Palm Trees In Texas (Types and Zones)

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One of the most pressing questions for people looking to liven up their yards in Texas is, “Do Texas have palm trees?” The changing climate in the state makes growing palm trees a difficult task. But, many kinds of palm trees can grow and do well in Texas’s variable climate.

Texas is an enormous state with favorable zones for different kinds of palm trees. Gardeners should ensure that the palm trees they choose are appropriate for their kind of environment.

Palm trees from underneath

Does Texas Have Palm Trees?

Texas residents have many palm tree species to choose from to plant in their spaces. Palm trees have many benefits, including:

  • Adding an exotic feel to your space
  • Withstanding powerful winds
  • Transforming boring landscapes into appealing places
  • Requiring little attention
  • People with no gardening expertise can grow them

Many people think of tropical beaches when they hear the mention of palm trees. These majestic plants make the experience of going to the beach more relaxing by providing some shade. But palm trees can thrive beyond these tropical beaches.

To reap these advantages, Texas residents must first understand their planting zone.

Understanding Planting Zones

Planting zones provide information on which types of plants can do well at a specific location. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides a Plant Hardiness Zone Map to help growers determine what to plant.

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Texas has different planting zones with varying temperatures. So, a palm tree that may thrive in one area may not do so well in another area. A professional can help determine which planting zone they are in and the kinds of palm trees they can grow.

Palm trees in Austin Texas

USDA Planting Zones in Texas

Texas planting zones range from 6 to 9. The Needle Palm and Scrub Palmetto thrive in planting zone 6. They can survive through temperature drops. In planting zone 7, one can grow the Dwarf Palmetto. It can survive droughts and is native to the state.

Growers in planting zone 8 have more palm tree options to choose from. Their choice includes the Mexican Palmetto, Jelly Palm, and the Mediterranean/California/Windmill Fan Palm. Those in planting zone 9 need palm trees that can survive the heat. Palm trees that can do so include the Date Palm and the Chinese Fan Palm.

Palm Trees Native to Texas

Native palm trees are those that are indigenous to that specific area. In answering, “Do Texas have palm trees?” it is essential to note that some species are native to the state. They include the Sabal mexicana, Sabal minor, and Sabal brazoriensis. Here is a brief overview of their different features:

Native Palm TreesIndigenous toUSDA Planting Zone
Sabal Mexicanathe lower Rio Grande valley8a to 11
Sabal MinorSouth Central United States7
Sabal BrazoriensisBrazoria County7b to 10b
Palm Trees Native to Texas

Sabal Mexicana

The Sabal Mexicana is also known as Texas palmetto, Rio Grande Palmetto, Palma de Micharas, and Palma real. It is stocky and reaches up to 20 to 48 feet. The palm tree’s leaves are large and fan-like with a blue-green color.

The Texas palmetto has white flowers that develop into edible berries. People have even sold the fruit in markets. The leaves of the Texas palmetto help make roofs. Their trunks are useful for making posts, while the palms can make ornaments.

Sabal Minor

The Sabal minor is small and often referred to as dwarf palmetto. The palm tree grows in various environments ranging from swamps, maritime forests, floodplains, and drier habitats. It can survive droughts and grows slowly.

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The palm tree develops creamy white flowers that emit a strong fragrance. It bears flowers that are small and rounded. The color of its fruit ranges from dark brown to black. The Sabal minor also does not face serious disease or pest problems.

Sabal Brazoriensis

The Sabal brazoriensis is a mixture of the Sabal palmetto and Sabal minor. Its palms can become very large. It also grows faster than other palm trees of the same species. Sabal brazoriensis is also quite tolerant to colder temperatures.

Other Palm Trees That Grow in Texas

Texas is a huge state with varying climates in different parts. For people who wish to grow palm trees, no matter the climate, there is a palm tree that can thrive in their region. They can choose from a wide range of palm trees, such as:

  1. Bismarck palm tree
  2. Triangle palm tree
  3. Caranday palm tree
  4. Saw a palmetto palm tree
  5. Mazari palm tree

Bismarck Palm Tree

The domestic Bismarck palm tree can grow up to 30 to 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide. When in the wild, it can get to 70 feet tall. The palm tree can get through low temperatures and produces small fragrant flowers.

Caranday Palm Tree

The Caranday palm tree has a tough gray cylindrical trunk that measures about 7 to 10 inches in diameter. It can grow up to 30 to 40 feet in cultivation.

It has round leaves held by petioles that are spiny and relatively rigid. Petioles are the stalks that provide support to the leaf. They attach to the stem.

Mazari Palm Tree

The Mazari palm tree looks like a shrub since it lacks a trunk. The stems grow together from one base. Its color varies from blue-green to gray-green. The palm tree produces flowers in groupings. It grows slowly, reaching 10 to 20 feet and a width of 5 to 10 feet.

Texas Palm Trees FAQ

Still, have questions about the palm trees native to Texas? We have answers. 

Is the Lifespan of a Palm Tree Long?

The species of a palm tree will determine its lifespan. But, on average, a palm tree can live for 70 to 100 years.

What Should You Do to Care for Palm Trees in Texas?

Palm trees require moderate levels of moisture to stay healthy. This applies to even the hardiest of palm trees. So, one should water these plants and keep some mulch around them to regulate the effect of different climates.

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Author Profile

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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