Queen Palm Tree (Syagrus romanzoffiana) is a palm tree native to South America that has a classic coconut palm tree appearance. The tree has pinnate leaves and columns of edible yellow fruits that popular with birds. Though Queen Palms are extremely popular as ornamental palm trees, there are enough complaints about the Queen Palm that gardeners should carefully consider whether they want to cultivate the plant.
Despite their relatively modest size for a palm, Queen Palms are not wind resistant, a real problem for gardeners living in hurricane prone areas such as Florida. Unlike other palms which are better able to bend along with the wind, Queen Palms are vulnerable to extreme winds and are more likely to fall over because of their shallow root system. Along with the Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia robusta), Queen Palms are some of the worst palm trees to plant in windy regions.
Finding a balance when watering Queen Palms can be difficult. The plants aren't drought tolerant, and even established plants struggle to live in areas that have long dry seasons. Unfortunately, the plants are also susceptible to problems caused by over watering. Queen Palms require very well drained soil. If they receive too much water, and that water doesn't drain properly, the fronds of the palm will quickly begin to yellow.
Dead fronds stay on the Queen Palm for months before they fall off. These dry, brown leaves are unsightly and can accumulate insects and slugs if left on the tree. Queen Palms need frequent pruning in order to look their best, as their leaves have a fairly life span. The commitment of frequently pruning the fronds may be more of an effort than many gardeners are willing to exert. The leaves can also become scraggly without proper nutrients, so the Queen Palm should be fertilized at least twice a year.