Palms That Grow in Zone 7-11

Great Palm Trees That are cold hardy in Washington State and that can survive zones 8 & 9 of Washington State Temperatures.

Guadalupe-Palm Grow 15-40′

Guadalupe Palm (Brahea edulis)

The Guadalupe palm tree is a small cold hardy palm plant with fan-shaped leaves growing on the stems, a rough, brown fibrous solitary trunk, and sweet black palm fruits. Guadalupe palms grow 15 to 40 ft. (4.5 – 12 m) tall and are a slow-growing palm type.

The Guadalupe palm tree is suitable for USDA zones 9a – 11. It is hardy to around 20 °F (-6.6 °C) before it needs protection.

The distinctive feature of the Guadalupe palm is the stiff leaflets growing in the shape of a fan at the end of long smooth stems. In the landscape, these palm trees make a dramatic statement due to the spiky appearance of the dense crown. As a result, the ornamental palm is a popular landscaping palm tree in California.

The scientific name for the Guadalupe Palm is – Brahea edulis. Guadalupe Palm is native to Guadalupe Island off of the Western coast of Mexico. This palm is cold hardy down to 20F and can be grown in states like Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.

Hardy Palm Tree Identification

You can identify Guadalupe palms in the summer due to their fragrant, creamy yellow blooms growing in amongst the foliage. After flowering, the palm produces deliciously sweet palm fruits that you can eat fresh or use in cooking.

Mexican Palm Tree
Mexican Palm Tree (Washingtonia robusta

Mexican Palm Tree

Also called the ‘Mexican washingtonia’, this palm tree is fairly cold hardy and can grow in USDA zone 9a. The Mexican palm is hardy down to about 20º F (-6.6ºC) with small damage to foliage.

The Mexican palm tree has a long narrow trunk and bushy-like leafy foliage at the top. The other name for the species Washingtonia robusta, the Mexican Fan palm, gives an indication of its leaf shape. Palmate fanned leaves measuring up to 3.3 ft. (1 m) long sit gracefully on top of 82-ft. tall (25-m tall) stems.

Clusters of edible fruit grow on this date palm, although the dates aren’t as tasty as dates from other types of palms.

Hardy Palm Tree Identification

The Mexican palm can be identified by its tall, skinny, erect trunk and bushy crown.

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Cold Hardy in Wa. State

Palm Trees That are cold hardy in Washington State and can survive zones 8 & 9 of Washington State.

There is a wide range, 11.4 into 49.4 in, (29 cm to 125.5 cm) of snow yearly. October through March the state encounters substantial downpours.

The hottest temperature at any point recorded was 118°F (48°C) and the most reduced was – 48°F (– 44°C).

Washington USDA toughness zones territory from 4a to 9a.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map– Know when to plant & can you plant a live palm tree in your area?

Bulgaria Windmill Palm in Winter
Trachycarpus fortunei ‘Bulgaria’ Windmill Palm
Bulgaria Windmill Palm in Summer
Trachycarpus fortunei ‘Bulgaria’ Windmill Palm
Bulgaria Windmill Seedling
Trachycarpus fortunei ‘Bulgaria’ Windmill Palm

This (above) is the same palm tree in 3 different stages. COLD HARDY zone 6 – Live plant! You can find them on ETSY and Amazon. They sell you the seeds, anywhere from 10 seeds- 60 seeds at Amazon

Palm Trees That Can Survive Cold Weather

Some Cold Hardy Palm Trees Do Quite Nicely in Temperatures That Hover Around Freezing Points

Great Palm Trees That are cold hardy are ideal for planting in a landscape that gets occasional freezing temperatures and snowfall. I live in Washington State and it gets cold in the winter, around 20 degrees some years, sometimes colder, not nearly as cold as New York though. 

If you have a love for palm trees as I do, you’ll want to find that perfect palm for your outdoor patio backyard entertainment space. Finding palm trees that are cold hardy can add a touch of the tropics to your garden landscape and that’s basically what this article is all about. In addition, the elegant trees with their graceful leafy frongs are typically easy to grow and we’ll learn more as we read on.

Level of Cold That Hardy Palm Trees Can Withstand

The level of cold that hardy palm trees can withstand depends on individual species. Some of the hardiest palm trees perform well in USDA zone 7 and sheltered areas of zone 6. This means that many cold-hardy palms will survive temperatures between 32.4°F and 41°F (0.2°C – 5°C). Some of the cold-hardiest palms survive temperatures as low as 5°F – 0°F ( -18°C to -15°C). However, it’s important to note that cold-hardy palm trees only withstand brief spells of cold temperatures. 

