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Palms I would never plant!


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#1 Mandrew968

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:17 AM

Acrocomia, ADONIDIA(NEVER!!!), Carpentaria, Caryota mitis, Dypsis lutescens, Latania(Everything eats them!), Livistona chinensis, Hyophorbe(except for indica and the other rare ones) most Phoenix(especially roebelenii!), Ptychosperma elegans, Roystonea(almost all except for oleracea), Sabal(except Mauritiformis and Palmetto "Lisa"), Schippia, Syagrus(Amara, botryophora, sancona and schizophylla are great), Thrinax, and nearly all monocarpic palms. If I lived farther north, then any one of these outcasts would be welcomed--BUT I DON'T! :) :) :)
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#2 Ken Johnson

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:20 AM

Can't you give the Thrinax a break?
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#3 JasonD

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:23 AM

Never-plants in my small garden & chilly climate: Phoenix (thorny, big, disease-prone), Washingtonia (too big but also ugly in cold wind), Trachycarpus fortunei (just too ugly to me).
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#4 waykoolplantz

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:42 AM

Acrocomia, ADONIDIA(NEVER!!!), Carpentaria, Caryota mitis, Dypsis lutescens, Latania(Everything eats them!), Livistona chinensis, Hyophorbe(except for indica and the other rare ones) most Phoenix(especially roebelenii!), Ptychosperma elegans, Roystonea(almost all except for oleracea), Sabal(except Mauritiformis and Palmetto "Lisa"), Schippia, Syagrus(Amara, botryophora, sancona and schizophylla are great), Thrinax, and nearly all monocarpic palms. If I lived farther north, then any one of these outcasts would be welcomed--BUT I DON'T! :) :) :)


Do i detect Palm Snobbery ?? :huh:

My garden would not be the same without my Coryphas or Metroxylons

Posted Image
Posted Image
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#5 sonoranfans

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:02 AM

Acrocomia, ADONIDIA(NEVER!!!), Carpentaria, Caryota mitis, Dypsis lutescens, Latania(Everything eats them!), Livistona chinensis, Hyophorbe(except for indica and the other rare ones) most Phoenix(especially roebelenii!), Ptychosperma elegans, Roystonea(almost all except for oleracea), Sabal(except Mauritiformis and Palmetto "Lisa"), Schippia, Syagrus(Amara, botryophora, sancona and schizophylla are great), Thrinax, and nearly all monocarpic palms. If I lived farther north, then any one of these outcasts would be welcomed--BUT I DON'T! :) :) :)

A healthy palm is a more beautiful palm. Most of those listed look better than many coconuts in that area right about now :) . A skilled grower typically has more robust and beautiful specimens of each species. You can really tell the better growers, their palms stand out from the average grower. I also appreciate a garden design, rather than random plantings of "favored" species. Gardens with too many feathers are unbalanced, less appealing. A gifted landscape designer can make a garden like an artist makes a painting, with a diversity of many colors. To exclude many colors from the palette often just makes a boring painting. I could say the same about such a garden....
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Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

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#6 Kumar

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:14 AM

I love the question. For me its (only on aesthetic grounds) syagrus, butia, raphis, lutescens, areca, many coconuts, roebellini, cocothrinax and thrinax. Clumping palms in general too except where a special dispensation is made
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#7 Mandrew968

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:29 AM


Acrocomia, ADONIDIA(NEVER!!!), Carpentaria, Caryota mitis, Dypsis lutescens, Latania(Everything eats them!), Livistona chinensis, Hyophorbe(except for indica and the other rare ones) most Phoenix(especially roebelenii!), Ptychosperma elegans, Roystonea(almost all except for oleracea), Sabal(except Mauritiformis and Palmetto "Lisa"), Schippia, Syagrus(Amara, botryophora, sancona and schizophylla are great), Thrinax, and nearly all monocarpic palms. If I lived farther north, then any one of these outcasts would be welcomed--BUT I DON'T! :) :) :)


Do i detect Palm Snobbery ?? :huh:

My garden would not be the same without my Coryphas or Metroxylons

Posted Image
Posted Image


Total palm snobbery--but my snobbery ends there ;) and as for the monocarpic palms--I have a caryota obtusa. Metroxylons are very imposing, even when dead. I prefer the amicarum(though I can't find adult, juvenile, or seed/seedling).
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#8 Mandrew968

