If you live in a warm, sunny environment, small palm trees make an excellent addition to your garden landscape. Some tiny palms, on the other hand, are cold hardy. Palm trees that are less than 20 feet (6 meters) tall are classified as dwarf palms. A single trunk characterizes most tiny palm trees, although some have multiple trunks. The feather-like or fan-shaped fronds (leaves) of all small or dwarf palm trees are distinctive.
Dwarf palms don’t take up much space, which is a benefit when planting them in your front or back yard. Because of their small stature, they won’t obstruct the sun. Container cultivation is also successful for certain palm types. Despite their small size, some dwarf or pygmy palms reach only 5 feet (1.5 m) when mature.
Palm trees are recognized globally for their association with tropical climates, big and little. Nonetheless, temperate climates are ideal for several small palm species.
The 17 most common species of small palms are featured in this article. Short palms such as those found in Florida, as well as other dwarf palms that are cold hardy and able to withstand freezing temperatures, may be found here.
Small Palm Tree Facts
Dwarf palmetto palms, for example, are just about 3 feet (1 m) tall when grown outdoors. Spindle palms, for example, may grow to be 20 feet (6 meters) tall. When compared to huge palm trees that reach up to 100 feet (30 meters), a 20-foot palm tree appears rather lofty.
The aesthetic appeal of small palm trees in the landscape is primarily used in gardens. They’re ideal little trees for establishing in a front yard or for converting a garden into a tropical setting because of their compact size. You may plant small palm varieties near your home since they all feature a tiny root ball. Several small palm trees bloom and produce delectable sweet fruit when grown in warm conditions.
Small Palm Tree Identification
The shape of the leaves (fronds) and type of trunk can both be used to identify species of small palm trees. Feather-like leaves (pinnate) or fan-like fronds (palmate) are found on palm trees. Some dwarf palms have spiky trunks due to their husks, while others have slender, smooth trunks.
The look of various palm species varies considerably. With a bushy crown of arching fronds, some palms have slender trunks. Palm trunks are thick and hairy in other varieties, making them difficult to touch. Several tiny palm species seem to develop out of the ground with leaves that appear to emerge from the earth, with no obvious stem.
Types of Small Palm Trees
To create the perfect garden landscape, here are the greatest dwarf or tiny palm trees to choose from:
Adonidia Palm (Adonidia merrillii)
When space is limited, the Adonidia palm is an excellent landscaping plant. This well-known Florida palm tree grows to a height of around 6 feet (2 meters) and is sometimes called the Christmas palm. The small palm with long arching fronds that spread up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide is identified by its elegant crown.
The palm fruit ripens around Christmas time, hence the common name for this small palm. The fact that it is self-cleaning and low-maintenance makes it appealing to grow in your yard. Adonidia palm has a better appearance because it sheds its fronds faster than other palm species. USDA zone 10 is ideal for Christmas palms.
Landscape uses: To create a focal point in a sunny, tropical garden, plant the Adonidia palm as a specimen tree. Since the palm trees have a small root ball, you can plant them close together in the front or backyard.
Dwarf Sugar Palm (Arenga engleri)
The dwarf sugar palm is a multi-stemmed small palm tree that adds a decorative touch to a tiny front yard or backyard. Its bushy palm looks like a giant shrub because to its clumping development. Green pinnate leaves that seem to sprout out of the ground characterize the palm, which grows to around 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall.
One of the nicest landscaping palms, according to many, is the dwarf sugar palm. USDA zones 10B and 11 are ideal for miniature fern-like palm bushes.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: In a tropical garden, plant a dwarf sugar palm as an example tree. You may alternatively use low palm bushes to build a tropical privacy screen by planting them together.
Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor)
The dwarf palmetto is a cold hardy little palm that may be found in a variety of environments. The palm’s growth habit is normally 3 feet (1 meter) tall, although it may grow taller. Fan-shaped leaves on tropical palms may reach 6 feet (1.8 meters) in length. In hot, humid environments, the hardy dwarf palm tree thrives, but it is also cold tolerant down to 0°F (-18°C).
Landscape uses of this palm tree: Florida is home to dwarf palmetto palms. To form a bushy privacy screen in your yard, you can plant them side by side. To add a tropical atmosphere, you can cultivate in pots on your patio.
