Queen palm tree images



Description, Characteristics, Culture, Usage and Other Types of Syagrus


Queen Palm Care, Culture, Appearance, Growth, Usage in Landscape, Fertilizer, Watering, Cold tolerance and Hybrids. A common California Palm Tree.

The Queen Palm is one of the most common palms seen in Southern California. There are literally hundreds of thousands of them planted throughout communities. It is also a common palm seen in Northern California, the Gulf States and throughout the world. The only other palm that is seen this commonly is the Mexican Fan Palm, Washingtonia robusta. The Queen Palm Tree is a fast growing palm that will get fairly tall. It is easy to find and purchase. It’s popularity has to do with it’s ready availability, its fast rate of growth, and its durability. It’s botanical name is Syagrus romanzoffiana, see pictures below.

The Queen Palm is a type of Syagrus. Syagrus is a genus of over 40 species and is expanding as new species are identified. All species are from South America and the Caribbean. There are single trunk species as well as suckering species. Some get quite tall while others form no trunk and are dwarfs. No species have the popular crown shaft seen in other genera. Leaf appearance is variable with some being very plumose (fluffy) while others are more flat. Trunk caliper is variable with some being quite thick and stout. Syagrus are monoecious, meaning that only one tree has the capability of making fertile seeds. Enthusiasts like this genus because many can be successfully grown in domestic gardens and most are good growers. Distantly related to the Coconut Palm, Syagrus often have large seeds and the flowers are apparent below the crown of leaves. Some of the fruit and seeds of this genus are edible. It is not uncommon to see squirrels eating the fruit of a large Queen Palm.

Pictured below are Syagrus cearensis (left) and Syagrus comosa (right)

Most Syagrus are single trunk. Below is a picture of Syagrus vagans, a suckering and not too attractive species.

Syagrus romanzoffiana is a single trunk palm that can easily get to a height of 50 feet. I have personally seen specimens reach a height of greater than 60 feet when grown under optimal conditions with plenty of water and fertilizer. Trunk diameters can get to almost two feet. The leaves get a length of up to 12 feet and are plumose, or multi-ranked. In other words, they are quite “fluffy” in appearance. Each leaf can be quite heavy and the petiole bases are fibrous and thick. An average tree can carry as many as 15 leaves or more. Leaf color is dark green unless the plant is nutritionally challenged or in too hot and dry of a climate. The crown is full and rounded. As these leaves age (lower part of the crown), they turn brown and tend to hang down toward the ground and adjacent to the trunk. These have to be manually removed or the tree can look unsightly. They are not a “self-cleaning” species.
Examples of very tall Queen Palms. On the left below, specimens go up to about the eighth floor, on the right they line a street, twice the height of telephone poles.

The trunks, as mentioned, tend to be thick and fairly smooth. It is not unusual too see their faint growth rings separated by more than 12 inches on a vigorous specimen (see below). Flowers and seeds are born below the crown of leaves. The fruits are an intense yellow when mature and fall to the ground when ready for germination. One can see a mature Queen with what seems to be literally thousands of fruits near the base of the tree. The outer bract of the flower is quite woody when mature and has a very sharp point on the end. This could prove to be dangerous if unleashed in a windstorm and striking a person.

Queen Palms, even from the seedling stage, are very fast growers. Seeds will germinate in several months and are easy to grow. Young seedlings prefer filtered light but soon tolerate full sun in most areas. It is not unusual to be able to get a 6 foot 15g tree in two to three years from the seedling stage. This is one of the reasons that this species is so affordable. In most areas, one should plant this palm in full sun. In extremely hot inland or desert areas, filtered light might be needed. In general, it is not considered a drought tolerant palm but can take periods of low water. Queen palms grow faster when given more water and fertilizer. But, it is surprising that neglected specimens can look attractive. If given plenty of water and fertilizer, this species can be strikingly beautiful. In my locality, a planted 15g tree can reach heights of ten to twenty feet in a period of just a few years. It can develop several feet of trunk per year.
An ideal soil for queen palms would be good draining and have some organic material applied. But, as a species, Queen Palms seem to tolerate a fair amount of neglect and suboptimal soil. In Southern California one can see this species in dense clay soil and well as sandy loam. With a lack of water and fertilizer, the most common malady seen is yellow leaves (see photo below), slower growth and thinner trunks. Queen palms, because of their fast growth rate, do need fertilizer to look their best. A slow release fertilizer with microelements should be applied at least 3 times per year. Watering frequency would opitmally be 3x per week in most areas during the warmer seasons. Roots can be a bit invasive if planted right next to a structure, but in general plants usually do not hurt house foundations.
Sometimes one will see a large Queen Palm where the base of the trunk is rather thin. Then, as you look upward, the trunk seems to bulge toward the middle. This is usually the result of a new property owner giving a neglected tree plenty of water and nutrition such that more vigorous growth occurs. Watch for it and you’ll notice is around town yourself.
Note that the Queen Palm below has yellow leaves and is nutritionally challenged.