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:40 AM

Ken, I'll give you parviflora(I think this is the jamaican thatch palm) and another species that grows in cuba(said to resemble more a copernicia) and the ekmaniana has been moved. Excelsa, morrisii, and radiata I'll save for your "Burn Pile" ;)
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#9 John in Andalucia

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:52 AM

Palm snobbery is par for the course, but I guess there's no accounting for taste. Posted Image
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#10 Mandrew968

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:01 AM

"another species that grows in cuba(said to resemble more a copernicia)" I think this is Thrinax rivularis
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#11 Mandrew968

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:04 AM

What species of Metroxylon is that in the photo? It's so skinny, it looks like a syagrus amara...
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#12 Patricia-CR

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:47 AM

What some people reject is glory for others... No coconuts or Dypsis lutescens (they are everywhere, and have them), don't like much clumping palms, with few exceptions, plus others that I do have and like, though they are everywhere too (Mandrew mentioned some), but it's almost impossible to find rare species locally, and even worst if it's for full sun and wind.
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#13 krishnaraoji88

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:52 AM

The only palms I have avoided planting in my garden are the Trithrinax and its not because I find them ugly or common. In all honesty I am afraid of people getting injured by them. I can just see leaning into a frond and leaving my eyeball there...

-Krishna
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#14 palmmermaid

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:30 PM

A couple of years ago, I started planting in groups. Still have some individuals but mostly groups. My snoberry is this - if it doesn't do well, it is replaced. No time to baby anything. That's true of all my plants. Anything that died this winter will be replaced by something that didn't.
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#15 BigFrond

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:38 PM

I don't want to plant Lodoicea maldivica because it will take decades(or a lifetime) to fruit + the fruits will take 5 years to ripen, not to mention the high temperature and humidity requirements.
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#16 Patricia-CR

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:43 PM

Palmmermaid, I agree with you 100%. That's a good motto!!!
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#17 Xenon

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:56 PM

I'm not too fond of Trithrinax, Cocothrinax, Raphidophyllum, Nannorhops and other bushy arid looking palms...Some of the more common palms are quite nice though.
:) Jonathan


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#18 Kim

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:01 PM

I don't care for spiny palms -- except if they are extraordinarily beautiful, which many spiny palms are.

Monocarpism gets a bad rap -- Tahina is monocarpic, but I would never deny myself the pleasure of watching this rare, newly discovered species kick out a new crinkled frond.

Palm snob? Guilty, but more because unusual palms are more fascinating, not because a common palm is "ugly". Any well grown palm can be a thing of beauty in the right location.
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#19 Walter John

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:02 PM

Isn't this really about order of preference ? You then work from last to first, what is the last one or two palms you would plant ?

Never say never, they say.
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#20 ariscott

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:15 PM

I have a lot of common stuff.... I don't mind them as they usually grow fast and bring the 'established' look in my garden. Although, I do have 5 acres, so I can afford the room to plant them. The only thing I don't plant and don't plant to... is Carpentaria. Not palm snobbery at all... it is just that they are a weed here. I kept finding volunteers everywhere and I don't even have it. And I am not fond of Phoenix.

Regards, Ari :)
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#21 waykoolplantz

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 02:27 PM

What species of Metroxylon is that in the photo? It's so skinny, it looks like a syagrus amara...


Vitiense,,,here is a current pic

Posted Image

and a updated pic of one of the Talipots

Posted Image

and this little guy is doing well

Posted Image
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#22 Jeff in Costa Rica

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:28 PM

Mandrew, I agree with you on the Adonidias! We have several already growing on the property and that's enough for me. They are just too overplanted in Costa Rica (along with D. lutescens).

Like others have mentioned, I'm also not a big fan of clumping palms. Although I do make exceptions for palms like Oenocarpus mapora, Areca triandra, Cyrtostachys renda and Euterpe oleracea to name a few.

Oh and I LOVE spiny palms!
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#23 tropicbreeze

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:29 PM

I have a lot of common stuff.... I don't mind them as they usually grow fast and bring the 'established' look in my garden. Although, I do have 5 acres, so I can afford the room to plant them. The only thing I don't plant and don't plant to... is Carpentaria. Not palm snobbery at all... it is just that they are a weed here. I kept finding volunteers everywhere and I don't even have it. And I am not fond of Phoenix.

