Christmas tree palm tree

At Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), we grow around 10 million tonnes of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) on more than 480,000 hectares of land every year. Getting the first phase of planting and growing oil palms right is crucial to producing the best quality oil.

Individual palm oil fruits

  1. It all starts with a seed. High quality Dami Mas seeds are used by GAR farmers and are known for growing oil palms that produce higher yields and are naturally more resistant to diseases and pests.
  2. GAR developed these special seeds in our SMART Research Institute (SMARTRI) through years of breeding and selection. Producing our own seeds ensures that our trees are as healthy and as productive as possible.
    Researchers at our SMARTRI develop seeds which are able to produce higher yields.
  3. Once the seeds have grown into seedlings, they are further nurtured in purpose built seed nurseries for up to a year. When the seeds grow into plants with around 12-15 green leaves each (this takes around 12-14 months), they will be transferred to the plantation and planted. Dami Mas DxP seedlings. Photo credit: Dami Mas
  4. Each plant is planted just before the start of the rainy season in Indonesia. This means that the plants have time to set up a root system before the dry season arrives. Each of them is carefully placed in a grid, with more than 100 trees for every football field-sized piece of land. As the tree grows, it is carefully fertilised and protected from pests—we even use barn owls to help farmers with this challenge in the most natural way. There are more than 100 trees for each piece of land the size of a football field.
  5. It takes about four years for oil palms to produce fruits suitable for harvest. Each tree will then continue to produce fruit for up to 30 years, at which point they will have grown to around 40 feet tall. Our farmers make use of the latest agricultural techniques developed in partnership with CIRAD – the French agricultural research centre – and our farmers are supported by satellite analysis of the entire plantation—enabling fertilisers and crop science to be used where it is needed.
  6. Palm fruits grow in dense bunches, each weighing between 10 and 25 kilogrammes, and containing many thousand individual fruits. A healthy productive tree will produce 12 to 14 of these bunches each year. Once ripe the fruit will turn bright red orange, indicating that it is ready to be harvested. The orange colour comes from a high concentration of beta-carotene, the organic pigment that also gives carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins their colour. Each fresh fruit bunch can weigh up to 25 kilogrammes.
  7. At harvest time every month, each FFB must be dislodged using a very long sickle, which allows the skilled harvester to reach the lofty heights of the tree. The ripest fruits which contain the most oil fall free of the main bunch, meaning they are the most prized. Each fruit can contain up to 25-30% of oil – one reason why oil palm is the most efficient oilseed crop in the world. The fruit is harvested using a long sickle.
  8. After harvesting, the FFBs are collected and loaded onto a truck to be transported to one of GAR’s palm oil mills.
  9. Each of the thousand or so fruits within the bunch is made up of a hard seed (the kernel) surrounded by the flesh of the fruit (mesocarp). At the mill, very little of the fruit is wasted as the mill turns both the seed and the flesh into palm oil and palm kernel oil respectively.
  10. These ingredients will eventually form a core part of many products we see on the supermarket shelves and enjoy daily. And any fruit wastage is recycled back into the plantation as fertiliser or to the mill as biomass fuel. Little of the palm fruit is wasted as the kernel and flesh are both used to produce oil.

Still having questions about palm oil and its uses? We provide answers to some frequently asked questions on palm oil.

Click here to discover the stories behind the extraordinary, everyday lives of the people transforming palm oil.

La Palmeraie gb

After buying or receiving a palm, you’ll probably ask yourself a few questions. Besides the special concerns that your new asset needs, it is also nice to know how old your new palm is. In addition, of course, it is also important to have an idea of how quickly the palm will grow. If only to choose the best location. In this article we will discuss both questions that are inextricably linked.

How old is my palm tree?

The exact answer will remain a mystery. It is impossible to find out the exact age of the palm afterwards if you have not grown it yourself from seed. In contrast to deciduous trees, palm trees do not produce annual rings. So even if you would be felling the palm, the exact age remains a big question mark.

On the basis of a number of data, the age can be determined approximately. There is a good chance that you will be surprised by the real age of your palm.

When estimating, of course, we first look at the species. Not all species grow at the same speed. For instance, a Brahea is considered to do already well with only some new leaves per season while a Trachycarpus can eventually develop up to 30 cm (12 in) of trunk a year! Based on our own experiences, we can compare these dimensions to estimate a possible age.

