Plants that look like palm trees provide the same aesthetics as palms. They are a good alternative if your area’s climate does not support the growth of some palms, have beautifully shaped leaves, and can grow to the height of your choice, depending on how you trim them.
Palms are indoor and outdoor plants that add a breezy, tropical feel to your home. Check out these 20 plants that resemble palm trees and use them as an alternative in your garden.
- Types of Plants That Look Like Palm Trees
- 1. Chamaedorea Elegans
- 2. Cardboard Tree Palm
- 3. Chinese Fan Palm
- 4. Madagascar Palm
- 5. Cat Palm
- 6. Areca Palm
- 7. Majesty Palm
- 8. Ponytail Palm
- 9. Sago Palm
- 10. Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa)
- 11. Travelers Palm
- 12. Oil Palm
- 13. Christmas Palm
- 14. Vulcan Palm
- 15. Triangle Variety
- 16. Mexican Fan Palm
- 17. Gum Palm
- 18. Roystonea Regia
- 19. Paradise Palm
- 20. Cascade Palm
Types of Plants That Look Like Palm Trees
1. Chamaedorea Elegans
Also known as the Parlor palm, Chamaedorea is a short shrub-like plant that grows indoors and outdoors. It mainly grows in the southern regions of Mexico, around the rainforest. This palm has multiple stalks that produce long and attractive leaves.
You can keep your indoor parlor palm short. The plant grows well in low-light, acidic, neutral soil with medium moisture. It requires full sun or part shade environments, so it will do well mostly indoors.
2. Cardboard Tree Palm
If your climate does not support the growth of tropical palm plants, try the Cardboard palm. It looks more like the tropical palms but is more related to ferns.
Cardboard’s primary origin is Mexico and Central America. Its leaves are thin and papery, hence the name cardboard.
Also known as Zamia Furfuracea, cardboard varieties do well outdoors. Their leaves are evergreen, and the plant grows up to 15 feet tall. Its height and evergreen leaves attract attention and give your yard a tropical feel.
This amazing plant is easy to maintain and care for. It requires little watering and thrives in full sun. If you plant this palm’s seed, it will take about two years to fully mature.
3. Chinese Fan Palm
Another plant that will give you the same aesthetics as the palm tree is the Chinese fan palm. Its scientifically known as Livistona Chinensis, a species of the subtropical palm tree of East Asia.
Some homeowners use the Chinese palm as a roadside tree in their yards, but it can also thrive indoors. It has classic feathery fronds and can grow up to 15 feet tall.
The plant requires bright light and moderately moist soil, and you should also fertilize it once a year in the spring.
4. Madagascar Palm
As the name suggests, the Madagascar palm, also called Pachypodium lamerei, originates from Madagascar island. It is a low-maintenance plant suitable for beginner gardeners. The plant grows up to 20 feet tall and has spines on its truck.
This small palm produces pleasantly smelling white flowers that grow into black fruit with seeds. Most homeowners use this plant as an ornament in their gardens because it has little maintenance.
5. Cat Palm
You can try out this palm variety if you fancy a palm tree with multiple thin stems. Its elongated leaves with rounded tips and deep green color make it different from other indoor palms.
But the Chamaedorea Cataractarum has high maintenance requirements. You must get the correct soil moisture level for this plant to thrive well. The soil should have some mild acidity towards being neutral.The plant does well in full sun to part shade; since it is small, it is suitable for small indoor spaces.
6. Areca Palm
While most palms require a lot of sunlight, the Areca palm, also known as the bamboo palm, has low light requirements.
It is an easy-to-grow indoor plant with beautiful feathery green fronds. Its other names are butterfly palm or cane palm. Scientifically known as the Dypsus lutescens, this palm grows well in moderately moist soil but requires monthly fertilization.
Ensure you get the fertilizer measurements correctly, depending on the size of the tree and pot. Its yellow-green stems and light green leaves add aesthetics to your home.
7. Majesty Palm
If you do not like the look of the Arena palm in your living room, a perfect alternative is the majesty palm. As its name suggests, this palm tree has a majestic look, thrives well indoors, and is shade tolerant.
This palm is also referred to as Ravenea rivularis and has bright green to dark green leaves. However, this plant can grow tall with giant trucks, so you might transplant it outdoors. If you grow it indoors, ensure it is in a moist area with adequate humidity.
8. Ponytail Palm
In this compilation, the list could not be complete without the ponytail palm. Also known as Beaucarnea recurvata, this palm-like plant grows in a single truck and has thin leaves with recurving tips.
It bears beautiful white flowers that blossom in clusters on the leaf stalks. The flowers produce black fleshy fruits with seeds used for propagation.
The ponytail palm requires little care; since it is drought-tolerant, you won’t need to water it daily.
9. Sago Palm
Sago palm, also called Cycas revoluta, is an indoor plant resembling the palm tree but belongs to the cycad family. It grows in containers with minimal light requirements and has long, feathery leaves with an arching shape.
