Cold Tolerant Palm Trees

Sometimes folks think that when they live in a Southern climate that most plams will do fine in their area.  This is not the case.  Theres a wide range of temps that various palms can thrive.  The first thing you should do is find out what plant zone you live in and discover what palms will survive in your average high and low temps.  For example, in Jacksonville Florida we have a plant zone of 9a.  Many consider this to be quite the tropical climate.  However our winters here can get down to the low 20's in some rare cases.  It could be typical to get low temps in the winter of high 20's to the low 30's five to ten nights per year.  Most palms won't survive this.  When you discover your plant zone you can see what your average temps are and select a palm accordingly.  The following is a list of palms that will do reasonably well in Northeast Florida.  Keep in mind that the proximity of your home and the distance to a large body of water can have a drastic effect on temp fluctuation.  If you live close to a large body of water, say within 3-5 miles, a gain in temp of approx. 5 degrees on average in the winter isn't uncommon.  With these things to consider, here's a list of alms that generally do well in Northeast Florida.


1. Palmetto Palm
2.  Queen Palm
3.  Roebelinii Palm
4.  European Fan Palm
5.  Windmill Palm
6.  Chinese Fan Palm
7.  Sylvester Palm
8.  Canary Island Palm
9.  Sego Palm
10. Queen Emma Palm
11.  Coontie Palm
12.  Washingtonia Palm
13.  Cabbage Palm
14.  Pindo Palm
15.  Silver Bismarkia Palm
16.  Blue Mediterranean Palm


In the event of a severe frost should cover smaller palms with either nursery cloth or a regular bed sheet will do.  Just make sure you anchor the covering down to the ground with a brick, log, block, etc. so that the potential wind doesn't blow it off.  If you really want to get energetic you can run an extension cord under the cloth with a regular light bulb.  Tis is just about a guarantee your palm is going to do fine.  


There you have it.  Stick with one of these varieties and for the most part they will do fine in the 9a plant zone.  The roebelinii palm may need to be covered if temps get down to below 30 but its well worth the effort because of their small yet very tropical looking appeal.  Just keep in mind, all those beautiful palms you see in South Florida won't make it in our climate.  But not to worry with this selection of 9a cold tolerant palms you should be able to find one that fits your taste.


For information on how you can incorporate a few palms into your landscape give us a call at 904-613-9918.