Origin & location

In addition, the origin and location is important. It is with good reason that most nurseries are located in southern Europe. The growing season there is many months longer than ours. In greenhouses, the growing season can even be imitated artificially throughout the year. Palms planted in the open will also grow faster than palms in pots. So that also has to be taken into account.

A palm grown in our own climate grows only a few months a year and will take much longer to reach the same size. On the other hand, they are more resistant to our circumstances.

It is possible to estimate things on the basis of small details. For instance, many Italian nurseries still use the old name for the Trachycarpus fortunei, namely “Chamaerops excelsa”. Palms grown in glasshouses have longer petioles and look a little elongated and less compact. Palms from the open often have a nice thicker trunk. For palms that had to grow as quickly as possible, the trunk usually goes from narrow at the bottom to wide at the top.

What’s better?

That is personal. Palms that have been grown here are less likely to decline because they are already accustomed to the climate. However, they are usually also a lot more expensive due to slower growth. But also among the imported palms there are certainly beautiful specimens. As long as the palm got the time and the rest to grow and root well.

How fast does my palm tree grows?

It is interesting to know that palm trees take some time to get the final thickness of the trunk before gaining height. It is precisely for this reason that palms with a relatively small trunk are still fairly expensive.

Only after the trunk has reached a certain diameter, the growth in height becomes truly visible and the palm will grow a little faster every year.

Smaller planted palms usually thrive better than large specimens, which makes them faster to reach ‘cruising speed’. As a result, they overtake larger planted specimens in the long run.

The illustrations below give a nice idea of the growth rate and ages of various palms:

Trachycarpus fortunei:

above from left to right: 1 year, 2 years, 3 years old

above from left to right: 4 years, 5 years, 6 years old

(NB. The leaves on this subject are quite stretched due to a dark location. The trunk however gives a good indication.)

Trachycarpus fortunei

Washingtonia robusta:

above from left to right: 1 month, 2 years old

above from left to right: 3,5 years, 4,5 years, 6 years old

Archontophoenix alexandrae:

above from left to right: 2 months, 1,5 years, 2 years old

© La Palmeraie

How long does it take for a palm tree seed to grow?

on average a palm tree will take 3 to 6 months to grow from seed, but will take about 15 years to grow to an adult size. to grow to a potted sized tree it will take about 6 years.

the fastest growing tree would be the queen palm, but it is a common landscape palm. from seed it will take a month or so to germinate and 4 years to grow about 6 feet. it will take 10 years for it to grow a large size about 12-15 feet tall, manybe taller in warm climates. only bad thing is it will take a while for it to acutally have adult leaves. it takes about 3 years to start getting the feather like leaves

a less common palm, but alos a less cold tolerant palm is the florida royal palm. takes 2-3 months to germinate, and will take 15 years to grow a nice tunk and large leaves. the good thing it it will have nice leaves and a young age of 12- 18 months and by two years will be around 3 feet tall.

if you by a palm as a seedling and it already has one or 2 leaves that is the longest and hadest task done, for a price that isnt too much more than a seed. some seedlings are only 3-5 dollars and are small, but healthy

Christmas Palm Tree Facts: Tips On Growing Christmas Palm Trees

Palm trees have a distinctive tropical flavor, but most of them become 60-foot tall or more monsters. These huge trees are not practical in the private landscape due to their size and the difficulty of maintenance. The Christmas tree palm poses none of these problems and comes with the characteristic silhouette of its bigger cousins. Growing Christmas palm trees in the home landscape is a perfect way to get that tropical feel without the hassle of the bigger specimens in the family. Let’s learn more about these palms.

What is a Christmas Palm?

The Christmas palm (Adonidia merrillii) forms a lovely smaller tropical tree suitable for home landscapes. What is a Christmas palm? The plant is also known as the Manila palm or dwarf Royal. It is native to the Philippines and useful in United States Department of Agriculture zone 10. The tree only gets 20 to 25 feet in height and is self-cleaning. Lucky warm season gardeners should know how to grow Christmas palm tree for diminutive tropical flair but easy maintenance.

The Christmas palm gets started growing with a bang, achieving 6 feet in height quite rapidly. Once the tree is established to its site, the growth

rate slows down considerably. The smoothly ridged trunk can grow 5 to 6 inches in diameter and the tree’s elegantly bowed crown may spread out to 8 feet.