Regards, Ari :)


Don't know that it can be called snobbery, a palm will appeal or it won't. The looks of Phoenix don't appeal to me but I have 3 roebelenii that were here when I bought the place. They'll stay but no more will be planted. Similarly Elaeis guineensis, I have 2 huge and 1 small one which will stay but all volunteers are pulled out. The Sabals will also stay, but no others.

But, unlike Ari, I have no problems with Carpies, I run a shelter for those that are escaping from her place. :D Have about 100 larger Carpies and anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000 volunteers, depending on how long since the lawns were mown.

My problem one is Caryota mitis. I keep chopping mine down to short clumpers before they can flower but I have 100's of volunteers brought in by birds and flying foxes.

I'm not guided by what's common or uncommon in the area, other than it gives me an indication how well it might grow on my place. I suppose you could define snobbery as not growing a palm because others are growing it.
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#24 paulgila

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:40 PM

i was thinking about this the other day when someone said d.lutescens are "weeds."
take a good look at one. its got alot of cool features.its pinnate,which most people seem to prefer. it has a nice whitish color to the crown. it has tomentum that can approximate the "mealy bug" appearance of more fashionable dypsis.
at times it has a spectacular red emergent leaf spear. it grows well in most palm-growing climates.if this palm had never been discovered until now it would be all the rage & everyone would want one.
anyone is certainly within their rights to plant whatever they want in their own garden,but it is a matter of pure subjectivity as to how desirable a palm happens to be.
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#25 Just1MorePalm

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 05:05 PM

and this little guy is doing well

Posted Image
[/quote]

Paul...At least you found out were your wife lost her neck roll..

Edited by Just1MorePalm, 17 February 2011 - 05:06 PM.

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#26 Kumar

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 05:52 PM

That corypha is lovely. Seems like a size M for gardens - must have grown fast too.
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#27 sonoranfans

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 05:58 PM

"Palm snobbery" may have its roots in a few causes. One might be disliking that which is too familiar, or overplanted palms in ones area. Another might be wanting to have what others dont have, perhaps due to the need to distinguish ones self in some way.:unsure: I suspect that both reasons motivate growers, but to varying degrees.

Funny thing is that the better the palm growing climate, the more difficulty one may have in finding that which is not too familiar or that which others dont have. Down in the miami area, so many palms are commonly planted that the obsession of having what others dont have would be almost futile :lol:. I am glad I dont have to see those massive fields of royals and bismarckias every day, it cheapened my appreciation for the species, if even for a day or two. There are so many palm gardens down there that rare palms often are not even so rare anymore.:lol: It would be a curse of sorts to want one of the "best" palm gardens down there, as that is just about impossible. As it is I am quite happy with my palms, they grace the yard and I do not tire of seeing them because palms are not so common here. My neighbors seem to favor other trees and bushes, good for them. And happy palms seem to be rare in many cases as the soil drains rapidly and most gardeners dont keep the nutrients up, that is a pity. :(

What I will not plant are palms like jubaea that wont make it here. Lipstick palms, carpoxylon, bottles, they will not make it. I will not plant them or feature them in my landscape. And I will not plant coconuts, they often look ratty, they even looked ratty down in miami this year. If every yard had a palm garden, I just might get sick of seeing all those palms. :lol: Eh, maybe not, but in some ways I do not envy those who see all those beautiful species and think they are undesirable because they are so common. I suppose they are in some way similar to the residents of madagascar who plow the palm forrests down to farm. They are also probably sick of seeing all those palms, as they are so common there... :(

Edited by sonoranfans, 17 February 2011 - 05:59 PM.

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Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

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#28 Manolitus

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 06:18 PM

Queen palms are the devil incarnate.

Pretty much 95 % of what is sold in Home Depot.

In Miami, 90 % of the palms out there are all the same. The same Veitchias, the same Christmas palms blah blah blah......

We have ALOT of Livistona Chinensis out here as well.........

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#29 sarasota alex

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 06:48 PM

Why all the negative topics?
I currently try not to plant armed palms or palms with poisonous fruits, because I have small kids. But I wouldn't say "never".
Also, I wouldn't plant a Washingtonia robusta here in Sarasota, for example. But at a friend's yard in zone 8 in Europe, I'm totally planning to.
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#30 DoomsDave

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 07:12 PM

I don't want to plant Lodoicea maldivica because it will take decades(or a lifetime) to fruit + the fruits will take 5 years to ripen, not to mention the high temperature and humidity requirements.


I fully agree!

