Different Kinds of Palm Trees

Different kinds of palm trees can be categorized in a variety of ways. Which palm tree variety are you interested in finding out more about?

When you say kinds of palm trees, are you thinking of species? Because there are many of those! Over 2700!!

You'll find good info on Many Species all through here. Stuff you'd want to know. Even unusual things you may learn.

Or are you thinking of looking for palm trees that fit certain guidelines to assist you in your purchase? Evaluating different kinds of palm trees for successful growing in your area will definitely be helpful.

Come on in to see what we've gathered to help you out!

ManyTypesPalms

Here at Mission: Palm Trees

Palm lovers can get the info needed to ease their concerns. While enjoying our articles & having fun without unneeded shoptalk lingo & tiring research.

Types of Palm Trees

Choose which characteristics for different kinds of palm trees you're interested in:

(OR scroll on down to see all kinds of varieties!)

Palm Trees for Full Sun

sun shining on palm treesAhhhh - The Sun Shining Through the Palms. What a Life!!

Do you live in a really sunny climate? Where the mostly sun shines nearly every day.

I know we do. Often, we wake up & there's not a cloud in the sky! Cuz we live in Tucson Arizona. In the Sonoran Desert, where many different types of palm trees now grow.

Do you live in a Desert Climate that sun-loving types of palms thrive in?

Or maybe you're in the tropics? We've been to Florida. Where St. Petersburg historically advertised their newspaper was free if there's no sun that day!

Free Newspaper on a rainy day in FloridaThe Evening Independent Newspaper Free When it Rained in St. Petersburg FL
In 76 Years of the Promotion, Free Newspapers Were Given Out 296 Times!

Or maybe you live in a colder climate, where palm trees aren't inclined to grow. Yet it's possible, when finding the right species, if you live in a place where Palms Can Grow.

There are different types of palm trees for full sun. Take a look at all of the possibilities!

Different Types of Palm Trees for Full Sun

Most palms love sunlight. But there can be different degrees of that. Those below love full sun. And there are even More Sun-Loving Palms to try.

Silver Palm - Coccothrinax alta, endemic to Caribbean.

  • Can get to 25' quite slowly, within Zone 10B-11.
  • Named for the silvery glow below the topside green frond
  • Likes beachy, sandy ground.

Spindle Palm - Hyophorbe verschaffeltii, originates from an island off Africa's eastern coast.

  • Smaller palm, grows gradually to 20' in Zones 10B-11.
  • Generally quite flexible.
  • Trunk has that unique look with tight rings around the bottom rising to greenish swelling above.
Spindle Palm TreeThough please, quench its thirst if it's parched!

Senegal Date Palm - Phoenix reclinata, AKA Reclinata Palm.

  • Though from Africa, not fussy where it plants roots. Except should be Zones 9-11.
  • Grows somewhat faster than others here. To about 25'. Likes to spread out, too.
  1. Suckers make new trunks. If you don't want it taking over your place, prune those not wanted. It won't be insulted!
  • Leaves have spines, so that's a caution.

Macaw Palm - Acrocomia aculeata, native to Martinique & Dominica. You gotta watch out! It's well armed! Has nasty trunk & frond spines.

  • Likes sunny weather. Prefers mostly dry, sandy soil. But not too fussy.
  • Grows slowly to 30' high. For Zones 10A-11.
  • Palm collector aficionados are very interested in this one.

Small Palm Trees

Looking around for different types of palm trees for Landscaping Ideas? Though most palms aren't little, Small Types of Palm Trees can be found. Small for a palm is about 20 feet (six meters) maximum growth.

See if these suit your needs.

Full Sun with Drought Tolerance

Zombie Palm - Little by little up to 15' (4.5 meters) in Zones 10B-11

  • Zombia antillarum may make you run from it! Problem: its spiny trunk.
  • It likes to cluster densely. Yet makes some artistic beauty.
  • Don't let its roots get soggy, that would be bad news!
Zombie Palm Tree in Sarasota FLThis Densely Clustering Palm Hides its Weapons!

Florida Thatch Palm - Slowly grows about 20' (6 meters), easily in Zones 10-11

  • With care when temps dip, Thrinax radiata can do OK in Zone 9B.
  • Yes it likes sun, but a little shade's alright!
  • Quite a flexible, jaunty one. Easy to get along with!

Cold Tolerant palms

Radicalis Palm - Unhurriedly it's generally grows 5-10' (1.5m) tall. Zones 8B-11.

  • Chamaedorea radicalis likes shadier spots. Then easily grown, with moderate watering.
  • Just use caution with its fruits! Can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Tolerates momentary temp dips to 20oF, even to 15oF. But better to protect it.

