How to Water Palm Trees The Right Way

Watering Palm Trees the right way is very important. Most of the Palm Trees like moist and well drained soil. But, it is easier said than done. A lot of palm tree enthusiasts over water their palms or don’t provide enough water, because they don’t know how to check for soil moist level. They have no idea how much water their palm needs and how often to water it.

1. How much water does my palm tree need?

Here is a rule you should use when watering your Palm Trees. If it’s a 10 gallon container palm tree, then use 10 gallons of water. If it’s a 25 gallon container, then use 25 gallons of water. During hot weather use a little bit more, during cold weather a little less. You should understand, that it depends on the palm tree type and on the type of soil. Always check the soil to make sure it’s moist and adjust your water amount if needed.

2. How often should I water my new planted palm tree?

You should water your new planted palm tree every day for the first week, every other day for the second week and then switch to 3 times a week. Palm tree soil should be always moist.

Established Palm Tree needs watering 2-3 times a week. Adjust your watering depending on the season. Palm Trees grow more during warm months and slow down during cold months. Watering once a week in the winter should be enough.

3. What it the best time for watering my Palm Tree?

You should water your Palm tree early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s not too hot. Why? Because if you water your palm tree in the middle of the hot summer day, when the temperature is around 100F, and get the water on the palm tree frond it will fry the leaves.

When you going tanning, you put oil all over your body to maximize the result. The water on the leaves works the same way oil works on your skin. That’s why, watering your palm in the middle on the hot day can result in leaf burn.

Mist or hose your palm to clean up all the dust on the leaves, but do it in the cooler time of the day. After you figure out how long to water and how much water your Palm tree needs, it’s is a great idea to get a sprinkler system with a timer. Timer is a very useful thing that will prevent a flooding around the house in case you forget to turn off the sprinkler system.

4. How to check the moist level of the soil?

I like to use electronic soil moister meter.  It provides accurate, easy to read results. Since soil probe is separate from meter, you can even monitor hanging plants. It also got great reviews on Amazon.com

Moisture meters start at about $6 and run up to well over $100. I think this one made by Luster Leaf, is priced very reasonably.

Another thing you can use is a soil probe.  Take a soil probe and push into the ground as far as it can go, twist it and pull it out. If the soil is too dry, the probe will stop. Feel the soil.

If it’s moist, you don’t need to water more. Check to see how far the root extends. You don’t need to water deeper than that, because roots can not get to the water below the root depth.

Check to see how long the soil stays moist after you water. If the soil is wet do NOT water your palm. It is very easy to over water. For the best result DEEP water your palms.

5. What is deep watering?

Let’s say you have 20 gallon Palm tree that needs 20 gallons of water. You can water your palm two ways. One way is to take all 20 gallons of water and dump it around your palm tree in 2 minutes. The water will simply runoff and palm tree roots will not get enough.

It takes time for the soil to absorb water. Another way to water your palm tree is to slow drip 20 gallons of water over the course of 1 hour. If you have a sprinkler system with a timer, that is what I would highly recommend, water your palm tree for 30 min, turn the water off, let it soak into the ground for 30 min, then resume watering for the remaining 30 min.

This should not only water the top of the soil but also get few inches deep into the ground. It all depends on the soil type. Check with the soil probe.

Note: You don’t need to water your palm when it’s raining, in case you didn’t know. Turn off your sprinkler system when it’s raining.

I hope you find this palm tree watering article useful. If you have comments or questions let me know by using a comment box below.

~Susan

P.S. If you like this article, please click “Like” button below.

Comments

  1. Somi says

    Hi Suzan,

    I have been away from my house for 3 weeks and have been told that there has been lots of rains and my surprise I found my most beautiful rich palm tree dead what could be the cause?

    I am so heart broken I can’t even sleep at night. How do I revive my Palm tree?

    Regards,
    Somi

  2. teresa says

    good information ,
    but what about old palm tree 20 years or more. should I continue irrigation or it will depend on it’s roots

  3. mike says

    Which trees and plants do you recommend for planting in ft. lauderxdale, fl. CONSIDERING THE WATER SHORTAGE.

    we are currently replanting our landscape on a large, beachfront condominium.

    thanks!!!

  4. Diana says

    Want to learn how to care for our palm trees, and what type of palms we have. Thank you for your help.

