The queen palm is often used in landscapes throughout tropical and subtropical landscapes like Southern California. Color will be provided throughout the year, especially when the clusters of orange fruit appear.
This palm tree is classified as Syagrus romanzoffiana. Older Latin names include Cocos plumosa and Arecastrum romanzoffianum.
You will usually see this labeled as queen palm. Other names sometimes used are cocos palm, cocos plumosa, and jeriva.
Preferred USDA Hardiness Zones
The queen palm grows best in Zones 9 to 11. Trees in Zone 9 may be susceptible to frosts. It is native to South America.
Size and Shape
Your tree will reach a mature height that is up to 60' tall depending on the site conditions where it is growing It has the standard palm tree shape featuring arching fronds at the top of the trunk.
Plant your queen palm in a location that will receive full sun. Some light shade will not harm the tree if present.
The feathery fronds are pinnately compound. Each one is up to 15' long. They may turn yellow or brown as they age and die. Plumes of creamy white flowers are produced during summer.
The orange fruits are found in trailing clusters at the beginning of winter. They are edible and are eaten by birds and mammals.
Design Tips for Queen Palm
Queen palms are suitable for commercial and residential plantings. It isn't uncommon to see them used along streets and sidewalks.
Some areas consider this tree to be invasive, including Florida. Contact your local extension office or nursery to check on the status in your location.
Growing Tips for Queen Palm
You can propagate this tree by collecting and planting the seeds.
The tree may be damaged by freezing temperatures. These can be pruned away if the damage is severe.
Maintenance and Pruning
Use a fertilizer two times a year. Choose one that offers the trace elements, especially if the soil is not sandy. Fertilizers that are specifically made for palm trees are available. Before you fertilize for the first time, it is a good idea to send your soil off to the extension service for testing to assess the current soil makeup.
Do not take off too many green fronds at once or the tree will struggle. The fronds tend to stay on the tree after they turn brown and die, so be prepared to prune them to keep pests and diseases at bay. It will also approve the appearance of your palm tree.
Pests and Diseases
Potential diseases include:
- Fusarium wilt
- Ganoderma butt rot
- Oak root rot
- Pink rot
Possible pests include:
- Palm leaf skeletonizer (Homaledra sabalella)
- Spider mites (Tetranychidae family)