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The Challenges of Growing Palm Trees in a Chilly Missouri Climate


Missouri, known for its muggy mainland atmosphere, presents a significant hurdle for palm tree enthusiasts. With long, sweltering summers and cold winters, this state proves to be a less-than-ideal environment for these exotic plants. In fact, the average January temperature hovers around a chilly 26°F (–3°C), making the cultivation of palm trees quite a challenge.


Records show that Missouri has experienced extreme temperatures, with a scorching high of 118°F (48°C) and a bone-chilling low of –40°F (–40°C). Furthermore, the state receives an average annual snowfall ranging from 10 inches (25 cm) to 20 inches (51 cm), depending on the location. And let's not forget the 35 tornadoes that typically occur each year.


Despite these obstacles, there is a glimmer of hope for palm enthusiasts. Zone 7, particularly near Cape Girardeau city, offers a sliver of opportunity for palm tree growth. However, it's crucial to remain vigilant, as just one extremely cold day can spell disaster for your precious palms. To increase their chances of survival, it is recommended to provide cold protection when a strong cold front is approaching.


While growing palm trees in Missouri may not be a walk in the park, with the right precautions and a little bit of luck, your tropical oasis could become a reality.

Palm Trees That Can Survive In Missouri

Needle Palm Tree – Zones 5b-11 (- 15 to - 10F)

European Fan Palm Tree – Zones 7b-11 (5 to 10 F) 

Pindo Palm Tree – Zones 7b-11 (5 to 10 F) 

Sago Palm Tree – Zones 7b-11 (5 to 10 F) 

Saw Palmetto Palm Tree – Zones 7a-11 (0 to 5 F) 

Windmill Palm Tree – Zones 7b-11 (5 to 10 F)

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