It's time to read and vote for your favorite article in the 2013 Write-Off Contest! The four finalist's articles are featured in the May 13 newsletter and can be found through this link. Hurry! Voting ends May 18.
On Aug 6, 2012, Palm1978 from Bonita Springs, FL wrote:
This palm is so over planted and under cared for in Southwest Florida that I feel compelled to give the Queen Palm a negative rating. Track builders install these all over communities because they are cheap and grow fast. They are messy, require regular cleaning and provide safe harbor to ants, snakes and rats. There is now a fungus that is killing off this palm as well.
In colder zones, I can see why folks would want to plant but there is no reason to plant this tree in 10a or warmer.
On Jan 10, 2011, sherizona from Peoria, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:
The Queen Palm has a love/hate relationship in Phoenix. The hot, dry wind is one of the biggest problems for the Queens. By taking decent care of the watering/fertilizing needs and watching where you plant the palm they can flourish. I have about a dozen and they are all doing very well. I even have a few in a courtyard that gets intense afternoon sun.
On Jun 21, 2010, palmclueless from Walnut, CA wrote:
I had 18 of these palms in the new house we bought 6 months ago. They were only planted about a year or so ago, and was only about 4 feet tall. I used a big farming hoe and took out all of them. I don't want a big maintenance headache in the future. I replanted my yard w/ different evergreen bushes (mostly different sages native to CA), daylilies, kangaroo paws, and lily of the niles. They look so much more beautiful than the palms ever did.
We're thinking about putting some queen palms in pots on our patio. We live in inland southern California on the second floor - no yard. We have a patio that get VERY hot in the summer. We can get queen palms for about $20 at Home Depot or Lowe's. I want to shade the patio a little, but as this is an apartment, I don't want to spend much money. I'm told that we can replant the palms in relatively small containers and they will be OK. Does anybody have any experience with a "project" like this? Can we get away with this plan? I know there are better palms for our purposes, but are they as cost effective? Thanks!
Today I had to replace a Queen I planted about one year ago. The root system on this plant is amazing. It took considerable effort to remove it. It perished in the February freeze hear in Pensacola. This one was about fifteen feet tall unfortunately I have another about thirty feet tall that I fear is dead also. I am not looking forward to removing it. Having said that I have bought six more of theses. You just can't beat the beauty of them. I have other palms that are nice looking but this one says tropics the most IMHO. Oh that thing about them being hardy to 15 degrees. The low here was 19.3.
On Feb 19, 2010, bonsai94 from Palm Coast, FL wrote:
I love queen palms. But i have a hard time growing them. In winter they freeze and then rot. So evey year for three years i buy 2 queen plams to replace the ones that had died. But they are a great plam. And i will keep on trying them.
On Jan 3, 2010, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:
Although these palms are marketed in central SC, they are not cold hardy. Each spring I see these young palms planted in residential neighborhoods, and by the following spring they are always dead. I have several that I've wrapped in frost cloth and Xmas lights, but it's just a matter of time before these palms grow too large to provide winter protection. I believe the hybrid mule palm would survive here without protection.
The Queen palm, one of Kew's most targeted threatened species...
The queen palm is very invasive here in Australia and also very untidy. It drops it rotting fruit everywhere. Do not plant this palm!
On Jun 18, 2009, puremagick from Brisbane Australia wrote:
I have to say these palms are awesome for a Quick grower, they look beautiful in the wind, but there high maintenance due to the huge amount of seeds they produce then if left well reproduce like theres no tomorrow. The are registered a noxous Weed in Brisbane and all over Queensland for that reason. Other then the above I like the plams, just not to many.
On Nov 29, 2008, Jungleman from Pasadena, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I agree with Palmbob on this one. It is very heavily planted in Southern California at this time, and most are poorly cared for. Queens are great for a fast growing "swaying palms" effect, but there are better choices for the tropical look (Archontophoenix, Howea, Dypsis, Chamaedorea), and of course this is a matter of personal taste.