Sago palm grows slowly to a manageable size, so you won’t need to transplant it outdoors. Ensure you expose the plant to sunlight for at least three hours per day and plant it in slightly acidic soil. The soil should have excellent drainage to avoid sogging.
10. Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa)
This palm is ideal for planting indoors, thanks to its attractive green foliage. It has fan-shaped leaves that originate from the end of stalks, and its flowers grow into beautiful yellow clusters.
The palm grows well in low to medium soil moisture, requiring high humidity levels. It can also thrive well when exposed to full sun or part shade.
11. Travelers Palm
Plants resembling palm trees, like Ravenala Madagascariensis, belong to the banana family. Its origin is Madagascar, which can grow up to 20 feet tall. Travelers palm has large and paddle-shaped leaves, producing white flowers that mature into edible fruits.
The small palm-like plant has little growth requirements and is easy to maintain. It grows in highly humid areas with little light requirements.
12. Oil Palm
It is a palm oil-producing plant grown in West and Central Africa. It also grows in other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. The plant bears fruits that are processed to produce palm oil. This oil is used to make soaps, candles, and other cosmetics.
Besides being a commercial oil production plant, homeowners grow these palms as ornamental plants. The plant has a single stem and can grow to 66 feet. Its tiny beautiful flowers grow into clusters on the short branches.
This plant mainly grows in subtropical areas.
13. Christmas Palm
The palm tree originates from the Philippines and is also known as the Manila palm or dwarf royal. It has a slow growth rate and can be as tall as 25 feet. Planting many palms of this variety on the lawn decorates the space because they form a natural-looking grove.
The tree requires full sun exposure and grows well in well-drained sandy soil. You need to water the plant frequently during the early stages, but it requires less watering after maturing. They also require less pruning, making them easy-to-grow plants.
14. Vulcan Palm
Also known as the Brighamia Insignis, the palm plant is a suitable outdoor palm-like plant. It is an endangered species due to degradation and habitat loss. These dwarf palms grow to 19 feet with smooth gray bark.
These palms have dark green leaves and produce white or pale yellow flowers in the leaf axile. This palm is an outdoor plant with little maintenance requirements.
15. Triangle Variety
The triangle palm is one of the low-maintenance palm trees with plenty of aesthetic appeal. This tree requires less watering requirements and minimal care like pruning. The plant has a flat canopy which appears to have a triangle shape.
These palms can survive in hardy zones and are less prone to insects and pests. The mature plant can grow to 15 feet and requires full sun and acidic soil to thrive well. The plant is drought resistant and will look good in your yard.
16. Mexican Fan Palm
Like the Mexican palm, plants resembling palm trees are a good choice for your garden. The tree has a long lifespan and grows into an impressive size to give your garden a feel of the tropical areas.
The Mexican palm originates from Mexico and grows into a tall, narrow tree. It grows well in acidic soils with average moisture levels. Other than the tree having beautiful and decorative leaves, they are used to craft baskets, and the fruits are edible.
17. Gum Palm
Also known as the Dioon Spinulosum, this plant is tall and grows to a height of 39 feet. It has a massive truck with long, pinnate leaves. Homeowners grow this palm in their gardens because it is an evergreen plant.
Besides having beautiful leaves, this palm tree variety produces yellow flowers that grow into red-berry fruits.
The plant thrives in full sun or partial shade and well-fertilized soil. Use a balanced fertilizer once a month and ensure the soil is well drained.
18. Roystonea Regia
Commonly known as the royal palm tree, this Mexican plant can grow up to 100 feet. It is suitable outdoors because the mature tree can spread for up to 20 feet. The plant can survive in hard zones but does well under some shade.
Plants that look like palm trees often have many leaves, but this palm has about ten leaves. However, the leaves are long and have many leaflets. The plant grows well in neutral to alkaline soils with high moisture.
19. Paradise Palm
If you are looking for a suitable indoor palm tree, try the Paradise palm. It has a slow growth rate with low light requirements. The plant has a narrow truck with long decorative leaves, hence a quick choice for many homeowners.
A mature Paradise palm can overspread, and it grows tall. Growing the plant in a container in your living space reduces the chances of reaching the mature height and spreading. Paradise palms do well in acidic soils and part shade.
20. Cascade Palm
This palm grows to 6 feet tall, making it a suitable indoor palm tree. It produces clumps of fronds that are easy to separate from the main plant for propagation.
The cascades require frequent watering, but they have little light requirements. Its dark green leaves originate from the central trunk.
Palm tree varieties are low-maintenance plants that give your garden and indoors a tropical feel, increasing the aesthetics. Unfortunately, some climates do not support the growth of palms, but you can grow other plants that look like palm trees.
Most homeowners prefer the European fan palm, Ponytail, Sago, Gum, Bottle palm, and Phoenix palms. If you are unsure what to buy, check the list of plants mentioned above.
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