queen palm spacing

port_a_bella(z9 AZ)January 22, 2006

hi everyone... i'm planning on planting a couple of queen palms, along my block fence, somewhere in the future. however, i'm a bit confused by how far apart they should be spaced. everything i read says 15' to 25' but when i look at them in local yards there planted about 5' to 10' apart. will there be future problems, when the tree is full grown, if they're planted closer together? i think i know the answer to my next question, but... is it too cool to plant them now? my yards pretty bare still (new construction) and it's easier to plant things while my tortoises are hibernating. thanks, in advance for any advise you have to give.

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birdlady_in_mesa(z9 AZ)

I would think about 8-10 feet would be sufficient. Make sure that they get lots of trace elements, they have a tendency to struggle in our soils.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 4:02PM
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If I were getting a couple of Queen Plams, this is how I would space them: 1 in Southern California, the other in Florida. You might want to research how these plams do in AZ. Seem to have lots of problems. Best ones I have seen are in grass yards. I like the looks of the Windmill and Bismarck palms as an alternative to our standard Mexican and California Fans.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 6:44PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

LOL - I was thinking the exact same thing, Jim!

Port a bella, you might want to plug "palm" into the search engine for this forum - there have been quite a few discussions about different ones that do well here. The Queens are overused despite their marginal performance here. Jim did mention a realllly cool one, the Bismarks (google the image if you haven't seen them).


    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 9:29PM
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lee_tucson(9 Arizona)

port_a_bella I'd recommend planting Queen palms in the PHX area from around the last week in February to mid April. In Tucson the best time to plant them is in March and April.

You can plant them as close or as far apart as you desire. When you plant them really close together they'll lean away from one another giving you a more "tropical" look.


Jim in my opinion Trachycarpus fortunei is the worst palm readily available for sale in zone 9 and 10 AZ. Two things that palm hates, extreme heat and sun are two things we have no shortage of from April through October. Queens palms are actually much better suited for PHX and Tucson then the Windmill palm.

Syagrus romanzoffianum can look just as good here in AZ as they can in CA and FL. Now can they look rather crappy here? Certainly. As they can in CA and FL. The biggest thing to maintaining a healthy Queen palm is the care. Most in the PHX area receive the same care as a Washingtonia. To most of the population a palm is a palm is a palm. So they must all get the same care. Weekly deep waterings are much more beneficial them frequent shallow watering. And as Birdlady perfectly stated, "make sure that they get lots of trace elements, they have a tendency to struggle in our soils".



pagancat are you coming around to the dark side? Bismarckias do best when given ample irrigation. I certainly feel that Bismarckias are the most under utilized palm in zone 9 and 10 AZ. And they look great when compliment with a nice dark green Ficus. And certainly nothing says welcome to zone 9 and 10 AZ like subtropicals mixed with cacti and succlents.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 3:16AM
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port_a_bella(z9 AZ)

wow!!! thanks for the input everyone. i'm going to wait till it gets warmer out... who knows what i'll choose to do by then. maybe i'll go with a tropical guava? i seem to change my mind every week... i guess i'm a typical woman.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 8:49PM
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I say DON"T do queen palms. They need constant care and fertilizer. I just cut one down and planted an excellent blue yucca tree.
While I took pretty good care of the queen, my neighbor does nothing with their King Palm and it always looks great and my queen looked like crap.

Do the research, there are plenty of palms and yucca trees that do great in Arizona.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 5:29PM
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port_a_bella(z9 AZ)

don't worry...i'm taking everyones' suggestions and i'm not going with a queen palm. instead i'm thinking that i'll get a ruby x guava tree. i hear that they grow execptionally well out here. plus i love guava juice, and my tortiose will eat it too. thanks.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 6:03PM
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sonotaps(Sunset Z13, Phx)

You won't be sorry with the Ruby X Supreme guava tree. Grows super fast and is a big producer of large, juicy, sweet fruit. They are pretty trees too.

Good luck finding one here though. I had to import mine from California (where I am from and visit frequently anyway so no big deal). Two years no problems.

Tropica Mango on Baseline is hit and miss on inventory here. Give them a try if you still need to source a tree though.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 10:34AM
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port_a_bella(z9 AZ)

thanks...i'm going to look here first. if i can't find one here there's a place in vista, where my brother lives, that i can get one from. i'm thinking about getting one sometime in march.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 5:45PM
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sonotaps(Sunset Z13, Phx)


Home of the tropical fruit tree nurseries!

