Palm trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape, and the sub-tropical climate of Florida makes the perfect environment for these iconic trees.
With so many varieties to choose from, it can be hard to decide which palm tree is the best fit for your Florida home.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of beautiful small palm trees that are perfect for Florida’s climate and fit a variety of garden sizes and shapes. From the classic and ornamental, to the hardy and low maintenance, each of these small palm trees is sure to add a touch of elegance and whimsy to your outdoor space.
Read on to discover the perfect palm for your garden.
1. Pygmy Date Palm
Add a touch of elegance and exotic beauty to your garden with the Pygmy Date Palm. This small palm tree is perfect for Florida landscaping, as it can tolerate temperatures down to 25 degrees F with only minor leaf damage.
Its small stature allows it to fit into tight spaces and it will grow up to six feet tall. Pygmy Date Palms are a great addition to any garden and they’re easy to care for. They thrive in full sun, require regular watering and fertilizing, and can easily be pruned to fit any space.
2. Bottle Palm
The Bottle Palm is a stunning, slow-growing tropical tree. Native to the Mascarene Islands east of Madagascar, this palm is known for its unique bottle-shaped trunk. It prefers full or partial sun and well-drained soil. It can grow up to 12 feet tall and typically has a spread of about 6 feet.
The bottle palm is drought-tolerant and has a slow growth rate, making it perfect for small yards and gardens. Its fronds are green and have a graceful, arching shape. Bottle Palms are also resistant to pests and diseases, making them a great choice for Florida gardens.
3. Dwarf Sugar Palm
The dwarf sugar palm is an interesting small palm tree option for Florida. It is native to Southeast Asia and a type of clumping palm. It is slow growing and can reach heights of up to 12 feet tall. This palm tree is easily recognizable as it has a distinct “ball” shape that is created by its dense fronds. The fruit of the dwarf sugar palm tree is edible and sweet, making it an excellent choice for home gardens. It is also very resilient and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures (down to 20F) and humidity levels.
4. Christmas Palm
The Christmas Palm is a beloved small palm tree that is native to the Philippines and Malaysia. It has a slender silver-green trunk and is topped with bright green fronds that fan out gracefully. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a tree that will look beautiful during the holidays and all year round. It’s low-maintenance and grows slowly, making it an ideal choice for a small yard.
The Christmas Palm is also drought hardy, but it is only able to withstand cold temperatures down to 30F and should thus not be grown north of zone 10. In addition, it requires very little pruning and is resistant to pests and diseases.
With its beautiful foliage and minimal care requirements, the Christmas Palm is a great addition to any Florida landscape.
5. Needle Palm
The Needle Palm is a slow-growing but hardy small palm tree that can be found in Florida’s warmer climates. This palm typically grows to a maximum height of 8 feet, with a spread of about 8 feet across.
It’s known for its tolerance to cold temperatures – being able to survive down to -15F – and can handle full sun or partial shade. It’s an excellent choice for both container and landscape planting in Florida’s coastal areas, and it can also be grown indoors in cooler climates.
6. Bamboo Palm
The Bamboo Palm is a popular small palm variety native to Madagascar, and is a favorite amongst Florida gardeners. It works great as a patio or indoor palm due to its slow-growing nature, and is known for its lush, fan-like fronds.
It’s tolerant of most soil types, and loves shade, but can also handle part shade. It has a slow growth rate, so it won’t grow too quickly and overwhelm your garden. The Bamboo Palm is one of the most popular types of small palm trees for Florida, as it adds a tropical feel to any outdoor or indoor space.
7. Dwarf Palmetto
Dwarf Palmetto is a small, slow-growing palm tree which is native to Florida. It can grow up to 5-10 feet tall and has a crown of soft, bright green fronds. The trunk is typically a light grey-brown color and its leaves are fan-shaped.
Dwarf Palmetto is also highly drought-tolerant and can survive in a variety of soil types. It is an ideal small palm tree for Florida gardens, as it can add a tropical flair to any landscape.
8. Saw Palmetto
The Saw Palmetto is a great choice for Florida homeowners who want to add a beautiful small palm tree to their landscape. It is native to the southeastern United States, making it well-suited for the Florida climate. Its trunk grows up to 10 feet tall and is covered in a distinctive, diamond-shaped pattern. Its fronds are a bright, light green, and its leaves are fan-shaped and feathery.
The Saw Palmetto is a slow-growing shrub, so it is perfect for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time pruning or maintaining their palm. It also does not require a lot of water, making it an ideal choice for low maintenance gardening.
9. Cat Palm
The Cat Palm is a stunning small palm tree with long and slender fronds that can reach 3 to 6 feet tall. It has a graceful, weeping habit and a clumping growth habit. The Cat Palm prefers moist, well-drained soils and partial shade, making it an ideal choice for shady patios and indoor spaces.
