A sago palm growing an urban area
(Image credit: Wirestock)

When you think palm trees, you tend to think heat. Whether they’re lining the streets of Los Angeles or populating desert islands, palms hold a place in our consciousness as hot weather plants. It’s true, most varieties are tropical and sub-tropical and can’t tolerate freezing temperatures. However, some other palm varieties are actually very hardy and can withstand temperatures well below 0 degrees F. (-18 C.). Keep reading to learn more about hardy palm trees, particularly palm trees that grow in zone 7.

Palm Trees that Grow in Zone 7

Needle Palm – This is the most cold hardy palm around, and a great choice for any new cold weather palm grower. Needle palm has been reported to be hardy down to -10 degrees F. (-23 C.). It does best with full sun and protection from wind, though. Windmill Palm – This is the hardiest of the trunked palm varieties. Windmill palm has a very good survival rate in zone 7, withstanding temperatures down to -5 degrees F. (-21 C.) with some leaf damage starting at 5 degrees F. (-15 C.). Sago Palm – Hardy down to 5 degrees F. (-15 C.), Sago palm is the cold hardiest of the cycads. It needs some protection to make it through the winter in the cooler parts of zone 7. Cabbage PalmCabbage palm can survive temperatures down to 0 degrees F. (-18 C.), though it starts to suffer some leaf damage around 10 degrees F. (-12 C.).

Tips for Zone 7 Palm Trees

While these trees should all survive reliably in zone 7, it’s not unusual for them to suffer some frost damage, especially if exposed to bitter winds. As a rule, they’ll fare much better if given some protection in winter.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.