Most popular palm trees to grow in Jersey
In today’s ever changing climate and inevitable global warming, palm trees are becoming a viable option when choosing new garden inhabitants to add structure to your outdoors and planting schemes.
Why choose a palm tree
- Palm trees are easy to grow, and they can tolerate drought and exposed sites
- They bring a Mediterranean twist to your outdoors
- Carefully selected and well positioned palm trees provide balance in depth, as well as a contrast in leaf texture
- When used as a transition, it can separate two different garden styles
- They can be used in most garden design styles
Planting a palm tree
All the palm trees recommended highly benefit from regular sun and well drained loamy or sandy soil. Although they might survive in shady areas, their growth will be limited and suppressed. You should not plant palm trees in heavy, waterlogged soil.
After the soil has been thoroughly prepared, plant the trees no deeper than root ball level. This is referred to as nursery level. Feeding when planting is not necessary, as this may cause further soil breakdown resulting in sinking the plant deeper into the soil.
How to care for palm trees
Palm trees are fairly easy to grow and don’t require much attention. However, you should remove the dying of dead flowers before the seeds are formed and all the lower brown leaves. This will ensure that valuable plant energy is redirected into healthy growth and development.
Water the trees after the planting and during the first season of establishment. They are usually drought resistant but shouldn’t be exposed to extreme conditions. During the hot Jersey summer, we recommend watering newly planted plants approximately twice a week.
Our list of popular palm trees include:Cabbage palm (Cordyline australis)
Cordyline is a small to medium sized evergreen tree. The attractive long strappy leaves appear in shades of green, purple, pink and variegated colours. Small white fragrant flowers of large mass are produced in the summer and attract bees for pollinating.
Cabbage palms are best used in traditional informal style, such as in cottage and seaside gardens creating a dramatic impact on overall planting scheme. Smaller cultivars can be grown in pots, usually accompanied by seasonal bedding plants, contributing to colourful display, and providing contrast in leaf texture.
Plant young plants or established specimens in full sun position, in well drained soil on the lighter side. Remove the dying leaves as they appear, and the spent flowers before they form the seeds.
Dieback of the crown, spotty leaves and poor growth are usually linked to wet and cold conditions.
Chusan palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)
This is a medium sized, narrow evergreen tree, bearing large evergreen fan shaped leaves up to one metre wide. Spray of light-yellow flowers are produced in the summer.
Although the palm’s hairy trunk looks best in classic informal gardens, the overall attractive shape and vibrant green foliage allows Chusan palm to stand out in any garden style and design. They can also decorate balconies, patios and courtyards when grown in pots.
Trachycarpus does best in full sun or partial light shade when planted in well drained soil. Remove the dead flowers before the seeds are formed and cut back the dead or dying leaves as close to the trunk as possible to ensure a neat look of the trunk.
Chusan plants are generally trouble free, however, the poor growth can be associated with damp conditions.
European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis)
Chamaerops humilis is a bushy, smallish evergreen palm reminiscent of a large shrub due to its multi-stem growing habit. Shorter panicles of yellow flowers are produced in the summer on mature plants. Silvery, fan-shaped large leaves resemble the true Mediterranean look.
Fan palms can be used in all garden styles, including modern and contemporary. They can be planted in garden borders, in raised beds serving as a centrepiece or in the pots whether on courtyards or balconies.
For best results, they should be planted in sunny spots in well drained soil. Spent flowers and dead or dying leaves should be removed as they appear.
Chamaerops could be susceptible to false smut affecting the leaves, and red spider mite can cause a problem when growing under glass such as conservatories of greenhouses.
Jelly palm (Butia capitata)
Butia capitata is a slow growing, very attractive small palm tree. Long, silver leaves emerging from the single trunk create a weeping effect. Small, yellow scented flowers produced on long spikes turn into edible fruit with pineapple flavour later in the season.
The architectural look of Jelly palms allows them to be used in any garden style and design, whether planted in borders, pots or raised beds. They can be used as a solitary plant or a part of a complex planting scheme.
Plant Butia in full sun and well drained soil. Although it is usually disease free, scale insects and red spider mites might be a problem. Dead leaves should be removed regularly, and the removal of spent flowers should be carried out only if fruit production needs to be prevented.
Canary date palm (Phoenix canariensis)
This large evergreen palm tree with a robust trunk is native to the Canary Islands. Long, dark green leaves reaching the length of five metres, create magnificent, rounded crowns. Panicles of yellow flowers are produced in the summer, followed by orange fruit.
Phoenix canariensis can be used in all garden styles and designs. They can be planted in borders, raised beds and pots alike, but ensure they are appropriately sized for their growth and development.
For optimal results, plant in well drained soil in full sun. Remove spent flowers to prevent seed and fruit formation and lower leaves when they reach the ground to lift the canopy.
Usually, Canary date palm is disease free but red spider mites, scale insects and mealybugs can cause problems.
Blue fan palm (Brahea armata)
Brahea armata is a large evergreen palm with thick robust trunk and striking silver foliage consisting of architecturally shaped leaves.
Yellow flowers, followed by yellow fruit are produced on long panicles (up to 4 metres long) of mature established plants.
This stunning palm can be used in all styles and designs ranging from cottage to very modern and can be planted in borders, pots and raised beds.
Plant Brahea will grow best in well drained soil when placed in sunny, sheltered, or exposed spots. Remove spent flowers prior to seed formation and dead or dying leaves.
Generally, it is disease free, but can be susceptible to pests such as scale insects and red spider mites.
Sago palm (Cycas revoluta)
Although not a true palm, Cycas revoluta is a slow growing evergreen perennial native to Japan. It’s very attractive green, shiny, pinnate leaves emerge from the single upright trunk. To produce flowers and the characteristic reddish fruit both male and female plants are required as pollinating partners.
These architectural plants are best used in modern and contemporary garden styles when planted in pots, raised beds and borders.
Plant Sago palms in full sun and well drained soil. Remove any dying and dead lower leaves as they appear.
Although they are usually disease free, insects such as red spider mite might be a problem.
Note: some of the palm trees listed above produce thorns on leaf stalks and should be handled with care. Ensure that protective clothing is worn (including eye protection when handling Canary palms).