I would recommend a regular watering and fertilizing scheme for this tree. Organic choices would be Blood Meal (12-0-0) or Fish Emulsion (5-0-0). Once a year I would use Whitney Farms organic fertilizer (5-5-5), just to make sure that trace minerals were present.
We had three of these palms in our yard when we purchased the house, one in front and two in back next to pool. Thankfully, replanting around the one out front and the subsequent damage to its root system killed it. The two in back are still with us. The problem I have with them is the massive amount of biomass they produce every year between giant seed clusters and dead fronds. They are a maintenance nightmare requiring frequent and difficult pruning and sometimes trips to the land fill. And as another poster mentioned, all the tiny seedlings popping up requireing additional weeding. They are just not worth it. There are more attractive, self-pruning palms available, for example the native cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto).
On Feb 26, 2008, GoLonny from Minneapolis, MN wrote:
Queen Palms are either beautiful or ugly...there doesn't seem to be an inbetween. I see BEAUTIFUL Queen Palms in the Palm Springs desert areas (and many dying ones too)...but I haven't had luck with them. If I try them again I will water much more...
Commonly planted throughout the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys of California (collectively known as the central valley). They love the summer heat and look much better in this area than those grown in the heat-deprived bay area. Only down fall is that they are sometimes planted in the middle of lawns and their trunks get damaged when the yard men come ridding in their little motor lawn mowers. It makes their trunks get super thin at the base and makes the whole palm susceptible to disease.
On Sep 24, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:
Queen palms in my opinion are the most variable common palm around. In areas that are too hot and dry-you read the results above. In areas too cool-like San Francisco or the north coast they never have a full set of fronds or the trunk is spindly.Sometimes having just a few upright fronds on a narrow crown. And everyplace Queen palms are plain ugly when young with gangly and few fronds and unattractive bases.
But,oh boy,when they are grown with all the right conditions, they rival the most beautiful palms in the world. Large lush fronds that grow in a full pom pom crown with dark green and glossy fronds. Sometimes with a bulbous base and-if your lucky- a near white nicely ringed trunk. To me, they look good in groups if the crown of fronds do not touch.Just try to allow some room for them to fill out. As single palms in a Spanish style home's front yard and surrounded by a thick lawn-Heaven!..oh,and its funny to see a tall palm with a long spear that ends with a tassle..sooo formal-ha.
One final note.They are said to be short lived. 50 years is said to be about the full lifespan according to the city of Los Angeles parks dept I once read.
On Sep 23, 2007, sundevilcass from Phoenix, AZ wrote:
Sorry palm people, but the majority of the time (at lease here in Phoenix) these trees look awful! Once mature or at their full height, they look like they need to be cut down to put them out of their misery! These high water palms should be avoided in desert areas. Landscapers use Queen Palms frequently because they are inexpensive and fast growers, but not because they are well suited for the area.
On Aug 12, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:
We have three or four of these fine palm trees. Even though we had a bad freeze last winter, they were burned -- but recovered very well. Only problem now is that they are getting so tall and they are under some telephone wires. I wish there was a way to 'top' them somehow to reduce their height..otherwise we will have to remove them. I just love their tropical looks and the way they sway in a breeze.
On Jun 16, 2007, Beach_Barbie from Kure Beach, NC (Zone 9a) wrote:
I have two small Queen palms, both about 9' tall. I mulched them with pinestraw 3' around and high this past winter and they both made it through OK. One that's next to the house faired much better than the one away from the house.
I mulched them after learning that they're only frost hardy once they get fairly big.
There are very few of these in this area.
On Apr 22, 2007, nikko_halliwell from Liverpool Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:
This is one of the Most Beautiful palms around and very cheap, here in West Sydney, Australia, it growslike a weed but I still love it, Its does so well in the climate. U find little babies every where, I sooetimes collect them and grow them on.
On Oct 31, 2006, TropicalDan from Winter Springs, FL wrote:
This is one of the best palms to plant in the orlando florida area. It has a very tropical look and florishes in the florida climate. I get most of mine for free from people who have seedlings in their yard. They grow very very fast and have become nicely naturalized in florida. An easy way create a tropical jungle in your yard here in florida.
