Montana, one of the states notorious for its frigid climate, isn’t exactly the ideal locale for palm tree cultivation. This vast state can be categorized into two distinct climatic regions: semi-arid and continental. Its average January temperature hovers at 27°F (–2°C), while July brings an average temperature of 85°F (29°C).
Winters here can be exceptionally cold, with most major cities receiving an annual snowfall of 30 to 50 inches (760 to 1,300 mm).
The temperature extremes in Montana have reached a sweltering 117°F (47°C) at its warmest and a bone-chilling –70°F (–57°C) at its coldest. Montana’s USDA hardiness zones span from 3a to 6a.
Growing Palm Trees in Montana
Taking a closer look at the hardiness zone map, it’s evident that zone 6a is quite elusive in Montana. Most of the state is actually in zones 3b and 4a, which are way too chilly for palm trees to thrive.
So, if you really want those palm tree vibes in your yard, the smart move is to grow them indoors in containers and let them soak up the sunshine outside during the warmer summer months.
That way, you can have your garden graced by palm trees for a few months each year. Some great indoor palms are:
- Areca Palm Tree – Zones 9a – 11 (20 to 25 F)
- Chinese Fan Palm Tree – Zones 8a – 11 (10 to 15 F)
- Kentia Palm Tree – Zones 9b – 11 (25 to 30 F)
- Lady Palm Tree – Zones 8b – 11 (15 to 20 F)
Major Cities in Montana
Billings – Hardiness Zone 4a
Butte – Hardiness Zone 3a
Glendive – Hardiness Zone 3a
Great Falls – Hardiness Zone 4a
Helena – Hardiness Zone 3b
Missoula – Hardiness Zone 5b