Christmas tree palms bear arching pinnate leaves that may approach 5 feet in length. One of the more interesting Christmas palm tree facts is why it came by its name. The plant bears bright red clusters of fruits that ripen just about the same time as the Advent season. Many gardeners consider the fruit a debris nuisance, but removing them before ripening usually solves any messy issues.

How to Grow a Christmas Palm Tree

Landscapers like to plant these trees quite close together because they have small root balls and will produce a natural looking grove. Be aware that growing Christmas palm trees too close can cause some of them to fail to thrive due to excess competition. Planting in too little light can also produce spindly trunks and sparse fronds.

If you want to try growing your own Christmas tree palm, collect seeds in late fall to early winter when they are ripe. Clean off the pulp and immerse the seed in a solution of 10% percent bleach and water.

Plant seeds shallowly in flats or small containers and place them in a location with temperatures of 70 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 37 C.). Keep the container moist. Germination in Christmas tree palm seeds happens fairly rapidly and you should see sprouts in just a few weeks.

Christmas Palm Tree Care

This tree prefers well-drained, slightly sandy soil in full sun, although it can tolerate light shade. The plants require supplemental water as they establish, but once mature, these trees can withstand short periods of drought. They are also quite tolerant of saline soils.

Fertilize every 4 months with a time release palm food. Because the plants are self-cleaning, you rarely have to do any pruning.

The palms are susceptible to Lethal Yellowing. This disease will eventually take the palm. There is a preventative inoculation that is administered before the plant contracts the disease. A few fungal diseases are also of concern; but for the most part, Christmas palm tree care is a piece of cake, which is why the plant is so popular in warm climates.

There’s a lot of residents in Phoenix Valley interested in knowing just how quickly palm trees grow in Arizona. The first factor in calculating the rate at which your palm tree will grow depends on the specific species of your palm tree. While several different palm trees can grow as much as 2 to 3-feet per year, others can take several years to reach their peak of only five feet. The best way to go about planning your landscape is to pay attention to the species you are planting, read up on that species to find out just how much they are going to grow, and also, how fast.

There are various factors involved with the growth rate of palm trees, of which all, can encourage or discourage their growth. Those factors can range from the location they are planted, how often they get irrigation, the fertilizer used, and several others. These variables will be different for each of the different species of palm trees, and for this reason, it is always a good idea to talk to a local nursery regarding the amount of palm trees you are wanting to plant, such as how many more or less you are going to need. Do they need shade, a little shade or lots of it? Do they need a little irrigation or a lot?

You will be able to look forward to having healthy growing palm trees once the watering, fertilizing, location, and pruning have all been worked out. Each species of palm trees has their own rate of growth. Continue reading below to get a better idea on what the average rate of growth for palm trees are.

When planted within the USDA hardiness zones 9 – 11, will grow at the rate of about 2-feet per year. Thus, a 15-gal. Queen Palm plant will give you a 25-foot Queen Palm in approximately 10-years. In all, you can consider this to be a fairly high speed of growth.

The King Palm is also a rapidly growing palm. They will grow rapidly in soil with good moisture and lots of nutrition. The King Palm will grow at a rate of almost 2-feet per year. Which means that it grows a little bit slower than a Queen Palm. The growing rate for a King Palm can be increased by planting it where it only gets a small amount of shade for the sun will help it to grow faster.

The Mexican Fan Palm tree grows faster than most of the other palm trees. It is also one of Arizona’s more common palm trees, which can get as high as 70 to 100-feet in height, being taller than most of the residential yards can handle. Under normal conditions the Mexican Fan Palm tree will grow as much as 4-feet per year. However, because of their rapid growth and drastic heights they are popular for the use in public parks and for commercial uses.

These are also known as European Fan Palm trees and they are slow growers, growing around 6-inches per year, and reaching full maturity of 20-feet in height at a very slow pace. They are however, popular due to their fronds beauty and also their bark. These palms make a nice addition to many residential landscapes for they will not over power the landscapes visual presentation of the landscape itself or of the home.

As a fast-growing palm tree, the Foxtail Palm will grow 2 to 3-feet per year under normal (ideal) conditions, and reach a height of 30-feet in total height within a 10-year period. A good option for those seeking a rapid growing palm tree for shading. It has a deep root stem feature that gives it the ability to withstand drought conditions.