Hardy Bamboo Palm - Faster growth to 8' (2.4 meters) tall in Zones 8B-11.

  • Chamaedorea microspadix doesn't want too much sun. Likes a bit of water.
  • Per its name, hardiness is for occasional frosty times.

See even More Palms Suitable for tolerating dips in temps!

Palms on the Shady Side

LIKES SOME SHADE!

Dwarf Palmetto - Plodding growth to only 6' (1.8 meters) in Zones 7-10B.

  • Sabal minor originated in woodsy southeastern US areas.
  • Barely no visible trunk, it's so low to the ground.
  • Easy care: can take a bit of a chill & some drought.

Spiny Licuala - Licuala spinosa moderately grows to 12' (3.7 meters) in Zones 10B-11. Per its name, frond petioles are armed. Watch out for that!

  • Fronds grow out in a circle, each with a wedge shape. Very nice!
  • Originating in South Pacific islands, it likes enough water. Give it more sun, it gets more thirsty!
  • Given that care, it's easy to manage.
Spiny Lucuala Palm TreeArtist's Rendition of the Spiny Licuala.
Note the Points All Along the Stem!

Sun & Rain Loving Palms

Ivory Cane Palm - You'll see it progress well to 12 feet. Zones 10B-11.

  • It's a rain forest natural. Better grow it where it can get some shade.
  • Pinanga kuhlii is attractive. With a shrubby look. 
  • Creamy pink flowers contrast well, producing red fruit. New fronds look pinkish, too!

Pygmy Date Palm - Unhurriedly, it gets to 10' (3 meters) in Zones 10A-11.

  • Phoenix roebelenii is generally easy to find. But needs care to avoid problems.
  • Full sun is fine with it, but doesn't mind a bit of shade.
  • Coming from Southeast Asia, it does like enough water.

Different Types of Palm Trees
With Low Maintenance

Low maintenance small & large palm trees are types of palms people often like. They don't want lots of Landscaping Around the Palm to be tedious! Adding to the home's general task workload.

Are there different kinds of palm trees in that category?

It's best to think about categories of Palm Tree Maintenance first. Then go from there.

PALM TREE TRIMMING

Consider that palms with crownshafts (leaf base with packed-in pinnate fronds) don't need pruning. Dead fronds fall off on their own (but in their own timeframe).

Why choose a Palm Tree That's Self-Cleaning?

  • Saves you paying landscape companies to prune.
  • You'll have to remove them from the ground. Or hire a local youngster to do it!

You can Prune Palms Yourself, but be cautious. Consider this when planting tall palms.

Trimming a Palm Tree by a ProfessionalPalm Tree Pruning from a Bucket Lift:
Yearly Task for Many Tall Palms. The Safest Way for Tall Palms.

Easy Care palms with NO crownshaft:

  • Teddy Bear Palm: Dypsis leptocheilos gets 20-30 ft. tall, for Zones 10/11. Medium watering schedule. Needs sun & space.
  • Seashore Palm: Allagoptera arenaria is a beach-lover. Easily does well in well-drained soil. Only to 8' tall, so simple access when needed.

SMALL SIZED

Think about small species, where you can easily remove dead fronds yourself. Consider if they're the clumping kind. Then add yearly pruning for thinning.

Suggestions:

  • Chinese Needle Palm:Guihaia argyrata slowly gets to 8 ft. 
  1. Zones 9-11, some 8b.
  2. Needs aren't exorbitant! Fairly flexible all around.
  • Sierra Madre Palm: Brahe decumbens ends up 6-8 ft. in Zones 9-11, some 8b. Usually bends over. Spreads with suckers! May be a little hard to find.
  • Dwarf Rock Palm: Brahea moorei is good for Zones 8-11, pretty versatile. 4-6 ft. Chalky white frond underside. Hardy, but don't leave it chilled unprotected for long! Not commonly found.

FRUIT MESSINESS

A problem can be picking up after falling fruit. The worst are the fleshy Types of Fruit. Will you be eating the fruit anyway?

Best tips to avoid fruit mess:

  • Trim off inflorescences before flowers bloom to cut back on fruit production.
  1. Or after blooming completes to prune all stalks off
  • Totally cut off infructescences before fleshy fruit begins dropping. Won't harm the palm tree!
Palm FruitsWhat Happens When These Ripen & Drop From the Palm?

PEST/HEALTH PROBLEMS

It's best for different types of palm trees you consider to be resistant to plant pests & illness. To avoid worrisome, regular treatment & prevention routines.