In this article is a guide to the cold hardiest palm trees for temperature and subtropical climates based on information I’ve researched. The list of cold hardy palm trees contain descriptions and pictures of these fabulous looking trees. I’ll give you information on minimum temperatures that palms can survive without suffering extensive damage.

What is a Cold Hardy Palm Tree

Cold-hardy palms are plants from the family Arecaceae, that can tolerate short periods of cold temperatures near or below freezing.

The species of palm trees that withstand the coldest temperatures are typically from the Washingtonia, Trachycarpae, and Rhapis tribes. In addition, these cold-hardy palms can include fan palms and pinnate-leaved palm trees.

The best examples of cold-hardy palms that tolerate cold temperatures are the windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei), European palm (Chamaerops humilis), Pindo palm (Butia capitata), and the stunning Bismarck palm (Bismarckia nobilis).

Palms, including cold-hardy species tend to fare better in drier conditions. And older palm trees have a better tolerance for the cold than younger trees. So it’s best to start your palm indoors as a seedling, when it matures eventually put it outside but under a roof or sundeck.

Can Palm Trees Survive Freezing Weather?

Great Palm Trees That are cold hardy

Several species of palm trees that are cold hardy can tolerate freezing conditions, however only for a brief time. Freezing weather conditions can kill fronds, turning them brown and dropping off. If the center of the trunk freezes, the plant will die.

The level of frost damage after a freeze is usually indicated by the amount of brown plant material on a palm tree. After a freeze, palms may have a few brown fronds. But these are typically nothing to worry about.

You can remove these to improve the palm’s aesthetic appeal. However, if all the palm tree’s foliage is entirely brown, the palm has suffered irrecoverable frost damage.

Sadly, Another sign of damage to a palm tree after a freeze is fluid leaking from the main trunk. In this case, removing the tall palm tree is crucial to prevent it from doing damage when it falls.

 Great Palm Trees That are cold hardy

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The windmill palm is one of the cold-hardiest palm trees. The hardy palm is identified by its fan-shaped leaves growing at the end of straight stems. As an easy to grow cold hardy palm tree, the small evergreen plant is ideal for compact backyard gardens in USDA zones 7 to 11.

The Windmill Palm Tree, scientific name Trachycarpus fortunei, is one of the most popular palms because of its ability to withstand temperatures down to 5 degrees makes it a great choice for areas in USDA zones 7-11.

Whenever you see pictures of palm trees in the snow, this is usually what you see. This palm tree can be grown in states such as Alaska, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and more. It is a very adaptable palm and is simple to grow. You can also start it indoors until it gets too big.

  • Windmill Palm Tree Information-
  • Scientific name: Trachycarpus fortunei
  • Common names: The Windmill Palm is also known as Chusan Palm and Chinese Windmill Palm.
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Origin: It is native to central and eastern China.
  • Appearance: Trachycarpus fortunei has a slender single trunk that is around 8 to 10 inches in diameter. The trunk is covered with a loose mat of coarse gray or brown fiber and is a bit narrower at the base.
The Windmill Palm has palmate, sword-like leaves that are 4 ft in diameter.

They range from dark green to yellow-green in color that seems almost silvery on the underside. Leaves grow upward more so than outward. The petiole is about 1 ½ feet long and armed with sharp thorns.

Flowers/Fruits: The Windmill Palm is dioecious, male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. In the early summer, the luscious Windmill Palm produces large plumes of yellow flowers on the male plants and greenish on the female plants. Flowers are held on 3ft long branched stalks. Later flowers of the female plants transform into bluish-black fruits that are about 1/2 in (1.3 cm) in diameter. The fruits get ripe in the mid-fall. The Windmill Palm fruit is not edible.

