Cold-Hardy Palms For Your Garden
Palm Trees, Exotic Gardens, Mediterranean Gardens, Tropical Gardens
To most people, Palm trees evoke images of the tropics with their charming silhouettes and graceful fronds that sway gently in the breeze. However, many of the 2,500 species tolerate cooler climates and can withstand brief periods of colder temperatures and even occasional snowfall. Palms come from many different climate zones, tropical, subtropical or temperate. Some are native to high elevations where true winter conditions occur, while a few others are native to the warmer parts of the temperate zone in North America. A few of these temperate climate palms can tolerate hard freezes with little or no damage.
While the cold hardiness of palms varies by species, there are also other factors to consider.
- Age and size: younger plants are more susceptible to severe cold damage than older, established plants.
- Duration of cold: extended periods or repeated exposure to low temperatures will produce more damage and even lead to death.
- Relative humidity: palms can endure temperatures well below freezing if kept absolutely dry.
Generally speaking, some palms can be grown in hardiness zone 7a or even 6b if sheltered from cold (planted on the south side of a building) or covered with mini-green house coverings and wraps.
Here is a list of popular hardy palms that are easy to grow and widely available. Keep in mind that this list represents estimates for the lowest temperatures that an established palm tree can survive. It does not represent absolute survivable temperatures.
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.