Six Orders of the Animal Kingdom's Insecta class have species problematic for some palms. Included in these are grasshoppers, crickets, walking-sticks, thrips, true bugs, leaf/planthoppers, aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, scale insects, beetles, caterpillars & mites.

That's Some Palm Problem List!

Red Palm Weevil & CocoonFront & Back Look at the Red Palm Weevil
See What its Cocoon Looks Like - EWW!!

The most common, important illnesses attacking palms are blights, bud rots, leaf spot disease, rot & wilt diseases, mottle disease & nematode diseases.

Leaf Spot disease appears on palm frondsYuck!! What Is It Infecting Our Poor Palm??!!
A Sad Case of Leaf Spot on a Pritchardia Palm

Another wariness is inadequate nutrition, causing problems. Helps to stay away from those needing extra-picky fertilized soils. Plus there are varieties of palm tree problems with the symptom of Browning Fronds.

Plant Palm Trees that Avoid Problems

There are different types of palm trees that are best for avoiding those problems. Which ones?

Bismarck Palm: Bismarckia nobilis works well in Zones 10A-11.

  • Averages 30-60' tall, growing slowly.
  • Preplan location! Besides height, its large, wide canopy is impressive.

Silver Palm: Coccothrinax alta hardy in Zone 10B-11.

  • Ambles upward to 25' & likes the shore!
  • Still very flexible. Not fussy if you give it a sunny spot.

Australian Fan Palm - Livistona australis can do Zones 9-11.

  • Give it sun. In Florida add in some Potassium. Then its growth is slow & happy to 40'.
  • Only when young, be careful of spines.
Australian Fan PalmArtist's Rendering of this Pretty Specimen
In 1878 "Les Palmiers Histoire Iconographique" by Pannemaeker.

Joannis Palm: Veitchia joannis for Zones 10B-11

  • Very flexible. But avoid leaf burn from extreme cold/hot winds.
  • Pretty, delicate look. Can get to 60' high!

Types of Indoor Palm Trees

Different types of palm trees can grow well inside your home. Near to a window for their lighting & easily managed.

Discover small types of palm trees with easy maintenance. Here are some to consider:

Christmas Palm: Adonidia merrillii is a popular potted palm tree for indoor holiday decor. Year round it's fine, too.

  • Fairly fast grower, with about 12 fronds attractively arching from the trunk.
  • Produces inflorescences quickly, when about 3 feet tall, then colorful fruits.
  • Ensure it gets good window light & doesn't dry out.

Lady Palm: Rhapis excelsa has a successful reputation for easy container placement in the home.

  • Advantage: not a sun-worshipper!
  • White flowers make small white fruits.
  • Grows slowly, but not fussy about soil. Water regularly, just don't let it get soggy "feet"!

Cold Hardy Palm Trees

Typically, these palm trees do well in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-8.

When lower temperatures rule, Cold Hardy Palms can withstand low temperatures for a short time. With little or no damage.

In colder zones, palms may need protection when temperatures dip. Just like you have - stash some Palm Tree Winter Protection for those chilly times!

Palm Plant covers for protection for winter frostFrost in the Forecast? Get Out Your Palm's Winter Coats!!

Here's a cold hardy palm you my want to plant.

Dwarf Palmetto: Sabal minor does well from Zones 6-11, originating from the SE US. Even known to survive well in Zone 5.

  • Likes a shady spot, but is thirsty for water.
Dwarf PalmettoIt's a Swamp Lover! That's its Native U.S. Territory.

Fast Growing Palm Trees

You get a new palm planted in your yard or garden! Yay!!

It's just a little tyke. Then you begin watching it grow. It's soooo slow!

Man with yellow vest holding out a measuring tapeIs It Taller Yet??

BEFORE THAT HAPPENS!

Are you impatient to see that wonderful palm tree at a good height? To be recognized around the neighborhood. Bringing that breezy airy calm to your property's aura!

Think of these different types of palm trees that grow more quickly.

Areca Nut Palm: Areca catechu only tolerates the warmth of Zone 11 & some 10B.

  • Give it what it needs & it happily gets to 50'.
  • Full sun, can do slight shade. Regular water into loamy acidic earth. But don't let it continuously slosh in moisture either.
  • Gorgeous color contrasts throughout

Carpentaria Palm - Carpentaria acuminata is Carpy to Aussies. Native at the Top End!

  • Another warmth lover, gets around 50' up. Zones 10 & 11 suit it.
  • Inflorescences form a white flowered skirt below the crownshaft. Red fruits afterwards.
  • For quick growth give it lots of water & sunlight.

