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Palmetto Trees Swaying in that Atlantic Breeze

How do you turn a run-of-the-mill suburban Myrtle Beach backyard into a private tropical oasis? Add some cold-hardy palms for privacy and coastal flair. The palmetto tree is the state tree of South Carolina and popular across the coastal region of our state. The popular palmetto is also known as the Sabal palm and Carolina palmetto, among other lesser-known names. However, it’s just one of many palm varieties that grows well in our region.

Consider Other Palm Varieties in Your South Carolina Yard

Mixing and matching palm varietals is a good way to add privacy, color, and texture to your backyard. Fortunately, these trees are relatively inexpensive to buy and plant, require little maintenance, and can give you endless days of relaxation in your own backyard.

Below are 8 “cold-hardy” palms that will thrive in our South Carolina climate. Study the list below, and the next time someone refers to your tree as just a “palm,” you’ll be able to educate them on the different varieties adorning yards throughout Myrtle Beach.

Cold-hardy palms like the sabal palmetto (pictured).

8 Cold-Hardy Palm Varietals for Yards and Gardens

  1. Sabal Palmetto: Our South Carolina state tree and the emblem seem on countless flags, stickers, and t-shirts. Native to Florida and the coastal Carolina region, Sabal palms are draught-tolerant, seacoast-tolerant, and low-maintenance. These trees have curved, fan-shaped leaves with blades 3-4 feet long and petioles 3-6 feet long. Though they only grow about an inch a year, they can reach nearly 40 feet in height. It’s best to buy a tree at your desired height and have it professionally transplanted.
  2. Pindo Palm: This palm can grow up to 20 feet and has finer, more feather-like fronds than the Sabal. It looks great in yards and even produces a pineapple-like fruit that can be made into jelly or wine. They are easy to care for and are draught-tolerant.
  3. Windmill Palm: Similar in size to the Pindo, the Windmill tops out at 20 feet, but its slender trunk makes it suitable for planting close to your home. These trees can also be planted in large potters for a more garden-like aesthetic.
  4. European Fan Palm: These multi-trunk trees do well even in South Carolina’s coldest months. European fan palms grow slowly. They can be planted in the ground or in large planters. These work well as secondary trees, but they can also be a focal point if desired.
  5. Sago Palm: These dark-leaved palms are great additions to yards and gardens as they have a darker color and a noticeable, fern-like frond. Plant Sago palms in well-drained areas to prevent rotting, and minor maintenance and pruning is required.
  6. Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal Minor): This smaller palm averages 5-10 feet and works well as a secondary tree near a larger palm or in small areas and small yards. Unlike other palms, this tree prefers moister soil than the regular Sabal palmetto.
  7. Needle Palm: The Needle palm grows up to 6 feet and has fan-like fronds. This palm is different in that the trunk remains below ground. This tree is good for moist areas and works well in smaller spaces or beneath larger trees.
  8. Saw Palmetto: With stems underground, the Saw palmetto makes itself know with fan-like fronds shooting up from the ground in cluster. This palm is a nice way to add some low, coastal greenery to your landscaping.

Work with Local Nurseries and Landscapers

Finally, find a local nursery or landscaping company that knows South Carolina climate, soil, and plants. The 8 palms above thrive in our climate. However, installation, especially for larger trees, requires special knowledge and skill. With this in mind, find a reputable nursery for the best results. Overall, once re-planted, maintenance on all of these cold-hardy palms is relatively low.

In conclusion, it’s not too difficult to turn your backyard into a special place. If you’d like to learn more about Odom Design’s landscape architecture and design services, contact us today.