As discussed, variation in appearance can be secondary to cultural issues. Also important are Queens from natively different populations in the wild and from hybridization. When looked at thoroughly as a species, one will see variations in the size of the trunk, overall height, length of the leaves, size of the fruit and color of the leaflets. Probably most important of all factors is horticultural care. Plants that receive plenty of water and fertilizer tend to be larger and more green and robust. There are, however, other factors which can be at play. These include this species’ tendency to hybridize as well as different genetic strains in the wild that are then marketed domestically. Regarding hybridization, in habitat some localities overlap with other Syagrus species and hybrids can occur. This can lead to seed collection of “Queens” that end up looking a bit different from others of the same species. Also, man can intentionally cross the Queen Palm with various other genera (below). Any hybridization can result in major differences between the hybrid and the “normal” Queen Palm.

Another factor involving the difference seen among Queens can be that seed has been collected in different native localities. It has been discussed among enthusiasts for years that there is a variety called the “Silver Queen” which comes from an area called Santa Catarina in Brazil. This “variety” was touted to have bigger trunks, a silver appearance and faster growth rate. This may be true. Undoubtedly there are differences among plants that are offered at nurseries. But, their similarities are much more pronounced than their differences.
Of significant importance to us now, however, is the hybridization of Queens with other species or genera. In recent times, one of the most popular of these hybrids is known as the Mule Palm. This is an intergeneric hybrids between the seed bearing Butia capitata ( Pindo Palm, Jelly palm) and the Queen Palm. Queen pollen is transferred onto the blossom of the Butia. The reverse cross has also been done, but it is the true Mule Palm (Butia seed bearer) that is most popular. This hybrid is an attractive palm that resembles a Queen Palm but is more cold hardy. It is not as tall but still an excellent grower. It is particular sought after when enthusiasts routinely see temperatures into the mid to upper teens F. Because this hybrid’s production takes hand pollination of the flowers, plants tend to be expensive.

The Mule Palm, Butia X Queen,
photo by M.H.
The Mule Palm by ToddNoTown

Below is a hybrid between a Queen and a Butia..

Consumers worldwide have used Queen Palms for making a landscape statement. They are big palms and get quite tall. Given their ease of growth, it is quite common to see them in domestic or commercial plantings. They are one of the best palms for establishing canopy (shade from the sun and protection from cold). However, because they are so commonly seen everywhere, enthusiasts and creative landscape companies tend not to use them. Perhaps this is a bit unfair to the species because it is quite attractive. But, collectors seem to dismiss this species as they can look up and down the street in both directions and see dozens of Queens. Even with this, the Syagrus romanzoffiana remains the number one most commonly sold palm tree in department and outlet stores in Southern California. It is not rare to see novices overplant their yard with the Queen Palm. And, it is often common for such people who later become enthusiasts, to remove most of their Queen Palms at a later date.
Both photos below show Queen Palms in domestic plantings.

Queen Palms are one of those species that could be utilized to line a street or driveway. This is commonly seen in Southern California and other parts of the world. They give a majestic appearance and the crowns are eventually up against the blue sky. Alternative species commonly used for parkway plantings include Royal Palms, King Palms and Fishtail Palms.
Queen Palms lining a driveway on the left. On the right being used in a public park.
There are other more unusual Syagrus species that could be used as a substitute for the Queen Palm The problem is that most landscape architects and contractors don’t know the other species. They rest on the facts that everyone knows Queen Palms, that they are cheap and readily available. Therefore, to the unimaginative person, Queen Palms are selected off the “short list” and used over and over again. Hopefully with time such professionals will come to recognize the virtues of alternative species.

Picture on the left below shows the Queen Palm as a parkway planting (left). To the right are Queens in a commercial condominium project.

Most people plant Queen Palms as a single plant. They might plant many in their yard or project, but these are typically not grouped. This is because, as a single tree, the Queen is quite large. However, one occasionally sees groups of Queen Palms, most commonly three together (like we see with King Palms). The result might be three similar sized plants with time or sometimes stair stepping in sizes. Such a planting gives a lot of canopy generated shade below. Of note, to get the bending out appearance of the Queens (below), they have to be grown from a seedling stage together. If you merely take three older plants and put them in the ground close to each other, you get three vertical trunks without the bend in the trunks at the ground.
On the left you see a “triple Queen. On the right you see the base of this grouping.
In Southern California, the most common problems we see with growing Queen Palms is cultural. This means they are given too little water, too little fertilizer, or are no given enough ample sun. In terms of insects, Queens can be afflicted with scale, mealybug or even aphids. Older specimens can get trunk boring insect damage. And, a decades old tree can be subject to termites. Diseases and pests are more common in sickly or poorly maintained plants.