Palm Trees For Sale

If you live in the East Phoenix Valley and are looking for palm trees for sale for your property’s landscape, A&P Nursery can help! We grow our plants locally, so they’re already accustomed to surviving in the heat and common conditions in the Phoenix Valley. We have all of the most popular types of palm trees, and partner with the best landscaping companies to offer delivery and planting services at your home or commercial property. For more information please call one of the locations below or stop by to see the selection at any of our 4 east valley locations in Mesa, Gilbert, or Queen Creek.

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Let’s go back in time, to Los Angeles in 1875. Here’s what you see: basically nothing. The town—and “town” is even sort of grand for what it was—has about 8,000 people in it. But here’s something weirder: there are no palm trees. As a matter of fact, there aren’t really any trees at all. This area is just sort of a scrubland desert.

Over the next 50 years, palm trees would become a major transformative force in the development of Los Angeles. This is despite the fact that they don’t really do anything. The trees of urban Los Angeles do not provide shade or fruit or wood. They are lousy at preventing erosion. What they do, and what they did, is stranger: they became symbols.

Los Angeles, lined with palm trees, on a postcard from the 1930s. Boston Public Library/CC BY 2.0

There is a single species of palm native to the entire state of California, the California fan palm, which is a big one with what looks like a fuzzy beard of brown leaves underneath its green fronds. It’s naturally found around desert oases in the Colorado Desert. (The Colorado Desert is not in Colorado, but is named for the river. Joshua Tree National Park is there.) The native people of that area, the Cahuilla, used it pretty liberally; palm fronds are incredibly strong and heavy, which makes them good for building. But compared with the East Coast palms—there are 12 species native to Florida—the West Coast was, until very recently, basically barren of these trees. Plants. Tall grass things. Wait, what are palms, exactly?

One first weird thing in a very long list of weird things about palms is that they are not really trees. The word “tree” is not a horticultural term—it’s sort of like “vegetable,” in that you can kind of call anything a vegetable—but palms are not at all like the other plants commonly referred to as trees. They don’t have wood, for one thing; the interior of a palm is made up of basically thousands of fibrous straws, which gives them the tensile strength to bend with hard tropical windstorms without snapping. They are monocots, which is a category of plant in which the seed contains only one embryonic leaf; as monocots, they have more in common with grasses like corn and bamboo than they do with an oak or pine tree.

Southern California might not have been rich with trees, but it was rich with money and rich with sunshine. Once the railroads came to Los Angeles, in the 1880s, speculators realized this huge empty sunny place would be a great opportunity to sell land. But how to get people to move way out to the desert? One way was incredibly cheap train tickets; the railroads sold tickets from the Midwest for as little as one dollar. But, as with California ever since, the place had to be marketed.

Two tall palm trees at the San Fernando Mission, showing a horse and carriage, ca.1886 USC Libraries/California Historical Society/CC BY 3.0

There are only two palm species native to Europe; one is a little shrub, and the other is restricted to a few Mediterranean islands. Because they were not common, palms have for centuries had a strange pull for people who didn’t grow up around them. “In the Western imagination, palms for a very very long time were associated with that part of the world that, depending on your point of view and your time in history could be called the Orient, or the Far East, or the Middle East, or the Levant, or the Holy Land, or the Ottoman world, or the Turkish world,” says Jared Farmer, the author of the definitive book on California foliage, Trees in Paradise.

Palms grow freely in the Middle East, and this part of the world always had major religious associations for Westerners, most of whom, for a long time, followed Christianity, Judaism, or Islam—all of which have their holiest sites there. Palms themselves are used in those religions: Jews use them during Sukkot for waving rituals, Christians during Palm Sunday often folded into crosses. The Prophet Mohammed talks about date palms a lot, even if the plant doesn’t have as prominent a role in the rituals of Islam.

The original reason that palms were planted in the New World was for use during Palm Sunday; Catholic missionaries in Florida and California, finding themselves in a place with a hospitable climate for palms, planted them around their missions. But the missionaries are not responsible for the mass of palms in Los Angeles.

Moving a palm tree in Los Angeles, 1913. Courtesy of the California History Room, California State Library, Sacramento, California.

