South Florida's Small Palm Trees - How to Use Them in Your Landscape

Bottle Palm

Bottle Palm

Palm trees, including small palms less than 20 feet tall, can be found all over Florida. Their tropical look and versatile nature make them a great addition to any South Florida landscape. Most people wouldn’t consider a 20 feet tall palm tree a “small palm” but when there are others that can grow to heights of 80 feet, this likely puts things in perspective.

Pindo Palm

Pindo Palm

European Fan Palm

European Fan Palm

WAYS TO USE IN YOUR LANDSCAPE

  • Solo - plant your small palm by itself to make a statement. This is ideal for small yards, small houses and mobile homes.

  • A shade tree – a small palm can be planted in front of windows in your home in order to reduce the sun’s intensity.

  • Privacy – plant them along your property line, fence, and around the patio screen in order to gain some additional privacy.

  • Near the entry of your home as a focal plant

  • Inside your screened-in patio (certain types)

  • As a landscape bed anchor or accent…depending on the size of the bed

  • Anchor at the corner of your home

  • Understory planting between much larger palms in order to take away from their unsightly trunks

  • In the center of a circular driveway

  • In large pots used on the patio or around the pool

Robellini Palm

Robellini Palm

Areca Palm

Areca Palm

I’d recommend planting palms in conjunction with shrubs and plants in order to beautify your landscape and provide a complete and cohesive look. These plants can be planted around the trunks of the palms in order to take away from the sometimes unsightly look from the trunks.

Some palms grow their fronds close to the ground or full to the ground and are best used as a backdrop for other smaller plants that give off color and/or flowers.

Below is a list of some of my favorite and most widely used small palm trees in South Florida landscapes. Feel free to click on any of the trees to learn more about whether this is something that would work well in your yard.