Below is a Syagrus coronata

On the left is Syagrus sancona, on the right Archontophoenix cunninghamiana

Below is Roystonea regia on the left and Caryota gigas on the right. Both form canopy.

QUESTION: Can I stunt my Queen Palm so it won’t get so tall? Yes, one can deprive this species such that it will not grow well and probably never get too tall. But, it won’t look good. A professional would just suggest you try a different species rather than try to create an ugly Queen.

QUESTION: How do I stop my Queen from forming seeds? There is no available chemical or drug that will do this. Rather, we suggest you remove the blossom(s) when they first appear. This is not difficult and will prevent the dropping of fruit. You have to keep up with it.

QUESTION: Do I have to cut off the old dead leaves on my Queen Palm? You don’t have to, but the tree looks much better if you do. They will drop off by themselves in time. Remember, such dropping might be at an unpredictable time and hit a car or person.

QUESTION: Because they were so cheap, I planted way too many Queen Palms in my yard and now they are everywhere. What can I do? This is just poor planning. Yes, you saved money but the cost of removal will more than exceed the savings you made at the time of planting. We usually tell consumers to just plant a few if they like them. Never use them all over the place so that Queens are all you have. If one has this problem, the only option is to physically remove them or put up with their presence.

QUESTION: Are the seeds of Queen Palm poisonous? To be best of our knowledge, they are not. In fact, they are eaten by people in some parts of the world and by animals.

QUESTION: Why do architects always use Queen Palms in commercial design? There are two reasons for this. First, they are always available commercially and are affordable. The second is that many architects are many times unaware of good alternatives and use them from their “tried and true” list. This has been going on for many years.

QUESTION: I have Queen Palms in my yard. Will anyone buy them? The answer is typically “no” for reasons given above.

QUESTION: I live in a very cold area. Will Queen Palms grow for me outdoors? Queen Palms take down to about 17 degrees. If you get colder than this, you’ll need to utilize cold protection or pick an alternative species

QUESTION: I’ve heard of “Baby Queens”. What are they? This is merely a name given to a species of Chamaedorea, a New World palm that typically likes shade. This species, C. plumosa, is different and can be grown in sun along coastal strips and is attractive. But, it has a fairly thin trunk and does not resemble a Queen Palm. It was just a name given by growers to market their product.


Queen Palms are a type of Syagrus. They are grown quite commonly worldwide in temperate and tropical areas. They are fast growing, get quite tall and usually quite affordable for the consumer. Overplanting of Queens can overwhelm a garden quite easily and one should limit the number used. Queens make poor potted or indoor plants. They need pruning from time to time and the seeds are non-toxic as far as we know. Queens are commonly used in commercial designs because of availability and cost. Cold tolerance of the Queen Palm is the mid to upper teens F. Palm enthusiasts tend not to utilize Queen Palms because they are so common. A hybrid between the Pindo Palm and the Queen palm is known as the Mule Palm. It is very attractive and more cold hardy than the Queen. Finally, Queens can be easily dug and moved but there is little demand for them in the marketplace so it is hard to sell them.

Thanks for reading this article. Further links below. We have lots of articles on palms at our site.

Phil Bergman
Owner Jungle Music Palms and Cycads

Queen Palm Care – Learn How To Grow A Queen Palm

Queen palm trees are stately, single-trunked palms topped with glossy, bright pinnate leaves that droop softly in a graceful canopy. Bright orange dates hang in ornamental clusters. Queen palm trees are popular landscape trees in warm regions. For more queen palm tree information, read on.

Queen Palm Tree Information

Queen palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana) are tall, beautiful trees, but not everyone can grow them. These palms thrive only in U.S Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b through 11.

Queen palm trees grow to 50 feet (15 m.) tall and their canopies can spread to 25 feet (7.6 m.). Like many tall palms, the trunk is straight and branchless, but crowned with a canopy of palm leaves.

As if the majesty of these palms was not enough to win hearts, queen palm trees also produce large plumes of miniature blossoms in summer. These flowers mature into bright

orange fruits by winter.

How to Grow a Queen Palm

Gardeners who live in a warm region may be interested in growing a queen palm. If you want to know how to grow a queen palm, it is easier than you might think.

