Cold resistant palm trees

Palm trees more resistant to cold

The climate is a factor to take into account when we grow plants, since not all of them resist the same temperatures as they originate from different places. The vast majority of palm tree species are native to regions with a warm climate, where there are no frosts or, if there are, they are very weak and of very short duration. However, there are several that are perfect to have in temperate gardens.

Do you want to know which palm trees are resistant to cold and frost? Take note.

Selection of cold resistant palm trees

Although these plants are quite adaptable, they can surprise you at any time, cold is often the biggest problem we face when growing them. Fortunately, there are more than 3000 species of palm trees, of which there are about twenty that can withstand cold and frost. The most interesting are:

Trachycarpus Bulgaria

It is a variety of the Trachycarpus fortunei, originally from, as its name suggests, Bulgaria. Many seeds on the market today come from a population of specimens whose 'parents' lived near the Black Sea coast.

With regard to characteristics and care, they are the same as those of the mentioned species. This means that we are talking about a palm tree that reaches a height of up to 12 meters, with a single trunk usually covered with the sheaths of the fallen leaves (although they can be cut without problem). These leaves are palmate, green, and about 50cm long by 75cm wide.

Supports up to -23ºC.

Rhapidophyllum histrix

View of Rhapidophyllum histrix

Image - Wikimedia / David J. Stang

It is a species that is still little known, but I am convinced that before the end of the century many specimens will be seen in the gardens because of how rustic and adaptable it is. It is a multicaule dwarf palm, that is, of several trunks, which do not exceed 2 meters in height. The crown is composed of webbed leaves that can reach 2 meters in length.

It also resists up to -23ºC without being damaged.

Nannorhops ritcheana

View of the Nannorhops ritcheana

Image - Flickr / بوبدر

It is a palm tree similar to the previous one. It develops several trunks (it is multicaule) with a 1-3 meter height, and some fan-shaped leaves with very divided leaflets, green or bluish in color.

It is a bit colder: it resists up to -20ºC, although the ideal is not to drop below -12ºC.

Sabal minor

View of the Sabal minor

Image - Wikimedia / David J. Stang

El Sabal minor It is a very pretty little palm tree, with a solitary trunk and large fan-shaped leaves about 2 meters long, made up of numerous greenish leaflets. Reaches a maximum height of 3 meters, although the normal thing is that it does not exceed the meter.

It is rustic up to -18ºC.

Trachycarpus latisectus

They call it the Windamere palm tree, and it is a plant that develops a solitary trunk of up to 10 meters, crowned by green fan-shaped leaves and wide up to 40cm.

Supports up to -17ºC.

Trachycarpus fortunei

View of the Trachycarpus fortunei

Image - Wikimedia / Manfred Werner - Tsui

It is the most demanded species for gardens where winters are cold. In fact, if you like to watch UK gardening shows like Big dreams, small spaces from Monty Don, you may have seen it. It is known in the Spanish-speaking world as raised palm, and it is a plant that reaches a height of up to 12 meters, with a thin trunk and palmate leaves.

It supports well up to -15ºC.

butia capitata

View of the Butia capitata

Image - Wikimedia / William Avery

La butia capitata it is one of the few pinnate-leaf palms that is frost-resistant. Reaches a height of up to 5 meters, with a trunk of 20 to 30cm in diameter. The leaves are glaucous green, and slightly arched.

Withstands frosts down to -10ºC.

Parajubaea torallyi

View of the Parajubaea torallyi

It is a palm tree that I have the pleasure of knowing, because in my garden I planted one 🙂, specifically the variety Parajubaea torallyi var. torallyi, which is the highest of all the Parajubaea with a height of up to 25 meters. The type species stays at 15-20 meters. It develops a single trunk with a diameter of about 35cm, and a crown of pinnate leaves up to 4-5 meters long.

It resists without problems up to -10ºC.

Phoenix canariensis

Canarian palm tree view

Image - Wikimedia / Donkey shot

La canary palm tree it is a beautiful species that develops a single trunk up to 70cm in diameter crowned by pinnate leaves up to 7 meters long, green in color. Reaches a height of 10 to 13 meters.

It is ideal for warm and temperate gardens, as it also holds up to -10ºC.

Phoenix dactylifera

View of date palms

Image - Wikimedia / Southcoastwholesale

If you like dates, harvest them yourself by planting a date in your garden. This palm is usually multicaule, that is, it has several trunks, although you have the option of cutting them when they are still only leaves, which grows up to 30 meters in height.

Supports up to -6ºC.

To consider

It is highly advisable that during the first year they protect themselves a little. They withstand frost without problems, but very young palm trees in their natural environment tend to have the protection of taller plants. As they gain height, they also become stronger and can withstand the cold without difficulty.

Do you know other palm trees that resist frost?


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  1.   Bill said

    Goodnight,
    I planted two Canary Islands palm trees from seed last year, one I gave to my girlfriend who lives in Italy and the other I have in Madrid, mine is very beautiful, big and green, but the one in Italy is very fine and They are putting on the few white leaves, I suppose because a heavy snow fell there this winter, and many old palm trees in the area have died along with other species of trees.
    But since the Canarian palm tree has become very ugly but it is still not dead, I was wondering if there is any method to help it survive, a week ago we transplanted it to a much larger pot but we have not tied the leaves or anything.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Guillermo.
      The situation is complicated 🙁
      I recommend watering it with liquid rooting hormones (found in nurseries) or with homemade rooting agents so that it emits new roots.
      And everything else is to wait and see, and above all not to flood the ground.
      A greeting.

  2.   paul said

    Hello, very good, what kind of palm trees can I grow in Romania, thank you?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Paul.

      The most resistant to cold are the Trachycarpus and the Rhapidophyllum, as they endure up to -20ºC and even a little more.

      The rest need protection.

      Regards!

  3.   Julio said

    Yes, the washingtonias

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi July.
      The Washingtonias are pretty, but they are not the ones that best resist the cold 🙂
      A greeting.