Palm Tree Q&A

I get a lot of emails asking about palm tree care. I know this Q&A page will not answer all of them, but I wanted to post answers to most asked questions. I always love to hear from you, so if you have a palm tree care question, don’t hesitate to contact me.

A lot of homeowners don’t know that palm tree care starts by choosing the right palm tree. Another important step in successful palm tree growing is planting it as soon as possible while minimizing the transplant shock. Watering and fertilizing schedule will help you keep your palm tree healthy and strong so it can withstand cold temperatures during winter months. If you do all these things, you are guaranteed a beautiful palm tree.

How to choose a palm tree?

Most important things to consider when selecting a palm tree are type, location and purpose. First, think where in the backyard you want to plant it and what would you use if for. It can be used to create a focal point, fencing,or just for shade. Next, depending on the function of the tree you will select the type.

What do I need to know when planting the palm?

Planting a palm tree is almost as easy as planting a regular tree. Try to keep roots moist all the time and plant it as soon as you can. I would recommend acclimatizing your tree first to decrease the transplant shock. Use good quality soil. Build a barrier and apply some mulch to keep the soil moist longer. Don’t forget, newly planted palm needs frequent watering.

What do I do if my palm tree is dying?

A lot of plant owners start cutting the fronds, transplanting the palm, and watering it more often. Bad idea! You need to figure out what the problem is before doing anything. There could be soooo many reasons. Some of them are: over-watering, not enough water, nutrition deficiency, fertilizer burn, sunburn, cold damage, insects and much more. Each problem has different symptoms. Pretend you are a doctor that needs to figure out what is wrong with the patient before prescribing medication. Otherwise, you can create more damage and stress your palm even more.

How to water palm tree the right way?

Most palm trees like moist, but well drained soil. Established palm tree should be watered about 3 times a week. Deep watering works the best. The best time to water is in the evening. If you are not sure how moist your soil is, use moister meter measure the moister levels. If you have extra time, mist the palm with water.

What fertilizer do I need to use?

I like to use slow release formula fertilizer a few times a year. The best time to apply it is during growing season. Avoid fertilizing newly planted palms. Also, don’t place fertilizer too close to the trunk to avoid burning.

How to protect palm tree from cold?

I always use cold protecting spray to protect your palm from cold if I know that cold snap is coming. Of course fertilizing your palm during growing season will make it stronger. Applying mulch will help to protect roots. During cold nights you can use warm cover, heater, or lights around the tree. Also, spray it with “copper fungicide” to fight with bacterial and fungal infections.

How to save cold damaged palm tree?

This is a tough one. If the bud, the place where the fronds are growing from, is damaged, the palm tree will die. There is nothing you can do. If the bud is not damaged there is a chance it will survive. Start by cutting dead branches. Next, spray it with copper fungicide spray to prevent bacterial and fungi attack. Don’t fertilize the palm. Fertilizing it will create more stress. Also, spray your palm with cold protecting spray Freeze Pruf to prevent more damage. Keep watering it. It might take up to a year for the tree to recover. Here is my article on how to save cold damaged palm tree.

~Susan Brian

%d bloggers like this: