How To Grow King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana)

King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana)
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.

The King Palm Tree, scientific name Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, is one of the most popular palms in tropical and subtropical climates. The King palm looks very nice when planted in a grouping of 2 or 3.

This sun-loving palm is mostly used outdoors, but it also makes an excellent house plant if given the right environment.  While King palm is young, it can be kept inside in the container to avoid cold exposure.

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Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
Common names:King Palm, Alexandra Palm, Alexander Palm.
Origin:Native to Australia.
Growth Rate:Fast. Up to 40 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 9b (25 – 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F)
Light Req:Partial shade to Full sun.
Water Req:Moderate.
Soil Req:Widely adaptable.
Fruit:Yes. Red. Not edible.
Propagation:By seeds germinating in 2 – 3 months.
Quick facts about King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana)

King Palm Identifying Characteristics

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana has a single smooth grey brownish trunk ringed by the scars from the fallen frond. Trunk is a little wider at the base, about 1ft in diameter with beautiful crownshaft at the top. Crownshaft is generally green, but occasionally can be brownish.

The King Palm has about 15-20 arching evergreen fronds that emerge from the crownshaft forming a graceful crown. The leaves are bright green above and below, although there can also be brown scales on the paler green undersides. They have about 100 to 150 leaflets that are 6-12 inches long.

King Palm Flowers and Fruits

In mindsummer, the King Palm produces pink flowers that are held by 2-3 ft long branched inflorescence, growing from below the crownshaft. Male and female flowers are on the same inflorescence. Flower are followed by attractive berry-like green fruits that turn red when ripe. Fruits are round, about 1/2 inches in diameter and hang in clusters.

How To Care For King Palm

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana can grow up to 40 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide. Young palms can be killed by cold if the temperature gets below 25F. This palm is great for USDA Zones 9b (25 to 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

It likes partial shade or full sun. It grows best in moist well drained soil. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

The main pests problem for King Palm are spider mites. When King palm is young it can suffer from leaf spot. Like a lot of other popular palms King palm can get root rot if the soil is not well drained. To find out how to prevent all this problems click here Palm Tree Insects.

Propagated by seeds. Seed germination is quick and easy. Germination occurs in 6 weeks to 3 months. It is best to sow seeds fresh in the spring.

King Palm Tree Pictures

King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Flickr.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Flickr.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Flickr.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Flickr.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Gardenology.org.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana). Photo by Wiki Commons.

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2 thoughts on “How To Grow King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana)”

  1. But the company I’m representing right now is Lani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice…who use palms to decorate around their “Shacks”.
    I’ve been told they are queen palms, although they don’t produce the fruit that has been described in other websites.
    I have a question. We (the “royal” we) store these palms in a warehouse over the winter. The temperature is keep at 65 degrees. But the lighting is where my question lies. We have tried: just leaving the sodium vapor lights on all the time. That didn’t seem good or bad. Last year, we used “grow” lights below and to the sides of the trees plus the sodium vapor. Still not so good. (we lost 4 of our 9 trees this past winter). Now we’ve installed “grow” lights above the trees—here’s the question: how many 4′ grow lights should be used per tree? These are now on a timer as well.
    Water…fertiizer…talking to them… ????
    These trees also traveled to Phoenix one year where they seemed to pick up “pink fungus”?? More problems than I can deal with and still work my other job.
    One last thing — HELP!
    Thanks
    G.

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