On Jul 30, 2006, sterlingd from Natchez, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:
I live in zone 8a, and have had one growing outdoors for 2 years in a protected area with good luck. I live 80 miles north of Baton Rouge, LA. in Natchez, MS. We have dodged the bullet the last several years with mild winters, so hence the good luck. I also have several other palm varieties that are rare in this area that seem to be flourishing.... Our city is very historic, with beautiful architecture at every turn. People who live in the downtown area have them growing on their balconies in pots.......
On Dec 4, 2005, KimberVaughn from Round Rock, TX wrote:
We love the shape and look of this palm, so we planted it in Austin, Texas. This is its first winter, so we're prepared to lose it in a hard freeze. We just thought we'd give it a try! I would love any news from others in zone 8b who may have tried this palm, too.
On May 17, 2005, jnana from South Florida, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:
This is the most commonly used palm here in S. Florida because it's cheap and grows rapidly. I have three palms that were here when I purchased the house. I would love to get rid of them. I am always pulling out new baby palms from all over my yard. They usually look terrible due to their tendency to have mineral deficiencies. They are listed in the invasive list by the Florida Exotic Pest Management Council. Do not plant this palm here in Florida, as there are many better and nicer alternatives.
On Mar 8, 2005, peteywheatstraw from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:
In the past several years, this handsome, fast growing palm has become much more common on south Louisiana landscapes. We haven't had a temperature in the mid- teens here in about 10 years, so folks probably think its rather cold-hardy, but I hear that this one runs the risk of dying when temps drop below 16F. Nevertheless, I have one in my backyard, and its been doing fine.
On Jan 6, 2005, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
I hate to do this to you palm fans, but Syagrus romanzoffiana is listed as a category II invasive species by the Florida exotic plant council. What this means is that they have increased in abundance and show potential to cause damage to natural areas but hasn't yet. Why take the chance? This of course may have zero relevance to people in TX or the west coast.
On Dec 4, 2004, vegasguy from Las Vegas, NV wrote:
Queen palms do well in the Las Vegas area. Young ones are seen sometimes wrapped in burlap in the winter months. Some like to protect them from cold and wind by planting close to buildings. A great tropical look to them. I have 2 almost 30 feet.
On Jul 9, 2004, FullertonCA from Lake Arrowhead, CA wrote:
Wonderful in most of Southern California. Looks nicest when dead or oldest fronds are removed. This is not "self-cleaning" like king palm.
I try to cut off the fruit stems as soon as they open. Within a day of opening, the stems begin to make a mess. First, yellow powder (pollen?)... next, dried brown shells... then, a brown sap that makes a mess of my patio. I have never let the fruit ripen, but imagine that would also make a mess. The fruit stems and fronds can be a challenge to cut, and get even more difficult as this palm reaches a mature height.
In spite of the hassles, I like this palm and would plant more. It is very graceful and has been pest-free for me.
On Jun 13, 2004, Ina_Nutshell from League City, TX wrote:
I live in League City, Texas (half way between Houston and Galveston) so my palms get mostly hot weather and maybe one hard freeze per year. I have two that are about 30 feet tall and several small ones in containers.
It is true that the orange fruits/seeds can be a heck of a mess but I have come up with an easier method than trying to rake or pick them out of the grass. I just drag my shop vac out there and suck them up. But make sure to empty the vac right away because the fruit rots quickly.
On Jan 12, 2004, patischell from Fort Pierce, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:
This is truly one of the most beautiful palms.Showy and graceful. BUT...if they are planted where you must mow a lawn (I have four large ones))you have to be prepared to do a LOT of clean-up around them!
On Dec 29, 2003, laspalmasdesign from Los Altos, CA wrote:
A breathtakingly beautiful palm if given a little attention. Regular watering and a good fertilizing regimen, full sun and this palm will repay you with huge, shiny, dark green fronds and fast growth. Unfortunately, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I see many malnourished specimens with yellowing fronds and smaller than normal leaves. I have many on my property here in Los Altos, CA (45 miles south of San Francisco) and they are all flourishing.