Up until the mid- to late-19th century, the French Riviera was sparsely populated. But popular writers began traveling there, and found it was pretty nice. That, coupled with a trendy new health fad in which time in a dry warm climate is supposed to have good effects on the body, increased its popularity. Immediately developers moved there and began building it up. Palms, already a symbol of warmth from the Middle East, were ideal for this kind of rapid development.

Remember how palms aren’t like other trees? One way is that they’re outrageously easy to move around: they don’t have elaborate root systems like oak trees, but instead a dense yet small root ball. This can be pretty easily dug up and transported, then planted, and palms are not particular about where they are, as long as they have sun and water. To make things easier for developers, palms, being more like grasses than trees, don’t demonstrate all that much difference between individuals; one Mexican fan palm is pretty much like the next. And if you’re a developer, consistency and ease of transportation is a fantastic combination: you can line the streets with them, or plant one on each side of an entrance! And it’s cheap and easy and looks festive. Plus, it has this preexisting association in the minds of your customers (who, in the case of the early French Riviera, were mostly British) with warmth and exoticism.

Palms, though they weren’t native to the Riviera, became indelibly associated with it. And the American developers eyeing Southern California got some ideas. Hey, they thought. This big chunk of desert-y scrubland we own is not that dissimilar from the Mediterranean sites of the Riviera. What if we took a page from their book, and started branding Los Angeles?

View of Wilshire Boulevard looking east from Western Avenue in Los Angeles, ca.1930-1939. USC Libraries/California Historical Society/CC BY 3.0

Los Angeles, for what it’s worth, wasn’t the only place to try copying the French Riviera. The British tried it too, in a place called Torbay, although even in the far south of England it’s just not warm enough for palms to really thrive. They did their best, though, with a palm called the New Zealand cabbage palm, planted all over the area. It’s basically a shrub.

Anyway, palms took off as a symbol of wealth, luxury, nice weather, vacation. The ease of growing them in containers meant that palms were found on luxury ships like the Titanic and Lusitania. Robber barons, fancy hotels, and magnates in San Francisco—a much older city than Los Angeles—planted them in “palm courts,” a sort of atrium/ballroom featuring lots of palms and probably a string quartet.

“What LA adds to that, which no city, no people had ever thought to do before, and maybe for good reason, is to plant palms systematically as street trees,” says Farmer. The young city, wanting to attract people to a world of sunshine and cars, planted tens of thousands of palm trees. And they weren’t just on big boulevards: Los Angeles planted them everywhere. Tiny residential streets, parks, anywhere. Places designed for tourists—boardwalks, beaches, wealthy hills, even sports arenas like Staples Center, where the Lakers and Clippers basketball teams play—were especially tended to. And they made sure the palms were watered.

Palm trees line a street in Hollenbeck Park. USC Libraries/California Historical Society/CC BY 3.0

Palm trees weren’t the only non-natives that the early planners of Los Angeles planted. They also planted lots of citrus trees, pepper trees, and eucalyptus, all of which were supposed to evoke this Mediterranean feel. But it was the palms that really took off.

This experiment yielded some very strange results. The palms thrived in Los Angeles—Farmer described seeing them growing in cracks in the asphalt in abandoned lots—and one species in particular, the Mexican fan palm, grew enormous. The Mexican fan palm is native to Northern Mexico; it’s that incredibly tall skinny one with the little fronds high up above. “Nobody knew they would grow so tall; they grow taller in LA than they would in the wild. They’re the tallest palms in the history of the world, at least that we know of,” says Farmer.

They are, in fact, taller than most buildings in Los Angeles. The city has always been a sprawling, low-slung city, with few buildings over two stories tall. It spread horizontally rather than vertically, partially due to the cheap abundant land and partially because Los Angeles was always an automotive city. Unlike in other cities, the great skyscrapers of Los Angeles are not huge buildings: they’re trees.

Palm trees outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, 1949. USC Libraries/California Historical Society/CC BY 3.0

Once the palms were firmly ensconced in Los Angeles, the movie and TV industry popularized them. The palms, despite not being native to LA and in fact only having recently arrived there, became the most iconic image of the city. Every awards show, every red carpet, every movie and show shot in Southern California included palm trees. The city expanded like crazy; the population went from 11,000 in 1880 to over 1.2 million only 50 years later.

