Living in Cairns with Palm Trees

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If you’re thinking about moving to Cairns or about to be living in Cairns, there is a plant that is very common throughout the region and although often quite appealing, come with multiple issues. We’re talking about palm trees.

Palm trees are everywhere in Cairns. Everywhere! Yes, they really bring that tropical feel to the garden and can look quite stunning when maintained, however that is the key issue we are discussing here. Maintenance.

If you have palm trees in your gardens, expect to be busy. Palm trees are very high maintenance and you can ask anyone in Cairns that has them.

It feels like you are always picking up the dead palm branches or their seeds / fruit (in some cases coconuts) especially in the lead up to Summer when many palms seem to be dropping their branches. This doesn’t sound too bad, but when you’ve got a few dozen large palm trees dropping massive branches all over your property, you need to get rid of them. Which leads us to our next issue.

For some insane reason, Cairns residents are not provided with green waste bins. Seriously! People living in a city in the tropics, notorious for large properties and greenery are not provided with green waste bins. Instead the council requires you to take the branches to the tip, so guess what? You’re going to need a ute, trailer or a way to get them there, plus you have to pay to dump them at the tip. The nerve!

It’s okay though, because we can recommend a palm that is relatively low maintenance that also looks absolutely stunning. It’s called a Lipstick Palm.

Lipstick palms display a stunningly red trunk, which (when maintained) can absolutely transform your garden, especially when they are clustered together. From what we have heard from locals, they also drop considerably less branches, thus requiring much less maintenance.

This is very important as it gives you more time to sit down in the yard and drink icy cold alcoholic beverages more often. So just remember, palms look great and they really bring that tropical vibe to Cairns and your property, however they come with a price. Keep it simple… paint it red!

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  1. It is very dry her in Cairns and I recently went on holiday for 3 weeks and unfortunately while away my retic packed it in leaving many plants without water. Most have survived apart from my many lipstick palms which have all dried off and the tops have dropped off leaving tall palm sticks. I have been pouring water into them but wondering if this is just a waste, Will they come back.

  2. Cyrtostachis renda, lipstick palm, is perhaps the most beautiful palm in the world. Unfortunately it doesn’t grow well in Brisbane as it doesn’t tolerate ground temperatures below about 17 degrees C.

    You’re lucky to have them up there. If I lived up north I would revel in the diversity of plants you can grow.

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