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Royal Palm Tree

Royal palm tree

Royal Palm Tree, scientific name Roystonea oleracea, is native to Cuba and North America. Royal Palm Trees are popular in many warm, coastal landscapes, particularly in southern Florida and parts of California.  They can be also found in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Texas. The grace and beauty of a Royal Palm make it a popular tree along the streets of many cities. Often they are used in the islands of large parking lots or in medians along the highway. Nothing says “tropical” like the majestic Royal Palm. There are 10 species of Royal Palms around the world.

Royal Palm Tree Info


Scientific name: Roystonea oleracea

Common names: Royal Palm Tree is also known as Royal Palm, Cuban Royal Palm, Florida Royal Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: Roystonea oleracea is native to Cuba and North America.

Appearance: It has a single smooth gray trunk that is covered with scars from old leaves. Dark green arching fronds emerge from a bright green crownshaft. Pinnate, or feather-like, fronds grow up to 6-10ft long.

Flowers/Fruits: Fragrant, yellow flowers bloom in the summer. Evergreen leaf blades reaching 18 to 36 inches top a crown shaft that is long and green. Purple to black half-inch fruits is showy but not edible.

Growth Rate: Moderate.  The Royal Palm can get up to 60 – 70ft tall and 5 -10 ft wide with a growth rate of around a foot each year.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both. This palm can be grown indoors if provided with enough light.

Cold Tolerance: Roystonea oleracea can tolerate cold weather down to 30F for a short period of time. This palm is not cold hardy and needs to be protected from frost and cold snaps. It grows best in the USDA Zones 10a (30 to 35 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Partial shade to Full sun.

Water Req: Moderate. The Royal palm likes lots of water but it is moderately drought tolerant. This makes it a good tree even if you live in a place that has watering restrictions. While it does love to be watered, it must be well-drained.

Amazingly though, they not only tolerate but seem to thrive in the poor soil and drainage of urban environments where other trees tend to do poorly. Soil can be clay, sand, or loam; it doesn’t seem to be very picky in this regard. The Royal palm prefers acidic to slightly alkaline soil, but be careful not to have too much alkalinity or the fronds may come out frizzled.


Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.

Insects and Diseases: The Royal palm is resistant to many pests and diseases; however there are a few that you should be aware of. One potential pest is the Royal Palm bug. This pest feeds on the young leaves of the tree. As the leaves mature they may look scorched. Problems with this bug tend to be worse in the early spring but improve in the early summer.

Other insect pests can include the palm leaf skeletonizer which feeds on the leaf tissue between the veins. Giant palm weevil and scales can cause problems as well. Sometimes chemical treatments are useful but often these problems will just need to run their course.

Removal of infected trees might be the only solution, but it is best to consult your local Extension office to get the latest information.

Ganoderma bud rot is a fungal disease that will kill infected palms. By the time symptoms are visible, the tree has already been rotted on the inside. Therefore, no treatment is available. Removal of the tree is the only option.

Propagation: From seeds.

Top 40 Benefits Of Owning The Famous Royal Palm Tree


  1. Royal palm trees are low maintenance.

  2. They can provide shade for your home and property.

  3. Royal palm trees can add an elegant and tropical aesthetic to any landscape.

  4. These trees are highly resistant to diseases and pests.

  5. They can serve as windbreaks, reducing wind speed on your property.

  6. Royal palms can increase the resale value of your property.

  7. These trees are highly drought tolerant once established.

  8. They are known for their fast growth.

  9. Royal palms are excellent for creating privacy.

  10. These trees are resistant to salt spray, making them ideal for coastal areas.

  11. Their roots are not surface level, reducing the risk of damaging sidewalks or driveways.

  12. Royal palms are known for their long lifespan.

  13. They can provide a habitat for various birds and other wildlife.

  14. These trees can help in reducing carbon dioxide in the environment.

  15. Royal palms are known for their striking silhouette that can add drama to any landscape.

  16. The large fronds can be used in crafts and decoration.

  17. They can serve as a sound barrier, reducing noise pollution.

  18. The trees can withstand high temperatures and intense sunlight.

  19. They can be used to mark property boundaries.

  20. These trees can make an excellent focal point in any garden or yard.

  21. Royal palms can provide a cooling effect in hot climates.

  22. These trees are known for their robust structure and resilience to storms.

  23. They can make a great screen for unsightly views.

  24. Royal palms are suitable for growing in containers.

  25. These trees offer a tropical feel in non-tropical climates.

  26. They can provide a sense of tranquility and peacefulness.

  27. Royal palms are known for their striking grey trunk.

  28. These trees can add an illusion of height to a flat landscape.

  29. Royal palms offer an opportunity for educational exploration for kids.

  30. They can serve as a landmark or canopy tree.

  31. These trees are non-toxic and safe for pets.

  32. Royal palm trees can provide an excellent backdrop for photographers.

  33. The trees can create a wind tunnel effect, drawing cool breezes towards your home.

  34. They can serve as an excellent source of shade for other plants.

  35. Royal palms are ideal for creating a balanced landscape design.

  36. These trees are not prone to shedding leaves, reducing clean-up efforts.

  37. Royal palms can add contrast to other plants in your yard.

  38. These trees are known for their ornamental value.

  39. Royal palms can provide a sense of enclosure and intimacy in larger landscapes.

  40. And finally, owning a royal palm tree can support local biodiversity.

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