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Saw Palmetto

Serenoa repens

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Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) at Pender Pines Garden Center

Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) at Pender Pines Garden Center

Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8b

Other Names:  syn. Sabal serrulatum, Fan Palm


This attractive native palm tolerates drought and adapts to a wide variety of soils; a stunning garden or landscape accent that is also great in containers

Ornamental Features

Saw Palmetto features showy panicles of buttery yellow flowers with creamy white overtones at the ends of the branches in mid fall. It has attractive bluish-green evergreen foliage. The lobed palmate leaves are highly ornamental and remain bluish-green throughout the winter. The fruits are showy dark red drupes displayed in late fall.

Landscape Attributes

Saw Palmetto is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Saw Palmetto is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Saw Palmetto will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

Saw Palmetto makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Screening  Container 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features