Sun-Loving Palms: What Are Some Palm Trees For Pots In Sun

potted palm
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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

If you’re looking for sun loving palm trees, you’re in luck because the selection is huge and there is no shortage of full sun palm trees, including those well suited for containers. Palms are versatile plants and many varieties prefer filtered light, while a few even tolerate shade. However, potted palms for full sun are easy to find for nearly every environment under the sun. If you have a sunny spot, you can even try growing palm trees in container. Be sure to check the cold tolerance because palm tree hardiness varies widely.

Growing Palm Trees in Containers


Here are some of the more popular palm trees for pots in sun:

  • Adonidia (Adonidia merrillii) – Also known as Manila palm or Christmas palm, Adonidia is one of the most popular potted palms for full sun. Adonidia is available in a double variety, which reaches about 15 feet, and a triple variety, which tops out at 15 to 25 feet. Both do well in large containers. It is a warm weather palm suitable for growing where temps don’t fall below 32 degrees F. (0 C.).
  • Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis) – Also known as fountain palm, Chinese fan palm is a slow-growing palm with a graceful, weeping appearance. At a mature height of about 25 feet, Chinese fan palm works well in large pots. This is a hardier palm that tolerates temps down to about 15 degrees F. (-9 C.).
  • Bismarck Palm (Bismarcka nobilis) – This highly sought after, warm weather palm thrives in heat and full sun, but won’t tolerate temperatures below about 28 F. (-2 C.). Although Bismarck palm grows to heights of 10 to 30 feet, growth is slower and more manageable in a container.
  • Silver Saw Palmetto (Acoelorrhape wrightii) – Also known as Everglades palm or Paurotis Palm, Silver saw palmetto is a medium sized, full sun palm tree that prefers plenty of moisture. It is a great container plant and will be happy in a big pot for several years. Silver saw palmetto is hardy to 20 degrees F. (-6 C.).
  • Pindo Palm (Butia capitatia) – Pindo palm is a bushy palm that can eventually reach heights of 20 feet. This popular tree thrives in full sun or partial shade, and when fully mature, can tolerate temps as chilly as 5 to 10 degrees F. (-10 to -12 C.).

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