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Can We Plant and Care for Palm Trees in Washington State

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

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No, palm trees cannot grow in Washington State. The climate is not warm enough for them to thrive. If you’re looking for a tropical feel in your Washington State garden, you might be wondering if palm trees will grow there.

The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of palm tree and the climate zone where you live. There are two main types of palm trees – those that grow in cold climates and those that prefer warm climates.

Cold hardy palms can tolerate temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit, while warm-climate palms need temperatures above freezing to survive. The best place to plant a palm tree in Washington State is in the southwestern part of the state, which has a warmer climate. Even then, it’s important to choose a palm tree that is suited for the colder temperatures that can occur in Washington State.

Some good options include the Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese windmill palm) and Rhapidophyllum hystrix (needle palm). When planting a palm tree in Washington State, make sure to choose a location that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. If you have any doubts about whether or not a particular species will do well in your area, it’s always best to consult with a local nursery or landscape professional before making your purchase.

Are There Palm Trees in the Pacific Northwest?

Yes, there are palm trees in the Pacific Northwest! In fact, there are several species of palms that can be found in this region, including the Washingtonia filifera (Desert Fan Palm), Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese Windmill Palm), and Brahea armata ( Mexican Blue Palm). These palms typically thrive in warm, sunny locations with well-drained soil.

While they may not reach their full potential size in the cooler climate of the Pacific Northwest, they can still provide a beautiful and exotic addition to any landscape.

Which Palm Tree Can Survive Winter?

There are many palm trees that can survive winter, depending on the climate. In general, palm trees originate in tropical and subtropical regions so they are not accustomed to cold weather conditions. However, there are certain species of palms that can withstand colder climates such as the European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis), Chinese windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortune), and Californian fan palm (Washingtonia filifera).

The key to a palm tree surviving winter is being able to protect itself from the cold elements. Most palms will need to be sheltered from direct winds and heavy snowfall. A good way to provide protection is by planting them next to a south- or west-facing wall where they will be shielded from the worst of the weather.

It’s also important to make sure that the soil around the tree is well-drained so that it doesn’t get waterlogged and rot. If you live in an area with very cold winters, it’s best to choose a hardy variety of palms like the Chinese windmill palm which can tolerate temperatures as low as -10°C. For less severe conditions, the European fan palm or Californian fan palm should do well provided they have some shelter from strong winds.

What Does a Washington Palm Look Like?

A Washington palm (Washingtonia robusta) is a tall, single-trunked evergreen tree that can grow up to 60 feet tall. The trunk is covered with rough, brownish-gray bark and the leaves are long, green, and palmate (fan-shaped). The flowers are small and white, borne in clusters at the ends of the branches.

The fruit is a black drupe about 1/2 inch in diameter. Washington palms are native to desert regions of northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States (Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah). They are widely cultivated as ornamental trees in warm climates all over the world.

Manx Palms

Do They Have Palm Trees in Seattle?

No, they do not have palm trees in Seattle. The climate is not warm enough to support them.

Growing Washingtonia Palm trees in colder climates

Best Palm Trees for the Pacific Northwest

If you are looking for a palm tree to add to your landscape in the Pacific Northwest, there are several species that will do well in our climate.

Here are some of the best choices:

  1. European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis) – This palm is native to the Mediterranean region and does well in full sun or partial shade. It is tolerant of a wide range of soils, including those that are clayey or sandy. The European fan palm can reach a height of 20 feet and has blue-green leaves that are divided into numerous narrow segments.
  2. Mexican Blue Palm (Brahea armata) – This palm is native to Mexico and prefers full sun. It grows best in sandy or gravelly soils and is not as tolerant of clayey soils as the European fan palm. The Mexican blue palm can reach a height of 40 feet and has bluish-gray leaves that are divided into many narrow segments.
  3. Washingtonia filifera (Desert Fan Palm) – This palm is native to desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It requires full sun and grows best in sandy soils. The Desert fan palm can reach a height of 50 feet and has greenish-gray leaves that are divided into numerous narrow segments.

It should be noted that all palm trees listed here are cold hardy and will tolerate temperatures down to at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius).

Alpine Palm

Windmill Palm

Windmill palms are a type of palm tree that is native to China. These palms get their name from their long, slender leaves that look like blades on a windmill. Windmill palms are one of the hardiest types of palm trees and can tolerate cold temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

These palms are also very drought-tolerant and can survive on very little water. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance palm tree for your landscape, windmill palm is a great choice!

Palm Trees That Grow in the Pacific Northwest

Looking to add a little bit of tropical flair to your Pacific Northwest landscape? Here are some palm trees that will do well in our region! The first on our list is the Washingtonia filifera, commonly known as the California fan palm.

This species is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, making it perfectly suited for life in the Pacific Northwest. The California fan palm can grow up to 50 feet tall, with leaves that can span up to 10 feet in width. These palms are drought-tolerant and thrive in full sun, making them a low-maintenance option for your yard.

Next on our list is the Trachycarpus fortunei, or windmill palm. This species originates from central China, but has been widely cultivated around the world and does well in many different climates. Windmill palms typically grow to be about 20 feet tall, with leaves that measure 3-4 feet long.

These palms prefer partial shade and moist soil, so they’re a great option for shady areas of your yard where other plants might struggle. If you’re looking for a smaller palm tree option, consider the Chamaerops humilis, or European fan palm. As its name suggests, this species is native to Europe (specifically southern Europe and northern Africa).

European fan palms typically only grow to be about 10-15 feet tall, with leaves that span 2-3 feet across. These palms prefer full sun but can also tolerate partial shade; however, they will need more water if they’re not getting full sun exposure. So there you have it – three different types of palm trees that will do well in the Pacific Northwest!

