Palm Tree Planting Step-By-Step

planting Palm Tree Planting Step By Step

Planting Palm Trees is not much different from the way you would plant any other kind of trees. Nursery-grown palms should be potted, balled or burlapped at the root. Try to plant your palm tree shortly after buying it. If there is going to be a delay between purchasing and planting, make sure root ball is kept moist but not soaking. Palm Trees cannot live in pots for an indefinite period of time. Typically, a palm can grow two or three years in a pot. After that, the palm tree needs to be planted in the ground or re-potted in a larger pot with fresh soil.

Transporting Palm Tree

Be careful when transporting and handling Palm Trees. Fragile bark is very easily damaged. Damaged areas leave the tree vulnerable to insects and fungus. If you live in warm climate, the best time of year to plant is during the warmer months when the soil temperature is at least 65 degrees F.

Planting Palm Trees Step-by-Step Instructions

j0432589 Palm Tree Planting Step By StepStep 1: Pick a Spot

Make sure it’s a shady spot if your palm tree needs partial shade. Also, think about size of your palm tree, and make sure that it’s not going to get in the way of your power lines down the road.

If you’ve purchased a palm tree from the greenhouse or shade-grown environment, it is not used to full sun. Palm trees that require partial shade should be fine in the shady spot, but what do you do if your palm tree requires full sun? Your palm tree will get sun burned if you plant it in the full sun right away. You need to slowly acclimatize your palm tree to the higher levels of sun light. You can do that in 2 ways:

1)  Put it in the pot, if it’s not in the pot already, and place it in the shady spot outside. Keep increasing light level a little bit every week till your palm tree gets used to the sun. After that, you can plant your palm in the full sun.

2) Plant your palm in the full sun and cover it with plastic cover. You can put 4 sticks in the ground with a plastic cover on top. Every few weeks put more holes in the plastic cover to expose your palm tree to more sun light.

You need to acclimatize your palm tree slowly because it will be already in shock after transplanting and it doesn’t need extra stress from the sun.
j0217226 Palm Tree Planting Step By Step

Step 2: Dig a Hole

You need to make a hole wide enough to fit the root ball of the palm tree with plenty of room to spare. Making it twice as wide would be a good idea.

The hole should be just deep enough, so that the palm tree is planted at the depth at which it was grown. Do not plant it any deeper, as this may deprive the roots of nutrients and water.

Step 3: Score the sides

Score the sides of the hole with a small shovel. It will loosen the soil, allowing the palm tree roots to penetrate through the ground.

Step 4: Add Soil Mix

Add some water to the hole and then add some soil mix. You want to use soil mix that will ensure good drainage for your palm tree. Most palm trees like moist well drained soil. You can add 30% sand to the soil mix, that should do it. The best soil mix is based on Canadian peat moss. Here is what I use to make sure my soil has excellent drainage – Sphagnum Peat Moss Palm Tree Planting Step By Step.

Step 5: Get the Roots Wet

Get your root wet and situate your palm. To minimize the transplant shock used the soil from the pot of your palm tree. You palm tree is used to this soil, so that should decrease the stress. Back fill the rest of the hole with your soil mix.

Step 6: Build a Barrier.

When the Palm Tree has been planted, next step would be to build a soil barrier around the circumference of the hole. This will form a dam that holds water. Add about 3 inches of organic mulch around the palm tree. I usually use Scotts Organic Classic Black Mulch Palm Tree Planting Step By Step because it’s made from natural forest products and not waste wood. Also, it will hold for a year.

Step 7: Brace your palm tree.

The tree brace consists of three wooden blocks with two adjustable straps that are designed to protect your new tree from storm and wind damage. You can purchase this brace at any home improvement store. The brace should be placed around the bark.

j0335434 Palm Tree Planting Step By Step

Watering Newly-planted Palm Tree

Frequent watering is important for newly-planted Palm Trees. Daily for about the first two weeks and then tapering off over several months as the tree establishes itself. Use a bubbler or arrange a hose to slow soak the area around the tree. It is important not to allow the soil to dry out as this will severely weaken your new Palm.

For more details read my article on Watering Palm Trees.

Fertilizing Palm Tree

palm fertilizer 150x150 Palm Tree Planting Step By StepPalm Trees also require periodic fertilizer applications. It’s better to use fertilizer that has continues release formula that feeds your palm tree for few months rather than using a cheap fertilizer that will wash away after 2-3 rains.

One of the products that I personally love is Jobe’s Palm Fertilizer. Palm Tree Planting Step By Step This product is great, because it promotes root development and the long-term vitality of all types of palms. It won’t burn the roots and has all the nutrients your palm trees need. More info about Palm Tree Fertilization.

palm book stepbystep Palm Tree Planting Step By StepNewly planted palms should not be fertilized until after they put out a new spear, I would say about 2 month after planting. Be sure to fertilize only during the growing season.