Short Bottle Palm (Hyophorbe lagenicaulis)
The bottle palm tree’s slender, fat stem looks like a pear-shaped bottle, hence its nickname. The way the stem swells as its base distinguishes this little palm tree. The small palm has four to six arching fronds that may grow up to 12 feet (3.5 meters) long when it grows to only 10 feet (3 meters) tall.
The trunk of the palm tree becomes more elongated and has ahusky exterior as it matures. In Florida and southern California, where the weather is warm all year, short bottle palm trees thrive. These little palms prefer to grow in full sun.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: For modest residential gardens, bottle plants are an excellent small palm tree. Bottle plants should be grown in containers and brought indoors in the winter to avoid frost.
Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
The pygmy date palm, which looks like a pineapple, is a kind of tiny palm tree with a spiky trunk. The crowing mass of gracefully arching pinnate fronds distinguishes pygmy date palms. The tree usually has only one stem, but it may occasionally have multiple trunks. These USDA zone 10 to 12 date palms thrive in full sunlight. Flowers develop into clusters of little black fruits on stems. These low-maintenance dwarf palms have a spread of 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) and may grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: To complement a Mediterranean garden setting, grow pygmy date palms. During the winter, the small palm tree may be kept indoors in a suitable container.
Pindo Palm (Butia capitata)
The pindo palm is ideal for small outdoor residential areas since it grows slowly and is cold-hardy. The pindo palm’s spectacular crown of bluish-green fronds arching and weeping creates a striking impression.
The stubs of old leaves give it a rough appearance on its short fat stem. The hardy palm tree, also known as the Jelly palm or Cocos capitata, is drought resistant, heat tolerant, and salty.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: This lovely little palm tree is cold hardy to 14°F (-10°C) and works well in coastal settings.
Saw Palmetto (Sereona)
Saw palmetto palm trees are a bushy kind of palm that grows in a container and may be found throughout Florida. Little saw palmetto palms tend to form clusters and may grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall. These palm trees are distinguished by their silvery-green fan-shaped leaves.
The serrated edges of its leaves give it the name saw palmetto, which refers to a little palm tree. This palm tree has numerous stems rising from the earth and is classified as a sort of clustering palm.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: For a tropical privacy screen, plant the palmetto palms close together; alternatively, use a container with a dramatic appearance.
Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)
Slow growing small palm trees with broad fanned leaves and slender, short, hairy trunks are very hardy and slow growing. Palm trees that take a long time to grow may reach a height of 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters). Their name comes from the splaying fronds that create a windmill shape at the tree’s crown. Hardy palms that can grow in zones 8a through 11 are windmill palms.
In a front or backyard, windmill palm trees look quite nice. The palms are impressive focal point plants that stand out in the landscape. You may also grow them in pots for a patio or deck area. Small windmill palm trees should be planted in the shade or partial shade in a protected location of the garden.
Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
The sago palm takes a long time to grow and may reach 20 feet (6 meters) after many decades. Instead, it’s a palm-like plant with cycad-like characteristics. Sago palm trees produce long green feather-like fronds that grow in a rosette pattern on a short, shaggy trunk.
The cold-hardy palm tree may endure temperatures as low as 14°F (10°C). The sago palm, a popular small landscape palm-like tree with a high tolerance for cold temperatures, is ideal.
Needle Palm (Rhapidophyllum hystrix)
The needle palm tree is a shrub-like palm with numerous small trunks that may grow as a miniaturized patio palm. The fan leaves of the needle palm have long, needle-like spines that differentiate it from other Palms. The needle palm tree, which can withstand temperatures as low as 5°F (-15°C), is one of the most cold-hardy palm trees.
For privacy or security screens, needle palms are an excellent choice. As an ornamental low-growing tree or specimen plant, bushy palms thrives in containers. Needle plants reach a height of 3 to 6 feet (1.8 to 1.8 meters) and a spread of 8 feet (2.4 meters).
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
A single thin, slender stem divides into numerous thick branches to create a parlor palm tree, which may be maintained indoors as a houseplant or outdoors in limited areas. From 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) tall, parlor palms develop. Pinnate leaves with long broad leaves on the stems characterize the parlor palm tree.
USDA zones 10 and 10b are tropical climates where the palm tree thrives. Although they are one of the most popular indoor palms, parlor palms can be grown in your garden if the conditions are right. Keep moisture levels high by planting in dappled sunlight. You can alternatively grow them in pots on a patio.