Same goes for Cyrtostachys renda. I don't have time for fussy things like that . . . .
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#31 pilou

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 07:34 PM

Palm I would never plant... the butter palmetto :mrlooney:
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#32 pilou

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 07:34 PM

Palm I would never plant... the butter palmetto :mrlooney:

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by pilou, 17 February 2011 - 07:38 PM.

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#33 Tropicgardener

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:23 PM

For me definately no Dypsis lutescens (and very few other Dypsis for that matter), Archontophoenix, Phoenix, Syagrus, Washingtonia, Livistona chinensis, Ravenea rivularis, Wodyetia bifurcata (too common, much prefer Normandya normandyi) but gimme one of those Butter Palmettos :drool:

Edited by Tropicgardener, 17 February 2011 - 09:28 PM.

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#34 Mike in Nelson

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 01:32 AM

It's all relative to where you live and the climate you have. For me, Dypsis lutescens is a very exotic palm because they generally won't grow in my climate. But then there's Phoenix c and Trachycarpus which are "weeds" in my area. The "weeds" are all dependant on where you are in the world.
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#35 Kostas

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 01:36 AM

Now,we all have our favorites and its only natural we will favor these when planting our garden but for me,this doesnt mean i dont like or i wouldnt plant these others if i had the conditions right(land,climate,etc). I never get tired seeing the common palms here and i never wish they werent there,i only wish there were even more planted and there were some other palm species mixed in as wellPosted Image


P.s.: Awesome place and palms you got there waykoolplantzPosted Image
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#36 garrin

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 12:57 PM

Palms I wish I had never planted: caryota gigas -- its huge leaves eventually turn yellow, hang against the trunk, and are nearly impossible to remove. The stems are like bundles of fine steel cables. A tall ladder and a chain saw are probably necessary. Also don't plant coconuts in the wrong place -- the huge fronds fall with a crashing thud smashing anything below. And the coconut disposal is a problem. Here in the Hilo area every one of them that falls into my fruit orchard sprouts, creating an absolute forest of small palms that won't even die when sprayed with herbicide. With mine growing in ground that is full of lava rock boulders, they won't dig out or pull out. My few areas where this has happened provide a good refreshing palm heart salad by pulling out the central young leaves and eating off the tender bottoms, but this does't stop the plant either.
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#37 velutina

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 01:18 PM

I would NEVER plant Veitchia, Pinanga, Normambaya, Pritchardia, Pinanga, Areca, Dypsis, Euterpe, Basselinia, Cocos, Roystonea, Voanioala, Beccariophoenix, Archontophoenix, Rhopalostylis, Howea, Chambeyronia, Chamaedorea, Licuala, Coccothrinax, Copernicia, Pigafetta, Neoveitchia, Clinostigma. Just to name a few genera. I don't plant them because they would die here :(
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#38 MattyB

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 02:03 PM

Isn't this really about order of preference ? You then work from last to first, what is the last one or two palms you would plant ?

Never say never, they say.


After a few beers those Phoenix roebelinii start looking pretty hot.
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#39 Tyrone

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 03:47 PM

Grow what you can grow. Love what you love. It's a personal thing.
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#40 Dave-Vero

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:47 PM

In the local climate, Rhapidophyllum seems to resent the warm winters (happier in its native range, inland). It's a magnificent palm when happily growing in the wild on a site with near-constant moisture, in shade.

For us, Trachycarpus is probably too far south to be happy. Acoelorrhaphe is quite hardy and makes impressive clumps.

Syagrus romanzoffiana is now subject to a virus that kills trees rapidly, so it's on the no-plant list.

Dypsis lutescens suffered a lot of dead leaves in the past 2 cold seasons. Out.

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana has performed extremely well in the cold (down to -3 C, 26 F). It's OK. So is Dypsis carlsmithii, of all things.

Satakentia liukiuensis is too tender.

Carpentaria grows fast and didn't suffer excessive damage. Probably not long-lived for us, but a nice yard specimen for a decade or more.

Livistona chinensis in shade grows its trunk faster than when in sun. An effective landscape plant in Orlando, along with L. decora and others.

Adonidia merrillii is too cold sensitive. Ptychosperma spp. are marginal,
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Fla. climate center: 100-119 days>85 F
USDA 1990 hardiness zone 9B
Florida Climate Center zone 10a
arborday.org 2004 hardiness zone 10
4 km inland from Indian River




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