grow over 6 feet tall in pots.
Parlor palms grow best in Zones 10 to 12 but will struggle if temperatures drop below 50ºF. Provide parlor palms with partial shade in sheltered locations to protect them against afternoon sunlight. These palms thrive in moist, fertile soils that drain well and offer a host of uses and benefits.
For more, see our in-depth guide on where to position parlor palms for optimal feng shui benefits.
24. Guadalupe Palm (Brahea edulis)
Guadalupe palms (Brahea edulis) are slow-growing fan palms native to Guadalupe Island in Mexico. These single-stemmed palms grow over 3000 feet above sea level, with each tree capable of reaching up to 40 feet tall. The fan-shaped leaves are pleated and stiff.
Guadalupe palms are hardy, self-pruning trees that are drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant, and wind-resistant. These palms grow best in Zones 9 to 11 and are hardy to 20ºF. Guadalupe palm trees require full sun and low humidity levels. These palms are excellent ornamental trees for open areas.
25. European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)
European fan palms (Chamaerops humilis) are hardy clump-forming palms native to the Mediterranean. The slow-growing stems emerge from underground rhizomes and can reach up to 20 feet tall, leaning outward as they mature. The fronds produce fan-like leaves that can reach up to 5 feet long.
European fan palms thrive in Zones 8 to 11 and need full sun or partial shade. These palms are well-suited to containers and grow up to 10 feet tall. European fan palms are drought-tolerant and hardy down to 10ºF. Beware of the sharp spines on the stems.
26. Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
Cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto) are native to the southeastern United States and parts of the West Indies. These palms can grow to 65 feet tall with smooth gray trunks that produce both fan-shaped and feather-like leaves. The Cabbage palm is the state tree for Florida and South Carolina.
Cabbage palms can be grown across the southern United States in Zones 8 to 11. These palms are hardy down to 10ºF and grow best in full sun. Cabbage palms grow in several soil types, sending down deep roots to anchor them against strong winds.
27. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Bamboo palms (Chamaedorea seifrizii) are native to Mexico and Central America. These palms produce clusters of slender, cane-like stems that can grow up to 20 feet tall. Although sometimes grown as houseplants, bamboo palms also work well in outdoor pots.
Bamboo palms are low-maintenance and prefer partial shade in Zones 9 to 11. Container-grown bamboo palms will typically reach 12 feet tall. These palms are hardy down to 35ºF and should be watered approximately 2 or 3 times a week in summer.
28. Macarthur Palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii)
Macarthur palms (Ptychosperma macarthurii) are native to parts of Australia and New Guinea. These palms form multi-stemmed clumps of gray trunks that can grow over 30 feet tall. Macarthur palms produce up to 13 fronds that can each grow to 10 feet long.
These palms can be grown in Zone 11 but cannot tolerate frost and should be grown in partial shade and well-draining soils that are slightly acidic. Make sure to provide a pot large enough to accommodate several stems.
29. Chinese Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)
Chinese windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are one of the hardiest species of single-stemmed palms. These palms are indigenous to China and parts of India, Japan, and Myanmar. These palms can reach 65 feet tall with dark green fan-shaped fronds that can be up to 6 feet long.
Mature Chinese windmill palms are hardy down to -4ºF in Zones 7 to 11. These palms can be grown along the Eastern and Western Seaboards and the southern United States. Chinese windmill palms prefer full sun or partial shade and are drought-tolerant and wind-resistant.
30. Mexican Blue Palm (Brahea armata)
Mexican blue palms (Brahea armata) are gorgeous ornamental palms native to the Baja California region of Mexico. These single-stemmed palms produce a sphere of blue-green fan-like fronds and can grow up to 50 feet high. Each frond can grow up to 3 feet long.
Mexican blue palms are hardy to 20ºF and grow best in Zones 9 to 11. These drought-tolerant palms can grow in loose, gritty soils and prefer full sun. Mexican blue palms are self-pruning and can also weather strong winds.
Essential Potted Palm Tree Care
Most potted palm trees require full sun for 6 to 8 hours a day. However, some species may need partial shade in the afternoon.
Temperature & Humidity
Most palm trees require daytime temperatures above 55ºF. You’ll need to protect palms once nighttime temperatures drop below 45ºF. However, some hardy species can handle temperatures that drop down to 14ºF or lower.
Most palm trees require moderate humidity levels between 40 and 60%, although this can vary.
Potted palms need moist soil, so water whenever the top 2 or 3 inches of soil feel dry. You may need to water 2 or 3 times a week in spring and summer.
Palm trees need extremely well-draining soils that are also fertile and slightly acidic. Loamy soil is ideal. Amend heavy soils with plenty of organic matter, horticultural sand, or grit.
Feed potted palms with slow-release, low-phosphorus fertilizers once every 3 to 4 months. Feed during spring and summer and stop fertilizing during the winter. Repot potted palms every 2 to 4 years.
Potted palms are evergreen and shouldn’t need much pruning. Remove old, damaged, or diseased fronds close to the base of the stem.
Disease & Pest Control
Potted palms are vulnerable to root rot, so avoid overwatering. Palms can tolerate some leaf spot, but counter with fungicide if it gets too bad. Combat spider mites using insecticidal soap or horticultural oils.
Ceramic or terracotta pots are ideal for outdoor potted palms. Be aware that terracotta is porous, so the palm will dry out more quickly. Always use pots with drainage holes.
Potted Palm Tree FAQs:
What Kind of Pots do Palms Like?
Palm trees like deep pots that provide enough space for the roots. Most potted palms should be repotted every 2 or 4 years.
How Long Do Potted Palms Live?
Given the proper care, potted palms can live for several decades.
Do Palm Trees Need Big Pots?
Palm trees require deep pots, although species that grow faster will need bigger pots.
How Often Should You Water a Potted Palm?
Water potted palm trees 2 or 3 times a week during the summer, depending on the variety.
Beautiful Types of Outdoor Potted Palm Trees – Wrapping Up
Potted palm trees are the perfect way to bring these tropical trees into your garden. Growing palm trees in pots help you control their size, especially if you have slow-growing varieties. During the winter, protect potted palms using fleece or move them indoors. Most palm species cannot tolerate frost and are sensitive to cold.