If you are going to grow queen palms from seeds, be sure that the seeds are at least half ripe before you use them. Remove the fruit pulp then soak the seeds in water for a few days.

Once the soaking period is done, plant the seeds in a well-drained, moist potting soil. Germination can take from six weeks to six months. Keep the seeds in high temperatures during germination.

Transplant the seedling into a sunny location. Be sure the soil is acidic and well-draining since this combination minimizes the required queen palm care.

Caring for Queen Palms

Once your queen palm is established, the tree develops rapidly. At this point, you’ll have to undertake essential queen palm care.

Queen palms like ample moisture in the soil, so don’t let it fend for itself during dry periods. You should also apply fertilizer regularly. Part of their care also includes keeping all turf a distance from the trunk to prevent decay.

Caring for queen palms is much easier if you have planted the tree in an appropriate location with acidic soil. The tree will develop severe mineral deficiencies in alkaline soil, stunting young leaves and potentially killing the tree. You can save a tree planted in alkaline soil, however, if you offer regular applications of manganese and/or iron to keep the tree alive.

Queen Palm Tree

Queen Palm Tree likes warm weather and high humidity. You can plant palms any time of the year but they establish much faster if planted during warm months. I takes 2-3 months for palm trees to develop new roots if planted during April – October. Here are step-by-step planting instructions for planting Queen Palm Tree:
1. Choose a spot. When picking a place for planting your palm, consider that Queen palm tree is a fast growing palm that can grow up to 50ft. Power lines above the Queen palm, might be a problem in the future. Queen palm likes full sun, so make sure your spot is getting enough sunlight during the day.
2.Dig a hole. As a rule of thumb, your hole size should be twice as big as the root ball of your palm.
3. After you are done digging, cut the walls of the hole with a small shovel, just a little bit to make the walls a little softer. That will help palm tree roots to penetrate through easier.
4. Since Queen palm likes well drained soil, mix some sand into the soil. That will help to improve the drainage. Do NOT add any fertilizer to the mix. If you do, it will burn palm roots and your palm will die.
The best soil mix is based on Canadian peat moss. I found two different types on the Amazon. That’s what I would use to make sure my soil has excellent drainage:
5. A lot of times new planted palm trees experience “transplant shock”. To minimize the stress use the original soil form the pot around the root ball of the palm.
6. Pure some water into the bottom of the hole and start adding soil. Push down the soil to eliminate air pockets. Add more water and plant your palm.
7. Add soil around your palm and again push it down around the root ball of the palm to avoid air pockets. Make sure you palm is not planted too deep or too high. This can kill your Queen palm. It should be on the ground level.
8. After you done with soil create a barrier around the tree. It should be around 2-3 inches. This will hold water and will help keep the soil moist longer.
9. Another great tips to keep the soil moist is to add some mulch. 2-3 inches of mulch should be enough. I like to use organic mulch that is made from natural forest products. It’s so cheap, like $5, you should definitely get it. I like to use organic mulch that is made from natural forest products. Scott Organic Mulch lasts for 1 year:
10. If your Queen palm is few feet tall put a brace around it. You can make it from few wooden sticks and a strap. This brace will protect your Queen Palm Tree from wind and storm.
11. Water your palm and you are done! Don’t forget to water your new planted Queen Palm every day during the first week. You can water it every other day for the second week and only 3 times a week after.
Important Tip: I know that Queen palm likes full sun, but if it’s a young palm you should protect it from the direct sun for few weeks after planting, especially during summer month. It can get very hot in Florida and your new planted palm already got stressed by being transplanted. I get emails from people who completely fried their new Queen palms by leaving them in the direct sun during hottest days of the summer.
Here is an easy fix: cover it with something like umbrella from 11am – 6pm. And use common sense. If it’s very hot, water it a little more.
I hope this article on Planting Queen Palm Tree was useful. Let me know if you have good tips on planting queen palms.
Have a great day!

A question for Dan Gill: I have three queen palms in my yard, and I love them. I have two clusters of palm fruit hanging on stalks at the moment. I’m interested in trying to grow some from seed, but I’m unsure of when the seeds are mature. Should I wait till they turn brown or drop to the ground? The fruit are still green at this point. — John Sarradet

Answer: You need to wait until the fruit of the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) is fully ripe before you harvest the seeds. The fruit will turn golden yellow to orange when it is ripe. You can remove the fruit from the tree or pick up ripe fruit that falls to the ground.

To harvest the seeds, remove the pulp completely. Use water and a scrub brush to remove the flesh clinging to the seeds. Soak the clean seeds overnight in water. Plant the seeds shallowly in potting mix.

