Palm trees swaying in the breeze brings to mind warm tropical climes, but there are several palms that are perfectly hardy in Portland! They lend an unique look to the garden as well as adding wonderful architecture, color and texture year round.
Palm trees appreciate a sunny location with well-drained soil. Many Portlanders have heavy clay soil that holds a lot of water during rainy months, so preparing the soil well is an very important step in growing hardy palms successfully.
Butia fronds gracefully curve forming giant arches and are quite dramatic! Mature plants have a stout trunk and thick crown and are one of the most cold-tolerant palms for Portland. Jelly Palms are more tolerant of clay soil than some of the other hardy palms.
Grows to around 6-8' x 8-10' in Portland, Hardy to 15 F. Native to Brazil.
Green fronds shaped like open fans at the tips of long stems that mean business - they are covered in vicious spines! Plant it in an area where you won't brush up against it accidentally. Chamaerops have a shrubby habit and are slow to develop a trunk.
Grows 5-10' x 5-10', Hardy to 15F, Native to the Mediterranean region.
People have been growing Windmill Palms in Portland for decades! Indeed there are mature specimens all around town, many of them towering over the yards where they were planted, having outdone the gardener's expectations years ago.
Trachycarpus fortunei is slow-growing at first, but eventually develops a tall single trunk, topped with relatively short stems and huge bright green fans at the tips. It produces big clusters of odd yellow flowers that look a bit like millet.
Windmill Palm is happy alone as a specimen or growing along side other plants so long as care requirements are similar for the neighbors.
Grows 15-20' x 4-5', Hardy to 10 F. Native to temperate and mountain forest in China.
Similar to Windmill Palm, but this unique palm has very stiff short fronds and a more compact appearance. It does very well in containers and is just plain cute. The stiffer stouter foliage withstands windy conditions better without tips sagging.
Hardy to 10F. Unknown in the wild; thought to originate in Japan.
Read up on some of our favorite shrubs and remember, this is only a smattering of the variety of shrubs we carry all year long! Note: Viewing a Native Plant will take you into our Native Plant section.