  • Growth Rate: Slow. The windmill is a slow-growing palm that can reach 10 – 20 ft in height and 5-10 ft wide
  • Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.
  • Cold Tolerance: is extremely cold-hardy and can tolerate cold down to 5F when mature. The fronds can handle weight also, making it one of the best palm trees in the snow. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 7b (5 to 10 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
  • Light Req: Partial shade.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate. The Windmill Palm likes moist and well-drained soil. Enough moisture in the soil speeds up plant growth and improves appearance. Although Windmill Palm is very drought tolerant, irregular watering and drought will slow its growth rate dramatically. For the best results, water it every other day, for the first three months, and weekly for the remainder of its first year.
  • Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.
  • Insects and Diseases: Very few insects and disease problems exist to endanger growing Windmill Palm trees. Scales and palm aphids are pests that usually cause problems for Windmill Palm. Windmill Palm may be infected by root rot, moderately susceptible to lethal yellowing disease, and leaf spots.
  • Propagation: Propagated by seeds. Windmill palm seeds will germinate in 8 to 12 weeks without a lot of fuss. Sow seed at 75°F in spring or fall.
  • Purchase: Looking for palm trees in the snow?! You can find these cold-hardy palm trees for sale, or even rent at
Hardy Palm Tree Identification

The windmill palm can tolerate short cold snaps as low as 5°F (-15°C). Growing in full sun to part shade, the drought-tolerant Chinese windmill palm thrives in fertile, well-drained soils. However, it performs best when protected from cold winds and hard winter frosts.

The identifying features of the windmill palm tree are fan-shaped green leaves measuring 3 ft. (1 m) wide, dark blue palm tree fruits, and shaggy bark covered in black fibers.

Queen Palm Tree are Tropical

Queen Palm Tree, scientific name Syagrus romanzoffiana, is one of the most popular palms in tropical and subtropical climates because of its beautiful appearance and low maintenance.

This palm is also very inexpensive. Groupings of three or more Queen Palms provide soft filtered sunlight perfect for shade gardens.

It is also worth mentioning, that the Queen Palm tree has a shallow root base and is known for falling during high winds and hurricanes. They are fairly cold hardy, for a palm tree.

(Find a Queen Palm in Seed Form, Packet of 5)-Amazon

Queen Palm Tree
Queen Palm  
  • Scientific name: Syagrus romanzoffiana
  • Common names: The Queen Palm is also known as Cocos Plumosa, and Jeriva Syagrus romanzoffiana.
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Origin: It is native to the South American woodlands of Brazil and Argentina.
  • Appearance: Syagrus romanzoffiana has a smooth single trunk ringed with leaf scars and topped with dark green feathery fronds. Pinnate leaves grow upward more so than outward. The stem of the leaf is about 5 – 15ft long and has double rows of leaflets. Each leaflet blade is approximately 18 to 36 inches long.
  • Flowers/Fruits: During the summer months Queen Palm will surprise you with beautiful clusters of creamy flowers on a green stalk that grows underneath its leaves. In the early winter, a green fruit will appear that will turn orange as it matures. These fruits also called “dates”, have a round shape and are about 1 inch long with one single seed inside. The Queen Palm fruit smells nice but is not editable. When dates fall to the ground they create sticky piles of rotting fruit that attracts disagreeable insects.
  • Growth Rate: Fast. With regular fertilization, Queen Palm can grow to a maximum height of about 30 – 40 ft and 5 -10 ft wide. It grows around 6 feet per year after establishment.
  • Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.
  • Cold Tolerance: Syagrus romanzoffiana can tolerate cold down to 15F when mature enough. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 8b (15 to 20 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
  • Light Req: Partial shade to Full sun. Queen Palm grows very well in full sun although full sun with some shade is preferred.
  • Water Req: Moderate. Along with proper feeding, correct watering is critical for a healthy Queen Palm. Newly planted palms should be watered every day for the first week, every other day for the second week, and about 3 times a week afterward. Watering palm 3 times a week should be enough during the first summer and a minimum of twice a week in the winter.
  • Maintenance: Easy. Queen Palms should be fertilized with a fertilizer that contains the most important minerals including magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, and nitrogen. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.
  • Fertilizer: Queen Palm requires a lot of manganese for healthy growth, not to be confused with magnesium. So, even after applying the usual fertilizer that contains manganese, it’s a good idea to add more manganese to the soil. Manganese deficiency is responsible for the “frizzy top” that you can witness on many Florida Queen Palms. That’s because most homeowners don’t know how to fertilize Queen Palm Trees properly. If you don’t treat the “frizzy top” condition, your palm tree will get weaker and eventually die. Once you noticed that some of the frizzy symptoms are developing, add more manganese to the soil.
  • Pruning: Queen Palm needs very little pruning, mainly to develop a strong structure. The best time to prune the Queen Palm tree is from September to the beginning of November. You can remove old fronds that got damaged during the summer with a saw. Get rid of only a minimum amount of fronds that are yellow or brown. Excessive pruning can weaken the palm and slow its growth. If you have a tall Queen Palm, you might need a ladder to reach dry fronds. If you live in Florida, it’s easy to find a company that can do it for you.
  • Insects and Diseases: The only pests that cause problems for Queen Palms are Palm leaf skeletonizer and scale. For more details on pests and prevention read – Palm Tree Insects. Queen Palm has a problem with Ganoderma bud rot that can kill the palm. There is no cure for it. The only thing you can do is to use prevention treatments.
  • Propagation: Propagated by seeds. Seeds of Queen Palm germinate better if collected from the green fruit that didn’t ripe yet. Try to plant as soon as possible, as a dried seed is much more difficult to propagate. If you can’t plant the seed right away, you can store them. Before storing clean the seeds from the dust, air dry them, and seal them in a plastic bag. The best storage temperature is around 65F-75F. It’s not recommended to store Queen Palm seeds for more than 4 months.

Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)

Pindo Palm Tree
Pindo Palm Tree
  • Scientific name: Butia capitata
  • Common names: The Pindo Palm is also known as Jelly Palm and Wine Palm.
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Origin: It is native to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Appearance: It has a heavy gray trunk covered with old leaf bases. The trunk is around 15 ft tall and 1-1.5 ft in diameter. Occasionally, you can find specimens with a clean trunk. Without crownshaft, beautiful arching leaves emerge right from the trunk. Leaves are pinnate, or feather-like, ranging in color from green to bluish-gray, about 5-10 ft long, with 80-150 leaflets that are about 20-26 inches long. They are supported by 3-4 ft long petioles that have spines along both edges.

Flowers/Fruits: At the end of the spring the Pindo Palm produces small yellow to orange-red flowers, that grow in clusters on large 3-4ft long inflorescence. The flowers are monoecious, individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant. They get pollinated is by insects and wind.

Flowers are followed by bright orange fruits, also known as “pindo dates”, that hang in large clusters from the tree. Dates are round to oval-shaped, juicy, edible, about 1 inch in diameter. Fruits reach their maturity in the summer.

The fruits can be eaten fresh and pureed or used to make excellent jams as well as wine. You can also use it to make jelly, hence the name Jelly Palm. They can be stored for about one week in the refrigerator. It can get very messy when ripe fruits fall to the ground.

  • Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate. Butia capitata can slowly grow up to 10 – 20 ft and 10-15ft wide but usually is not taller than 15ft with the spread of 10 ft.
  • Outdoor/Indoor Use:Both.
  • Cold Tolerance: Pindo Palm Tree can tolerate cold down to 5F when mature enough. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 7b (5 to 10 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
  • Light Req: Partial shade to Full sun.
  • Water Req: Moderate. The Pindo Palm is tolerant of saltwater, droughts and is tough enough to deal with weather stresses when mature. It also can grow in clay or sandy soils. It needs plenty of water until established in the first 2 years, but after that only little to moderate watering is needed.
  • Maintenance: Easy. In addition to its attractive look, this unique palm offers low to moderate maintenance. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.
  • Insects and Diseases: The Pindo Palm usually is not going to cause you any trouble. Palm leaf skeletonizer, scale, and micronutrient deficiencies are occasional problems for Pindo Palm. There are no major diseases that you need to be afraid of. The Pindo Palm can get root rot if the soil is kept too moist and well-drained.
  • Propagation: Propagated by seeds. It takes many months for germination to take place.

The pindo palm is a sun-loving, hardy landscaping palm tree with arching fronds, fragrant creamy-yellow flowers, and yellowish-orange edible fruits. Also called the jelly palm, this elegant palm has a weeping appearance with slender pinnately-compound leaves growing on curved stems. Pindo palm trees grow 10 to 20 ft. (3 – 6 m) tall.

The pindo palm is one of the easiest palms to grow. The cold-hardy palm thrives in USDA zones 8 through 11, growing in full sun and sandy, well-drained soil. This attractive landscaping palm tree is tolerant of drought, salt, heat, and cold down to 14°F (-10°C).

Due to its attractive shape, curved petioles, and bluish-green or grayish-green leaves, the palm is best used as a specimen plant.

Hardy Palm Tree Identification

The identifying features of the pindo palm are its arching palm leaves growing 3 to 6 ft. (1 – 1.8 m) long, sweetly-scented white flowers on dangling spikes, and sweet, large dates that taste of pineapple.