The seeds should be on their sides, and the potting mix should cover about three-quarters of the seed. In other words, when planted, you will still see part of the seeds. Decide how many new palms you need. There is no use planting 50 seeds if you only need a few more palms to plant in your landscape.

Question for Dan Gill: When is the best month to dig up my large Phoenix roebelenii palm to transplant it? — Paul

Answer: Palms are best transplanted during the summer months, anytime from April/May to August.

Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. Email questions to [email protected] or add them to the comment section below. Follow his stories at www.nola.com/homegarden, on Facebook and @nolahomegardenon Instagram.

How to Plant Queen Palm Trees From Seeds

Queen palms (Cocos Plumosa) are in the family of Coceae. This palm is native to Argentina and Brazil. Queen Palms grow well planted outside in the subtropical and tropical regions of our country in zones 9 and 10. This graceful leafed palm gives an abundance of orange to yellow fruits, so the gardener will have plenty of seeds to choose from when it comes to planting. Providing you follow a few basic steps when dealing with palm seeds, your queen palm seeds should be relatively easy to germinate.

Collect the seeds from the queen palm while green, just as they are beginning to turn ripe. Queen palms are one palm that their seeds will germinate better if planted in the green stage, right before they ripen.

Soak the queen palm seeds in a bucket of water for a day, to help soften up the outer skin. Remove as much of the outer skin as possible, to reveal the inner seed that will be brown.

Soak the queen palm seeds once again in a bucket of water for several days, after cleaning. Change the water daily. Remove any seeds that float to the top, as these are less likely to germinate. The soaking will help soften them to germinate quicker.

Select a one-gallon container with drain holes, to plant the queen palm seeds. Do not use a container that does not drain well, as the seeds can rot and die before germinating.

Fill the container will a potting mix that is high in organic matter, but drains well. Use a mix that contains peat moss and perlite. Plant the seeds one inch deep within the potting mix and cover with soil.

Water the container directly after planting the queen palm seed. Keep the container moist, but not soggy, throughout the entire germination process. Do not allow the seed to remain in soil that is dry or it will not germinate.

Place the container in an area that receives full to partial sunlight during the day. The queen palm requires at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day for best success in the germination process. The seed will germinate in anywhere from four weeks to six months.

Queen Palm

Syagrus romanzoffiana

The popular queen palm tree has everything we love in a landscape palm – a stately yet tropical look, a fast growth habit, and a moderate tolerance for cold, drought and salt air.

With its smooth gray trunk and long, glossy fronds like feathery plumes, the queen is a big favorite for home landscapes in South Florida.

This is a solitary palm (grows a single trunk) but can be effective planted in groups as well as alone.

Plant specs

Queens are fast growers, reaching heights of 40 feet.

The quick growth rate makes them fairly inexpensive to buy and a good choice for those who want a finished look sooner rather than later.

These palms are moderately cold hardy, doing well in areas of Zone 9B that border 10A.

They’re moderately salt-tolerant and moderately drought tolerant (once established). They’re not choosy about light conditions, performing well in full sun to partial shade.

The orange fruit this palm drops can be messy, so consider this fact when choosing a planting spot.

Plant care

This palm tree should be planted with top soil or organic peat moss added to the hole.

These aren’t self-cleaning palms, though dead fronds will drop off eventually – a plus when the palm is too tall to hand-trim.

Fertilize in spring, summer and fall with a quality granular fertilizer containing micronutrients.

Plant spacing

Queens have a tendency to blow over in a very strong wind because their root system is weaker than most palms. So you’re better off planting well away from the house – at least 10 feet out.

When planting a row or group of these palms, you can situate them 4 to 5 feet apart or more.

This is not a good palm for containers since it grows so quickly.

Landscape uses for queen palm

  • single or group specimen for the yard
  • backdrop for a grouping of smaller palms and/or cycads
  • anchor for a garden bed
  • accenting or lining a property line or fence

A.K.A. (also known as): Cocos Palm


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Since the queen grows fast, you can use medium to large plants at its base, including hibiscus, selloum philodendron, Burgundy loropetalum, bush allamanda, ligustrum sinensis, Cape Tecoma honeysuckle, cape jasmine, or copper plant.

Other palms you might like: Foxtail Palm, Piccabeen Palm

Print This Page

  1. Home
  2. Large Palms
  3. Queen Palm

The Queen Palm Tree, scientific name Syagrus romanzoffiana, is one of the most popular palms in tropical and subtropical climates because of its beautiful appearance and low maintenance. This palm is very inexpensive. Groupings of three or more Queen Palms provide soft filtered sunlight perfect for shade gardens. It is also worth mentioning, that Queen Palm tree has a shallow root-base and is known for falling during high winds and hurricanes.

