Artificial Palm Trees for Sale vs Real Palm Trees – How to Choose?
The big question many have when starting to conceptualize their palm tree paradise project – do I start by looking for artificial palm trees for sale or do I look for real ones to decorate with?
If you happen to live in one of those regions where the temperature drops too low to accommodate a healthy climate for a real palm tree but are dead set on adding that tropical flare to your property this is your only option.
Additionally, as much as I do love the authentic feel and sight of a real palm tree swaying in the warm summer breeze I also acknowledge that they can be quite a bit of work, especially if you get one that sheds its fronds frequently.
If you aren’t really up for a battle of frond maintenance then starting your search by looking for artificial palm trees for sale may be the best route to go.
In this post I’ll run through the pros and cons of buying a real palm tree vs buying an artificial palm tree and give some rough estimates on costs for each.
Buying Artificial Palm Trees
If you aren’t really one to be on top of your game when it comes to keeping the garden tidy then avoid something will make more work for yourself. You can do this by searching for some artificial palm trees for sale either online or if there is a local craft store nearby you may be able to find some there. Occasionally I’ve seen them in Home Goods for sale, though they aren’t as nice looking as you can find on Artificialplantsandtrees.com.
Before I get into the various types of fake palm trees I’ll run through the perks and downsides of buying one.
Pros of Artificial Palm Trees
- No Mess! Probably the largest benefit is that you don’t need to worry about the fronds falling off each year into your pool, something that only those who have experienced this before can appreciate.
- No watering or fertilizing. This is especially appealing for those who live in drought prone areas like California where the cost of watering an entire garden can add up quickly. The fertilizer stakes can add up as well especially if you’ve got an entire isle of trees.
- Easily transferrable. If you decide to rearrange the design of your garden you don’t need to hire landscapers to come dig up your yard to transplant the tree somewhere else. Additionally each time you move a live palm tree you risk it not surviving the transplant.
- Disease free. Most palm trees are susceptible to various diseases and insects like leaf spots or the palmetto weevil. These little creatures can destroy even the most magnificent palm trees, however they don’t have much of an appetite for the chemical compounds of artificial palm trees.
Cons of artificial Palm Trees
- Unauthentic. Though some companies have gotten pretty good at making their artificial palm trees look realistic they just aren’t the same as going through the process of planting or transplanting the tree and nurturing it to maturity. Though this can be a hassle at times it also can provide a feeling of accomplishment.
- No fruits. For those looking to buy a palm tree not just for visual appeal but also for harvesting the fruits they bare then a fake palm is definitely out of the question. Date palms produce a wonderfully sweet fruit that can be made into many dishes or eaten plain.
- Fragile. Some are much more fragile and can only be kept indoors which is great for decorating your office or living room, not so great for providing shade by the pool. If you are looking for an artificial palm tree for sale for the backyard make sure the seller clearly states that it is for outdoor use otherwise you’ll end up with a wet weeping pile of mush.
- No growth. If you want a large artificial palm tree then you need to buy it large which usually is much more costly. The perks of buying a real palm tree is that you can cut some costs by buying a smaller one then with time it’ll grow into a large hardy tree to provide you shade.
The material used in the construction of the tree is very important when determining what artificial palm tree to buy. Material can be the difference between tricking visitors into believing it’s a real tree vs them asking why you have a plastic waxy looking lump of material planted in your yard.
Many of the trees you’ll find at Walmart of some other big name stores aren’t the most realistic looking which is fine for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot and is ok with the look.
Silk Leaf Palm Trees (Recommended)
The more expensive outdoor artificial palm trees tend to be made from a high quality moisture-resistant silk. Silk usually is fray-proof so it won’t start separating causing threads to stick out.
Additionally if you are planning on using the plant for outdoor décor where it will be exposed to sunlight make sure the manufacturer states it is UV proof. Cheaper artificial palm trees for sale that aren’t UV proof will lose their color as they sit in the sun and end up looking like nothing more than rags in the shape of palm leaves.
- UV Proof – Check
- Water/moisture Proof – Check
Plastic based leaves can really go one way or the other; meaning some very cheap palms have unrealistic looking leaves while some other higher end manufacturers are able to pull off a realistic look with the plastic material.
The cheaper (<$100) plastic leaf palms may be something better used for a child’s theme party décor or a tropical office party. If the objective is tricking visitors into believing you have natural palms in your house or back yard, these artificial palms wouldn’t be the way to go.
