North Carolina palm trees growing along the tropical sandy beaches here? Uhhh, well - have you been to North Carolina before? We have.
Our cousin lives on the Outer Banks, in Manteo. He used to be part owner of a unique, very popular business. In fact it was the first of its kind. A year-round Christmas Shop. It's now under new ownership, because they retired. Now our cousin Richard occupies himself with other projects at home and in town.
When visiting Richard, we began wondering if palm trees grew in North Carolina. We knew the Outer Banks had white sandy beaches & crystal clear waters. But also knew North Carolina lacked that tropical paradise weather associated with palms.
On our North Carolina trips, we didn't readily see any palms. But we learned something else. Look in the right places, you'll find them. Are you surprised that palm trees are growing in North Carolina?
We'll help you explore North Carolina palm trees. You'll uncover the surprising info behind their success in this unexpected location. Keep moving along for all these interesting NC palms, or Click In our Table of Contents here:
Did you wonder if palms in NC is a new thing? Were they always here, or have people recently been trying to get them to grow? Are there any naturally growing North Carolina palm trees?
Actually, they have been around awhile.
The earliest record for palms in the state was back in the late 1700s.
Wealthy plantation owners liked their exotic look. Imported them for property landscaping, as ornamentals. Plantations grew these historic North Carolina palm trees successfully. They were mainly in coastal areas.
As time went by, palms were noticed and their popularity grew. That's when they became more common.
A North Carolina palm tree boom began in the early 1900s. Palms were planted in public parks, along roadsides, and on private properties. People loved them in their family gardens.
Now North Carolina palm trees are even more common. Growing in other parts of the state, where they hadn't been earlier. When seen by tourists, they're much enjoyed.
But those who really like them for growing in NC are the residents!
Yes, palms are typically associated with warm, tropical climates. It may seem surprising they'd do well in North Carolina's varied climates.
HOW CAN PALMS GROW IN NC?
It's that several Palm Tree Species are quite adaptable. Certain palms tolerate a range of temperatures & conditions.
NATIVES TO NC
Some palm trees are even native to North Carolina.
Did you know, that in North Carolina, palm trees can grow in several climate zone regions? Especially in the coastal areas, which are typically warmer overall. But also some are found growing in the Piedmont. Also sometimes known in mountainous climes.
WHAT THEY'LL NEED FROM YOU
But remember, the lower the Climate Growing Zone number, the more extra work they'll need. Often needing your help to protect them from harsh winter weather.
Several types of North Carolina palm trees can readily be found. One thing to remember is young palms planted in NC definitely need winter protection. Once established, they can survive on their own, with little to no help, much better.
Figure out how helpful it will be! It has a few drawbacks. But we think the good things outweigh them by far.
Two Main Things to Consider:
Sabal palmetto is about the most common, also known as Palmetto. It's a southeastern U.S. native.
Sabal minor is the most northerly palm in the U.S. Native to NC, it's also called Bush Palmetto & Swamp Palmetto.
Trachycarpus fortunei is a popular palmate leafed palm tree in North Carolina. Also called Chinese Windmill Palm or Chusan Palm. A popular landscaping choice.
Rhapidophyllum hystrix is a U.S. southeast coastal native, to southern South Carolina. Not much of a stretch then for planting this clumping palm in coastal North Carolina, with care.
Serenoa repens likes hangin' out in piney wood areas. Where it's been native as far north as SC. Similar dry areas of North Carolina can grow these palms, too.
Have you decided to grow palm trees at your North Carolina property? Keep in
mind these important tips. To be prepared.
When cold weather's coming, your palm tree depends on you for help.
While palm trees can grow in North Carolina, there are some challenges to growing them there.
Keep in mind, when Buying Your Palm - About knowing when to plant palm trees in North Carolina. It's good to have advance planning and strategy. Understand the climate and soil conditions of your growing region will aid success.
You may love some of those really tropical types of palms, like coconut and date palms. But they're not suitable for North Carolina's climate & won't survive cold winters.
The best time to plant North Carolina palm trees is the spring or fall.
There will likely be some challenges. But there are pleasant benefits with having your own North Carolina palm trees.
Yes palms in North Carolina are growing in popularity. But some people have misconceptions about growing NC palms.
Some feel they're only suited to coastal regions. They believe they can't survive in other parts of the state.
Another palm tree misconception is they're difficult to grow. They'll need lots of maintenance.
Are you interested in seeing North Carolina palm trees for yourself? We've discovered several places where you can find them. Check out our suggestion for excellent places to see NC palms.
We're always on the look-out for more. Especially each time we visit our cousin Richard in NC!
The Wilmington Riverwalk
A scenic walkway along the Cape Fear River. It's lined with palms. Plus has stunning views of the water and the city skyline. And there's much more to do here (that includes palm views!):
Trails through Brunswick Nature Park SW of town across the Cape Fear River
North Carolina Arboretum
In Asheville. 434 acres of public gardens. Featuring many plant collections. Be sure to see the palm tree collection with samples from around the world.
The Outer Banks
A fabulous coastal region of North Carolina. The Outer Banks Scenic Byway takes you on a trip from North to South.
YOU THOUGHT IT UNLIKELY?
Palm trees in North Carolina may have seemed an unlikely pairing! The state is better known for the Blue Ridge Mountains & Appalachian Trail. Yet it is home to a variety of palm trees. And they're becoming more popular in the state every year.
Palms are able to thrive in North Carolina climate. Homeowners and landscapers are enjoying that fact. With the right care and attention, your palm tree can grow well. It will bring an exotic touch to your home or garden.
If you're interested in growing palm trees in North Carolina, do your research. Then choose the species that's most well-suited to your local micro-climate & conditions.