Urban trees do actually have jobs, besides just looking nice: they provide shade, reduce heat, clean the air, some prevent erosion, and some produce an edible or useful material. Palms in Los Angeles do not do any of this. Their job was not to be good urban trees; it was to create an image of a new kind of city and convince people from elsewhere to come to Los Angeles. They succeeded at that! But with the first batch of trees now dying out due to old age and an array of pests and diseases, Los Angeles is making some changes. Replacement palms are more likely to be more drought-tolerant and provide more shade, like the Chilean palm. But, says Farmer, Los Angeles is not likely to ever let palms completely vanish.

Adonidia Palm

Veitchia merrillii, Adonidia merrillii

The adonidia palm – often called “Christmas Palm” – is a showy, highly ornamental palm that works beautifully in small landscape areas.

The adonidia is easy care…it’s self-cleaning, meaning the spent fronds just fall off by themselves, a big low-maintenance plus. And adonidias are pretty much pest-free.

Why is it called “Christmas Palm?”

As it matures, the adonidia will bloom with white flowers and then red berries (seeds) around Christmastime.

It looks like a miniature royal palm, with its green crown shaft, gray trunk and long full fronds. Single trunk specimens work almost anywhere since they won’t grow too large or too fast to overwhelm most locations.

Christmas palms make good focal points in small tropical gardens and, when taller and more mature, they can become an elegant statement palm.

They’re regarded as deer resistant, though we make no guarantees.

Plant specs

Christmas palms work best in Zone 10, where in a normal winter an adonidia will do very well. To be on the safe side, plant in a location that isn’t subject to cold winds or frost.

Growing slowly to an average height of 12 to 15 feet, this palm is moderately salt-tolerant – it usually won’t be affected by salt spray.

A recent concern for this palm as been cold weather.

For decades we all planted adonidia palms in our yards with carefree abandon…until the winter of 2009-2010. Record cold temperatures lasting for hours over several weeks’ time took their toll on this pretty little palm (and many other plants as well) throughout South Florida.

See the Cold Protection page in the Gardening How-To section for ways to protect tropicals like the adonidia palm.

Plant care

Performing best in full sun, a Christmas palm tree can tolerate partial shade.

But too much shade causes the trunks to grow skinny and the fronds thin.

Add top soil or organic peat moss to the hole when you plant.

Fertilize with granular palm fertilizer during spring, summer and autumn…at least one application per season.

Let the fronds drop off naturally as they brown. If you can’t stand the look of a browned frond, you can cut it off, but leaving them on to fall off on their own benefits the palm as dying fronds send nutrients to new ones forming.

Plant spacing

Single trunk adonidias work in tighter areas planted 5 to 6 feet away from the house to give the fronds room to grow and prevent them from surface scraping damage.

Multi-trunk palms need adequate room to spread out…the trunks will naturally bow causing the fronds to extend a bit further. Position the trunks so they won’t be in the way once they gain some stature.

These palms are also easy to grow in containers. Large pots or planter boxes where they’ll grow happily for some years are the best choice. Once your palm outgrows a large container it can always be planted in the garden.

Landscape uses for adonidia palm

  • by the entry (mainly singles)
  • accent for the corner of the house
  • single yard specimen
  • central anchor plant for small gardens and island beds
  • in tall pool cages (interior 15’ or higher)
  • center of a circular drive
  • patio or pool container plant
  • accent for blank walls or privacy fences
  • on each side of an entrance to a long driveway

A.K.A. (also known as): Christmas Palm, Manila Palm


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS:Small to medium size shrubs, plants and grasses that work well as a surround or in front include firecracker plant, Knock Out rose, muhly grass, variegated arboricola, and loropetalum.

Other palms you might like: Spindle Palm, Arikury Palm

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Adonidia Palm

Field Grown Adonidia

Veitchia merrilli

The Adonidia Palm, commonly known as the Christmas Palm, is a native to the Philippines and has been very popular in southern Florida for over fifty years. It is a dwarf version of the Royal Palm, only reaching about 15 – 25 feet tall. Recently, this palm has had its scientific name changed from ‘Adonidia merrillii’ to ‘Veitchia merrillii’ but it is still largely referred to as the Adonidia.

Adonidias have single trunks, but are typically grown in clusters of two, three or more in the nursery. This palm is noted for its self-cleaning fronds that do not leave boots on the trunk giving it a nice, neat appearance. Its pinnate (feather) leaves are glossy, arched and grow to about 5 feet long. Unlike many other palms, Adonidias do not have thorns on their petioles. During the summer, Adonidias produce cream-colored blossoms. In December, the flowers are followed by green oval fruits that turn into a rich red as they ripen – similar to ornaments on a Christmas tree. The fruit does not attract animals.

