Florida Queen Palms: A Royal Pain or Not?

Florida queen palms at the park
Florida queen palms “play well” with other palms and also look stunning placed in rows or clusters.

Florida queen palms, or Syagrus romanzoffiana, have been widely planted in the state for years. They’re fast growers, have a certain regal stature and require minimal care. So just for fun, we asked ArtisTree landscape experts what came to mind when they heard the name “queen palm.”

The words spilled out. Messy. Dated. Cheap. Problematic. Fast. Fertilizer. Maintenance. Underused.

What? As you can see from our photos, queen palms are beautiful. Stunning, actually. But caveats abound.

Queen Palms blooming clusters of cream-colored flowers
Large inflorescences enhance the crowns of Florida queen palms in a jewel-like way.

Queens command your loyalty.

  • Florida queen palms are not self-cleaning, so you’ll need to remove old brown fronds or else they’ll droop down and make the entire palm look unattractive.
  • They’re prone to nutrient deficiencies and require controlled-release fertilizer twice a year during growing season to look their best. Tips of leaflets, especially on older fronds, can become curled and frizzled due to manganese deficiency. Ganoderma butt rot can cause trunk decay.
  • Large inflorescences of gold/cream-colored flowers make a mess when allowed to accumulate on the ground. Seeds from fruit clusters can sprout into unwanted seedlings.

Still, queens are a noble choice.

  • Tall good looks up to 50-feet high with smooth gray trunk.
  • Breathtaking appearance if provided enough water, fertilizer and proper pruning.
  • Majestic canopy (five to ten feet wide) with arching leaves that shimmer in full sun or light shade.
  • High availability and inexpensive. Misperceived, perhaps, as a mediocre choice compared to exotic triple foxtails or Canary Island date palms; hence, underused.
  • Fast growing from seedling stage (can get up to six feet tall in just two to three years).

If you enjoy the look of Florida queen palms and are searching for a tall fast-grower, consider this specimen for your Sarasota landscape – either as a single striking palm or a regal row of several. Need help incorporating them into your landscape? Contact Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897, ext. 312, to schedule a meeting with one of our award-winning designers.

ArtisTree Landscape

Contact ArtisTree

ArtisTree also provides full landscape maintenance services throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Contact Mike Casper at 941.488.8897, ext. 321, for your custom proposal.

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