Christmas Palm

Names Manila Palm, Christmas Palm
Scientific Name Veitchia merrillii
Mature Height 15-25 ft high, 10 ft crown
Flower Small creamy white flower
Blooms Summer
Water Requirements Moderately drought tolerant
Cold Hardiness Low, freezes at 30 degrees
Light Requirements Likes partial shade when young
Salt Tolerance
Christmas Palm Tree
Christmas Palm Tree – Enlarge

Miami may never see a snowy season, but Mother Nature does provide holiday decorations courtesy of the Christmas Palm.

One of the most popular palms in South Florida, this stately tree is sometimes called a dwarf royal because it closely resembles the majestic Royal Palm but at a smaller size. The smooth, slender trunks bulge slightly at the base. A bright green crown shaft supports up to one dozen glossy arching fronds that can reach 5 feet in length.

In late summer, pale yellow flowers bloom on stalks that appear at the base of the crown shaft and below the leaves. Green, berry-like fruits growing in clusters replace the flowers. The fruits ripen to a bright, ruby red, usually in December.

Christmas Palms prefer well-drained soils and won’t tolerate overwatering. Mature plants thrive in full sun but they also accept partial shade. Their compact size and neat appearance make them ideal for patios or terraces. They are often planted in groups of two or three. Christmas Palms can be cultivated indoors as long as they get plenty of natural light. Place near a sunny window for best results.

This showy tree is a decorative delight. Brighten the holidays with Christmas Palms.