To my taste one of the most beautiful palms because of its elegant fronds and pleasing trunk texture. I have had success with a specimen here in Houston, Texas. I am prepared for it to perish here one day in a severe frost but so far it has survived a few nights down to 25°F. In just over three years it has grown from about 6-8 feet to now around 25 feet! Watered and fertilized regularly in the first year but since then has had to tolerate the sporadic showers and hot dry spells that this climate throws at it. Sits in morning shade from a Pecan tree and full sun thereafter.
On Jul 9, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
This is one of the fasted growing palms there is, at least that can grow in the continental US. It is way overplanted and underwatered in most public areas, but if planted in a garden situation, given plenty of water and fertilizer, it is can develop into a beautiful palm.
Actually this IS a self cleaning palm, though, in dense, treed situations the dead fronds can be held onto for a few years, but they eventually fall off. In my opinion, looks best if NOT trimmed regularly unless too many dead fronds are hanging on. In southern California, thanks to our low humidity, dead fronds tend to hang on a bit longer than in their native Brazil, but most Syagrus palms (not all) are self cleaning. One rarely sees a skirt of dead fronds on these palms.
On Sep 23, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
A fast growing native of Brazil this is one of the most used landscape palms. The young palm is frost sensitive and requires careful watering then becomes moderately dought tolerant. It is also fairly salt tolerant.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Grenoble, Santarem, Dauphin Island, Alabama Enterprise, Alabama Mobile, Alabama Orange Beach, Alabama Prattville, Alabama , Alaska Goodyear, Arizona Laveen, Arizona Peoria, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports) Picture Rocks, Arizona Queen Creek, Arizona Surprise, Arizona Antioch, California Carlsbad, California Chowchilla, California Clayton, California Clovis, California Encino, California Fresno, California (2 reports) Fullerton, California Hayward, California Irvine, California La Presa, California Loyola, California Menifee, California Mission Canyon, California Morada, California Newark, California Oak View, California Oakland, California Oceanside, California (2 reports) Pasadena, California Rancho Cucamonga, California Reseda, California Rialto, California San Buenaventura, California San Diego, California (2 reports) San Francisco, California San Leandro, California San Pedro, California San Ramon, California Santa Barbara, California Simi Valley, California Thousand Oaks, California Venice, California Wildomar, California , Florida Bartow, Florida Big Pine Key, Florida Black Diamond, Florida Boca Raton, Florida Bonita Springs, Florida Brandon, Florida (2 reports) Brent, Florida Campbell, Florida Cheval, Florida Clearwater, Florida Fort Ogden, Florida Fort Pierce, Florida Fruitville, Florida Gainesville, Florida Greater Northdale, Florida Haverhill, Florida Homosassa, Florida Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports) Keystone Heights, Florida Macgregor, Florida Miami, Florida New Port Richey, Florida Niceville, Florida Oak Hill, Florida Palm Bay, Florida Palm Coast, Florida Paradise Heights, Florida Pembroke Pines, Florida Plant City, Florida Port Saint Lucie, Florida Rockledge, Florida (2 reports) Ruskin, Florida Sanford, Florida Sarasota, Florida Sebastian, Florida South Daytona, Florida South Venice, Florida Spring Hill, Florida St Petersburg, Florida Tallahassee, Florida Baton Rouge, Louisiana Estelle, Louisiana (2 reports) Port Vincent, Louisiana Natchez, Mississippi Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports) Kure Beach, North Carolina Vieques, Puerto Rico Bluffton, South Carolina Conway, South Carolina Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Lincolnville, South Carolina Baytown, Texas Brownsville, Texas Cesar Chavez, Texas Corpus Christi, Texas Doyle, Texas Galveston, Texas Houston, Texas (2 reports) Humble, Texas League City, Texas Markham, Texas Port O Connor, Texas Rockport, Texas San Antonio, Texas (3 reports) San Leanna, Texas