The Silver Saw Palmetto is a naturally occurring form of the Saw Palmetto that is native to the southeastern coast of Florida. It has stunning, silvery-gray or silvery-green leaves. It stands out in the landscape and it provides a nice contrast to palms and other plants that have light green or dark green leaves. The Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a resilient, drought-tolerant palm native to the coastal plain of the southeastern United States, from South Carolina to eastern Texas. Associated with pine flatwoods and scrub forests of the Southeast, it makes a lush massing plant in any site with dry, well-drained soil, and its coarse texture adds drama in the landscape. Saw palmetto feeds a variety of wildlife with its flowers and berries, and animals seek cover under its dense, sprawling form. It is a slow-growing, sprawling species that grows a cluster of sinuous trunks that spread along the ground. In a large, mature mass of saw palmetto, the trunks are not very visible because the fronds grow dense to obscure the trunks. Springtime brings creamy, fragrant flowers that the bees love. It flowers heavily every two to four years once established. It is a very reliable, pest- and disease-free native that tolerates many conditions in the Southeast. Saw palmetto is best used as a massing ground cover in full sun or partial shade. The fronds are large and grow dense as the plant matures, making it a useful and handsome privacy screen where you have enough width to accommodate its full spread. Plant it at least 4 feet away from a wall and let it mature into a grand specimen over time, or plant several as a wide hedge. Saw palmetto is often mixed with coarse-textured and subtropical plants with large foliage to achieve a tropical look.
Growing Instructions for the Silver Saw Palmetto
The seeds have a hard seed coat that has to be treated, or scarified, in order for water to enter the seeds so that they can sprout. 1. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat. The seeds can be sanded with sandpaper, a nail file or an emery board. 2. Soak the seeds in water for several hours. 3. Put a mixture of potting soil and sand or perlite into a pot with drainage holes in the base. The soil should be moist and well-drained. 4. Sow the seeds on the soil. 5. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil that is 0.5 inches thick. 6. Water the seeds. Keep the soil moist but not wet. 7. When the seedlings have 2 or 3 leaves, they can be transplanted.