Zombia antillarum or Zombie Palm is a tropical small tree that can grow up to 10-20 ft tall and features a fan-like crown of palm shaped leaves. Native to Hispaniola and other parts of the Caribbean, Zombia antillarum is a popular ornamental palm-like evergreen with short, downward pointing spines natively found on its trunk. This small tree is undoubtedly most suited to full sun or semi-shade positions and prefers moderate amounts of water. As with most tropical palms, the Zombie Palm enjoys higher temperatures, requiring minimum temperatures of 28F and ideal temperatures of 55F for optimum growth.
For residents in colder regions, the Zombie Palm can be grown in a pot and kept indoors during the coldest months of the year. While Zombia antillarum itself is not cold hardy and should not come into contact with frost, it is believed mature plants can survive short periods of excessive cold to temperatures as low as the 30s F if properly cared for. Therefore, to ensure survival of the plant in cold temperatures, it would be beneficial to shelter and keep the plant in a pot and move indoors during the winter months.
This palm is suited for USDA Zone 10-11 and can be grown in subtropical climates. The Zombie Palm is an ideal choice for those looking to add a unique exotic tropical aspect to their garden with its spiny, woven-like trunk and fan of leaves. Although a slow grower, the Zombie Palm requires minimal maintenance and is relatively undemanding. For the more advanced gardener, Zombia antillarum offers a unique and interesting challenge!