Whether you’re looking for a towering statement piece or a more modest addition to your landscaping, one of these options is sure to fit the bill.

Palm tree bridge

Palm Trees in Seattle Washington

Palm trees are not typically associated with the city of Seattle, Washington. In fact, when most people think of palm trees, they picture warm, tropical climates like those found in Florida or California. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that there are actually several species of palm trees that can thrive in the cooler temperatures and wetter climate of the Pacific Northwest.

One type of palm tree that does well in Seattle is the Trachycarpus fortunei, also known as the Chinese windmill palm. This hardy tree can tolerate cold temperatures down to about 15 degrees Fahrenheit and does not mind getting a bit of rain on its leaves. The Chinese windmill palm grows slowly to a height of around 20 feet and has fan-shaped leaves that range in color from deep green to blue-green.

Another variety of palm trees that can be found in Seattle is the Rhapis excelsa, commonly called the lady Palm. This species is native to Southeast Asia and is often used as an indoor plant due to its ability to tolerate low light levels. The lady palm grows quite slowly (about one foot per year) but can eventually reach heights of up to 10 feet.

Its fronds are long and slender with dark green leaflets arranged in a V-shape pattern. If you’re looking for a more traditional-looking palm tree for your yard or garden, then you might want to consider the Washingtonia filifera, otherwise known as the desert fan Palm. This species is originally from California but has been widely planted across North America over the past few decades.

It’s a fast-growing tree that can reach heights of up to 50 feet or more! The desert fan Palm gets its name from its large leaves which have numerous narrow leaflets arranged in a circular pattern around a central stalk (or “fan”). These leaves are usually blue-green in color but may turn reddish-brown during colder weather.

Washington Palm Trees

Washington Palm Trees are a species of palm tree that is native to the southeastern United States. The Washington Palm is a medium-sized palm tree that can grow up to 30 feet tall. The leaves of the Washington Palm are green and have a leathery texture.

The flowers of the Washington Palm are white and bloom in the springtime. The fruit of the Washington Palm is a yellowish-orange color and is about the size of a grapefruit. The Washington Palm is an evergreen tree, which means it will keep its leaves all year long.

Palm Tree State

There are many reasons to love the state of Florida, but one of the best has to be the abundance of palm trees that can be found throughout the Sunshine State. These tropical beauties add an element of paradise to any landscape, and luckily, they’re relatively easy to care for. If you’re thinking about planting a palm tree on your property, here’s what you need to know.

When it comes to palm trees, there are several different species that can be found in Florida. Some of the most popular include the royal palm, coconut palm, and saw palmetto. No matter which type you choose, you can rest assured that your new tree will make a stunning addition to your yard.

Before planting your palm tree, it’s important to do some research on the specific species that you’re interested in. This will help you determine where in your yard it will thrive and how large it is expected to grow. Once you have this information, you can start preparing the planting site by clearing away any debris and loosening the soil.

When it comes time to plant your tree, be sure to dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep. Gently place your tree into the hole and fill it in with soil, tamping it down firmly around the base of the trunk. Water deeply immediately after planting and continue watering regularly until your tree is established. With proper care, your new palm tree will thrive for many years to come!

Can You Grow Bananas in Washington

Bananas are a tropical fruit that can be difficult to grow in Washington state. The climate is too cool and the winters are too harsh for most banana varieties. However, there are a few varieties that can be grown successfully in Washington.

These include the Dwarf Cavendish, Ice Cream, and Blue Java bananas. To grow bananas in Washington, you will need to start with a potted plant from a nursery or garden center. Bananas prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

They also need consistent moisture, so be sure to water your plants regularly. Fertilize your banana plants once every two weeks with a high-potassium fertilizer to encourage growth. If you live in an area with warm summers, you may be able to grow bananas outdoors.

Otherwise, they will need to be grown indoors under lights year-round. To harvest your bananas, wait until the fruits are fully ripened and then cut them from the plant with a sharp knife.

Nighttime Bliss at Punta Bunga Cove, Boracay

Mexican Fan Palm

The Mexican fan palm (Washingtonia robusta) is a tall, evergreen palm tree native to northwestern Mexico. It is one of the most popular palms in cultivation and is often used as an ornamental tree in public parks and other landscaped areas in warm climates. The Mexican fan palm has a slender trunk and can grow up to 50 feet (15 meters) tall.

The leaves are large and palmate, with 20-30 leaflets arranged radially around a central point.
The leaf margins are serrated and the tips of the leaflets are often recurved or hooked. The flowers are small and white, borne in inflorescences that emerge from among the leaves.

The fruit is a black drupe, about 1 cm (0.4 inch) in diameter. The Mexican fan palm is adapted to arid conditions and can tolerate long periods of drought once established. However, it will not tolerate extended freezing temperatures or wet conditions for prolonged periods of time. This palm should be planted in full sun in well-drained soil.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can palm trees grow in Washington state?

Palm trees typically cannot grow well in Washington state due to its cold and often wet climate. Washington’s climate is not conducive to the tropical conditions that palm trees require to thrive.

How do you take care of a palm tree in Washington state?

Growing palm trees in Washington state is challenging due to the climate. However, if attempting, to provide winter protection, grow indoors or in a heated greenhouse, and ensure well-draining soil.

What does a Washingtonia palm look like?

A Washingtonia palm is a tall, slender palm tree with a single, smooth trunk. Its leaves are fan-shaped and can grow quite large, with deep green color and divided segments. It has a tropical appearance and is commonly seen in landscapes in warmer regions.


Yes, palm trees can grow in Washington State. The state’s climate is well suited for growing a variety of palm trees, including the Canary Island Date Palm, Mediterranean Fan Palm, and Mexican Blue Palm. Palms thrive in Washington’s warm summers and mild winters. However, palms may suffer damage from cold snaps or heavy rains.

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