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Really Low Maintenance Palms
by Leigh Fulghum, Landscape Designer

Palms as a whole are easy to maintain in terms of pruning, but of the many species that can be cultivated in Florida's climate, relatively few can thrive and look their best without a consistent fertilizing program. Chemical cost of an optimal plan for a mature palm is about $50.00/tree/year and over ten years palm fertilization becomes a costly proposition for large landscapes.

As clients consistently ask for "low-maintenance" landscaping, I encourage selections from the "really low-maintenance" list of palms that can be depended upon to look well even under conditions of utter neglect.

Cabbage Palm-Sabal Palmetto Native!

Carpentaria- Carpentaria accuminata A personal favorite, for its fast growth, smooth, slender trunk, and glossy, weeping foliage.

Chinese Fan Palm- Livistona chinensis

Coconut Palm- Cocos nucifera 'Maypan,' 'Malayan,' 'Jamaica Malayan'- these are varieties of coconut resistant (though not 100%) to the ubiquitous disease Lethal Yellowing.

European Fan Palm- Chamaerops humilis; Great for compact situations where slow growth is required. Needs well-drained soil.

Key Thatch  Palm- Thrinax radiata Native! Slender, elegant, and drought-tolerant to boot.

Saw Palmetto- Serenoa repens Native! Shrub mass, screen, or accent plant for well-drained sites.

                         

                            Text by Leigh Fulghum
                      Updated 8/8/2016