Palm trees are a beautiful addition to any small garden. The small palm trees that we will talk about in this article can be grown in small spaces and the best part is that they don’t need a lot of care. Whether you have a small patio, or just want something small to add some color and ambiance to your outdoor space, these small palm tree varieties are perfect for you!
For many small yards, planting palms can provide plenty of shade while also adding some great color! In fact, there are many different types of small palm trees that will work well in smaller spaces like patios and balconies too. This isn’t even including all of the benefits these plants offer such as reducing carbon dioxide levels in your home through natural air.
My husband and I bought a young pygmy palm tree several years ago when a neighbor gave us a large pot for us to use. We thought this tree would be perfect for the container and patio. While the heavy pot is difficult to move around, we do enjoy the tropical ambiance our pigmy palm brings to our patio garden.
Types of Small Palm Trees
Below are 20 different types of small palm trees. Some of these are not truly smaller, but can be trained to grow small by keeping in a container. Others are not actual palm trees, but look similar and are great alternatives.
Most palm trees that are under 20 feet tall are considered “small”. Many of these do not need much ground space, despite their height. While palm trees are associated with sunny, tropical locations, many can stand colder weather as well.
While most palm trees look similar, you can tell them apart by how their trunks, and palms, or fronds look. See if you can identify any of the palm trees below just by their picture!
Without further adeu, here are 20 small palm trees you can add to a smaller garden for a tropical feel.
Pygmy Palm Tree
I mention this small palm tree, because we have enjoyed one in our patio garden for the past several years. If you want to enjoy a palm tree in a small space, this one is great to grow in a container or small area of the garden.
It has a short trunk that looks similar to pineapple. Our pygmy is about a foot tall, but they can get as tall as 10 feet when mature. Ours is only several feet wide, but they can have fronds that spread out to 8 feet.
This small palm tree is one of the smallest in this list, growing up to four feet tall and three feet wide when fully mature. It’s perfect for small gardeners who want a new challenge or those with limited space that can’t support anything larger!
These small palm trees are also great as indoor plants if there isn’t enough room outside for it at all. They grow well indoors but they need plenty of sunlight so make sure you have windows facing east or west in your house before planting this type inside!
Sago Palm Tree
The sago palm is actually a kind of cycad plant, but it definitely looks like it belongs in the palm tree family. The trunk of the sago palm tree looks similar to a pygmy palm with a trunk that reminds the viewer of a pineapple. The fronds are stiff and arch upward before fanning down toward the ground.
Cat Palm Tree
The cat palm is also known by it’s scientific name, Chamaedorea cataractarum. It can grow up to 6.5 feet tall with several stems. Thick fronds grow in all directions on the trunk, creating a densely-packed palm.
It is small enough to grow in a container, for those who prefer growing in pots or only have a patio to garden in. The cat palm grows best in bright sunlight and can be brought indoors.
The Bottle Palm Tree
The bottle palm trees are small, but what’s special about them are their narrow leaves. This makes them look like tall skinny flasks as opposed to wide round bottles when they’re fully grown up. They also don’t require much space for growth which means they are perfect for smaller gardens and spaces.
This palm tree has a trunk that is wider at the bottom than the top, making it stand out among other palm trees. They only grow up to 10 feet tall with fronds that can reach up to 12 feet in length. Mix and match this palm with others and tropical plants for a unique display in your small garden.
They make great additions to small front yards because of their size but would not work well in large backyards where there isn’t enough room for them to spread out.
The Mexican Fan Palm Tree
These short palm trees will grow to be a little over 20 feet tall, which is perfect for small gardens and spaces. It doesn’t really need soil either as it can survive with just the moisture from rain or watering. Its leaves are also narrow and fan shaped like its name suggests!
The Dwarf Date Palm Tree
The date palm tree is small, but still has an impressive growth rate of about 15 feet tall and can even grow in small spaces like a home garden. They are very sensitive to frost so they do need soil that stays above the freezing point or it will die back. It does really well with containers for those who don’t have much space at all though too.
The dwarf date palm tree comes from Egypt, where its native climate mimics ours rather closely and can live outside year round without worry. As such, I recommend this variety if you want something dependable that doesn’t require as much care as other small varieties might take!
