Fussy Palms: How to Choose the Right Palm for Your Climate

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There are many factors to consider when choosing a palm in order to make sure whichever you choose, flourishes in your environment.

With several things to consider in choosing a palm for your home or landscape or office, the most important requirement is the climate.  The climate sets the tone for the growth of the palm tree.  Most palms prosper in tropical climates where the weather is warm and the air is moist. On the other hand, some palms may not necessarily thrive in cooler weather, but they do possess the ability to survive it.  So your choice of the right palm is essentially imperative for its survival.


There exist several types of palms including the Umbrella Palm (Hedyscepe canterburyana) that grow to their full potential in a subtropical climate. The Umbrella Palm can survive in cities like Sydney and Auckland that possess a subtropical climate.  A subtropical climate sits at either end of the weather spectrum with hot and humid summers and mild to cool winters. 

So when choosing your palm is sure to pick one that can handle complete changes in weather and seasons. With such drastic changes in the weather, it is important that these palms are able to keep the leaves from burning in the heat and surviving through a light frost in the winter.

Although winters are often thought of as cold and dry, these palms have a better chance of surviving during a cooler winter if the weather is damper. Once acclimated to colder weather, many palms can even survive a light frost. Regardless of the weather being cold or hot, it is imperative that the palm has enough moisture.

If living in Victoria and the more Southern parts of Australia you will need to pick a variety of palm that can handle cooler weather, despite the fact that an estimated two-thirds of the palm species live in a tropical climate.

If you have some understanding of how low the temperature will get, and for how long it will stay in this temperature range, your palm has a better chance for survival.  Some of the palms that can stand up to cooler climates include The Cocos Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) The Chinese Windmill Palm (Trachtcarpus fortunei) or The Cycas Revoluta among others.  Whether the palm prefers shade or sunlight, one common theme among these palms is that they all require a sufficient amount of watering.

When looking for the palm that is the perfect fit for your home, it is important to recognize the type of climate that you live in and the characteristics of the weather. With so many different kinds of palm, it can be very difficult to sort out which palms have the ability to survive in a cooler climate and which are able to only subsist in a tropical environment.   The Internet is a great source of a sometimes-conflicting variety of information.


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