Latania Palm

Latania spp.

The drop-dead gorgeous latania palm looks remarkably similar to a silver bismarck palm but doesn't get as huge.

mature latania palm

This is not a small palm, though it won't grow as big as a bismarck. The fan-shaped fronds of a latania can each grow as large as 8 feet across.

There are two popular varieties - one blue (Latania loddigesii) and one red (Latania lontaroides).

While they're young, both latanias show some distinct differences: the red "latan palm" has silvery gray-green fronds with red margins and veins. The blue has silvery blue-green fronds with red or blue veining and mottled blue leaf stems.

Once the silvery latania palms are more mature, however, you'll have a hard time telling one from the other. And the only way to distinguish (once they're mature) between the two silver palms - latania and bismark - is the latania's boots (remnant leaf stems on the trunk) have "fur" and the bismark's are smooth.

A third, less-used variety is the yellow latania (Latania verschaffeltii), with deep yellow petioles (leaf stems). These palms are more cold sensitive than the blue and red.

Plant specs

Latanias are slow-growing, single-trunk palms that can reach heights of 30 feet.

The big fan-shaped fronds - up to 8 feet across - will form a "head" about 15 feet across.

This palm needs protection from cold weather and does best in Zone 10B and coastal 10A.

The latania prefers full to part sun and is drought-tolerant and very salt-tolerant, making it a stunning beach-side specimen.

Plant care

No soil amendments are needed for this sandy soil-loving palm.

Since the latania's growth rate is slow you'll have to trim off browned fronds infrequently.

Give it three applications a year of a quality granular palm fertilizer in spring, summer and fall.

Plant spacing

close-up of young blue latania palm fronds

Since the latania is strikingly similar to the silver bismarck but smaller overall, it may a better choice for a more limited space - but it still needs plenty of room.

Place it at least 8 to 10 feet from the house or any structure.

Latanias work well in large containers while they're young.

Landscape uses for latania palm

  • single yard specimen
  • large architectural accent plant
  • anchor for a garden bed
  • flanking each side of the entrance to a wide drive or walkway
  • center planting for a circular driveway (if there's plenty of room)

A.K.A. (also known as): Blue Latan Palm, Red Latan Palm

GOOD SNOWBIRD PLANT? YES (in warmer areas)

COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: In areas where you need other salt-tolerant plants, try copper plant, cocoplum, pampas grass, coontie, dwarf bougainvillea, simpsons stopper, and railroad vine.

Other palms you might like: Silver Bismarck Palm, Chinese Fan Palm

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