Spindle Palm (Hyophorbe verschaffeltii)
Mature spindle palm trees have a crown of curved, green pinnate leaves and have short slender gray trunks. These tiny palm trees grow to be about 20 feet (6 meters) tall. The spindle palm has a bulging trunk in the center, not at the base, similar to bottle palms. The difference is that bottle palms have a lower trunk.
In your front or back yard, grow spindle palm trees as a specimen palm. In addition, if you live in temperate climates, spindle palms can be grown successfully in containers.
Coontie Palm (Zamia floridana)
Coontie palms are a bushy palm tree with a rounded form that looks like it. The Coontie palm is a cycad plant with palm-like growth and appearance, rather than a true type of palm tree. Coontie palms aren’t really palm trees, but more like bushes. Palm-like frond clusters sprout from the ground and form multi-branched clusters.
The rounded growth habit of this bushy palm-like tree, which grows up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall, features fern-like leaves. Coontie palms make a wonderful ground cover, edging, or add-on of greenery to shady areas.
Triangle Palm Tree (Dypsis decaryi)
The pinnate fronds of the little triangle palm tree spread out from a single stem, forming a triangle shape. The large central trunk of this magnificent tree may be up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) long, with 8-foot (2.4-meter) long leaves fanning out from it. Under the right conditions, the triangle palm may bloom all year.
For its ornamental value or as an accent plant, plant this palm tree specimen. The triangle palm tree is a low-maintenance species that thrives in heat and drought.
Mediterranean Dwarf Palm or European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)
The Mediterranean dwarf palm is a low-growing clumping palm that may be used in a variety of gardens. This bushy multi-trunk palm tree may reach a height of up to 20 feet (6 meters). The top of the tiny trunks are topped by a compact crown of rounded fan leaves. In countries with hot summers, Mediterranean dwarf palms are often planted as landscape palms.
The palm, on the other hand, is cold hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 10°F (-12°C). If you want to add a Mediterranean touch to your patio or decking area, planting the palm tree in containers outdoors can help control its height.
Florida Thatch Palm (Thrinax radiata)
In residential areas, the Florida thatch palm is frequently planted as a landscaping tree. This little palm may grow to be up to 20 feet (6 meters) tall in Florida. The fanning crown of palm leaves develops into a globular form when it is growing in full sun. In Florida and other southern states in the United States, Florida thatch palms are a common residential landscape palm.
Only USDA zone 10 and above are suitable for Florida thatch palm trees, which are cold-sensitive. For gardens in coastal areas or where there is a lot of wind, the upright, slender palm is ideal.
Dwarf Majesty Palm (Ravenea hildebrandtii)
A solitary-trunk palm tree that grows no taller than 8 feet (2.4 meters) is known as a dwarf majesty palm. The pinnate leaves of the dwarf palm are dark green, and the trunk is just 3 inches (7 cm) thick. The dwarf Majesty palm tree, Ravenea hildebrandtii, is a beautiful decorative palm with wide arching leaves. In any subtropical decorative garden, the wide spreading arching leaves appear magnificent. The stem of the bright green leaves may have up to 100 leaflets and may grow up to 3 feet (100 cm) long.
Mazari Palm (Nannorrhops ritchiana)
The small shrubby cold-hardy palm tree Mazari palm is a little shrubby cold-hardy palm tree. The leaves of the Mazari palm are palmate (fan-like) and appear in clusters. Between 1 to 4 feet (30 to 120 cm) long, the fan-shaped leaves might be found.
Mazari palm fronds are silvery-green or silver-blue in color, and the long tapering leaflets give the tiny shrubby palm a spikey look. Mazari palm trees, like other cold-hardy palm varieties, thrive in hot summers. This species, on the other hand, can tolerate temperatures as low as 10°F (−12°C).
Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum)
The cat palm tree is a bushy clumping palm plant with numerous stems that grows in little outdoor spaces. The short cat palm tree has glossy dark green leaves that create dense palm foliage and grows up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) in gardens. Cat palms thrive in bright sunlight and a wet growing environment.
You can grow cat palms as a privacy hedge in tropical gardens because to their bushy growth habit and short height. To provide tropical foliage to a patio or decking area, cat palms may also be grown in containers. If you can grow them in bright light, these multi-stemmed palms make excellent indoor palm trees.
