Queen palms are popular landscaping trees that professionals often plant in groups of three for visual effect. A queen palm can grow to a height of 50 feet. The tree's trunk is high and narrow, and leaf scars are its only markings. At the top of a queen palm is a canopy of feathery fronds. The palm has a shallow root system and grows best in acidic, well-drained soil. Choose companion plants that share the same growing, fertilizing and watering preferences.
Plan in Layers
The Queen palm is tall and thin and does not grow well adjacent to grass. Fill the void between the ground and the canopy of fronds with layers of colorful plants and flowers, all planted in an outward circle moving away from the tree base. This protects the tree and creates visual effect that is colorful and interesting.
Select Plants with Similar Needs
The easiest landscape to maintain is one in which all of the plants have the same needs. Queen palms are hardy in several plant zones. Their shallow roots often break the surface of the soil and can intrude on other nearby plants. Fertilize the palms twice yearly and water them at least twice weekly during cooler months, and more frequently in high temperatures. They like acidic soil. Keep these requirements in mind and shop for companion plants that thrive in your zone and share a similar maintenance schedule.
If you live in a warm climate with year-round sun, select plants that produce continuous color. The Ruellia, or wild petunia, has leafy green foliage extending upward to brilliant purple flowers. It reaches approximately 2 1/2 feet high and blossoms most of the year. A perennial, it does not need to be replaced. Plant a ring of ruellia around the base of the queen palm. Bachelor buttons and hibiscus are other choices for this layer of flowering plants. The next ring of color can be lantana, with its brilliant orange and yellow flowers. If you have animals, lantana is not suggested as it may cause digestive problems if eaten. Instead, select salvia or sweet William and watch as the butterflies congregate.
Create a Border
Brickwork, edging material, a ring of river rock or a small picket fence can all be used to define the edge of your plant bed. Bordering the landscaping gives it a finished look and warns anyone mowing the lawn not to go any closer. Mulching is also suggested, especially in very hot climates, to prevent water evaporation from the soil.