Where Do Palm Trees Grow?
In All the World

Were you puzzling about this: where do palm trees grow?


We live in the desert city of Tucson Arizona. Which is much more well-known for the giant saguaro cactus. Not so much for species of palm trees. Yet, different types of palm trees do grow here. They're a common sight!

We'll see the differing climates, places, and conditions where palm tree species can grow. Or even love to grow! We'll get that question answered: where do palm trees grow?

Here at Mission: Palm Trees

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

The First Thing...

...is to figure out where do different types of palm trees grow? In the easiest and happiest way?! Isn't that where we like ourselves to be!?

Most are happy growing is in a tropical zone or in subtropical climates of the world! But a few do fine in temperate regions.



Yet there are other areas where palm trees do grow! Not particularly easily. It means Added Attention is needed, in one way or another, especially because of cold weather.

Thinking about where do palm trees grow, were you thinking of Where Palms Can Grow in the U.S.? That's a common question we get. Some others have wanted to know Everywhere That Palm Trees Do Grow.

Then there's native palms growing around the earth, in many places. See Where These Palm Trees Grow in their original homes.

poster showing 4 items to consider about where palm trees can grow

Palms grow in different environments. Even places where winter temperatures can be harsh! Wondering if the palm you like could Survive Where You Live? We have all those benefits for you.

What US States Have Palm Trees Growing?

Tucson view of Palm tree & Saguaro cactusView Overlooking Tucson From Over the Wall in Our Backyard
With Several Palm Trees, Plus Saguaro Cactus

Southern U.S. States Where Palm Trees Grow

In the United States, species of palms grow throughout the South, creating that tropical vibe. Having some Top Tropical Places to Travel. USDA zones place most southern states in subtropical regions.

Except, these are both in the tropical zone:

  • Southern Florida, including the Florida Keys.
  • And Hawaii, with its own endemic palm tree: Loulu Palm. 24 species of its genus Pritchardia are amidst eight different Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii's only native palm. But plenty of other different types of palm trees grow there.

The South of California has various tropical palms. Like the iconic Southern California's Tallest Palm Trees of Los Angeles, the Washingtonia robusta species.

California's only native palm is Washingtonia filifera, the California Fan Palm. Nicknamed for its fan-shaped fronds. A perfect choice for dryer climates.

  • You'll find palms in southern U.S. states. Like South Carolina, Georgia & Florida. 
  • Also, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, & Texas
  • Some palm species are in Arizona & New Mexico. Even Arkansas & Oklahoma.


Palms are surprisingly found in many other U.S. states, which aren't typically connected to tropical plants. If you're wondering which states? Well, There's North Carolina. Plus states with colder temperatures during winter months, where cold-hardy palms can grow. Places in cold climates, modified by a seacoast.

And others you'll find at Palms in U.S. States>

New Orleans building with palms around the grounds.French Quarter Palms in New Orleans
Walkways with palms growing in San Francisco's Golden Gate ParkPalms in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

Care is Needed - No Matter Where Palm Trees Grow

Palm tree types are grouped according to environmental needs. For the best Way Palms Grow. By placing the right palm in the right place.

But whatever environments they're suited for, they must have correct care.

True Story!

For instance, living in Tucson Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert means only specific species of palms grow best here. We're within the subtropical climates of USDA zones. 

Our acre lot was full of desert plants like saguaro & other cacti. Also creosote bushes that give a lovely scent with rain.

But hubby Bill knew I also loved palm trees. He surprised me with a birthday gift one year, with a palm tree suited for the desert!

Young Desert Fan Palm grows in the desert with mountains in the background.A Young Desert Fan Palm
About the Size Mine Was When we Left for California

It was a California Fan Palm, aka Desert Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera). I planted it in our desert's well-drained soil. And began taking care of it. It was doing well.

A job opportunity soon prompted our move to Southern California. We rented out our home. We asked the tenant (a retired woman) to take care of the palm. Just watering it once a week.