Arikury Palm (Syagrus schizophylla)
The arikury palm is a tiny, sunny garden or small area palm tree that may be used in tiny gardens or tight locations. Many long sword-shaped leaves make up each palm frond. The spreading canopy, razor-sharp leaves, and brilliant orange-yellow flowers that bloom on long, dangling branches that are 3 feet (1 meter) tall distinguish this popular dwarf palm tree.
The arikury palm, which thrives in the sun and grows to be up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall, is ideal for small gardens. A distinguishing feature is its arcing fronds, which may grow up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) long and have thin purple-black stems with hooked spines at the base. In USDA zones 10 to 12, the dwarf arikury palm thrives in full sun.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: Because of its heat-loving nature, this little palm is suitable for patio or deck decorating in tropical areas.
Florida Cherry Palm (Pseudophoenix sargentii)
The native Florida palm tree, also known as the Florida cherry palm, is a small to medium-sized tree with a slender, smooth vertical stem that bulges at the base. The ringed trunk designs, silver-green leaflets, and long branches that gracefully arch at the top of the stem are some of the other features of this exotic palm tree. A medium-sized palm, the Florida cherry palm tree is The tiny palm, on the other hand, is suited to cultivation in a planter since it develops in a pot.
This slender palm grows to be 10 to 25 feet (3.6 m) tall and has a broad, spreading canopy as it develops in the soil. It is suited for small tropical gardens because it grows slowly and is relatively tiny, with some individuals reaching heights of 10 – 12 ft. (3 – 3.6 m). The slow-growing buccaneer palm has exceptional salt and drought tolerance and is suited for USDA zones 10 and 11.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: Since it can tolerate salty air and high humidity, the Florida cherry palm is a favorite for growing in coastal regions. It’s also a perfect accent plant for any landscaping that seeks to add height and pizzazz.
Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
You can grow it at home in a pot with palmate fan-shaped leaves, and it’s easy to take care of. The dark green glossy thin leaflets, slender, upright cane stems, and clusters of tiny yellow blooms are all characteristics of this clustering bushy palm. The lovely, easy-to-care-for outdoor palm tree is versatile in gardens and thrives in partial sunlight and shade.
The palm tree grows up to 15 ft (4.5 m) tall and broad and is drought tolerant and hardy. The finger-like slender pointed leaves on the stems give it its popular name. Because of its reed-like stems, the palm looks a lot like bamboo plants.
USDA zones 9 through 11 are suitable for the popular dwarf palm. The lady palm, which thrives in pots and requires low light and humidity, is a popular indoor plant in temperate climates.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: The lady finger palm is ideal as a hedge or privacy screen in landscapes because of its clumping nature and thick leaves. In patios, it can also be grown as a container plant.
Golden Cane Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
The golden cane palm (also known as areca palm) is a compact bushy palm plant that may be kept indoors and adds a tropical touch to any area. Dark green V-shaped fronds with lance-shaped leaflets, a multi-stemmed trunk, and tiny egg-shaped fruits characterize this appealing shrub-like palm.
The bushy palm grows up to 35 feet (10 meters) tall and has a crown that spreads up to 20 feet (6 meters) wide. It is also known as the areca palm or yellow bamboo palm. Golden cane palm trees thrive in well-drained soils and appreciate plenty of water, full sun to partial shade. The golden cane palm, like the lady palm, is a popular indoor plant.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: The bushy golden cane palm is a natural fence, wall ornament, or accent plant that grows well in a garden environment.
Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium lamerei)
The Madagascar palm, sometimes known as the little palm tree, is a tiny deciduous tree that can add character to small areas. The cigar-shaped spiky trunk, strap-shaped glossy green leaves, banana-shaped seed pods, and big saucer-shaped white blooms are all characteristics of this palm-like tree.
The base of the plant swells and becomes obese as it grows older. Due to its dwarf growth habit, the Madagascar palm tree is ideal for small gardens. The Madagascar palm grows to be 10 feet (3 meters) tall and 8 feet (2.4 meters) broad. Its curled seed pods are 8″ (20 cm) long and its huge leaves reach 12″ (30 cm). The plant develops branches at the top when it grows to be 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall.
Landscape uses of this palm tree: As a specimen tree or growing in pots on a patio, the Madagascar palm is stunning.