When bringing any plant into your landscape, one must think about how it looks today, versus what it will grow into in the future. Planting a garden is much trickier than building a pergola, pool, or any other permanent structure that stays the same for years. Gardens constantly change. Plants evolve as individuals but the garden grows as a whole unit, which is why it is so important to plan not just for your garden today but for its future growth.
There are many factors that come into play when planning your garden.
It is important to take into account your grow zone, a standard based on climates that helps growers know which plants are most likely to thrive in their area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a Plant Hardiness Zone Map that can help you determine what your grow zone is and what plants are best suited for your climate.
Whether you live in sunny Florida or Maine, gardens everywhere change with the seasons, usually becoming barren and dead during the winter months. By planting evergreens, a plant that will remain green through more than one growing season, you’ll be able to balance out bare-branched and flowerless plants in the winter.
Cold hardy palms are an excellent example of an evergreen that shines in the winter months—they’ll stay green and fresh while everything else is wilting in the winter. Many of these, especially the shrub-like, low-growing palms we sell at Atlanta Palms, are long-term additions to your backyard. They grow at 2-4 inches per year, so they maintain their overall size for many years. Slow-growing palms are ideal for areas that require low-growing, easy-maintenance plants.
There are some plants that look one way when young and newly planted, yet completely different when mature. You should research what your plant will evolve into, and how its roots will eventually grow to make sure the plant is the right fit for your planned location. If the plant is fast growing, getting a young, small version of it is a great idea. If it is slow growing and the space calls for something bigger, it is best to splurge for a bigger version or go for a faster-growing species.
When buying a larger cold hardy palm, you can be certain that the plant will stay consistent for years, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the palm just like you imagined—no unpleasant surprises.
Low-growing or bushlike palms are great companion plants that create an interesting understory or undergrowth around the palm or tree. They can even be mixed amongst species, as they will not invade each other's territory. Low-growing shrub-like palms are a blessing for owners, as they require little maintenance, are pest and disease-resistant, and even drought-tolerant. They also don't need to be pruned constantly.
Fast-growing plants can be a blessing, allowing for new plants to grow into their potential quickly. But sometimes, if they grow too quickly, they can become a nuisance, especially in the front and backyard landscaping. It can create an undesired, unbalanced look if they outgrow the rest of the garden.
Slow or medium-growing plants might work better for you. While they will take longer to evolve and fill up the space, they will require much less maintenance. A great option is the Pindo Palm, a tree-like palm that is green, luscious, and grows slowly.
NEIGHBORS ARE IMPORTANT
On the surface, putting a beautiful garden together is easy, until you consider all the needs of the various plants. For example, plants next to each other should have similar watering and sunshine needs so that the care they receive is consistent. Luckily, bush-like palms work well next to virtually any plant, as long as the soil is well-drained. They can tolerate overwatering and occasional dry spells. They are so slow growing, they don't grow over any neighboring plants. Creating a tropical island with different bushlike palms is a wonderful idea, not only will look beautiful for years to come but it requires little effort on your end.
When planning your landscape, there are several factors you should always consider. Each plant needs to be researched, paying close attention to changes with the coming seasons and as the plant matures, as well as grow zone characteristics. By planting cold-hardy, grow zone appropriate palms, you are ensuring evergreen and low-maintenance beauty year round!
At Atlanta Palms, we can help you find the right palm for your landscape for as little as $99. Visit us at AtlantaPalms.com.