Apparently she didn't do much. When we retired, arriving back to Tucson, the palm tree had died! She told us, "I'm not very good at taking care of plants, sorry."

That was my first experience with "hardy" palm trees going bad. Even though within its native habitats. That palm was not yet well-established. The basic, Proper Palm Care it needed was lacking.

Figuring Out What Palm Tree Types Grow & Survive Well

Traditionally people think of the humid tropics for majestic tree palms. But there's more to think of for knowing where do palm trees grow...


Think of the coldest temperatures an area experiences. Palm trees enduring temps below their tolerance can get Frost/Freeze Damage.  Windmill Palms (trachycarpus fortunei), with fan-shaped fronds, do okay with colder winters.


Dry climates are dehydrating, even for palms. Single digit humidity levels aren't enjoyed by most palms. Even those suited to deserts. Some palm trees are Suited to a Desert Climate. Like this Very Unusual Desert Place where palms do grow. 

  • Arid climates' yearly rainfall is only up to 10 inches (<25cm). Semi-arid areas (Tucson is this) average 10-20in/25-51cm yearly precipitation.
  • Know your local rainfall averages. Important when planting palm trees in drought susceptible areas.
  • One drought tolerant, perfect choice, is the Mexican Fan Palm. It wouldn't even want moist soil, as it needs very good drainage. And lots of room.


We think of palm trees in sunny areas. Yet all don't like hot, scorching full sun beating down on their fronds all day! 

  • Remember the palms growing in tropical rainforests.
  • If that's their native habitat, they're better in partial shade or even full shade. 
Blistering sunWill That Blistering Summer Sun Give Your Palm Sunburn?

Your Checklist For Evaluating Where Do Palms Grow

Think of other influences for winter's cold temperatures. Usually, the higher the elevation, the colder the lowest temps. Maybe taking a location from subtropical climates to temperate regions.

For best success, these tropical plants require the right palm for the right place!

To figure out where do palm trees grow in your area, check these points in order:

Tolerance for Cold Climates

Can cold hardy palms grow in the area?

  • What's the lowest average year round temperatures?
  • How often do temperatures get that low?
  • Does this palm tree tolerate temps down to just above that?

Drought Tolerance

  • What's the area's yearly rainfall & average humidity levels?
  • Are there regular droughts? 
  • Or on the opposite end, is there plenty of regular rainfall? Too much water can be harmful, making excessively moist soil. Especially without good drainage.

Sun Maximum

  • How much sun can a palm take without having burnt or withering leaves.
  • Some species cannot take full sun. They prefer much-needed shade.
  • Or this palm a sun lover?

Seasonal Steadiness

  • With all the above, in local seasons, how regular or changeable is it? 
  • Do the temperatures have a very wide range? Or not.
  • Has climate change affected normal lowest cold weather temperatures?

Figure out those climate, weather & area components. That Helps You Evaluate where palm trees do grow successfully. For the species of palm trees being considered...

  • Know its water needs
  • And the USDA Growing Zone.
  • Also, how much sun or shade does that palm like?

So you'll be knowing the right palm is in the right place!

Where in the World Do Palm Trees Grow?

Grove of palm trees.Palm Tree Groves Like These Don't Exist Just Anywhere!

Palm trees grow many places. From tropical & sub-tropical climates to temperate regions, like Oregon in the United States. But that doesn't mean they're native.

Many Palms are Native throughout the earth. But so many tropical plants grow elsewhere. Here are some worldwide spots for different species.

Europe's Native Palm - Where & How Does It Grow?

One species is the only palm native to some areas of Europe. Also called the Mediterranean Fan Palm. Its origins are Mediterranean islands & coastal areas. Because their lowest temps don't typically get too low.

But many people in European countries are successfully growing palms.

Palm Types Growing in The Diverse & Large African Continent

All parts of Africa have native palms. Plus there two specific climates are within this large continent. There are palms suited to desert climates, as well as tropical rainforests. And some in between!

