Nothing takes you back to the tropics than the sight of palm trees swaying with the summer breeze. These trees indeed add beauty to the landscape. If you are thinking of growing palm trees in your yard or adding some to your indoor garden, your first question must be how long does it take to grow a palm tree?
You need to be aware that varying species of palm trees have different growth rates. Some can reach a maximum height of 2-3 feet per year, while others might not even reach their peak height of 5 feet until after several years have passed.
Out of the 2600 species of palm tree species that exist, we’ll throw light on a few species worth planting. They are easy to grow, environmentally friendly, and add beauty to the environment.
How Long Does It Take to Grow a Palm Tree?
Before asking how long it will take to grow a palm tree, first decide on the type of palm tree you wish to grow. Once you know this, it will be easy to determine how long it will take to grow the species of palm tree you are interested in planting.
Here is a table showing the growth rate and maximum attainable height of 10 different Palms
|Palm||Growth rate (per year)||Maximum attainable height|
|King Palm||2 feet||50 feet|
|European fan palm||6-10 inches||8-15 feet|
|Queen Palm||2.7 feet||40 feet|
|Foxtail Palm||1-1.5 feet||30 feet|
Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia Bifurcata)
The Foxtail Palm is one Palm that is quite easy to grow. Originating from the Australian regions and recently discovered in the 1980s, this Palm can be easily identified through its plume-like foliage, which assumes the shape of a fox’s tail, hence the name.
This Palm can attain an average height of about 30 feet and be grown indoors and outdoors. But we found that outdoors is the more preferred option. Also associated with the foxtail is its ability to withstand chilly conditions.
King Palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana)
Another popular type of Palm from Australia’s tropical and subtropical climates is the King Palm. With a growth rate of 2 feet per year and the ability to reach 25 feet in 10years, the King Palm also belongs to the group of fast-growing Palms.
King Palms are best grown in areas where they won’t be under direct exposure to the sun, so areas like Nevada, Texas, and Arizona might not be the best for them. They, however, do well in places like Hawaii.
Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
When compiling a list of fast-growing palms, the Queen is sure to make a list. This South American native originates from the woodlands of Brazil and Argentina and can grow to reach 30-49 feet. The Queen palm has a growth rate of 2.7ft per year and attains an average height of 25ft in 7-8 years. Its trunk is 5-10 feet wide.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
The Parlor Palm or Neanthe Bella Palm leads the way when it comes to indoor palms. Originating from the rainforests of Guatemala and the South of Mexico, the Parlor palm performs excellently when planted in areas with many indirect morning and afternoon light. They even do well with artificial lighting. You also need to know that the parlor palm reaches a maximum height of 10-12 feet.
Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
Due to its popularity as an indoor house plant and the striking resemblance to several other palm tree species, the Sago Palm, although not a true Palm, has earned its spot on this list. It’s a relatively slow-growing plant, and it attains its maximum height of 3 feet in 2 years. The Sago Palm identifies with stiff fronds and a trunk that looks like that of a Pineapple.
Yucca Palm (Yucca elephantipes)
The Yucca Palm, also known as the Spineless Yucca or Stick Yucca is another indoor house palm, however unlike its sharp and pointy cousin, the Yucca aloifolia, which belongs outdoors, this indoor variant will not draw any blood.
This Palm is known for its drought tolerance and its ability to produce green leaves that serve as a good source of vitamin C.
Factors That Affect Palm Tree Growth
The growth rate of a palm tree-like several other plants is affected by varying factors. Let’s look at some of these factors and see just how they can increase or decrease the growth rate of a palm tree.
The Palm Tree Specie
One of the biggest factors that will affect the growth rate of a palm tree is the species the palm tree belongs to. While some species have a naturally fast growth rate, others may be slow to germinate. So, when dealing with palm trees, ensure you have enough information about the species you are dealing with.
The Soil Type
The next factor that is sure to influence the growth rate of your palm tree is the soil type.
Palm trees are naturally tough, so they do well in quite many soil types, but the best soil type for your palm trees are organically rich ones like sandy loam. You can also decide to grow yours in clay soil which has seen the addition of several organic matter.
Clay soils with the proper amount of organic matter are recommended because they won’t leach nutrients. It also provides the right amount of heat and temperature the roots of the palm tree need. All you have to do is create a proper drainage system, and you have one less thing to worry about. Add rocks sand or install pipes to drain excess water to improve drainage.
Also, you need to know that some palms do well in acidic soil while others flourish in acidic soil.
Here is a breakdown of some popular palms and favourable soil conditions.
|Acidic Soil||Alkaline Soil|
|King Palm||Date Palm|
|Queen Palm||Bailey palm|
|Foxtail Palm||Needle Palm|
|Sago Palm||Bottle Palm|
|Oil Palm||Blue Latin Palm|
Sunlight, Water, and Temperature
Different palm trees require varying amounts of sunlight. Some do well under direct sunlight, while many shorter ones prefer indirect sunlight.
Also crucial is the environment’s temperature. Most palm trees do not perform well in cold climate regions, so do well to check the natural habitat of the palm tree you intend to plant and check for its hardiness. While some palm trees have a high cold tolerance range due to the number of years they’ve spent in a particular region, others have a very low cold tolerance range.
|Cold Hardy Palm Trees||Temperatures|
|European Fan Palm||10 °F|
|Date Palm||25 °F|
|Mexican Blue Palm||18 °F|
|Queen Palm||25 °F|
|California Fan Palm||23 °F|
|Lady Palm||18 °F|
|Chinese Fan Palm||25 °F|
|Sago Palm||15 °F|
|Needle Palm Tree||-5 °F|
|Windmill Palm Tree||5-10 °F|
|Pindo Palm Tree||5° F|
Last on the list of factors is the availability of water. The need for water is no different from the need for sunlight and tolerance to cold; it varies; while some palms are generally drought tolerant, others need to be watered regularly.
Moreover, if the Palm is a recent transplant, we recommend you water it every day during the first few weeks after transplant to reduce transplant shock. A good time to water your new palms will be early in the morning before the sun comes up and late in the evening when the sun is down. Once the roots have established, you can reduce watering to 2-3 times a week.
How Long Will Each Type of Palm Tree Take to Grow
Here we’ve curated a series of graphs comparing the growth rate, number of years it takes to reach maturity, and the maximum attainable height of 5 popular palms.
From the first graph, which compares the growth rate per year of the varying palm species, you will notice that the Queen Palm tree has the highest growth rate of 2.7 feet per year. The King Palm closely follows it with a growth rate of 2 feet per year. However, the European Fan Palm takes the rear as it only grows at 0.8 feet per year.
Things take a turn in the second and third graph, as the Date Palm, which grows slowly at a rate of 1feet per year, won’t stop growing till it reaches its peak of 75 feet. In contrast, initially in the lead, the Queen Palm settles at a maximum height of 40 feet, coming a little behind King Palm.
Also, the Foxtail palm, which is touted to have a growth rate of 1.5 feet per year, settles at 30 feet, and it attains this height in 10 years.
From the third graph, you’ll also notice that the European Fan Palm and Date Palms are indeed slow growing. Even though the European Palm has a maximum height of 15 feet, it doesn’t attain this height until 15 years, while the King, Queen, and Foxtail Palm attain maturity in 10 years.
What Is the Fastest Growing Palm Tree?
The Carpentaria Palm Tree with the scientific name Carpentaria Acuminata grows the fastest. It has a growth rate of 6 feet per year, and all you have to do to ensure it attains this height is to plant it in the right conditions. The Carpentaria Palm Tree, a native to Australia, can reach a maximum height of 50 feet. However, on average, they get to 30 feet.
Q: How long does it take for a palm tree to grow coconuts?
A: Under normal conditions, a coconut palm tree will begin to grow coconuts in the first 6-10 years after planting; however, it won’t reach maturity until 15-20 years.
Q: Are palm trees easy to grow
A: One thing you need to know is that palm trees require regular maintenance and care while young, but once fully grown, they become low maintenance. Please read up on care tips specific to your Palm to customize a maintenance plan that will see it grow big and strong whether you plan on putting it indoors or outdoors.
Q: What is the lifespan of a palm tree
A: Many palm tree species have an average lifespan of 70 to 80 years, while several others will only live a maximum of 4 decades. However, others like the Date palm can live for several centuries.
Growing a Palm tree is fun and easy. It would be best to consider the cold hardiness of the Palm tree and the region you want to grow it. After this, ensure that the soil is right for Palm and water regularly for the first few weeks. Once you do this, you should have a palm tree ready to stand the test of time.