When it comes to picking out plants and trees for your outdoor oasis, gardeners and green- thumbs often look for fast-growers. Not only do we love to see the lush green benefits as soon as possible, but it’s also good to consider creating overhead canopies to act as a form of protection for more delicate understory species. For this, fast-growing palms make a superb choice. To narrow it down, we’ve compiled a list of ten fast-growing palm species, in no particular order.
1. King Palm
King Palms grow exceptionally fast when provided with rich soil, plenty of nutrients, partial sunlight, and routine watering. In fact, you’re looking at 25ft in around 10 years, before reaching a maximum height of around 40ft.
Because this tree grows to such heights, it should only be kept inside while it is young. By doing this at a vulnerable age, you are also protecting the palm from cold temperatures and poor weather conditions. When the plants grow, they will be able to withstand temperatures as low as 28F.
2. Carpentaria Palm The Carpentaria Palm Tree, scientific name Carpentaria Acuminata, is very popular and native to Australia, and are frequently used in Florida landscapes due to their sensitivity to the cold. The Carpentaria Palm prefers tropical climates, situated in full sun or partial shade, and with the correct environment and care, can grow up to 50ft tall. Though, on average, they reach around 30ft.
Given the right conditions – rich soil and a warm, moist climate – the Carpentaria can shoot upwards at a rate of 6ft a year. That makes it among the fastest-growing palms – and the fastest-growing of all trees.
This common fishtail palm is extremely fast-growing. The Wine Palm, or ‘Caryota Urens’ is a palm native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia where they grow in fields and rainforest clearings. This palm grows up to 60ft high and produces large hanging clusters of flowers near the top.
The Wine Palm prefers to be situated in well-drained, humus-rich soil, in full to partial sun. And, with the correct care and maintenance, it can go from a 15-gallon plant to well over the house with 30ft of size in just 5-7 years.
Palms are one of the essential ingredients of an exotic garden and, since its first introduction into cultivation in the UK in 1843, Trachycarpus Fortunei has proved to be an exceptionally hardy and tolerant palm, withstanding a drop in temperature to as low as 5°F.
Windmill Palms are named for the large rounded leaves held above a slender stalk, creating a “windmill” like form. And, although not as quick-growing as other palm species to be mentioned in this article, the Windmill Palm still builds up a respectable growth of 12-18 inches of trunk per season.
5. Jussara Palm
Tall, slender, and narrow, the Jucara Palm is arguably one of the most elegant palms you could wish to plant in your tropical landscape. This beautiful tropical palm is most commonly found in households and gardens, being suitable for both indoor and outdoor decoration. Very similar to the acai palm tree.
Commonly seen across large areas in South-Eastern Brazil and Northern Argentina, the Jussara Palm is fast and easy to grow to a moderate height and is even suitable for cooler settings as well as tropical climates. It also makes an excellent indoor palm, tolerating low light well. You can expect the Juraca Palm to reach heights of 20ft in 10- 15 years.
6. Majesty Palm
The Majesty Palm (Ravenea Rivularis) is native to the island of Madagascar and thrives in habitats with moist areas like river banks and humid valleys. Despite this, they are tolerant of colder climates, which is why they’re a crowd favorite among landscapers and gardening enthusiasts who are looking for a distinctly tropical island feel. If grown and cared for well, a Majesty Palm can gain 10ft of trunk in 10 years, and even up to 35ft in 20 years as the palm matures.
Washingtonia Filifera, the California Fan Palm - is native to California. California Fan Palms (Washingtonia Filifera) have a moderately fast growth rate, peaking at around 100ft tall once fully mature in warmer climates. It is a fast-growing palm native to Mexico with a thick, reddish trunk and big, beautiful, dark green leaves. Although not typically thought of as a canopy-forming species, this fan palm has a rapid growth rate, particularly in warm climates like Southern California, Florida, and is iconic among the Hollywood Skyline. Having said that, it is fairly cold hardy too and can survive temperatures briefly in the 20s.
8. Foxtail Palm
Native to Queensland, Australia, the Foxtail Palm species is becoming increasingly popular and finding a place in most tropical-inspired gardens. With a love for the heat and the sun, the Foxtail Palm can tolerate a bit of cold weather but prefers warmer climates.
Although not as fast as other palm species mentioned in this article, the Foxtail Palm is still, a fair grower, building up a respectable 3ft per year in height and reaching an overall height of up to 30ft once fully mature.
9. Queen Palm
Like King Palms, Queen Palms are also fast-growing, and not to mention a very popular palm used in landscapes around the world in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions due to its imposing attractiveness and hardiness.
Queen Palms can reach a height of 25ft in 7-10 years - providing they are cared for well and are situated in nutrient-rich soil, routinely watered, and get plenty of sunlight. Once fully mature, you can expect to see a Queen Palm reach heights somewhere between 30ft and 50ft.
10. Mexican Fan Palm
If you close your eyes and envision a classic Southern California landscape, chances are that you've pictured at least one palm tree, if not several, rising from the ground. But despite the diversity and ubiquity of palms in the Los Angeles area, only one species -
washingtonia robusta, the Mexican fan palm stands out amongst the rest.
Because the Mexican Fan Palm grows rapidly, landscapers should consider its growth pattern when selecting the site for planting, as the tree will dominate the landscape. But, having said that, it makes a great canopy addition to a tropical-inspired oasis.
When considering a focal point for your exotic-styled garden or interior decor, it’s essential to take into account the growth rate of your preferred palm species. If you’re looking to establish canopy for the undergrowth, the quicker the better. For indoor additions, the slower may be better to save you from regular repotting and trimming - and the eventual transition to the garden. Consider your options, and perhaps give some of these species a try!