Landscaping With Palm Trees

Helpful Planning Ideas!

Looking for landscaping with palm trees ideas? We're with you on that! Always having our eyes open for wonderful designs.

Where we live there are some constraints on what we do. For instance we aren't allowed any Phoenix or Washingtonia varieties. Most are low water species, so I don't get it?!

Rulings because of the Home Owner Association. Aaargh! Those drawbacks to HOAs (but we all know there are some benefits, too!). Your first thought with your ideas for landscaping with palm trees is knowing your HOA requirements. If you live in such an area.

Here at Mission: Palm Trees

Palm lovers can get info needed to ease their palm-related search tasks & worries. Enjoy our informative articles, while having fun finding what you want or need. Without unneeded shoptalk lingo & tiring endless research. We Research For You!

First Considerations for
Landscaping Around Palm Trees


Before thinking about great ideas for where you'd like to landscape with palm trees,  view how this applies to you:

  • Do you live in a warmer type of climate? (NO? See "None of the Above" below) Then figure out your area:
  1. Tropical
  2. Subtropical
  3. Temperate, but warmer winters
  4. Lower deserts
  5. Higher deserts
  6. None of the above? - We still have other possibilities for you: Some Options

Figuring this gives you an edge. You can be brilliant & successful with your ideas for landscaping with palm trees.

First thoughts & planning are so important. It's good to see you're thinking that way! 

Advance PlanningThink Ahead - Avoid Future Problems

Landscaping With Palm Trees
Ideas, Goals & Outcomes


We have ideas for you: suggestions for having a peachy palm landscape! How about the Best Palms for Your Backyard? Around your patio seating. Or maybe creating a stunning, palmy showcase for your front yard.


Think of the surrounding area's plant growth. When you're about to plan your ideas for landscaping with palm trees. First be sure Surrounding Landscape Plantings and/or lawn turf aren't growing right up to your palm's trunk. Several reasons:

  • Prevent palm injury when caring for the lawn.
  • Avoid mismatch of palm vs. lawn fertilizer needs.Head off water competition for palm's roots vs. grasses, nearby flowering plants or bushes.


You'll want to know the final height of the palm you're considering. Also the width of space it will take up. What a horror to see the palm you love begin to hit the side of your house! Or grow so tall, you can barely see the crown!

Important to escape having to transplant a palm that starts invading to unwanted places. Like getting too close to your driveway, sidewalk, a roadway, etc.

What a transplanting pain that would be! Prevention is much better, we're sure you'll agree.

temple with palm trees and a flowerAre There Flower Beds Close By?
pathway lined with tall palm treesSee How Tall! Oh - the grass is competing!

Palm Tree Landscaping Ideas for Shade


Use Palm tree leaves for shading. Ideas for landscaping with palm fronds can also help with tropical ambience in your yard, or on your patio.

Feel cooler when lounging in outdoor seating. Or when enjoying your home in the summer.

Palm trees with Palmate Fronds are often a good choice because the leaves have larger surface areas.

palmate frondsLarge palm fronds.


Group five of the same species for a pleasant type of palm landscaping technique. Or maybe three of one species along with four of another.

The best appealing esthetic landscape formula is to go with odd number totals.

group of palm treesExample of a Pleasing Grouping of Palms in the Rear of a Beach Shelter
Odd Number - Somewhat Zigzagged Placement - Multi-sized


Remember, watch overhead power lines. You must avoid them!! Think about maximum palm heights in your landscaping plan ideas. 

Palm trees at a Galveston homeWhat Do You Think is Wrong Here?
What Do You Think is Good?

Two Palms Died - Maybe Near Flower Beds or Lawn?
Large Palms Suitable for Home Size.
Small Palms are Best Near Front Sidewalk. Why?
Few Palms Near Lanai Nicely Sized, Good for Shading. Are They Too Close?
Tall Palms Tower Over Single Story HomeThese Tall Palms Are Immensely Taller
Than The Low-Roofed Home.


To shade your home with palm trees, plant on the south or west side.

For shading, you'll want the palm's ultimate height to be several feet more than the roof's edge. Whatever your home's size, you don't want the palms you choose to overpower the home.