Travelers Palm Tree

Travelers Palm Tree
Travelers Palm Tree


Travelers Palm Tree, scientific name Ravenala madagascariensis, is one of the most recognizable palm trees in the world for its spectacular fronds that range in color from orange to yellow to green. It can adapt to a wide range of soils. Travelers Palm Tree can create a wonderful shaded area in the yard or by the pool.

Travelers Palm Tree File

  • Scientific name: Ravenala madagascariensis
  • Common names: The Travelers Palm is also known as Travelers Palm and Traveler’s Tree.
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Origin: It is native to Madagascar.
  • Appearance: Young Travelers Palm has a subterranean trunk that grows underground. As the palm matures it develops a short green trunk, about 1 ft in diameter, with distinctive leaf scar rings.

The Travelers Palm has about 30-35 large,10 ft long, fan-shaped leaves supported by long petioles. Leaves resemble those of the banana and are symmetrically grouped, giving the tree the aspect of a hand fan.

High winds can shred the leaves giving them a feather-like appearance. Leaf stems color varies from orange at the base of the stem to yellow in the middle and to the bright green closer to the end.

Leaf stems can store a lot of rainwater that can be used as an emergency drinking supply during drought. There are a lot of stories of travelers looking for the palm to get some water, hence the name Travelers Palm.

  • Flowers/Fruits: The Travelers Palm produces white flowers, supported by a large green flower stalk. Flowers can be as large as 2ft in diameter. Leaf stalks look like a narrow bowl and collect a lot of rainwater making it very heavy. Bloomed flowers are followed by brown fruits that open to reveal stunning bright blue seeds inside.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate.  Ravenala madagascariensis grows at a medium rate up to 30-40 ft tall with 10-15 ft wide spread.
  • Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.
  • Cold Tolerance: Travelers Palm Tree is one of the most awe-inspiring natural palms in the world that can tolerate cold temperatures down to 20F. Grows best in USDA Zones 9a (20 to 25 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
  • Light Req: It likes full sun but can also grow in light shade.
  • Water Req: Moderate. Grows best in moist, well-drained soil. Native to Madagascar, Travelers Palm Tree easily adapts to a wide range of soils and makes a great centerpiece for any area or landscape. It tolerates sandy and clayey soils.
  • Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.
  • Propagation: Propagated by seeds or a division of clumps.

Palm Trees that are Cold Hardy in Washington State:

California Fan Palm Tree – Zones 8b – 11 (15 to 20 F) 

Canary Island Date Palm Tree – Zones 8b – 11 (15 to 20 F) 

Chinese Fan Palm Tree – Zones 8a – 11 (10 to 15 F) 

True Date Palm Tree – Zones 8b – 11 (15 to 20 F) 

European Fan Palm Tree – Zones 7b – 11 (5 to 10 F) 

Mexican Fan Palm Tree – Zones 8b – 11 (15 to 20 F) 

Queen Palm Tree – Zones 8b – 11 (15 to 20 F) 

Saw Palmetto Palm Tree – Zones 7a – 11 (0 to 5 F) 

Palm Trees By State + Hardy Zones

Christmas Palms

Palm Kerpis Christmas Live Tree
Palm Kerpis Christmas Live Tree

The Christmas Palm Tree, scientific name Adonidia merrillii, is one of the most popular palms in Florida. It has a lot of similar characteristics with the Royal Palm Tree and sometimes is even called “dwarf royal palm”.

Christmas Palm Trees are much smaller and are easier to manage in comparison to the Royal Palm Trees.  The Christmas Palm Tree is great for indoor decor if you have tall ceilings and some sun, but is most popular in southern Florida in many landscapes. Check out our quick blog on Christmas Palm Tree Facts!

How To Grow a Palm Tree From Seed

Tips for Winter Preperation:

At the first warning of frost (September and November), when it’s not practical to lift or move tender plants, the best way to protect them from the winter cold and wet is to wrap them up. In exposed or cold areas, even relatively hardy plants may need protection. You can use fleece, hessian, bracken, straw, and polystyrene to insulate from the cold and winds.

To prevent sweating and possible rotting, protective covers should be removed when extended periods of very mild weather are forecast, but replaced as necessary if the weather becomes cold again. Protect your investments!

Have fun getting more ideas for your Patio or backyard space!

Best of Luck, Sherry

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