If you live in a warmer area – but perhaps not in southern Florida, or around San Diego, California – you probably would love to grow a palm tree, but you are afraid that it is too cold. The good news is that there is a palm tree – the Queen Palm – which is among the hardiest of palms, and grows well in areas where winter temperatures can be as low as 25 degrees for short periods. This spectacular palm has full, gracefully arching fronds from the crown, and a tall, smooth trunk in an attractive soft-gray color. With its great beauty and elegant habit, it is no wonder this is indeed the queen of palms. Planted in a sunny place in almost any kind of well-drained soil, it will bring that tropical look to your garden, and be a spectacular lawn specimen, even if you live in slightly cooler areas. Imagine an elegant avenue of these trees along your driveway, welcoming you home each day. This palm will of course also grow well in the warmest parts of the country too.
The leaves of the Queen Palm are easily identified, because unlike other palms, where the leaves are flat, with the leaflets more or less horizontal to the central stem, in the Queen Palm they radiate out all around the stem, so the leaf looks like a plume, giving a very full appearance to the crown of the tree. Once a tree has matured, it will begin to flower, producing beautiful, very large sprays of flowers that ripen into clusters of up to a thousand orange seeds, making a beautiful display. The flowers are creamy-white and each fruit is up to an inch long. The trunk will be 8 to 15 inches thick, usually slightly thicker at the base than the top, but palm trees are not like most other trees, and the trunk is more or less straight from top to bottom.
Choose a sunny location to plant your Queen Palm, in ordinary soil. It is moderately tolerant of salt spray, so it can be planted near, but not directly at, beach-front locations. If properly fertilized it has few problems, as those that are seen are often not diseases, but nutrient deficiencies. Always feed your tree regularly with a high Potassium (K) palm-tree fertilizer, that has supplementary nutrients added, especially Iron (Fe) and Magnesium (Mg). A full range of micro-nutrients is also desirable. This tree grows best on soils that are not very alkaline.
If you have a large, well-lit indoor space, you can grow the Queen Palm indoors too. It will thrive for many years, especially if you have an atrium or tall space where it can be accommodated. A large palm indoors is a very exciting thing to see, and really gives your space a spectacular feel. Grow your tree in a large pot, with drainage holes, and when watering, always water thoroughly, until water flows from the drainage holes. Allow the soil to become almost dry between each watering. Fertilize regularly with a high-Potassium fertilizer with added Iron and Magnesium.
The Queen Palm, Syagrus romanzoffiana, comes from South America, growing naturally in an area from Paraguay and Argentina north into Brazil and Bolivia. Its interesting name comes from Nikolay Rumyantsev, an Imperial Chancellor of the Russian Empire in the 18th century. He encouraged and sponsored voyages of exploration by Russians, particularly the first circumnavigation of the globe by a Russian, Adam Johann von Krusensternm, between 1803 and 1806. This tree was probably introduced into Florida shortly before 1900, and it has been grown widely there ever since. Our trees are grown from top-quality seed, selected only from the best and healthiest specimens.
To care for your Queen Palm, be sure to fertilize it regularly, and remove the older leaves once they are completely yellow. Do not remove leaves while they are still partially green, as nutrients are re-absorbed from them back into the tree. Old flower stems can be removed at the same time. Trim the leaves back, leaving a short stalk still attached to the tree. In time this will fall, gradually revealing more of that beautiful smooth, gray trunk.
The Queen Palm is a very popular palm tree, and always in high demand. Although we have a good stock of trees, we know they will not last long, so order now and grow one of the best and hardiest palm trees available.