  5. Quinn says

    Hello Susan
    My king palm Tree leaves turning yellowish. Am I under watering the tree? How much water do I need for a 10 foot tree (triple king palm plant). I can water more but afraid that over watering might kill the tree.
    Thank you very much

  6. kumar says

    Greetings,

    I would like to know why triangle palm tree leaf became yellow? Is it too much water or its a normal process? Thks

  7. Tony says

    Quick question: how many gallons “container” would a permanently planted 25 foot palm tree be?

    It also should be noted that a soil probe and/or moisture meter works in good soil. Compacted clay, or clay/organic/rock mix is very difficult to push through, such as here in Phoenix.

  8. Elizabeth kelly says

    this posting was very helpful. I’m new to Florida. We put in palm trees. I water slowly over 1/2 to one hour. My husband complains and make me doubt myself. The tree guy told me to do this. Post winter I have some browning on the fronds. Too wet or too dry? It’s a learning process. Thank you.

  9. Wil Gates says

    Does aiming irrigation water directly at the trunks of my palms rot or otherwise damage them? The trunks are black where the water is always hitting them.

  10. Tony says

    For the moisture meter, what is the ideal number for determined moisture level? Also, for established palms, perhaps ones that are over 10 feet in height, the probe length is probably not adequate to get down from the soil surface to the root level. Therefore, when using the meter, is it to be assumed that 6-8″ of soil (i.e. a small hole) first be removed before pushing down the probe? Thanks!

  11. Janet Vollinger Blackford says

    I have a home in the Ruby Lake community of Winter Haven. Know little about palms, but plan to learn all I can. We have an HOA that sends violation notices “Cut your palm fronds.” Had no idea what to cut. At the time all fronds were green, some hanging lower than others. Drove around the community, took some photos and was horrified about the damage being done to our beautiful palms. All of your information is very helpful, but I am from MA and do not yet know one palm from other, and it seems most of we residents are unaware of how to care for palms on our properties. I seem to be on a mission to learns as much as I can. My guess is that our property management is no more knowledgeable than we residents, so I am hoping somehow to share what I learn. Janet

  12. Jeff Gall says

    thanks I have lite brittle brown tips on my 4ft circumference palm trees they are about 4ft round and 4ft high. Can you tell me how many gallons of water i need and when to water. Is that the reason. I live in Las Vegas s It’s April and 80 degrees already.

  13. London says

    Thank you for the info I’m a newly proud owner of a freshly sprouted coconut palm seedling and I got it in Miami and now it lives in Southern California and I need tips on how to keep it health and living, thanks

  14. Jessica Otten says

    What do I do if I have overwatered my palm plant. The leaves are brown and dry. They haven’t fallen off though. Can I save this plant. I have taken it outside and put it in the sunlight and removed my palm plant from the large pot that was holding all the water. What do I do next.

  15. John Cotter says

    Thanks for this informative article. I’m curious, are you in California or Florida? I would think recommendations for planting and caring for palms would be different in these two states. I’m in Carlsbad, CA. and need information on king palms I just had planted on 7-18, 2016 that appear to be in shock. Some of the fronds are burning, drooping, losing their vibrant green color and curling. The center stalks are a bright green to a faded green. The landscapers who planted the trees, which came from Home Depot, made ample bowls around the trees and told me to water every day by filling up the bowls, which I am doing. I’m concerned that the palms are not adjusting. The change in their appearance is very noticeable and they have only been in the ground for two days. Any help you might provide would be appreciated. Thanks. John Cotter

  16. Daphne efstathiou says

    Our newly 3 meter palm trees won’t open their fronds even we water them and look after them. We live in Cyprus. Please is anything else we can do? Thank you Daphne

  17. Susie Douglas says

    We planted two palmetto trees two years ago and one is doing great lots of palms and the other just coming out of the top what can we do to help my tree

  18. Tr Brandt says

    If the top of my palm is all brown, should I assume it’s dead.? One of my tres has some green at the top but has not changed its look since November 2016…any hope?

  19. Christina says

    If I have a potted palm tree, that’s not very tall, and is the kind that have the pointy fronds how often should I water? Still the 2-3 times a week? Just wanna make sure because the ends of the fronds are turning yellow and my mom was saying that we were watering it too often…. thank you!

  20. Selena Robison says

    Thanks for all your help now i know how to take care of me bottle palm tree and keep it strong and healthy.

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