I’ve just found a very good book for beginners, that has step-by-step planting and care instructions, all nicely illustrated – All About Palms. It has around 200 different species with a lot of beautiful photos. This book is perfect for an average homeowner who loves palm trees.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments by using a comment box below. I always love to hear from you. Have a wonderful day :)

~Susan Brian

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19 Responses to “Palm Tree Planting Step-By-Step”

  1. No comment, just a question. We just had four 10′ palms planted. The landscaper tied up the froms and said to leave them tied up for three week. However, I have seen many new palms set in place and never have I seen them tied up. I believe this was to minimize movement in case of wind.

    How long must I leave them tied up?


  2. 2 weeks should be fine

  3. Can you recommend a hardy, wind resistent, salt tolerent palm to be grown in (large) containers on an ocean-front deck (behind dune) in jacksonville, NC area?

  4. Hi ! Susan Brian
    I'm seeking for your information in how to remove offshoots from medjool date palm trees.
    I have two medjool palm trees that have 2 ft. trunk height.Each of them has 2 or tree suckers around.Please instruct me how to cut them off either to get new young trees or just discard them.
    Thank you for your help

  5. I have a Bismarck palm which has not grown in the one year I have had it. Its in the ground, its just not growing. I have fertilzed twice using the 3 month release palm food. It even lived through 3 freezes we had here in Central FL last Winter.
    Also if I think it got planted too deep can I dig it up and "fix" that problem?
    Please help as I love these trees.


  7. We live in Sarasota, Florida. Is there a better time of year for planting 6 foot palm trees? It is now May and I feel we have left it a bit late for this year. Thanks

  8. We just bought a cold hardy palm to plant near our pool, a trachycarpus fortunei. We are not sure how close to plant it to the pool. Can you tell us how far the roots will spread?

  9. My palms are in sad shape after a rare freeze in Las Cruces, NM, worst in 100 years. They are young, only about 4 years old and 3.5 feet tall. The buds are dead in two of them yet they have new growth on the side, baby palms growing with new green froms. They are only about 8″. How do I remove them safely so I can re-plant them as I assume if the rest of the palm dies the new growth will soon follow

  10. In coastal Georgia, the local landscape/garden supply stores sell (10′ to 20′) Cabbage Palms that have the trunks leaning on a rail with roots exposed and follage cut-off (except the center stem). Of course they all guarantee that the tree will start regrowing in about 6 to 12 month. Does this method for transplanting a native tree really work or is it another Palm Tree myth?

  11. I am from Brasil and I am visiting my son and grandchildren,here in Florida.I would like to now if it is possible to buy some Silver Bismark Palm sems.I intend to plant it in my house.Thanks

  12. can the phinox palm live in new jersey?

  13. I live in the middle of India and a month ago planted bottled palms that are about 15 feet high, coconut plans also large and date palms. These palms are from a different part of India. They had heavy mud on the roots. I was told to dig hole that were 3 feet in circumference and 4 feet deep, to add sand and organic matter. I did all this, but the soil is still heavy. It stays moist for many days. In the beginning I watered the palms frequently,but I think some I over watered. Now I am waiting 7 days between watering. I am so worried that I am doing the right thing. My date palms don’t look very good. The top leaves have mostly died. And one coconut palm was way to wet so I replanted it. Is there any way to ariate the soil without dgging them up? And how can I promote root growth in a natural way because I live in the middle of no where with very little options. I hope you can help me!
    Thank you,

  14. Hi just brought back a very small coconut/palm from Mexico (Cabo to be exact) and want to know how to replant it so it flourishes… soil, light, water etc and when I might be able to plant it outside. I live in Victoria BC, so not very cold but wet. Any help would be appreciated.

  15. Hi Karen. I would recommend planting it as soon as possible and providing it with plenty of water. Don’t be surprised if your palm goes into shock after transplanting, it should recover within a few weeks. ~Susan Brian

  16. Hello
    I have just inherited a sad and drooping palm ( name unknown) with long leaves similiar to a rubber plant. It has been grown from small and is now about 6 feet tall and is very dry. Its owner didn’t think it needed watering as he said “it’s a palm!” It is now downstairs in a sunny fairly warm room.
    What should I do first ?
    Repot it with new soil or start watering it. Will the latter shock it and kill it off? Should it be tepid water? I have some rain water and do I add anything to it ?
    Hope you can offer some advice. Thanks

  17. We had Fox Tail Palms planted, the company that planted them left them tied up and its almost 2months and did not brace them at all, he said the light rope will keep them protected from the wind and will take the rope off after they get rooted. what is right????

  18. Oh forgot, the Fox Tail Palms are about 10-15 tall. Thank you Jack Gonsowski

  19. please help I have several baby windmill palms growing beside mom tree how do I separate I don’t wont to hurt mom

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