Many types of palms are found throughout Africa.

Palms Growing on Lake Turkana Shore in Kenya, AfricaThese Native Palms are Growing on Lake Turkana Shore in Kenya, Africa

​In the Atlantic Ocean, southwest of Morocco, are the Canary Islands. Which have their own original palm that's long been growing there. The Canary Island Date Palm is a beautiful palm tree. Very stately with its full crown.

Canary Island Date Palm naturally grows in the islands off the coast of Morocco in Africa.The Canary Island Date Palm
Native to Those Islands, but Phoenix canariensis Grows Many Places

Where Southeast Asia Has the Most Palm Trees Growing

The southeastern parts of the huge Asian continent has an abundance of palm species. And certainly on all the tropical & subtropical islands. Perfect climates for palms!

Did you ever wonder what country has the most palm trees? Any Southeast Asian countries are likely to have the highest concentration of palms in the world. We've heard Indonesia has the most.

Palms on a beach in Thailand, which has many native palm trees.Palm on the tropical Beach Shore in Thailand.

Australia has Lots of Native & Imported Palm Trees Growing

This Down Under continent/country has many varieties of palm trees. With imported species brought in, as well. They're usually found in coastal areas. Most are in tropical areas which receive more rain.

Drought-resistant species grow in arid areas. Temperate regions of the south also have a few different species of cold hardy palms.

Berry Springs Park trail with palm treeA Naturally Growing Palm Along Our Trail Trek
In Berry Springs Recreation Reserve, Northern Territory

Where do Palm Trees Grow in New Zealand?

One species of palm tree is endemic to New Zealand. The Nīkau is their very own unique palm. It's distinction is it's the palm that grows the farthest south of all palms, naturally & successfully.

New Zealand has other imported palms growing, too.

Nikau Palms Growing in Their Endemic Area

More North American Areas For Growing Palm Trees

So Where do Palm trees grow in North America?

Mexico has many palms in their warm climates. Growing from deserts to tropical rain forests.

About the only place you won't see palms is in the highest part of the mountain ranges. The highest peak is 18,491 ft. Begin to climb & palms will disappear!

Resort in Cozumel MexicoViewing Palms Overlooking the Channel to Mainland Mexico. Taken From Our Hotel Window at Cozumel.
Just Before We Were Evacuated With Hurricane Wilma on the Way!

The Caribbean has different types of palm trees native to their locale. All the many islands easily support magnificent palms.

Beachside with palms in CubaPalms Overlooking a Beach in Cuba

Central America, with its lush tropics, also has tons of different palm species.

Lush palm tree forests in Costa Rico with a volcano backdrop.Tropical Jungle of Palms in Costa Rica, with the Arenal Volcano Backdrop.

South America has Many Native Palm Trees Growing

Native palm species grow throughout tropical and subtropical sections of all South American countries. Extensively in tropical rainforests and rainy coastal areas. Think about the Amazon River Basin, where tons of palms can be found. And Brazil with its variety of palm capable climates.

View of Rio from a hotel beach in Brazil

When you think of the countries in this Southern Hemisphere continent, every one has many palm tree varieties. Particularly in coastal areas & where they're nearest the equator. Colombia has the Tallest Palm in the Entire World.

South American palms are growing south to about Las Grutas Argentina on the Atlantic Side. On the Pacific, down to Puerto Montt, Chile.

When you look to the southernmost climates of South America, you'll begin getting into temperate zones. Where you may find few, or maybe not any palms. You'd really then be asking where to palm trees grow!

Where do palms trees grow - The takeaways

Palms can grow in many areas throughout the earth. Most palm species grow in fully tropical climates. Many others can grow in subtropical areas. Both these climates have native palms.

Among where palm trees do grow are deserts. Because some palm trees are drought tolerant and need lots of sun.

Even so, when palms are Grown From Seed, or transplanted, they do need specific care. As they can't thrive without it.

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