Buy Large Queen Palm – 11 ft “
Buy Medium Queen Palm – 9 ft “
Buy Small Queen Palm – 4 ft “

Queen Palm Tree Profile

Scientific name: Syagrus romanzoffiana

Common names: The Queen Palm is also known as Cocos Plumosa, and Jeriva Syagrus romanzoffiana.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to the South American woodlands of Brazil and Argentina.

Appearance: Syagrus romanzoffiana has smooth single trunk ringed with leaf scars and topped with dark green feathery fronds. Pinnate leaves grow upward more so than outward. The stem of the leaf is about 5 – 15ft long and has double rows of leaflets. Each leaflet blade approximately 18 to 36 inches long.

Flowers/Fruits: During summer months Queen Palm will surprise you with beautiful clusters of creamy flowers on a green stalk that grows underneath its leaves. In the early winter a green fruit will appear that will turn orange as it matures. This fruits, also called “dates”, have round shape and are about 1 inch long with one single seed inside. The Queen Palm fruit smells nice but is not editable. When dates fall to the ground they create sticky piles of rotting fruit that attract disagreeable insects.

Growth Rate: Fast. With regular fertilization Queen Palm can grow to a maximum height of about 30 – 40 ft and 5 -10 ft wide. It grows around 6 feet per year after establishing.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Cold Tolerance: Syagrus romanzoffiana can tolerate cold down to 15F when mature enough. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 8b (15 to 20 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Partial shade to Full sun. Queen Palm grows very well in full sun although full sun with some shade is preferred.

Water Req: Moderate. Along with proper feeding, correct watering is critical for healthy Queen Palm. Newly planted palms should be watered every day for the first week, every other day for the second week and about 3 times a week afterwards. Watering palm 3 times a week should be enough during the first summer, and a minimum of twice a week in the winter.

Maintenance: Easy. Queen Palms should be fertilized with a fertilizer that contains the most important minerals including magnesium, iron, copper, manganese and nitrogen. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Queen Palm requires a lot of manganese for a healthy grow, not to be confused with magnesium. So, even after applying the usual fertilizer that contains manganese, it’s a good idea to add more manganese to the soil. Manganese deficiency is responsible for the “frizzy top” that you can witness on many Florida Queen Palms. That’s because most of the homeowners don’t know how to fertilize Queen Palm Trees properly. If you don’t treat the “frizzy top” condition, your palm tree will get weaker and eventually die. Once you noticed that some of the frizzy symptoms are developing, add more manganese to the soil.

The Queen Palm needs very little pruning, mainly to develop a strong structure. The best time to prune Queen Palm tree is from September to beginning of November. You can remove old fronds that got damaged during the summer with a saw. Get rid of only minimum amount of fronds that are yellow or brown. Excessive pruning can weaken the palm and slow its growth. If you have a tall Queen Palm, you might need a ladder to reach dry fronds. If you live in Florida, it’s easy to find a company that can do it for you.

Insects and Diseases: The only pests that cause problems for Queen Palms are Palm leaf skeletonizer and scale. For more details on pests and prevention read – Palm Tree Insects. Queen Palm has problem with Ganoderma butt rot that can kill the palm. There is no cure for it. The only thing you can do, is to use prevention treatments.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds. Seeds of Queen Palm germinate better if collected from the green fruit that didn’t ripe yet. Try to plant as soon as possible, as dried seed is much more difficult to propagate. If you can’t plant the seed right away, you can store them. Before storing clean the seeds from the dust, air dry them and seal them in a plastic bag. The best storage temperature is around 65F-75F. It’s not recommended to store Queen Palm seeds for more than 4 months.

Buy Queen Palm Today

We don’t sell palm trees on this site, but you can buy it from one of my favorite palm nurseries – Real Palm Trees. It has beautiful palm trees at discounted prices and offers a Free Shipping. This is one of the few sites that I trust, because each palm tree comes with Certificate of Authenticity that guarantees highest quality of the tree. All of their palm trees are properly grown and acclimatized to the correct hardiness zone.

Most importantly, you will receive a tree in perfect health and wouldn’t have to worry about it dying few weeks later. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or you money back.

Buy Large Queen Palm – 11 ft “
Buy Medium Queen Palm – 9 ft “
Buy Small Queen Palm – 4 ft “

Planting Queen Palm Seeds

When you are ready to plant your seeds, soak them first in water for 1-7 days. Change water daily. Plant a seed into a small container filled with soil (you can get it from you local supermarket). Soil should cover your seed not more than 2 cm. Put the container outside if you live in a warm climate. The temperature should be around 85F-90F. Water them 1-2 times a week. It should take around 2-3 months to sprout. Wait until at least one leaf has appeared before transplanting. Click here to read more about Planting Palm Trees. I got few pictures of the process for you:

Queen Palm seeds

Queen Palm seeds 30 days of germination

Queen Palm seeds 150 days of germination

Queen Palm 23 months after germination

~Susan Brian

P.S. If you like this palm tree, please click “Like” button below.

