Which are the best ornamental trees in Kenya?

Are you searching for the best compound trees to plant at your home in Kenya? In this post we give you a list of the best indigenous and exotic ornamental trees in the region. They are good for planting in your garden, avenue, home, or park.

If you are in the landscaping business selling trees and a flowers nursery, the article gives you the most profitable decorative trees you should stock its seedlings and seeds to earn the highest profits.

Why plant ornamental trees in your home

Apart from raising your property value, planting ornamental trees can give your home that classy expensive look. Besides, the compound trees will give you additional benefits such as shade and fruits.  Other benefits include.

  • They add appealing height and structure site
  • You can enjoy their welcoming shade to keep your home from overheating from hot sun
  • They can screen you from neighboring buildings giving you privacy.
  • Tree cover offers a natural habitat for bird, insects and other wildlife.
  • They add beauty to your home garden, avenue, home, or park.

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How to choose the best ornamental tree for your home

There are many trees to plant at your home. To choose the best, there are various factors you must consider the choose the best. They include the soil profile of the area, tree rooting behavior and the agroclimatic zone of your area. Additional factors are;

Evergreen trees make better ornamental trees across all the seasons compared to the deciduous trees.

 For a flowering tree, consider their color can easily blend with your house exteriors without clashing.

Neighbors do not plant trees that easily extend their branches and roots obscuring light or damaging your neighbors’ walls and floors.

Which are the best ornamental trees in Kenya

 Are you wondering which are the best landscaping trees in Kenya? In this post, we give you a list of the best Indigenous and exotic ornamental trees grown in Kenya. They are

Royal Poinciana

Blooming royal Poinciana tree
Royal Poinciana is well known for its large red scarlet to orange flowers

Royal Poinciana is one the most popular exotic ornamental tree in Kenya. This tree belongs to the pea family and it’s a native of Madagascar. It is also known as the Flamboyant Tree or the Peacock Tree.

Its most appealing decorative features are its large red scarlet to orange flowers. It’s a fast-growing tree that can attain a height of 6-12 meters. Its large canopy provides lots of shade

Since the Royal Poinciana has a shallow root system, its prone to being uprooted in strong weeds. The other limitation of using Peacock tree for decorative purposes is littering when its branches and seed pods fall to the ground.

Nandi Flame

Also known as the African Tulip tree, fountain tree or the Pichkari. It can grow to 7-25 meters tall depending on care and climate.

The Nandi Flame is a common decorative tree in Kenya. It blossoms twice a year. Its flowers have showy reddish-orange or crimson (rarely yellow), campanulate flowers. It one of the recommended shade trees for parks, yards and drive ways.

On the downside, the Nandi Flame has shallow roots. In addition, its trees has a high tendency to break off easily in a storm.


Jacaranda is one of the best beautification trees in Kenya.  In landscaping, its preferred for its blue-purple flowers. Under good conditions it can grow tall up to 15 meters giving you good shade in hot seasons.

 Its common in tropical areas with warm temperatures. The Jacaranda tree grows best in areas with well drained fertile soil.

However, remember Jacaranda roots grow wide, spread extensively and deeply and can destroy walls.

Palm Trees

There are various palm trees used in Kenya for landscaping.  You an use them as both outdoor and indoor ornamental trees. Palm trees are preferred for their tropical feeling they add to your landscape.

Examples of landscaping Palm trees in Kenya include.

  • Chinese fan Palm; Also known as the Coco Plumosa Palm. its palm leaves droop down like in a fountain. They are highly adaptive to various Kenyan Climates. Besides, they can endure droughts and hot weather. Best for gardens.  
  • Golden Cane Palm; Commonly known as the butterfly palm. This type has yellow stems with green leaflets. Best for indoors.
  • Other palm trees in Kenya are the; Fish Tail Golden palm, Red Bottle palm, Pygmy date palm, Cycas Revoluta palm, Mexican fan palm, Royal Palm and the Thika Palm

Markahamia Lutea

The tree is commonly known as siala, Lusiola or Muu in Kenya’s local languages. The Markahamia is a top indigenous ornamental tree in the region. Its your best choice if you are looking for a fast growing, drought resistant and evergreen trees for your home in Kenya.

You can easily find its seedlings on any urban roadside nursery businesses. It is evergreen and blooms very conspicuous yellow flowers. Its ponds are brown and can grow long up to 1 meter.