Triangle Palm Tree
This unique-looking palm grows fronds in a triangle shape at the top, hence its name. It is also known as Dypsis decaryi. The trunk is short, with fronds growing from the middle and top, forming the triangular shape it is known for.
Leaves can grow up to 8 feet long. This palm tree can also produce flowers throughout the year.
The triangle palm tree will survive well in the California heat. It is drough-resistant, and doesn’t need much water, making it a great plant to add to your tropical or desert garden.
One small house plant that looks like a small palm is the cordyline plant. This small plant is very similar to the palm tree in that it likes sun and heat, but its leaves are more like a thick green grass. You can use this as an accent piece around your garden or make them part of a small hedge!
Dwarf Fan Palm Tree
For those looking for short palm trees under six feet tall, I recommend exploring varieties such as palms trees found in tropical climates. One small palm tree that fits the bill is the dwarf fan palm tree. This plant can reach a height of about four to six feet, so it won’t overshadow other plants in your garden if you want to include it as an accent piece or part of a small hedge!
Mediterranean Fan Palm Tree
Another small variety worth looking into for those wanting something with greenery around them at all times is the mediterranean fan palm tree. These small trees typically grow between three and five feet tall, making them perfect when space is limited but still providing plenty of benefits like shade!
Also known as the Chamaerops Humilis Palm Tree, this small tree is perfect for any small garden that wants to add a little bit of greenery and keep the outdoors looking green! This palm grows up to three feet tall, making it great as an accent or hedge. It’s also good if you want something in your yard year after year.
This small palm tree grows best outdoors in a sunny area in the garden. It likes to be watered well and have fertilizer added every few weeks in order for it to grow. It reaches between two and four feet tall with a small width of about three feet wide when fully grown.
These small palm trees are also good options as indoor plants, but they need plenty of light! If you can’t provide enough natural sunlight outside, place this tree near windows facing east or west if possible before planting indoors.
Chamaedorea Seifrizii Palm Tree
This tree is perfect for patios and small gardens! This bamboo palm tree will grow up to five feet tall with a spread of about six feet. It’s also good for people that want something year after year because it can live up to 20 years in a small space.
The bamboo palm is not a true bamboo. It can be grown outside in warmer climates as well as indoors.
Dwarf Kiawe Palm Tree
This small tree is a little more delicate, growing to no taller than six feet. It’s perfect for small spaces and patios that don’t want anything too tall but still wants the beauty of a palm tree! These trees will grow about two feet wide with thick leaves.
Dypsis Lutescens Palm Tree
The more common name for this plant is the areca palm tree. This small palm can be planted in small gardens or on patios because it grows up to three feet tall and has a spread of five feet across its canopy. This type of palm also does well in containers so you could have one even if there isn’t any space for planting outside at all!
Howea Forsteriana Palm Tree
Another short palm tree option is the Howea Forsteriana variety that grows up to six feet high with a five foot footprint at maturity. This type loves heat so it needs sun exposure from morning until evening without too much humidity around them like many other palms do. They’re also known as the kentia palm tree.
Hedra Elaeis Palm Tree
This small palm tree, also known as the oil palm tree or African Oil Palms are very popular for small gardens. They can grow up to 20 feet in height with a three foot footprint at maturity and they love humidity!
Bismarckia Grandiflora Palm Tree
Another small option is the Bismarckia variety which has long leaves with a dark green fronds that fan out. This small palm is only six to eight feet in height and has a three foot footprint.
The leaves are large and round, making this palm tree a great point of interest in your tropical garden.
Dwarf Fishtail Palm Tree
This small variety of palm grows to be about 18-20 feet tall and has a six foot footprint so they make for an excellent small space option because you can grow them in containers or pots on patios, balconies, terraces and other small gardens.
The best part? They’re hardy enough to withstand cold climates as well! Plus they have a lot more character with their leaves that are tufted at the ends giving it a cascading effect when grown indoors.
Sabal Palmetto Palm
Lastly, check out the Sabal Palmetto small variety. This guy grows up to 30 feet tall but it only needs a four foot space meaning that even those who live in apartments can enjoy this one because it’s so easy and flexible! Plus these trees will give off some impressive flowers at the top every
The best small palm trees planted close together and next to other plants would be a great looking combo! The color contrast is really cool, not to mention some shade from the taller plants they’re mixed with.