Like Loading…

Syagrus romanzoffiana: Queen Palm1

Timothy K. Broschat2

The queen palm is a popular feather-leaved palm with graceful arching leaves (Figure 1). It is one of the hardiest of the tropical-looking palms, being suitable for planting in USDA plant hardiness zone 9B (>25°F). Queen palms are considered to be moderately tolerant of salt spray. They can reach heights up to 50 ft with a spread of 20–25 ft. The smooth gray trunk varies from 8–15 inches in diameter, depending on the seed source and environment, and may contain bulges. Large inflorescences of cream-colored flowers are produced from within the leaves in the canopy during spring and summer months. These are followed by bright orange, round to slightly elongated fruits between ¾ and 1 inch long (Figure 2). Fruit drop is a major concern for queen palms because fruit clusters can weigh over 100 pounds and contain over a thousand seeds. These accumulate on the ground beneath the canopy, where some will sprout into unwanted seedlings (Figure 3).

Figure 1.

Queen palm, Syagrus romanzoffiana.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

Figure 2.

Inflorescence and immature fruit stalk on queen palm.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

Figure 3.

Fallen ripe fruit of queen palm.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

Queen palm seeds to be used for propagation should be half ripe to fully ripe with the fruit pulp removed. Soaking the cleaned seeds in water for two days prior to planting in a well-drained, but uniformly moist potting soil can improve germination in this species. Queen palm seed germinates slowly and erratically, taking from six weeks to six months. As with most palm species, high temperatures (90–95°F) are required for seed germination. For more information about germinating palm seeds see “Palm Seed Germination” (EDIS EP238).

Queen palms are not considered to be self-cleaning, so every leaf must be manually cut off after it dies. The flower and fruit stalks are typically removed at the time that dead leaves are removed to reduce the mess caused by falling fruit. Avoid removing leaves that are not completely dead because these leaves serve as a supplementary source of potassium (K) in the absence of sufficient K in the soil.

Most queen palms in southeastern United States exhibit some degree of K deficiency, which in its mildest stages causes small, translucent, yellow-orange spotting on the oldest leaves. As the deficiency becomes more severe, the tips of leaflets towards the ends of the oldest leaves become necrotic and frizzled (curled) (Figure 4). This eventually causes premature death of the oldest leaves and reduces the number of leaves that the palm can support. In severe cases, all of the leaves in the canopy will be affected and even new leaves will emerge chlorotic, reduced in size, and frizzled. If untreated, severe K deficiency can be fatal to palms. For more information about pruning palms and K deficiency in palms, see “Pruning Palms” (EDIS EP443) and “Potassium Deficiency in Palms” (EDIS EP269).

Figure 4.

Potassium deficient older leaf of a young queen palm.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

While frizzling of the leaflets at the ends of the oldest leaves is indicative of K deficiency, frizzling of the leaflets at the base of the youngest leaves is caused by manganese (Mn) deficiency (Figure 5). If young leaves of frizzled queen palms are examined more closely, longitudinal necrotic streaking will typically be observed on otherwise chlorotic leaflets. The position of the frizzling (base vs. tip of the leaf) plus the presence of necrotic streaking helps distinguish Mn deficiency from severe K deficiency, which from a distance appear identical. It is not unusual to see both Mn and K deficiencies on the same palm or even on the same leaf if the K deficiency is severe enough. For more information about Mn deficiency, see “Manganese Deficiency in Palms” (EDIS EP267).

Figure 5.

Manganese deficiency on queen palm.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

On alkaline soils, queen palms may also exhibit uniformly yellow (chlorotic) new leaves. This is typically caused by iron (Fe) deficiency. They may also show various leaf distortions on otherwise dark green new leaves that are caused by boron (B) deficiency. Boron deficiency can cause puckering, crumpling, truncation, incomplete opening, twisting, or stunting of the new leaves, or it may cause the palm to branch or grow sideways or even downwards (Figures 6, 7, and 8). Since the availability of micronutrients such as Mn, B, or Fe to plants decreases sharply with increasing soil pH, queen palms generally grow poorly on alkaline soils. For more information about Fe or B deficiencies in palms, see “Iron Deficiency in Palms” (EDIS EP265) and “Boron Deficiency in Palms” (EDIS EP264).