The Tamarind or Mkwanju tree is the most common ornamental tree in Kenya’s coast and other drylands.  In addition to its super landscaping benefits, you can plant it for its edible fruits and quality timber.

For landscaping benefits, the Tamarind tree has a dominating spreading crown giving you best shade.  Yi can grow it on the roadside, garden or parks for other ornamental purposes

The major drawback of the Tamarind tree is its slow growth.


Afzelia quanzensis is a predominant ornamental tree at the Kenyan coast. It is a spreading leafy tree with excellent shade. Its flowers are orange red and produces black red seeds.

Desert Rose

Desert Rose is the best decorative tree for dry areas of Kenya. It is a succulent small tree that grow to 5 meters height. Its stem appears swollen with brown smooth bark. Its fleshy leaves are clustered at the end of branches.

Its flowers are reddish pink and trumpet shaped.

Red Hot Poker Tree

A picture of a Red Hot Poker Coral Tree in a well manicured landscape

The Red-Hot Poker Tree is another great ornamental tree in Kenya if your home is in dry areas. It grows to about 10 m high. Its bark is yellowish brown thick and corky and can sometimes have woody spines with deep ridges.

Its leaves are compound with three rounded leaflets. The underside has brownish hairs. During blooming, the flowers are orange red in erect heads.

The other Red Hot poker tree benefits include; Its wood can be carved to make log beehives, mortars, drums and stools. The seeds are used in making necklaces. The attractive flowers can attract birds and insects to your farm.

Naivasha Thorn Tree

Acacia Xanthophloea is a tall acacia species that can grow into 25 metres tall. As a compound tree to plant on home, its fast growing, tolerant to drought and its greenish-yellow bark and bright coloured leaves.

It’s the best ornamental tree to grow along your pathways, driveways and along Roads.


Croton Megalocarpus is the famous Mukinduri, Musine ot the Muthulu tree. The deciduous tree is a common ornamental tree in landscaping for various benefits.

It is easy to propagate, fast growing, hardy, and ornamental. Its most common beauty features are its layering branches that make a flat crown or canopy giving you shade. Its leaves are dark green on top and silvery on the downside. When it blooms, its flowers are yellow-white.

False Ashok

If you are looking for the best ornamental tree in Kenya, try the False Ashok tree. Also known as the Mast Tree. The trees will give your property a formal look that is is artistic and charming. It comes from their columnar growth with a weeping habit. The False Ashok Tree can stay full to the ground with greenery from top to bottom.

The tree is wind-tolerant, grows tall and narrow. It is often used in group planting for windbreaking, privacy hedges and even to cut down on noise pollution.

The false Ashok Tree true beauty is most effective when planted in rows.

Which are the most profitable ornamental trees in Kenya?

Jacaranda is a popular ornamental tree in tropics
Jacaranda Trees are best known ornamental trees for their blue-purple flowers

Are you a landscaper who is looking for best ornamental trees to grow and sell in Kenya? In the list below we give you some decorative trees with highest demand. They are used for decorative purposes during religious holidays. Besides, you can market them as gifts. The best types are; palm trees, Christmas trees and bonsai trees.

Palm trees

Its branches and leaves have a high demand on Palm Sunday processions during the Easter holidays.  Are also used in basketry and water conservation. Some species produce the palm wine. It does well in riparian soil and climate zones.

There are indoor potted palm trees or outdoor types. You can plant either the Pinaga, Triangle, Coco Plumosa, Golden cane, Alexandra or cycad palm type.

Christmas trees

People use the ornamental tree for decoration during the Christmas holidays. What makes it most profitable to raise is their ease to plant and fast growth. You can produce a lot of them in a small space. There are over ten Christmas tree species you can choose. These are mostly the coniferous types that are;

  • Fir (Balsam, Fraser, Canaan, Douglas, Grand, Noble or Concolor)
  • Pine (White, Scotch  or Virginia )
  • Spruce (Blue, Norway or White)
  • Cypress (Leyland or Arizona)
  • Cedar (red)

You can propagate a Christmas tree from plant cuttings or seedlings. Grow ones with strong fragrance and branches to carry the Christmas decorations.

Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees are Potted mini trees like the Juniper Bonsai Trees you can market as Christmas or other gift baskets.  A bonsai’s tree price ranges from about $100 to several thousand dollars, up to one million. There are also miniature bonsai that can be had for $20-30. You can sell these ones anywhere in the world by shipping and selling them online more easily.

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