Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Florida Royal Palm
Roystonea regia

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Roystonea (roy-STOH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: regia (REE-jee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Roystonea elata

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

over 40 ft. (12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 49 photos.
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16 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive naplepalm On Aug 26, 2014, naplepalm from Naples, FL wrote:

I just peeled the fruit off 5 or six royal seeds ( to propagate) and didn't wear gloves, I washed my hands thoroughly with soap afterwards.. its been about 20 minutes and so far I have no skin irritation from the seed pulp. Tropisofohio, come visit Naples they are in every yard lol but I agree plant more its a great palm. If visiting Naples the Garden center/ landscape company I work for has 8-10' single trunk, double, triple and quad trunks all on sale, your choice $77 They won't ship them but if in town you can pick them up. 239-597-4414 I'm not trying to give a sales pitch just letting you all know where you can find some at a good price. We use an 8-10-10 fertilizer and they look beautiful also I have had success using Lutz palm fertilizer stakes that you can order directly from Lutz.

Positive DaveTorquay On Feb 20, 2014, DaveTorquay from Torquay
United Kingdom (Zone 10b) wrote:

A very easy to grow and beautiful palm here in Torquay, but very underused! I planted a specimen of approximately 32cm tall back in 1998, by 2005 it was 20ft tall and by 2010 nearing 30ft. We had an exceptionally cold winter in 2010 where I recorded frigid temperatures as low as 3C/37F for 15 minutes just after 7am one morning in December, this caused me to question if I really should be putting such a lovely palm through an ordeal of such cold temperatures and the following spring I decided to take the palms life, for fear it ever got as cold again. Unfortunately I forgot to ever take any photographs of my Roystonea, but trust me is was a beauty. I used the space that became available to plant a Veitchia, which still graces my garden to this day.

Neutral SuburbanNinja80 On Apr 14, 2012, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I Maybe Haveing this Palm Comeing my way so Who Knows It maybe a good House Palm also.

Positive Jungleman On Jul 29, 2011, Jungleman from Pasadena, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Beautiful Palm. At first, I thought these were King Palms, as they are becoming common in Southern California, but while at the Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia, CA (next to the Los Angeles County Arboretum), I discerned that they were Roystoneas. They were very large when planted, so I agree with Palmbob that they are most likely grown at the coast until they are hardy enough to plant inland. Arcadia is USDA Zone 9a, Sunset Zone 20. If I could afford to have one planted with 6 feet of trunk, I would. Very tropical.

Positive floridatropic On Feb 2, 2010, floridatropic from Palm Bay, FL wrote:

this plant is alot more hardy than it says it survived 26 degrees and most coconut palms did too. thls winter was very abnormal. from palm bay

Positive BayAreaTropics On Jan 8, 2009, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I have just planted a number of Florida royal palm seeds on New Years day 09. I just dont see why they wouldn't grow in the southbay. Our winter nights don't reach into the 20's rarely do we have a 32F,and even a year or two can go by without frost. Summers are 75-85F degrees. How fast the Florida Royal will grow is the question.

Positive JD_Rainwater On Sep 9, 2007, JD_Rainwater from Miami, FL wrote:

I have grown royal palms with easy success on my land in the Yucatan Peninsula - both in Quintana Roo on the beach in Tulum and also in Yucatan at my place in the jungle near the town of Valladolid. Many nurseries have them available and they are increasingly being used as parkway trees - just visit Playa del Carmen or Tulum. It is difficult however to source fertilizer thereabouts. I have found only 17-17-17 available from verteranary supplies. That seems to be the place to buy growing supplies - nurseries may sell from their own supplies but many are reluctant to do so. Also have grown many other palms easilly: pritchardia, carpentaria, licuala, hyophorbe and others. Hey, they love the tropics!

Positive tropicsofohio On May 20, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

beautifull palm, i see these growing every where when we vist south florida. (not exactly a common sight in ohio, if u know what i mean) the only down side is that its under planted, so if u can afford it, plant it :)

Positive billowen On Dec 9, 2006, billowen from Port Charlotte, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite palms, With fertilizer and some watering in the dry season here, my Royal has grown from about three feet to height of fifteen feet in a little over four years, I cannot believe how fast these palms grow.

Positive seaboltd350 On Dec 1, 2006, seaboltd350 from Okeechobee
United States wrote:

Positive Kylecawaza On Aug 22, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

IF you have trouble keeping it green, water it more, and give it fertilizer with a lot of manganese potassium and definatley nitrogen. These palms love it, and unfortunatley, southern California does not have the right soil for it, but there are great specimens there as you can see.

Positive sonotaps On Aug 5, 2004, sonotaps from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

I have a few young Cuban Royals growing around my pool here in NE Phoenix. We have a gigantic one on the south side of the state capital for 20 years that is nice and fat and looks incredible. Love the green crownshaft. Here in Phoenix I do need to protect them in the winter on occasion, but since they are hardy to 28 degrees that really isn't very often.

