The Care of a Queen Palm


Native to Brazil, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) grows best in tropical and subtropical regions where winter temperatures don't drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In most landscapes, the queen palm grows 15 to 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide, but the tree can grow up to 50 feet in height in the wild. The palm fronds are 1 ½ to 3 feet long and don't shed or fall, making this palm cleaner than other landscape palms. The queen palm enjoys full sunlight and well-draining, acidic soils.

Step 1

Water your queen palm to soak the soil around the entire root zone. Because queen palm trees have shallow but wide-spreading roots, you'll need to water an area around the palm that's five times the diameter of the trunk.

Step 2

Feed your queen palm three times each year with a slow-release palm tree fertilizer that contains micronutrients, such as manganese, copper and magnesium. Follow the dosage instructions on the label, applying the palm fertilizer once in March, once in August and again in October.

Step 3

Provide supplemental manganese for your queen palm to prevent "frizzle top," which causes the emerging new leaves to take on a "frizzled" appearance due to a manganese deficiency. Apply a powder-form manganese sulfate three or four times per year by spreading it on the ground around the palm's trunk, according to the instructions on the package.

Step 4

Treat your queen palm for insect infestations, particularly by the palm leaf skeletonizer and scale insects. Apply an appropriate insecticide according to the instructions on the label.

Step 5

Maintain the proper soil pH around your queen palm, especially after it's been planted for three to five years or longer. To keep the soil from becoming too alkaline, mix 3 cups of muriatic acid in 15 gallons of water and pour the water onto the soil around the palm. Be sure to water your queen palm generously about 24 hours before applying the soil acidifier treatment. Perform this soil pH adjustment once every two to three years.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for ganoderma butt rot, which is caused by the fungus Ganoderma zonatum and attacks the base of the queen palm, rotting the wood of the trunk. As the fungus progresses, it grows a mushroom-like, spongy, white growth in a disc shape out from the trunk. No effective treatment exists for ganoderma butt rot, and infected trees must be removed and destroyed.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Slow-release palm tree fertilizer
  • Manganese sulfate powder supplement
  • Insecticides (optional)
  • Muriatic acid


  • Moon Valley Nurseries: Queen Palm Care
  • Pacific Palms Nursery: Queen Palm Care
  • Ganoderma Butt Rot

Who Can Help

  • Queen Palm
Keywords: queen palm care, grow queen palm trees, planting Syagrus romanzoffiana

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.