It’s nearly impossible to think of Florida without visualizing the lush palm trees our state has practically been branded with. For mid-Florida's Zone 9, the three most favored palms are the Mexican/European Fan Palms, Date Palms, and Pindo Palms.
The Mexican Fan Palm is a fast-growing species which can reach upwards of 70 - 100 feet in height. It’s native to northern Mexico but grows well in Florida. These are often used as street trees since they’re statuesque and add a classic Southwest resort-style look to landscaping. They thrive in full sun and once established, are drought resistant and cold tolerant. Since many residential properties are limited, the slow-growing European Fan Palm is more suitable for a yard. If you’re looking for a low maintenance palm that makes a big impression, then the European Fan Palm could be the palm you’re searching for. It’s a dwarfed fan palm tree with pomade-style leaves that splay out into colorful shades ranging from deep green to silver. Its versatility brings the tropical appearance to your yard while not growing more than 15 feet high, and the European Fan Palm will be one of the easiest plants you’ll ever own.
As the name implies, Date Palms are the species from which we get Medjool dates, and they originated in either North Africa or the Middle East. This slow-growing palm grows well in Florida and requires full sun for optimal growth. It can reach heights up to 80 feet. The thick frond count and gorgeous silvery-green color give these trees a majestic appearance.
Pindo Palms are also known as Jelly Palms because the sweet fruit of this elegant palm can be used to make jelly. This species is native to Brazil, grows slowly to a mature height of 15-20 feet, and does well in full sun or partial shade. Flowers can be red, white or yellow and occur in groups of two male and one female flower. The palm’s seeds can even be roasted for a coffee substitute.
An additional tree to consider: Pygmy Date Palm. This palm is perfect for small gardens as it tops out at less than 10 feet in height. It originates from South China and is a slow-growing tree that does well in full sun or partial shade. The Pygmy is fairly cold-tolerant and easy to maintain with beautiful, curving green fronds.