California Tropical Fruit tree nursery and Exotica are two I go to.

There are several others in the area that you can drive right by and find stuff there. Your brother will know where.

I'm pretty much 'planted out' and can't fit anything else.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 10:57AM
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port_a_bella(z9 AZ)

thanks... i was there a month ago and had a serious case of garden envy. that's when i first considered the guava tree for my yard. i was tempted to bring one home with me, but i knew that it's not the right time of the year to plant one. i can't wait for spring to get here...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 4:29PM
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port a bella,
If you are still looking for guava you can almost always find some at the event below:

Spring Garden Festival - April 08, 2006 at 09:00 am until 03:00 pm
TropicalPlant sale sponsored by the Arizona Rare Fruit Growers at the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension. Other members TBA of the Interpretive Trail may participate with plants and merchandise. Price: Free. Restriction: None. Location: 4341 E. Broadway, Phoenix, Maricopa County, . Subject: Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs. Contact: Dick Gross at rkgross3@cox.net, phone (623) 939-4570. Website: http://www.azrfg.org

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 9:18AM
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port_a_bella(z9 AZ)

thanks neilaz!!! i've put myself on a wish list at tropia mango nusery, if i don't get on by then i'll definalty check out the spring garden fest. otherwise i may just have to drive out to california...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 3:38PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)


"... no.... must resist... not.. the dark side!!!"

Geez, Lee, and you just had to put it next to a Ficus, too!>shudderI must say, your pics show some of the best looking Queen Palms that I've ever seen.... it just doesn't seem to happen like that up here. Are they heat sensitive, or is it just the lack of micronutrients that make them look so bad?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 7:40PM
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sonotaps(Sunset Z13, Phx)


I'll chime in on your inquiry. Our alkaline soil is not great for Queens, not to mention our lack of humidity and dry winds, which is something you already are well aware of IÂm sure, BUT:

Most people don't water queen palms enough, and they require small monthly applications of a well balanced fertilizer with micro nutrients to look the best. I use OrganoPro. They would also appreciate a nice mulch, but not stacked up the base of the trunk! Cuts down on watering and improves the soil over time (need to keep adding regular applications of mulch as it breaks down).

How many times have you seen Queen Palms planted on hot gravel yards? Nope, not a good idea if you want them to look good or if you don't mind working a lot harder than you have to (or should).

I don't grow Queens; I dislike them (just my personal taste, or maybe lack thereof). However, the recipe above is good for most palms from tropical/semi-tropical areas.

Washies of course are tough as nails (weeds) and are a different subject altogether.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 10:22AM
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sonotaps(Sunset Z13, Phx)


You mentioned your neighbor has a King Palm? Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana or Archontophoenix Alexandrae? Common names can be decieving but if he has a King Palm I would be interested to see a picture.

I would expect that it is shaded by a large tree and eastern exposure at that for sun, frost protection and protection from dry dessicating winds.

Common names can be decieving but if he has a King Palm I would be interested to see a picture if you wouldn't mind. That is a tough choice to try and grow here but if he's been successful that's pretty cool.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 10:39AM
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My queen palms (in Phoenix...they were here when we moved in...) are looking sad. How much should they be watered? They look skinny and wimpy. I don't want to lose them!!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 1:15PM
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Haha, I like the CA and Florida joke... I have been through this one for years and years. Both in the nursery environment and in the landscape design/installation. The way I see it, there are 2 real alternatives to Queen Palms:
Phoenix Dactylifera and Mexican Fans. Dactylifera are very pricey to get some with any size but they are very reliable, elegant, and fit much better to the desert. Mexican Fans are a lot less expensive but will not stop growing ! They also don't have quite the canopy of Queens or Date palms. Queens are just a bit risk. Besides just the nutrients, excessive water usage, etc. they get a fungus which spread through neighborhoods and is a real pain to distinguish. Also, Queen Palms only have a healthy life expectancy of 15-25 years in most cases. If you are looking long term and want some nice shady palms, it may be worth investing in the Date Palms. Bismark Palms are great, we use them a lot, but they take a while to get the lazy/shady size and lack the greenery look that people are going for with the Queens
. If you calculate the cost of a few Dactylifera over 10-20 years - and the QUeens. With all the water costs and fertilizers, and replacements, fungacides, etc etc. It makes a lot more sense here in the desert.

Here is a link that might be useful: arizona landscaping blog

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 2:52PM
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