Let’s face it, Central Texas has unpredictable winters. It appears that evidently each 10 years or so we are going to get a killing freeze that separates the hardy palms from the non-hardy palms. Some non-hardy palms such because the Mexican Fan Palm will probably be broken extra typically than that, and should or might not survive even a “regular” winter. There are palms that may survive all however probably the most brutal Central Texas winters, and I’d wish to introduce you to them right here.

What’s our Hardiness Zone?

In line with the USDA 2023 Hardiness Zone map, Central Texas is in Zone 8a. Which means that palms with a Hardiness Zone of 8 or decrease ought to survive the common low temperatures of 10°F to fifteen°F in our space. After all, there are exceptions, as different components enter into winter hardiness. A gradual cooling within the fall will put together palms for mid-winter freezes. An early laborious freeze might harm tissue that isn’t “hardened off” by gradual cooling. Palms which can be burdened are additionally extra vulnerable to chilly harm than wholesome palms. Location additionally performs into hardiness, as our winter winds come from the NW, so planting in a SE publicity will give the best safety.

Which Palms are applicable to plant in Central Texas?


Mediterranean Fan Palm   Chamaerops humilis

This multi-trunk fan palm is often inexperienced with a silvery solid, although coloration might differ, as they’re seed-grown. Typical peak in Central Texas is 10′, with the width being about the identical. These are slow-growing and good candidates for planting in containers. They’re discovered on poor, rocky soils throughout its vary and can tolerate a variety of soil varieties so long as it’s nicely drained. Zone 8.






Silver Mediterranean Fan Palm    Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera

This hardy fan palm is native to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Sluggish rising with stunning silver-blue foliage, this palm grows nicely in full solar and well-drained soil. It will probably readily be used as a specimen palm within the panorama.  Zone 8





Windmill Palm   Trachycarpus fortunei

I don’t assume I’ve ever seen a Windmill Palm die from chilly temperatures in Central Texas, except it was already compromised earlier than the freeze. These palms are sluggish rising however can (and do!) attain nice heights in our space. They usually develop to 25′ however I’ve seen them develop to 40′ below the precise situations.



Windmill Palms are single-trunk palms with slim trunks coated with fiber that seem “furry”. They’re helpful to plant in slender areas the place a large trunk just isn’t desired. I’d warning in opposition to eradicating any leaves which can be nonetheless inexperienced, even when they’re “in your manner”. The carbohydrates produced in these leaves construct the caliper of the trunk at that location on the trunk. If leaves are eliminated earlier than they’re brown, then that location on the trunk won’t acquire caliper and because the palm grows upward and you may’t attain the leaves to take away them, there will probably be a “wasp waist” the place the leaves had been eliminated.

Windmill Palms are tolerant of half shade and adapt to all kinds of  soils so long as they’re well-drained. Zone 8.




Florida Sabal Palm    Sabal palmetto

Often known as Cabbage Palm, this is among the most typical native palms in the US. It’s sluggish rising to 40′ with a diffusion of 6′-8′. Sabal palms transplant nicely, however don’t regenerate roots which can be minimize when digging them. They may solely produce new roots from the bottom of the trunk. Eradicating leaves on the time they’re dug will increase survival charge after planting, so don’t count on these to have a full head of leaves when bought.  These palms differ of their persistence of the leaf bases, with some shedding the “boots” pretty rapidly and a few shedding rapidly. The Florida Sabal Palm has shorter petioles and a narrower trunk (14″-16″) than the Texas Sabal Palm, Sabal mexicana.  Zone 8.




Dwarf Palmetto Palm  Sabal minor

Dwarf Palmetto grows within the understory of woods throughout the southeastern United States. It may be discovered within the understory alongside streambeds within the Edwards Plateau. Sluggish rising to five′-8′ x 4′-8′ and often trunkless, this palm will tolerate poor drainage. Whereas it wants water when newly planted, it’s pretty drought tolerant as soon as established. Be affected person with this one, it’s definitely worth the wait! Zone 7.





Pindo Palm    Butia capitata

Additionally referred to as Jelly Palm for its orange-yellow fruits which can be used to make jelly, Pindo Palm is sluggish rising with a stocky trunk. Foliage is blue-green. Rising to fifteen′ tall and broad, the swish fronds arch over and require a large berth. It’s typically used as a specimen palm within the panorama. Zone 8.