Surprisingly, they take our sun very well from my experience. A little fading on the fronds but nothing earthshattering. What a wonderful alternative to Queen Palms here in Phoenix but they get REALLY big eventually so that must be considered when planting. Give them lots of water with small monthly fertilizing in the warm months and they reward you with fast new spear growth. They revel in heat.

Positive IslandJim On Jul 26, 2004, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nice palm. But the Cuban royal is far more interesting. Bowl-like base, which is a big part of any royal's beauty.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Jul 26, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

So far the Royal Palm I have in my front yard is growing well. At first I thought we were going to have to replace it because it looked very much like it was dying (the fronds were brown and shriveled, and new shoots kept turning yellow and brown on the leaf tips; there were also white blotches on the base of the fronds) but after we cut off all the fronds except the newest shoot that was coming in it recovered. Now we water it most of the time every day which keeps it green and fresh; I think if we stop it might get hurt. We hav'nt watered it recently but it is still growing nicely, with shoots coming in quickly; all the new leaves are now green!

The Florida Royal Palm is native to the cypress swamps, tropical hardwood hammocks, keys, sloughs, and prairies of the South Florida Everglades. It is a great native plant that provides some shelter for wildlife and birds. It's close relative, the Cuban Royal Palm (more often seen in cultivation, nurseries, and plantings than the native Florida Royal Palm), is native to the Caribbean. Many of the beautiful Royal Palms in South Florida, notably Miami and Homestead, were destroyed in 1992 by Hurricane Andrew. Since then, they have recovered nicely and are now continually planted along streets and in the front entrance of homes, mansions, condominiums, and townhouses as well as duplexes. Many of these palms line the street and pathways in the center of Mizner Park in Boca Raton, FL. Mulching around the palm and creating a domed ridge of sand around the palm helps prevent required moisture from escaping. I rate this plant a 10 out of 10 for its use as an attractive, stately landscape palm (up to 80 ft. tall) and its value to native wildlife.

Positive timlight On Mar 29, 2004, timlight wrote:

I dont think one could find a more beautiful palm tree, they are just simply striking, my Grandparents live in Bonita Springs Florida, and Royal Palms line the Boulivards of the cities down there.

Positive soundsgood On Mar 27, 2004, soundsgood from Whittier, CA wrote:

I have one in Los Angeles County, and it has not trunked yet but I am having trouble keeping a healthy green color to it.

Positive palmbob On Aug 30, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

The true species name for this palm is actually Roystonea regia - R. elata is a defunct synonym. This is also turning out to be a great street palm in warmer areas of Southern California, though getting it to the 'hardy' size requires an excellent climate. Usually they are grown up large in San Diego County, and then moved north when they have several feet of trunk at least. They tend to move pretty well for large palms.

These are truly heat loving palms. They can survive in climates that are cooler, but they rarely do very well. They love humidity, too, but surprisingly seem to do pretty well in the desert climates (thanks to the high heat) though at risk of looking bad if dry winds kick up, or a cold snap hits. These palms really do best in hot, humid tropical climates and that is what one sees them all over southern Florida, but rarely in southern California. But they perform better than most have expected in California so they will probably become more popular over the years.

This is a fast growing palm, one of the fastest there are. But in cooler climates the rate is not quite so impressive. In southern California it is considered a moderately fast palm, but grows about 10x slower than it does in Florida (almost everything grows faster in that sort of climate).
There are much more striking and impressive/beautiful palms for avenue planting in the tropics, but for the mainland US, this is probably the best avenue palm there is (for those few areas in which it can survive). Their straight, cement-pole like trunks are striking, and the deep green crownshafts make for a very tropical, elegant look.

Neutral Floridian On Oct 12, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

The Florida Royal Palm is native to the cypress swamps of south Florida. They are not particular about soil. They like full sun and plenty of water to look their best. At home in cypress swamps, the Florida Royal Palm tolerates occasional flooding. It can survive cold spells down to 28 F if short in duration. There is not a more impressive palm with which to line a boulevard. The beautiful Royal is readily available in areas where it can be grown. With a little care (water and fertilizer) this palm will reward with fast growth that is rare for a palm. Being tolerant of salt drift, Royal Palms will grow near salt water and on the beach if set back from the first line of dunes.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Laveen, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Arcadia, California
Coto De Caza, California
Hayward, California
La Habra, California
Los Angeles, California
Oceanside, California (2 reports)
Rancho Cucamonga, California
San Marino, California
San Pedro, California
Santa Barbara, California
Westminster, California
Whittier, California (2 reports)
Wilmington, California
Yorba Linda, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida (2 reports)
Bonita Springs, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida (2 reports)
Orlando, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida (3 reports)
Saint Cloud, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Venice, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
North, South Carolina
Brownsville, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Houston, Texas

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