Can you have Golden Cane Palms and a lawn?

If you’re about to do some landscaping of your South East Queensland lawn, chances are you have thought about planting some palm trees. Which leads to a question we get asked a lot – can you have Golden Cane palms and a lawn?


These palms are ideally suited to our sub-tropical climate but they do have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to co-existing with lawns. The Golden Cane Palm (as known as Dypsis lutescens) is native to Madagascar but is a versatile landscaping option here in Queensland. Its clumping attribute and golden colour makes it a great screening and shading option around pools. They are an unarmed palm so you also don’t need to worry about spines or spikes hurting children as they play around them. The average height of the Golden Cane is 4 metres (but they can grow to 6-12 metres) with over-arching fronds up to 2-3 metres long. Each plant has 40-60 pairs of leaflets and it bears yellow flowers during summer.


It’s a great choice around homes and swimming pools due to its non-invasive root system. The roots form a large mat of fibrous, thin roots which are not likely to invade underground pipes or your pool, unless a leak already exists (they are notorious water suckers). Which leads to where they get their bad reputation with lawns from. The Golden Cane palm will spread those thin and fibrous roots superficially which can interfere with any other shallow-rooted plants in the vicinity, such as lawns. So, with this in mind, plant these palms in garden beds rather than directly into your lawn. If you already have them in your lawn don’t be overly concerned; unlike many other varieties of trees whose roots grow unpredictably and cause interference with underground structures and driveways, the Golden Cane is predictable.


So, if you have decided Golden Canes are right for you – they will need a moist and rich soil, watering once a week for the initial first few weeks, mulch and to be bedded with compost or all-purpose plant food. After establishment, they really don’t need much; just ensure that their roots don’t sit in water.  If you are still concerned about Golden Cane palms and your lawn (or if you are renting the property) they do really well in pots or they can be transplanted quite easily.


For more information on Golden Cane Palms or to find out what is the most suitable turf to plant around your Palms,  just contact the team at Daleys Turf.


  1. Hi I live on the goldcoast queensland
    Purchased 2 golden canes around 4ft tall.had them for 2 weeks.
    Now the leaves are going brown.
    I have been watering them once a week
    & have put seasalt on them.
    Am I killing them with kindness
    Please advise
    Regards Di

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