Royal Palm Tree
This small, easy to grow plant is perfect for small gardens. It only grows up to about 12 feet tall and its leaves are green with a yellow hue on their edges. The size of this yard is ideal for people who don’t have much space left in their garden but still want some plants they can enjoy during the day light hours.
The Royal Palm Tree will not block out any other sun or shade from your garden and it’s also great as an accent piece due to its different sizes you can order it at when buying one. It needs plenty of water, so make sure that if you choose this small palm tree for your garden there is enough water supply nearby. This way it won’t die off too quickly after planting.
What Small Palm Tree is the Best for Me?
There are many small palms that you can grow. The most popular small-sized plants are under 20 feet tall and should only need one gallon of water per week, so if you’re looking to save water this summer these palms will be your best friend!
Some other small palm trees that work well in gardens or yards with limited space include: “Washingtonia filifera (California Fan Palm)”, Chamaerops humilis (commonly called Mediterranean fan palm), and Phoenix roebelenii (Pygmy Date Palm)”.
“If I have a small garden, what type of smaller sized plant makes sense?” A good idea would be to plant them close together. You can also pick palm trees that are small enough to fit in your space. If you’re looking to save water this summer these palms will be your best friend!
Small palm trees are perfect if you only have a small space, a small yard or even in containers on your porch, patio or windowsill. You won’t need any special equipment and they’re more affordable than larger varieties of these plants. Smaller palms will also fit better into smaller spaces because they aren’t so wide and tall like their counterparts who reach heights up to 50 feet high!
These types of plants live well indoors too – there is no problem with them not getting enough sunlight this way because most homes don’t offer much natural light either! They’ll thrive under artificial lights. Some people use small palms indoors by placing them near large windows that receive a lot of sunlight.
“What about my backyard – I want it bigger!” Not an issue because there are many smaller varieties that work well outside as well as inside on patios or balconies where space might be limited or where there is no ground to plant in.
How To Grow A Small Palm Tree
Here are steps to grow a small palm tree in Southern California, Florida, and other places with mild climates throughout most of the year. If you have a small garden space, check out the tips below.
Choose a small palm tree for small spaces. I suggest the pygmy date palm. You’ll need to find an area that has plenty of sun and strong drainage, like at the bottom of your driveway or in front of a patio.
Dig out some dirt with a shovel so you make room for it about twice as deep and wide as the root ball plus maybe two feet around all sides (though this can vary depending on how big your small palm is). Mix up some soil from somewhere else if necessary because most soils are usually too rich, heavy, or clayey for palms; add sand if needed to increase porosity.
Add compost made from leaves above the soil of your short palm tree to keep the soil moist in between watering.
You’ll need to find an area that has plenty of sun and strong drainage at the bottom of your driveway or in front of your patio for example; dig out some dirt so you make room for it twice as deep and wide as its root ball plus two feet around (though this will vary depending on how big your small palm is). Mix up soil from somewhere else if necessary because most soils are usually
Keep small plants outside during summer months only when temperatures do not exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise cover them until night time comes around again. If inside, use a pot that is at least 12 inches deep
Why You Should Grow a Small Palm Tree
Below are some great reasons to grow a small palm tree in your yard or garden. Small palm trees add a tropical touch to any garden space. No matter how small it is, small palm trees can be grown in pots of all shapes and sizes!
They don’t take up much room so you can have as many as you want without having your friends or neighbors complain about the eyesore taking over their place too! They’re easy to care for and if cared properly will last at least 20 years before being replaced with new ones (or given away)!
Small Palm Trees for Sale
Not sure where to buy a small palm tree for your tropical landscape? If you live in a warm climate, you probably can find some of these palm trees at a local garden nursery. There are also plenty of online suppliers of palm trees.
Check out the choices below as well!
Types of Small Palm Trees
What small plants can you plant in your small garden? There are plenty of them out there, but these small palm trees are some of the best to put into that small garden plot. If you have limited space for any other type of plants and they’re not looking too good, consider adding a few small palm trees to it!
They will make their presence known as long as they get enough sun light during the day- which is usually always available if you just need a little more time outside during spring or summertime. It’s really easy to maintain these types of fruit bearing plants because all they require is water every now and then (depending on what part of the country where you live) and occasional fertilization with compost or fish fertilizer.
Do you have any of these small palm trees in your garden, or are you planning on adding any? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!