Some people may like that look, as in the photo seen here. Yet for palm esthetics, it's not considered good taste. Buying a home you love may give you no choice anyway!

With outdoor patios & seating, be sure trees aren't placed beneath roof eaves or artificial/permanent shade covers. Think of palm species at 12-15 ft. high to shade seating areas. 

When you assess ideas for landscaping with palm trees.

No Foresight for the palm trees coming onto the homeOh, oh! Looks like there wasn't much advanced thought here!

tropical pool outside housePalm Trees for These Single-Story Homes Are About the Right Level

Palms for Shade
Sun-Heated Warm/Humid Areas

Shading the Home

These suggestions are most appropriate for those living in tropical and subtropical climates. Or Temperate Areas with not overly cold winters. These palms are sun-loving, blocking sun from where you choose. Their water usage isn't overwhelming, but they're not truly drought tolerant.

Once established they can get along with regular rainfall. With additional watering in dry spells. 


Species to consider for home shading:

  • Bismarck Palm: Bismarckia nobilis
  • Talipot Palm: Corypha umbraculifera
  • Blue Latan Palm: Latania loddigesii
  • Kona Fan Palm: Pritchardia maideniana
  • Fiji Fan Palm: Pritchardia Pacifica

All like the sun on their "backside" & won't hog water usage.

Australian Fan Palm:

Licuala ramsayi - A top choice for two-story homes. Maxing out about 50 feet, and not overly thirsty.

Shading Outdoor Seating Areas

Shade Palms border a patioDidn't They Absolutely Do a Fabulous Palm Tree Landscaping Job
For Their Patio?


Think about these palm suggestions for edging patios & outdoor seating coves.

Florida Silver Palm: 

Coccothrinax argentata - Your sunny day friend. Does fine if soil's not great & rain dwindles. Attractive for groupings, too.

Loulu Palm:

Pritchardia kaalae - One of two Moloka'i Hawaii Indigenous Trees. It can thrive in your yard's sunny spot. If you can get one, it grows to 12 feet tall.

Old Man Thatch Palm:

Coccothrinax crinita - Loves the sun! Your invited friends & relatives will be asking you all about this one. A fun conversation piece.

Cabada Palm:

Dypsis cabadae - Up to 25 feet up, often surrounds courtyards. Plant them somewhat close together to give shading. They're lovely to look at, too! Clusters can sprout. You may or may not want that.

Prefers a Mediterranean type of climate.

Licuala Palm:

Licuala grandis - When full grown, about 10 feet, its large fronds make good shade. Just be sure it's not in a consistently windy area. Does better on eastern property sides, where it won't get full sun & uses water effectively.

Florida Thatch Palm:

Flexibly tolerant, getting to 16 feet. Pretty white fruit sprouts out. Making for good looks!

Palms for Shade in Desert/Dry Areas


If you Live in the Desert, you get minimal average rainfall. Even if you get summer monsoon storms, overall yearly rainfall is low.

Choose drought tolerant palms. Because desert areas need to conserve water. So palm watering needs should be small.


Another consideration is cold weather.

Lower elevation southern deserts, or deserts between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer may get cold temperatures. But the key is, how cold in your region? Overall, palm trees do not like freezing temperatures.

Some can withstand it to a point. They'll shiver a bit! Maybe wish they could put on an overcoat!

But when it soon warms up, they'll be okay.


Does your air temperature, at any time of the year, get below freezing for any length of time? With sensitive palms be watchful, as you might have to give them an overcoat!

Let's look for the easiest palms to go with. That will be Cold Tolerant Species.

And in desert climates, we've got to combine the drought tolerant with the cold tolerant. Where I live in Tucson AZ, that's what we have to do! That's why our Backyard Palms are the Mexican Blue & Mediterranean Fan.

Some pinnate fronds are also suitable in these climes. Yet many more are better in lower deserts, fewer in high deserts. Let's see what we find.

Shading the Home

Blue Hesper Palm:

Brahea armata - Well suited to warm low deserts, from Baja California origins. Slow grower to 30'+, if you want to be growing a larger palm. Naturally best fit for two-story homes.

