Vero Beach is “the gateway to the tropics,” an assertion backed up by the myriads of swaying palm trees that line our boulevards, beaches, and gardens. There are approximately 2,600 species of palms, and because of our climate, many of them can grow here.
The most common varieties, such as Cabbage or Sabal, Coconut, Foxtail, Christmas (Adonidia merrilli), and Sylvester (Phoenix sylvestris) are practically household names. Indoor plant enthusiasts know Cat (Chamaedorea cataractarum) and Bamboo (Chamaedorea seifrizeii) palms, and homeowners seeking privacy know the Areca (Dypsis lutescens), which is used for its instant “hedge” effect. These palms might be most abundant, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only options for your garden.
When we design landscape projects, we rely on plants that we know are suitable to the environment and will be successful, but we also like to introduce new ideas to our clients. Palms are a great way to do this. Three palms that would do very well in our area but are not seen as much include the Florida Thatch, Foxy Lady, and Carpoxylon palms.
Florida Thatch (Thrinax radiata) is a durable palm that is salt and drought resistant. It will thrive if given regular fertilizer and water in extreme drought conditions. It doesn’t have any regular pest issues or nutrient deficiencies. It’s a solitary palm that can perform well in sandy soils. For some, the Thatch palm is the essence of Florida. The Florida Thatch palm is a close cousin of the Key Thatch palm.
The Foxy Lady (Wodyetia X Veitchia bifurcatum x arecina) is a hybrid palm that is proving to be quite durable and aesthetically pleasing. It’s a cross between a Foxtail and a Montgomery palm. It can grow rather tall providing an elegant option for larger homes. It’s very tropical in appearance but can tolerate colder weather.
The Elegant (Carpoxylon macrspermum) pictured— is a majestic palm. It’s an excellent choice for any palm enthusiast. It has a solitary trunk and is best showcased or highlighted when planted by itself. It does require full sun and consistent water.
As spring arrives in the tropics, add the iconic palm tree to your garden. It only takes one palm to transform your garden and transport you deeper into a tropical paradise.