It is hardy to USDA zones 10-11, and can be grown outdoors in South Florida. Its fronds are a deep green and are accented by striking orange and yellow new growth. Cat Palms are slow growers, making them a great choice for those who don’t want to worry about their palm trees getting too large too quickly.
10. European Fan Palm
The European fan palm is the perfect small palm tree to add a bit of tropical flair to your home. Also known as the Mediterranean fan palm, this small tree is native to the Mediterranean region and grows to a height of 8 to 15 feet. Its fan-like fronds are an attractive green , and the trunk is slim and slender. This is a great choice for a small courtyard or patio and is sure to draw the eye of many admirers.
11. Lady Palm
The Lady Palm is one of the most versatile and lovely small palm trees you can find. Its fan-shaped fronds have a unique, almost tropical look that adds a touch of beauty to any landscape. It can also tolerate part to full shade, which makes it especially ideal for shady areas of your yard. Its delicate leaves also make it a great choice for indoor planting.
12. Ponytail Palm
The Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is a slow-growing small palm tree that is native to Mexico. It is a succulent, popular for its unique, bulbous trunk and its long, cascading leaves. The trunk of the Ponytail Palm is thick, like a bottle, giving it the appearance of a bonsai tree. It produces white flowers in the spring, followed by small, yellow-green fruit. The Ponytail Palm is a drought-tolerant palm, making it an ideal choice for hot, humid climates like Florida. Its unique appearance makes it a great ornamental tree for any backyard.
13. Areca Palm
If you’re looking for a small palm tree that is sure to add a bit of tropical flair to any outdoor living space, consider the Areca Palm. This beautiful tree grows to 10-25 feet tall and has slender, feathery fronds that arch gracefully. This low maintenance palm is drought tolerant and grows best in well-drained soil and full to part sun. The Areca Palm is a great choice for any Florida landscape and requires minimal care.
14. Arikury Palm
The Arikury Palm is an excellent choice for a Florida yard or garden. It’s a small, slow-growing palm native to the Caribbean, growing to a maximum height of about 15-16 feet. The Arikury Palm has a slender trunk and beautiful, feathery fronds with a distinct curve. Its fronds range in color from a light green to a darker green, and its flowers are small and yellow-green. The Arikury Palm is a relatively low-maintenance palm, as its root system is not as aggressive as other trees, so it can be planted fairly close to walls and houses. It also makes a great indoor plant, as it doesn’t require a lot of sunlight.
15. Florida Thatch Palm
The Florida Thatch Palm is a great choice for anyone looking for a unique, tropical look in a small space. This small palm tree grows to a height of 12-20 feet outside of the southernmost areas of Florida and can be planted as a shrub or a single-trunked tree. It’s a great choice for pool areas, patios, or tropical gardens, as it has a lush, dense canopy of fan-shaped fronds. Its light green fronds and slender, gray trunk add a touch of sophistication and make it a great choice to add a tropical touch to any outdoor space.
16. Buccaneer Palm
The Buccaneer Palm (Pseudophoenix sargentii) is an ideal small palm tree for Florida, with its slow growth rate and the ability to tolerate drought. Reaching an average height of 10-25 feet, it’s the perfect size for yards and gardens, especially in hot and dry climates. It can tolerate a range of temperatures, from 25 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The Buccaneer Palm’s trunk is slender and smooth, with a single crown of pinnate leaves. Its foliage is a deep green color, and it produces small, yellowish flowers.
17. Scrub Palmetto
Scrub Palmetto palms are a type of palm tree that is native to the southeastern United States. These trees typically only grow to around 5 to 8 feet tall, being pretty short as their name implies. Typically having 5 to 8 fronds at any given point in time (with a spread of about 3 to 5 feet), they’re not much to look at.
They are one of the more salt tolerant palms, so they can be grown in areas with moderately salty soils. This makes them an excellent choice for areas near coastal locations.
They are great for beginner gardeners because they’re very tough and easy to take care of. They don’t need a lot of water, and most diseases and pests generally avoid them. They do best when planted in full sunlight, though they can take some shade if needed.
While they tend to be found growing naturally in sandy or dry soils, they can survive in a wide variety of soil conditions when planted as ornamentals.
In conclusion, there are so many small palm trees that can be used to decorate and beautify your Florida landscape. Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance option or something that can withstand the elements, there is a palm tree that is perfect for your needs. With a little research and careful consideration, you can find the right tree to fit your needs and give your yard a unique and beautiful look.
If you want to see more varieties of palm tree that get a little bit bigger, check out my post 42 Varieties of Palm Trees That Grow in Florida