How Close Can You Plant a Palm Tree to a House?

Palm trees are the international symbol of laid-back leisure and island holidays where the drinks are ice cold, and there is no worry or care in sight to ruin your good mood. What if you want to bring some of that island feeling home with you by planting a palm tree by your house. How close could you plant it?

As a general rule, palm trees should be planted at least three feet (91 centimeters) from the boundaries of the house. However, the allowable distance depends on the species of the palm tree, as larger ones will need more space. For a more accurate assessment, you will need to research the species’ potential root overgrowth, the width of branches, and canopy cover.

Planting a palm tree near your house or other structures can add some flare to any location. Keep reading to learn more about what to look for if you want to plant a palm tree near your house.

What Is the Best Distance From Your House to Plant a Palm Tree?

As a whole, when you plant palm trees near your home, knowing what species you’re planting will dictate how close to your house you can plant it. Palm trees can be a great addition to any garden as they provide a beautiful canopy of shade when cared for appropriately.

In total, there are around 2,000 species of palm trees on the planet. Out of the 2,000 known palm trees, only a handful are actually suitable for planting at home.

Understanding a few basics about palm trees such as their canopy diameter, their root growth path, and how tall the particular species will get– will help you figure out how close you can plant a palm tree to your house.

The following list outlines the various species of palm trees that are commonly planted around homes and the distance at which they must be planted away from your home or any structure.

  • Canary Island Palm: needs 6-8 feet of 360 degrees of space from any structure.
  • Phoenix Reclinata: the outdoor version of this palm tree can grow as wide as 20 – 30 ft. This palm should be planted with enough space to spread out.
  • Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana: the outdoor version of this palm tree can grow to be 6-12ft wide. This palm should be given enough 360 degree space to allow it to expand.
  • Jubaea Chilensis: this palm tree should be planted 4-6ft away from any paved surfaces or structures if you want it to grow and reach its full potential.
  • Rhapis Humilus: this palm will grow to be anywhere between 2-15ft in diameter and should be given over half that in space between any structure or house.

Generally, with some extra time, consideration, and preparation, you can have a beautiful palm tree close by, but not too close to your house or structures without any damage occurring. Outside of the palms that can be planted, there are other options for having palms trees near your home like selecting a palm that can grow in a pot either indoors or outdoors.

Let’s take a moment to consider what would happen if you did plant your palm tree too close to your house or any structure.

What Happens if You Plant a Palm Tree Close to Your House?

There are beautiful postcard-like beachscapes that show glorious, big, and full palm trees rooted right next to homes in tropical locations. The sight of a palm tree alone is synonymous with relaxation and good times. The palm, afterall, offers a brilliant amount of shade, ambiance, and island luxury to any space it resides in.

But, what happens if you aren’t on one of these lush tropical islands, but back home in your house where your neighbors yard is 5 feet away and want to plant a palm tree? Is this truly the best idea and what happens when you plant a palm tree too close to your house?

What to Avoid When Planting Your Palm Tree

Generally, the root of the palm tree grows mostly on the surface of the ground and there isn’t too much depth to the roots below the surface. Although this may sound encouraging in that the roots won’t grow into any belowsurface structures of your home, it does mean that there could be issues above ground.

The list below details a few things to look out for when you consider planting a palm tree and what to avoid.

  • Avoid concrete walkways, pavement, stone, roads, or any other floor structure by planting the palm tree far enough away from them
  • Do not plant your palm close to any house or structure that you wouldn’t want to have shaded due to the palm tree growing typically tall and with a canopy that has shade coverage
  • Avoid planting a palm in an area where you may want to plant other plants due to the aboveground roots that protrude out of the palm tree base.
  • Be sure to check that there are no underground piping or structures that could be potentially damaged by any roots that due grow below the surface.

The roots on the surface ground of a palm tree could potentially grow into the surface area around your home which in turn could create issues for you or your home. These roots could damage concrete slabbing, disrupt landscaped yards, or even ruin the structural frame of the house depending on how nefarious the roots get.

Location Is Key When Planting Your Palm Tree!

It is entirely possible to plant a palm tree close by your house so that you can enjoy all the island vibes and relaxation that it exudes. In total, as long as you research how tall the canopy and base will be, how wide the body of the palm will get, and what the root spread situation is, you can absolutely enjoy a palm tree at your house.

It is easier than ever to bring island life into your home, and a palm tree delivers just that!


Plantician Guy (Mike)

Hi I'm Mike, a self-proclaimed plantician (an invented profession to describe a plant enthusiast). Based in Sydney Australia, I enjoy the great outdoors and the greenery things around the garden, in particular, indoor climbing plants.

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