If you want plastic leaves and for them to be realistic be ready to spend a good amount of money on the tree but what you’ll get is a beautiful water resistant tree that shouldn’t lose its ‘fluff’ like some silk leaves may.
Since plastic is harder than silk these leaves are usually found more often on palm tree types that would have long thin pinnate style leaves.
- Cheap plastic leaf palms = you’re not tricking anyone
- Expensive plastic leaf palms = $$$ but great looking
Some will consist of an actual palm tree trunk topped with life-like silk palm leaves, others may be artificial through and through. The picture below compares a cheaper palm found on Amazon for under $100 vs a high quality silk tree based on an actual palm tree trunk.
As one can see the real trunk gives it that authentic feel that will trick the eye into assuming the entire tree is real! It’ll also give is some extra weight so be sure the potter you chose is capable of supporting it.
Most of the artificial trunks will consist of a PVC material which, depending on the quality and workmanship of the tree, can give off a shiny gloss in the sun or rain giving away it’s artificial nature.
- Actual trunk beats artificial in my book
Be sure to check whether or not the tree comes with a potter, if it doesn’t set some money aside to buy one, unless you intend on planting it directly in the ground.
If you don’t plan on placing the artificial palm tree in the ground then you’ll need something heavy to add into the potter to keep the tree from tipping over. A few ideas for filler would be: paper mache, sand, cement, or stones.
It’s also a good idea to ask what the base of the tree looks like (the part that will be under ground) so that you can get an idea of the diameter of the potter or the hole you’ll need to fit the tree in properly.
So in conclusion of this section the most realistic palm trees will be the ones that are: silk leaves (UV proof, moisture, and water proof), real palm trunk, and based in a heavy potter.
Keep in mind though that just because it isn’t real doesn’t mean it’ll last forever. Wind, rain, and especially snow can cause damage to these artificial trees just as they do anything else outside exposed to the elements.
Where to Find Artificial Palm Trees for Sale
There are a ton of places you’d be able to buy some realistic looking palm trees however instead of letting you lose into the world wide web to track them down yourself I’ll direct you toward my favorite places to buy from.
#1 Artificial Plants and Trees
This would be my number one site to find some high quality authentic looking artificial palm trees for sale. They are a leader in the market with one of the largest inventories of artificial plants and trees claiming to have over 15,000 various plants.
Artificial Plants and Trees has a wide variety of indoor as well as outdoor palm trees and what I particularly like is that the trunks on many of their outdoor palms are actual palm trunks. This gives it a more authentic look.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for they will create custom trees for you which is nice, of course it may cost you some extra cash.
The setup of the website is nice too, with numerous filters down the sides to drill down to the height, width, price, and so on. There is also an “Idea Center” section that provides some DIY designs and give some starting points for various decorating projects.
A final perk of buying through them is that, as I mentioned earlier, they have numerous other fake trees beyond just palms, making it easy to order all from a single place. This is great if you’re looking to mix up the types of trees in your house.
To get some ideas of the various types of trees you can find there and their pricing click the ‘Browse Palms’ button below.
Another place to search for some artificial palm trees for sale is online merchant giant – Amazon. This day in age it’s almost impossible to not find something on Amazon.
You’re more likely to find the less intricate fake palms here however the pricing will be much more affordable, especially if you’re not looking to fool anyone into thinking it’s real. If you’re just looking to add some accent to a room a tree from here would be fine.
I love the reviews section on Amazon too, many times previous purchasers will write reviews accompanied by actual photos of the product that they upload. This allows you to see the merchandise as it is without the Photoshop touched up image most companies use to sell it.
If you’re a Prime member or they’re running a promotion like they usually do you may be able to get free shipping on your stuff which can be a life saver since the size of these trees can get expensive in shipping costs.
Swing over to Amazon’s palm tree section using the button below to see if anything fits your fancy.
Buying Real Palm Trees
So maybe after reading this post, you’re not sold on embarking on your journey to find the perfect artificial palm trees for sale as opposed to the real thing and that’s completely fine! I personally am someone who is ok with dealing with the chores of cleaning up after a living tree since I like the authenticity it brings to my backyard.
If you are looking for some information to get you started on shopping for real palm trees, start with my post “Where to Find a Palm Tree for Sale – Local vs Online“.