Florida Travelers Palms Are Worth Traveling to See
Weary travelers would quench their thirst with rainwater collected at the base of the leaves, hence the common name “Travelers Palm” for Ravenala madagascariensis.
Florida Travelers Palms are fascinating to see, so if you’ve never had the experience, travel to Sarasota’s barrier islands for a peek. Siesta Key, Bird Key, Lido Key – you’ll see the giant leaves on these towering tropicals cartwheel out in Ferris-wheel style. Their stunning, fan-like symmetry is simply like no other.
Florida Travelers Palms aren’t really palms, though. They’re trees that look like a cross between a banana plant and a palm, and they’re related to the Bird of Paradise. Each leaf can grow up to 10 feet. Paired with creamy white flowers nestled in boat-shaped bracts, and it’s no wonder this specimen becomes the star of any landscape it’s planted in.
Growth-wise, Florida Travelers Palms start out fast and then slow to a moderate rate once the trunks are established. They’ll reach up to 30 feet with a spread of 15 to 18 feet, growing even taller (up to 50 feet) the farther south you go. So please allow for space. Plant this large, wide-spreading tree no closer than eight to ten feet from your house. You can come out four feet from a fence. Planting in rows? Space at least six to eight feet apart.
Now on to plant care. You’ll ideally want to place your Travelers Palms in full sun, although they’ll tolerate moderate shade. In fact, when they’re young, they do better when their base is protected by shade. Make sure they’re planted in moist, well-drained soil. Add topsoil or organic peat moss to the hole. All that’s left is to fertilize them three times a year and water them regularly. In fact, irrigation is best.
Of course, you’ll need to prune these guys to maintain their strong symmetric structure and to keep them looking their majestic best. Just trim off outer leaf branches that are within reach as needed. Roots aren’t a problem.
Contact ArtisTree Landscape
Ready to map in some Travelers Palms to your landscape? You’ll need a plan first. That’s where the design professionals at ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design come in. Call Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897 to meet with one of our award-winning designers. Let’s get your dream landscape off the ground.
Live in an HOA community? Contact Mike Casper, VP of Business Development, at 941.488.8897 to get your HOA landscape maintenance proposal started.
ArtisTree proudly serves maintenance-free HOA communities throughout Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties. We also offer tours of our properties upon request.ArtisTree Landscape, Sarasota landscape designers, Sarasota barrier islands