Sabal minor

dwarf palmetto
Excellent foliage plant is useful for lush under-plantings or backdrops. Never gets a tall upright trunk. Among the hardiest of palms for those living in colder climates.
Sabal minorSabal minor
height 2–5
width 2–5
tolerates Cold, Heat, Moist Soil, Pots, Salt, Wind
Moderate – High
As it grows along swampy waterways, this palm thrives in very wet places. It also tolerates moderate water, but is not drought tolerant and will get brown tips if under-watered. This palm should be watered deeply every week or two once it’s established. It will need more frequent watering in pots, or in inland areas with dry heat.
exposure Full Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Heavy Soil, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing Palm Fertilizer
origin S USA

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Palms are generally heavy feeders, so if you want them growing quickly and looking their best, they should be fertilized at least three times a year. Fertilizing at spring equinox, summer solstice and fall equinox will allow for a winter rest. Be sure to feed your palm with a fertilizer that contains micronutrients (especially including magnesium), especially if you see yellowing leaves or yellow spots on the leaves.
Fan palms have leaflets spreading from the tip of the rachis, giving the crown of the palm a rounded full look. They tend to rustle in the breeze, adding a soothing note to the garden.
Prune off older lower leaves as they turn brown and are replaced by new growth.
Tolerant of hot dry wind.

Special Interest

This palm naturally grows in shady areas along swamps and interestingly stays low because it has a solitary subterranean trunk. After many decades this palm can develop a short fat trunk, especially if grown in the sun.