This palm thrives in warmer weather and is not cold hardy. Care should be taken during the winter months since it is sensitive to frost and freezing temperatures. It prefers well drained soils, full sun and is moderately salt tolerant. It will tolerate periods of drought but not if prolonged.

In South Florida, Adonidias are commonly used as accent trees in the landscape. In northern climates, they are often used as annuals, or as indoor potted plants.

Adonidia in the Landscape

Ornamental Characteristics:

Native Origin:

Common Names:
Christmas Palm, Manila Palm, Dwarf Royal, Veitchia Palm, Kerpis Palm

Hardy Range: 10A – 11
Mature Height: 15 – 25’
Growth Rate: Medium

Ornamental Characteristics:
Adonidia Palms have a smooth, slender, grey trunk with leaf scar rings and a swollen base. The fronds are arched and about five feet long. They have single trunks but are grown in nurseries as doubles or triples. It produces flowers near the crownshaft of the palm which will mature into green fruits one inch long. During late fall, the fruits will ripen into a dark red.

Soil: Wide range as long as it is well drained soil
Salt: Moderate
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Exposure: Full sun, partial shade

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Adonidia Fruit

Adonidia Flower

Christmas Palm Tree

Botanical Name: Veitchia merrillii

Christmas Palm tree is magnificent, adding a luxurious, vacay vibe to any brightly lit room.

This adorable palm looks like a miniature of the Royal Palm — the stately giants you see lining boulevards in South Florida and California.

It grows from a single trunk, which supports a crown of arched, pinnate leaves. At the base of the crown, clusters of creamy white flowers emerge. In fall, these flowers are replaced with 1 in (2.5 cm) green fruits that ripen to bright red around the end of December. They look like red Christmas lights, giving this stunning tree its common name.

Photo credit: Tropic~7

This Southeastern Asia native is surprisingly tolerant of growing in a pot and will thrive indoors as long as it gets plenty of sunshine throughout the year.

You can move this palm outdoors to the patio for the summer, but bring it back inside if the temperature drops near 40°F. This tropical palm doesn’t like the cold at all.

Repot in spring only when the palm becomes severely root-bound. Pots should be deep enough to give roots room to grow. Use a heavy pot — although slow-growing, this palm will eventually get tall and become top-heavy.

Keep it clean. Palm fronds tend to be dust-catchers. Give them a shower: move your palm outdoors on a warm day and spray it with tepid water. Allow it to dry outdoors in a semi-shaded spot, protected from wind.

Check for bugs. Dry indoor air sometimes attracts spider mites, especially during the winter months. You’ll likely notice their fine webbing between fronds before you see these tiny pests. Scale insects are also attracted to palms; they are typically found on the undersides of frond leaflets. Treat any infestation immediately.

Christmas Palm was formerly known as Adonidia merrillii and is sometimes still referred to by this name. It’s rare and difficult to find outside of Florida, but you can buy Christmas palm tree online.

Often sold as a single-stem palm, but sometimes 2 or 3 are grown together for a fuller look.

Origin: Philippine Islands

Height: Up to 10-15 ft (3-5 m) when grown in a pot

Light: Bright light to full direct sun

Water: Water regularly, but don’t allow soil to get soggy which can cause root rot. Always use a pot with drainage holes.

Humidity: Moderate. If the relative humidity drops below 50%, use a cool-mist room humidifier.

Temperature: Average room temperature 65-75°F/18-24°C year-round; Christmas palm tree is not cold-hardy and will not tolerate frost.

Soil: Mix 3 parts peat moss-based mix to 1 part sand for faster drainage

Fertilizer: Most indoor plants like a steady diet of liquid plant food, but not palms. Palms are slow-growing, especially indoors, and don’t need much fertilizer. Feed with a slow-release fertilizer, such as Jobe’s Indoor Palm Fertilizer food spikes once in spring and again in summer. It contains the micronutrients that palms need to keep them healthy, lush and green.

Propagation: Christmas Palm seeds can take months to germinate, so be patient. Sow seeds in spring or summer, covering them lightly with soil. Keep warm (75-80°F/24-27°C) and moist.

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