Figure 6.

Freeze-dried appearance of queen palm killed by Fusarium wilt.


M. L. Elliott, UF/IFAS

Figure 7.

Stunted new leaf and sideways growth of queen palm caused by boron deficiency.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

Figure 8.

Branching and downward growth in queen palm caused by boron deficiency.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

Since most queen palms in the landscape are deficient in one or more nutrient deficiencies, regular application of an 8-2-12+4Mg palm fertilizer that has 100% of its N, K, and Mg in controlled-release form is recommended for queen palms in the southeastern United States. For more information about landscape palm fertilization see “Fertilization of Field-grown and Landscape Palms in Florida” (EDIS EP261).

Queen palms in the landscape are susceptible to several lethal diseases. Ganoderma butt rot, caused by Ganoderma zonatum, causes an internal discoloration and decay of the trunk (Figure 9). This is generally confined to the bottom 3–4 feet of the trunk, and, once about 85% of the cross sectional area of the trunk has been destroyed by the fungus, the canopy may show signs of wilting or other water stress symptoms, followed by fairly rapid loss of lower leaves, and, eventually, death of the palm (Figure 10). Fungal fruiting bodies called conks may emerge from the lower portion of the trunk prior to death of the palm. Initially they look like hard marshmallows, but eventually they become woody, shelf-like structures with a brown top and white bottom (Figure 11). These conks can produce billions of reddish-brown dust-like spores that will blow everywhere, spreading the disease. Thus, while there is no control for this disease, removing conks in the early stages of their development can reduce the rate of spread of this disease. Be sure to remove or grind the stump after cutting down any palm to prevent Ganoderma conks from growing and reproducing on the stump. For more information about this disease, see “Ganoderma Butt Rot of Palm” (EDIS PP100).

Figure 9.

A series of cross sections through the lower trunk of a queen palm infected with Ganoderma zonatum. Note that the diameter of the internal discoloration decreases as the height above the ground increases.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

Figure 10.

Wilted crown of queen palm infected with Ganoderma zonatum.


T. K. Broschat, UF/IFAS

Figure 11.

Conk or fungal fruiting body of Ganoderma zonatum.


M. L. Elliott, UF/IFAS

Another fungus, Thielaviopsis paradoxa, also causes a trunk rot of queen palms, but this one is largely confined to the softer upper parts of the trunk, often just below the crown. This fungus requires a wound in the trunk to become established. Such wounds are often caused by rough handling during transplanting or pruning, including pulling off dead leaves or leaf bases that are still firmly attached to the trunk. Once established, this disease causes a soft rot of the trunk that may be visible from the outside as a water-soaked, often bleeding, or soft sunken area on the trunk. Once a majority of the trunk cross-sectional area has been rotted, the crown may wilt or simply topple over with no warning (Figure 12). There is no control for this disease, but it can easily be prevented by avoiding trunk wounding when pruning or transplanting. For more information about this disease, see “Thielaviopsis Trunk Rot of Palms” (EDIS PP143).

Figure 12.

Toppled crown of queen palm caused by Thielaviopsis trunk rot.


M. L. Elliott, UF/IFAS

A more recent disease on queen palms is Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. palmarum. It infects the petioles of the oldest leaves, causing a characteristic reddish-brown longitudinal stripe on one side of the petiole and rachis. The leaflets on that side of the rachis quickly die, while leaflets on the other side remain green for a while (Figure 13). Eventually, the entire leaf dies, and this process is rapidly repeated on successively younger leaves until the entire crown is dead. These dead leaves remain in place for a while, giving the palm a “freeze-dried” look (Figure 14). There is no control for this disease. Although it is believed to be spread primarily by wind-blown spores, it is likely also spread via contaminated pruning tools, moving it from infected to healthy trees. For more information about this disease, see “Fusarium Wilt of Queen and Mexican Fan Palms” (EDIS PP278).

Figure 13.

Reddish-brown petiole and rachis stripe of queen palm caused by Fusarium wilt. Note that leaflets on affected side are necrotic.


M. L. Elliott, UF/IFAS

Figure 14.

Freeze-dried appearance of queen palm killed by Fusarium wilt.


M. L. Elliott, UF/IFAS

Additional References

Broschat, T. K. 2007. “Boron deficiency symptoms in palms.” Palms 51: 115–126.

Broschat, T. K. 2007. “Boron deficiency, phenoxy herbicides, stem bending, and branching in palms—is there a connection?” Palms 51:161–163.


This document is ENH-767, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised April 2007 and October 2013. Reviewed December 2017. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

Timothy K. Broschat, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Davie, FL 33314.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *