Accent Palms for Your Garden
Now is a great time of year to add an Accent Palm to your garden. The rainy season will be starting soon and Mother Nature can do the watering for you. An Accent Palm is usually a small Palm placed to accentuate an entry, add some tropical flair or just for fun. I have two candidates today, one for sun and one for shade.
The Dwarf Pygmy Date Palm
The Dwarf Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebellini) is a small palm native to Southeast Asia. These palms are available as single trunk or multi trunked specimens. They usually top out at 10′ tall and are very hardy and easy to grow. The keys to growing these palms are regular water, full sun and organic palm fertilizer a few times a year. The one caution I issue is this: These palms need annual trimming to remove yellowing fronds and there are some serious thorns at the base of the frond. One holiday season I found out about the thorns while placing white lights in the trunks, one skewered my hand and I ended up on medication. If you have opera length leather gloves I recommend breaking them out for pruning.
The Lady Palm
The Lady Palm (Rhaphis excelsa) is another native of Southeast Asia, this one is from the rainforest. Adding a very tropical vibe to the shady garden with brown hairy trunks resembling bamboo and dark green palmate foliage. These palms are fairly common as houseplants due to their tolerance of low light levels. When used outdoors, they will grow slowly to a height of 10 feet. Only needing regular water, some organic matter (compost or topsoil applied when planting) and organic palm fertilizer a few times annually.
Either palm would be an excellent addition to your garden, providing year round interest and accentuating the tropical landscape.