Palm trees are excellent plants for creating a tropical environment, but homeowners should be careful how they use these trees. Some palms grow very tall--towering over houses--while others stay low to the ground. Palm trees require frequent watering and fertilization to stay healthy, and can grow larger than homeowners expect. Plan out where you want palms trees before you buy specimens.
Match with Your Climate
Palm trees are very sensitive to climate. In cold climates (consistently freezing winters) palm trees cannot survive long at all. Cold-hardy palm trees that can survive colder climates include the windmill, California palm, and true date varieties. Owners should always verify their climate type and find out what palm trees grow successfully there before making any decisions.
Plant Away from the House
Palm trees tend to grow large, especially varieties such as date palms and fan palms. If homeowners plant these palms close to the house, they may grow too large and scrape their leaves against the walls and roof, creating aesthetic problems and a fire hazard. To be safe, homeowners should plant palms away from the house itself.
Use Them as Bushes
Not all palm trees grow high. Some, like the Mediterranean fan palm and the needle palm, grow only to a certain height and then branch out. These palms stay several feet tall and are suitable as bushes in a tropical-themed landscaping project.
Palm trees are very useful as shade trees. They rarely lose their leaves like other trees and provide relief from the hot sun. This makes palm trees ideal for providing shade to pools and patios.
Use a Natural Environment
Palm trees naturally grow in sandy or stony conditions. For a natural effect, homeowners should match the palm tree with a landscape using a bed of small stones or sandy soil. Large stones can complement a palm trees, as can other tropical plants nearby.
- Photo Credit palm image by Dave from Fotolia.com
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