Guadalupe Palm:

Brahea edulis - Another slow grower, peaks about 30 feet. It may do okay in southerly high deserts that don't get lengthy freezing temps.

What's nice is it has Palm Fruit that's edible.

Silver Palm:

Coccothrinax alta - Gets to 25' & adapted to desert soils. Best for low, one-story homes. Slow growing, working out for sun-sheltering in your yard. Probably difficult in high deserts.

Miraguama Palm:

Coccothrinax miraguama - Lovely appearance. At max of 20' works well for one-story homes. Grows well in desert soils, fairly quickly. Not for high deserts.

Chinese Fan Palm:

An ideal try for high deserts. Not fussy for soils. Can tolerate short freezes. Gets to 25', so best for single-story houses.  

Livistona chinensis growing near a pond.The Chinese Fan Palm's scientific name is: Livistona chinensis

Shading Outdoor Seating

Pindo Palm: 

Butia capitata - Pretty hardy native at inland areas of eastern South America. Even with pinnate fronds, they're feathery & lengthy for coverage. It's a fruit producer. Good for a delish jelly! Greatest height of 15 feet.

Seashore Palm:

Allagoptera arenaria - Coming from sand dunes of Brazil. Not fussy about soil. But the better location is warmer deserts. Has long pinnate leaves. It's a clumper. Three or five could be placed anticipating a shrub "wall" around a patio or yard seating area. As it does its clumping work. Tops out at eight feet.

European Fan Palm:

Chamaerops humilis - Ideal pick for high deserts. It's known to survive snow-storms without damage. Does fine in rocky desert ground. Often clumps. Gets to about 10 feet.

Silver Palm:

Coccothrinax argentata is hardy alright. Even known to sprout up in cracks between rocks. Rarely gets to its possible 15' height. Not recommended for high deserts.

Mazari Palm:

Another suited to high deserts. Native to Afghanistan & Pakistan deserts, it tolerates freezes. Very tough! Typically gets to 10', but can go 25'. Has edible fruit & can spread. 

Nannorrhops ritchieana growing in a botanical garden.A Mazari Palm (Nannorrhops ritchieana)
At Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota FL

Shading Palm Methods for Cooler Areas

Realistically, if you live in a truly colder climate, there aren't any ways to shade your home with real palm trees.

Actually, would you want to shade your home anyway? 

Much of the time, the sun may be appreciated. For shading in colder climates, seems like deciduous trees are the best way to go for this purpose! Palm trees certainly aren't deciduous.

However, for a tropical palm glitz, you can do an outdoor potted palm in the summertime. In your yard seating areas, or on the patio.

Use several for a flexible palm landscaping esthetic in the climate area where you live. Use what works for you - for the effort involved, and your end desires.

Potted Palm on the DeckVisualize Your Potted Palm

Shading Outdoor Seating With Potted Palms

Potted palms are the ideal way to go for colder climates. When cold weather sets in, take them indoors to protect them.

Here are a couple suggestions:

Pygmy Date Palm:

Popular for potting. Can get to 10 feet, but slow growing. Likes sunny areas.

  • Using 3 to 5 pots zig-zagged along the west or south of seating is useful to edge an area for shade. 
  • When cold sets in, get it indoors near a southern/western sunny window.

Cat Palm:

Almost no trunk. As soon as it's above the soil, it splits & begins sprouting palm frond stems.

Rounded growth, it doesn't like sun that's too strong. So it's more suitable to your climate. Does well in pots, looking very nice. Gets five feet up.

  • One caution is the leaves can irritate sensitive skin.

Takeaways for Landscaping With Palm Tree Ideas


Even more to think about when landscaping with palm trees! Like fabulous ideas for landscaping Around a Palm Tree. What other plants to include? Maybe assorted tropicals, cycads or yuccas.

Our landscaping with palm trees, the ideas here are for you.

We've got you started in planning for your Landscape Design. There's a lot to think about! Knowing details about palm trees can influence decisions.

On to happy palm tree landscaping!

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