9 Ways to Landscape with Palm Trees in Orlando


Florida is synonymous with stately palm trees lining beachfront streets in coastal areas like Miami. But smart landscaping with palm trees can provide that exotic, tropical vibe in Orlando as well. Following are nine ways to landscape with palm trees in Orlando.

1. Create a themed garden

Theme Garden
Irina Selina | iStock

A themed garden can be structured around your favorite color, around a particular slice of nature like butterflies, as an homage to a culture – think Japanese or Chinese – or just about anything else that piques your interest. Palm trees are terrific for creating a tropical-themed garden. 

  • Herbaceous and woody plants can add texture and color to a garden, and when accompanied by canopy palms, they create a focal point. 
  • You can create a South Sea garden theme using coconut palms, red feather, princess, ruffled fan, and Fiji fans combined with ginger, elephant ears, and cordylines.
  • A Caribbean-themed garden can be achieved by mixing palms such as the royal palm, cabbage palm, and buccaneer palm with the oak tree, bougainvillea, paradise tree, plumeria, and gumbo-limbo tree.
  • How about a rainforest theme right in Orlando? Mix tropical plants with palms, such as the Chinese fan and date palms.

2. Create a standalone feature

standalone feature
PC Photography | iStock

Palm trees make excellent stand-alone features in your yard and can help complete a rock garden.

Planting palm trees in twos or threes can create a dramatic focal point as they tend to grow from the same root, and their trunks curve out because of the close proximity. When grown together, some palms, such as the Christmas and Mexican palms, can create a beautiful front yard accent and provide shade. 

Palms that create a dramatic, standalone focal point are;

  • Foxtail palms
  • Mediterranean fan palm
  • Spindle palms
  • Coconut palm 
  • Royal palms
  • Queen palm
  • Christmas palm
  • Princess palm
  • Mexican palm

It’s important to choose drought-tolerant trees that also can withstand the cold temperatures, in contrast with the hotter South Florida area.

3. Frame the pool area

pool palm
iStock | Anett Flassig

Palm trees that thrive in cold conditions lend a tropical feeling to the area. Queen palms have long, thin trunks that keep their canopies high and out of the way, providing shade. 

Such palms do not need much space and add personality to the pool area. These include:

  • King palm
  • Queen palm
  • Royal palm
  • Christmas palm
  • Sabal palmetto
  • The kentia palm
  • Coconut palm

4. Add color to the yard

B.navez | CC BY-SA 3.0

Palms aren’t all green. Some species that thrive in Orlando also feature red, blue, and yellow, fronds, while others produce bundles of vibrant flowers or have colored trunks. 

These palm trees can add a beautiful hue to your Orlando landscape when mixed with other plants.

These palms are;

  • Red Latin palm
  • Mexican blue palm
  • Lipstick palm
  • Windmill palm
  • Sugarcane palm

5. Anchor a flower bed

Four small palm trees planted in the middle of a flower bed

Another way to landscape with palm trees in Orlando is to add them to your flower beds. Adding palm trees to your flower bed helps provide shade and a more cohesive landscape design.

You can use dwarf varieties, slow-growing or medium-sized palms. Palms with cascading or feathery fronds can make a marvelous centerpiece for a flower garden.

Some of the palms that work well in flower beds are:

  • Bamboo palm
  • Areca palm
  • Dwarf date palms
  • Majesty palm
  • Cat palm

6. As potted palms

Potted young palm tree

Don’t have to worry if your space is limited. You can still achieve a tropical landscape in your Orlando yard with potted palms.

Slow-growing dwarf palms are ideal for porches and patios, around a pool, on your doorstep, as house plants, along corridors, and even on rooftops because many of them enjoy full sun.

Potted palms also have the benefit of being portable, which means you can move them to sunny or shaded areas as needed, or even indoors in bad weather.

You can also mix and match, planting large palms outside and using potted palms indoors or in outdoor living spaces. The large palms help shade the small palms.

Some of the best palms for potting are:

  • Pygmy date palm
  • Dwarf palmetto
  • Lady palm
  • Silver European fan palm

7. Landscape slopes

sloped yard palm tree
PC Photography | Pexels

Maybe your home has a sloped yard. Palm trees are ideal for planting in uneven terrain because they withstand strong winds and can help prevent erosion. Palms are generally pretty water-efficient, but you might want to mulch around the base to hold in moisture or use drip irrigation to ensure they get enough water while they are getting established..

Some of the palms that will work best are;

  • Date palm
  • Mexican fan palm
  • Cabbage palm
  • Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis)

8. Add privacy 

Dense palm tree leaves

You can add privacy in your Orlando yard and around the pool areas using short, wide palms with bushy fronds and multiple trunks. Plant them in a line to create a natural screen between you and your neighbors or passersby. 

Some palms that work well as privacy hedges include:

  • Foxtail palm
  • Pygmy date palm
  • Areca palm
  • Lady palm
  • Cat palm
  • Needle palm

9. Accent walkways and driveways

walk way palm road
Marcelo Plaza | Pixabay

Lining walkways with palms can create striking accents, arches and overhead canopies in your Orlando yard.

When lining a walkway, plant your palms three to four feet from the walkway to give the tree and its roots room to grow. Also, be cognizant that some varieties of palm drop things like coconuts and heavy fronds. These may not be best in places where they can damage people and cars, so choose your palms wisely.

Some of the best palms for accenting walkways are:

  • Queen palm
  • Foxtail palm
  • Pygmy date palms
  • Mexican fan palm
  • Date palm

FAQ about landscaping with palm trees in Orlando

1. How much does a palm tree cost in Orlando?

Palm tree prices vary depending on the kind and size you buy and where you purchase it. 
* Four to 6 feet can cost $145 to $325.
* A palm close to 10 feet can cost $250 to $575.
* A tree over 11 feet tall can cost $500 to $2,000 or more.

2. What are some of the problems palm trees face in Orlando?

Palm trees in Orlando may face problems such as cold temperatures, strong winds, soil deficiency, pest infestation, and diseases due to poor maintenance.

Final word

Planting palm trees in your Central Florida yard can help you create that tropical feeling you desire, far from the coast.

If you need help with palm tree landscaping, contact our Lawn Love lawn care professional for help.

Main Photo Credit: Asad Photo | Pexels

Millicent Onchari

Millicent Onchari is a freelance content writer. She is passionate about digital marketing, fashion and design, gardening, and health and wellness.