Piccabeen Palm

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana

The moderately cold-hardy piccabeen palm is gaining well-deserved popularity for its easy-going nature and graceful beauty.

Ever since the winter of 2009-2010 wiped out many favorite palms that couldn't handle the record temps of that year, homeowners scurrying to replace their lost palms with more cold-tolerant varieties began discovering the piccabeen.

And the self-cleaning piccabeen is the perfect choice.

It features long, sweeping palm fronds similar to a coconut palm atop a smooth, gray trunk and parrot-green crownshaft reminiscent of the adonidia ("Christmas Palm").

Charmingly awkward when young because of the lengthy fronds, this solitary palm evolves into a stately single- or multi-trunk specimen that enhances most home landscapes.

Plant specs

Piccabeen palms grow in full sun to part shade, reaching about 30 feet in height with a moderate growth rate.

They're moderately cold-tolerant - fine anywhere in Zone 10 and in warmer areas of Zone 9B (those bordering 10A).

triple piccabeen palm at nursery

Plant care

Add peat humus or topsoil to the hole when planting. Fertilize three times a year - spring, summer and fall.

The piccabeen is self-cleaning so you'll never have to trim off browned fronds.

Although it's considered moderately drought-tolerant once established, a piccabeen will thrive with regular watering.

Plant spacing

Plant far enough from the house that the 8 to 10 foot long fronds aren't damaged by touching the walls - at least 5 to 6 feet away.

If you're planting along a fence or structure where the head of the palm clears the structure, you can space the palm as close as 3 feet out.

If the palm you buy already has some height, you can plant near the edge of a walk or drive, as close as 3 or 4 feet if the long fronds allow room to get by or under them.

Containers are fine for the piccabeen.

piccabeen palm by house

Landscape uses for piccabeen palm

  • accent for the corner of the house
  • anchoring a tropical garden bed
  • in pairs flanking the entrance to a drive
  • in rows along a fence or property line
  • center planting for a circular driveway
  • single specimen for the yard (most appealing with two or three trunks)
  • in a large container for pool cage or patio

A.K.A. (also known as): Bangalow Palm, Bungalow Palm, King Palm (a mistaken identity for a large and less cold-hardy relative, the Alexandra or King Alexander Palm, Archontophoenix alexandrae)


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Croton, hope philodendron, mid-size bougainvillea, Knock Out rose, yesterday today and tomorrow, and orange bird of paradise.

Other palms you might like: Foxtail Palm, Adonidia Palm

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