Fountain Palm - Livistona decipiens is suitable for Zones 9-11. Plus 8B Zones with low humidity winters.

  • Not too fussy. Give it regular water & ensure good drainage. Then it will spring up fast to its top growth of 50'.
  • A stunning looker. Especially when shimmering in the full sun that it needs.

Bacaba Palm - Oenocarpus bacaba grows quickly when you're good to it!

  • Grows best in tropical zones. With rare freezes, it can manage semi-tropical climates.
  • Once established, they love sunny spaces. 
  • Humus filled soil makes a calm palm! Away from the alkaline side.
Bacaba Palm

Top Outdoor Palm Trees

Looking for different types of palm trees for planting outdoors?

Maybe palms for your Front Yard, greeting those approaching the entryway. Or in your backyard, where you relax in your lush garden's tropical glow!

Which are best for your desired aspects?

LARGE PALMS

Want a large palm tree for an impressive appearance on your property?

Sugar Palm: Arenga pinnata thrives in Zones 10-11. OK for warmest areas of 9B.

  • Handsome solitary palm. Once established, easily gets along. Gets 50-70' high.
  • Likes regular water & sunlight.
  • Fronds angle upright, giving a welcoming look. But then scary for trunk spines.

Spindle Palm: Hyophorbe verschaffeltii best in Zones 10B-11.

  • Mostly easy going. Especially unique looking!
  • If lacking rainfall, give it a good shower yourself. Be sure it's in the sun.
  • Watch for slight possibility of lethal yellowing. In Florida? Needs potassium/magnesium supplements.
Spindle PalmArtist's Rendering of the Spindle Palm.

SMALL PALMS

Smaller palm trees have so many landscaping uses!

Jelly Palm: Butia capitata is good in Zone 8-10B

  • Slowly grows to 15' with watchful care. But watch for Palm Pests/Diseases: scales, rot, smut & leaf spot. Watch for those spines!
  • Edible fruit tastes sorta like pineapply banana.
  • Pretty flexible for where you plant it. Can do some shade & gets through droughts.

Bottle Palm: Hyophorbe lagenicaulis for Zones 10B-11.

  • Gets slowly to 12' when watered consistently & adequate sunlight.
  • Striking appearance. Tapered trunk & crown has 4-8 fronds.
  • Easy care. Only Floridians: watch for potassium need.

MULTI-TRUNKED PALMS

Clustering palm trees send out suckers from the "parent" trunk. These new stems are their "children" - so to speak! Often useful as a hedge.

Paurotis Palm: Acoelorhaphe wrightii is a clumper, alright!

  • Hardy in Zones 9B-11. Nice look, when there's room to spread.
  • Likes wetter grounds. Slowly but surely grows to 20'. Can temporarily dry out.
  • Few precautions: ganoderma, smut & leaf spot. Need for manganese.
Paurotis Palm, also called Everglades PalmIt's Also Called the Everglades Palm
Because Lots of This Palm are Found There!

Areca Palm: Chysalidocarpus lutescens in Zones 10B-11

  • Nice looking, when sprouting several stems.
  • Regular soil fertilizing supports better growth & appearance. Gets to 20' at a decent clip.
  • Look out for attacks by caterpillars & mealybugs. Also be wary of diseases.

Miniature Palm Trees

Miniature palm trees are those that grow to a maximum height of 20 feet. Multiple choices among this group.

When you look for a miniature palm tree, think of your Hardiness Zone first. Then go from there: evaluating each for the palm's particular needs, ease of care & look.

Some are suitable as indoor palm trees.

Here are some to consider:

Buccaneer Palm: Pseudophoenix sargentii is suited for Zones 10B-11.

  • Caribbean & Keys native, slowly maxing out at 10'.
  • Pretty adaptable & easy to manage.

Cuban Petticoat Palm: Copernicia macroglossa for Zones 10B-11.

  • Leisurely grows to 15' attaining. Rounded crown appearance because dead fronds continue on.
  • Needs full sun, but otherwise easy care. It's spiny though!

Mazari Palm: Nannorrhops ritchiana can do Zones 8-11. Has edible fruit.

  • Gradually gets to about 10' high. Plus it clusters outward.
  • Needs full sun & well drained soil. Otherwise easily cared for.
  • Only precaution is slight possibility of lethal yellowing or ganoderma.

Takeaways for Different Types of Palm Trees

There are many, many different types of palm trees. Seems to be a Palm for Nearly any Category you're thinking of!

Don't miss these other different types of palm trees in our miniature palm sections:

We hope among these different types of palm trees you'll find one to love!

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