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Christmas  Palm Tree

Christmas Palm Tree

The Christmas Palm Tree, scientific name Adonidia merrillii, is one of the most popular palms in Florida. It has a lot of similar characteristics with the Royal Palm Tree and sometimes is even called "dwarf royal palm". Christmas Palm Trees are much smaller and are easier to manage in comparison to the Royal Palm Trees.  The Christmas Palm Tree is great for indoor decor if you have tall ceilings and some sun, but is most popular in southern Florida in many landscapes. Check out our quick blog on Christmas Palm Tree Facts!





Christmas Palm Tree Info


Scientific name: Adonidia merrillii


Common names: The Christmas Palm is also known as Manila Palm, Kerpis Palm, Adonidia Palm, Dwarf Royal Palm, and Veitchia Palm.


Family: Arecaceae.


Origin: It is native to the small islands of the Philippines located north of Malaysia and Indonesia.


Appearance: The Christmas Palm has a smooth slender grey trunk that is slightly swollen at the base and ringed with old leaf scars. The Christmas Palm may be used alone or may also be planted in groups of two or three.

Bright green crownshaft supports a crown of 10-12 pinnate, or feather-shaped, fronds. The short crownshaft is about 3ft long. Leaves are glossy, strongly arched, grow to a length of 5 feet with sharp-edged leaflets that are up to 2 feet long by 2 inches wide.


Flowers/Fruits: During the summer months the Christmas Palm produces light green flower buds that turn into creamy blossoms. Unisexual flowers are held by 2ft long branched stalks that emerge from the area where the crownshaft attaches to the trunk. In December flowers are followed by green oval fruits that turn bright red as they are ripe. Berrie-like fruits are 1 inch long and 1/5 inch wide. They hang in clusters looking like Christmas ornaments, therefore palm’s common name is Christmas Palm.


Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast. In the wild Veitchia merrillii is known to grow up to 25ft tall but in cultivation, it usually doesn’t get taller than 10 – 20 ft and 5-10 ft wide.


Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.


Cold Tolerance: The Christmas Palm is not considered cold-hardy and will not tolerate frost well. It can tolerate cold temperatures only down to 30F for a short period of time. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 10a (30 to 35 F) to 11 (above 40 F).


Light Req: Full sun to partial shade. It likes full sun but can also grow in broken shade.


Water Req: Moderate. The Christmas Palm is moderately salt tolerant prefers moist well-drained soil. To avoid root rot, don’t let it sit in water. It can tolerate drought for a short time when mature enough.


Maintenance: Easy to Moderate. It does not require much maintenance. The only thing you need to do is to remove old dead leaves to keep it looking neat. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.


Propagation: Propagated by seed. It will take around 1-3 months to germinate.

20 Christmas Palm Tree Facts And Tips

The Christmas Palm Tree, fondly known as Veitchia merrillii, offers a wide array of benefits. Here are 20 notable ones:

  1. Aesthetically Pleasing: Its attractive tropical appearance enhances any landscape.

  2. Compact Size: It's ideal for small gardens due to its manageable size.

  3. Low Maintenance: This palm requires minimal care, making it perfect for busy homeowners.

  4. Drought Tolerance: It can withstand periods of dry weather.

  5. Pest Resistance: It is less prone to pest attacks compared to other species.

  6. Ornamental Fruits: It produces bright red fruits that add to its visual appeal, especially around Christmas.

  7. Compatibility: It fits well in various landscape themes, from tropical to contemporary.

  8. Air Purification: Like most plants, it helps purify the air.

  9. Shade Provision: It provides shade and a tropical feel to any garden.

  10. Wind Resistance: It can tolerate moderate wind.

  11. Salt Tolerance: It can tolerate a certain amount of salt, useful in coastal areas.

  12. Soft Impact: Its soft fronds are less damaging if they fall.

  13. Easy Propagation: It can be easily propagated from seeds.

  14. Rapid Growth: It grows relatively fast, satisfying impatient gardeners.

  15. Erosion Control: It helps in preventing soil erosion.

  16. Wildlife Attraction: Its fruits attract a variety of birds.

  17. Versatility: Can be planted in containers for indoor or patio use.

  18. Low Allergenic: It's less likely to cause allergies compared to other species.

  19. High Survivability: It can withstand low-light conditions indoors.

  20. Year-Round Interest: It provides interest throughout the year due to its fruits and evergreen nature.

Enjoy Christmas Palm Tree Facts/Info

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