Cold-Hardy Low-Growing Georgia native sporting fan-shaped fronds, multiple creeping trunks, and looks fabulous year-round with minimal care.
Why Choose a Green Saw Palmetto Palm?
If you’d like your landscape to have a more tropical feel but live in an area with cool winters, the cold-hardy Green Saw Palmetto can help make that dream a reality, given you are located within USDA zone 7b or higher. Maybe you’d like to give a natural look to a section of the yard, attract birds and wildlife, or just want a hardy, low-growing palm that works and looks fabulous as a ground cover. The Green Saw Palmetto meets all those needs and more.
The Georgia native is commonly seen growing under pines and even along roadways, making it extremely hardy because it’s used to growing in the area’s conditions. The extremely long-lived, low-growing, evergreen palmetto averages around 5 to 6 feet tall with a spread of 3 to 4 feet if within USDA zones 7b to 8, forming dense, clumping spreads of greenery.
Although typically shielded by the dense canopy of green fronds, the stout, brown hairy trunks develop into multiples as the palm ages. The brown hairy fibers make the palmetto more cold-hardy, protecting it from cold temperatures. Trunks eventually creep across the ground, giving the palmetto a unique appearance.
The dense canopy fills with deeply cut, stiff, green, fan-shaped fronds that grow around 3 feet wide. The fronds are lined with saw-like teeth, thus, the common name Green Saw Palmetto. In springtime, 3-foot flower stalks form containing fragrant yellow bloom, which attracts beneficial pollinators like butterflies and bees. Small berries form after the flowers fade and ripen turning black in fall, attracting birds and small mammals.
Green Saw Palmettos fulfill a variety of needs within the landscape. Besides growing well in pots situated on a porch or patio, they make lush ground covers. Their dense growth works well to add privacy growing as a shrub or screen, planted in mass, used to naturalize an area, and in native or pollinator gardens.
Is it Cold-Hardy in My Area?
With its stiff green fronds and hairy trunk, the Green Saw Palmetto is hardy growing year-round in USDA zones 7b through 11, tolerating temperatures down to 10℉ and can withstand brief drops down to 5°. This makes it a suitable and attractive addition to some northern landscapes that aren’t consistently warm.
Of course, you can always give the palmetto a bit of protection if harsh weather conditions are on the horizon. Water well the day before the extreme weather is expected and layer the planting site with 3 or 4 inches of organic mulch. You can also add some zing to the outdoor space by stringing some holiday lights throughout the Green Saw Palmetto’s canopy.
How Big Does It Get?
Green Saw Palmettos are slow-growing (a rate of about 1" per year) so it’s going to take a while for them to reach their mature size of 5 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide in zones 7b-8 . They can reach almost double these sizes in consistently warmer areas such as zone 10-11. Green Saw Palmettos are great selections for containers or anywhere you desire a low-growing ground cover or mass planting.
How Much Sun Does It Require?
The palmetto is versatile in its preferred light conditions, as it thrives planted in full sun to a location in shade. This makes it a great asset to use in a location that’s too shady for a lot of plants.
What About Soil and Water?
Another great quality about the Green Saw Palmetto is that it grows in a wealth of different soil types including Georgia clay. It tolerates soils that are dry to those that are occasionally wet.
When it comes to water requirements, the palmetto is highly tolerant to drought and will thrive on only rainfall once established. However, after planting and for the first few months while it’s establishing itself in the landscape, water regularly. Depending on local weather conditions, irrigating one to two times weekly is sufficient.
Is It Easy to Maintain?
If your idea of outdoor fun doesn’t include constantly having to do gardening work, then the Green Saw Palm is the plant for you. You’ll find you’re only having to prune off a completely dead and brown frond rarely. However, the stems are sharp so you might want to wear gloves whenever you do have to occasionally work around the palmetto.
Although palms are relatively easy to care for yourself, we encourage our professional maintenance service 3 times a year. We offer the Perfect Palm Maintenance Service with only the best products and professionals for your palms.
What About Fertilizing?
Green Saw Palmettos have very low needs when it comes to fertilizing. In fact, it will continue to look fabulous and produce hardy growth if you don’t feed it anything at all. However, you can fertilize with a high-quality palm blend in spring or summer. Just follow the package directions on amounts and be sure to water in well after applying.
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