Who doesn’t like the aesthetics of palm trees? After all, these exotic-looking plants can make your property more diverse and attractive, especially if you want to add a beach-like vibe to your yard. And the good news is that there are plenty of varieties of palms you can choose from. Short, tall, and even cold-hardy species: chances are you’ll find something for your climate.
Colorado doesn’t offer the best climate to grow palms. The temperatures can get too extreme. However, you may successfully grow cold-hardy species like needle palm or McCurtain Dwarf palmetto with proper care.
But what if you live in Colorado, where the climate is so cold to be one of the most extreme in the United States? The region goes through five USDA hardiness zones: from 2 to 6. The southern parts have warmer winters and overall milder climates. Areas around Denver, Aurora, and Boulder can get quite hot in the summer.
However, at higher elevations, temperatures can get as low as -60F (even if that’s rare). Colorado state includes mountains, lower regions, high fields, and desert lands. It can get hail, rainstorms, snow, and twisters. Depending on how close you are int the mountain, the weather might get quite cold.
It is not uncommon to experience extreme conditions in this state. Average temperatures in the winter fall in the range of 10-43F, while in summer, you can expect to get between 59 to 88F. That’s a considerable change, which makes it challenging to grow most types of plants. But can palm trees grow in Colorado? Keep reading to find out!
Can Palm Trees Grow in Colorado?
To keep things short, you will struggle to grow most kinds of palm in Colorado: the weather is too cold for them to survive. Luckily, there are a couple of species tolerant to low temperatures. But the truth is that it is hard to find something that could thrive even when the conditions go below -15F.
Palm varieties that grow in Colorado
One of the few palm trees that might endure the extreme Colorado climate is needle palm, also known as “blue palmetto.” You can grow this clump-forming palm in any landscape as long as you provide it with proper care. This slow-growing branched species develop from a base and produces dense branches that add a splash of green to your garden.
The plant’s name comes from the structure of its leaves and sharp spines that might make your garden more attractive (and exotic), even if you live in cold Colorado. While it can withstand low temperatures (as low as -15F and below), this plant does better in areas where summers are hot. If you grow in the south part of Colorado, you’ll probably get better results.
Needle palm does best in partial shade, but if you live in an area with mild summers, you won’t have problems planting your palm under full sun. Also, keep in mind that extreme cold weather might cause some foliage damage. If you are expecting lower temperatures than usual, consider protecting your palm with a cover or transfer it indoors for the winter (if you are growing it in a container).
Plant your needle palm in rich and well-draining soil and keep it moist without overwatering it. Indeed, soggy conditions might cause root rot. Don’t forget to add mulch around the base of your plant to regulate the soil temperature and maintain adequate moisture.
To keep your plants in an attractive shape, don’t forget to prune them regularly and remove dead branches and leaves.
Needle palms are not demanding to grow. You should have no problems adding them to your landscape as long as you follow our recommendations. Of course, the results will depend on what part of Colorado you are from. Don’t try growing palms if you live at high altitudes: they are more likely to struggle under such conditions.
McCurtain Dwarf Palmetto
Another plant that might do well in cold weather is McCurtain Dwarf Palmetto. Under proper conditions, this variety can survive temperatures even as low as -20F. However, it is slightly more demanding than needle palms (and less tolerant to extreme climates).
Don’t forget to add a fertilizer rich in magnesium, iron, and manganese to support healthy growth for your plants and keep their leaves from yellowing.
Can Palm Trees Grow in Colorado?: The Bottom Line
So, in summary, sadly, Colorado doesn’t offer the best climate to grow palms. Adding these tropical plants in your garden might not be a good idea: the temperatures can get too extreme. However, you may successfully grow cold-hardy species like needle palm or McCurtain Dwarf palmetto with proper care.
Related Article: Indoor Palms