Plant Care for Palms


Palm plants are slow growing plants that thrive in tropical conditions. They can be planted outdoors if the weather is ideal, or indoors in all other parts of the country. They are tolerant of the conditions inside but still require some maintenance. The most important factors to consider when caring for palm plants are soil, water, sunlight and fertilization.

Step 1

Check to make sure the palm is receiving as much sunlight as it needs. Some palms require full sunlight, and others want some shade. Ask a plant nursery specialist for details regarding your specific palm.

Step 2

Keep indoor palm plants root-bound. This means they should be put in containers that are on the small side. A palm that is 4 feet tall should be planted in a 6-inch container. If the pot is too big, the soil will be soggy and stagnant. This can cause the fronds to turn yellow.

Step 3

Feed palms at the time of planting with a palm-specific food. Mix 2 oz. of fertilizer per 1 inch of tree trunk. Moisten the soil around the base of the plant and apply the fertilizer around the tree. Water the spot to help the food reach the roots.

Step 4

Add a slow-release fertilizer to give the palm plant more nutrients. Use a food with 3 to 4 percent potassium and 12 to 13 percent phosphorus and nitrogen. Apply 1 oz. per 3 inches of tree trunk. Water the area to get the fertilizer below the soil surface.

Step 5

Add mycorrhizal fungi to enhance the soil. This will promote growth. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for dosage.

Step 6

Water palm plants once a week to keep the soil moist at all times. Back off on watering in the winter to give the plant a dormant period. Allow the soil to dry out between watering.

Step 7

Regulate the temperature for indoor palms. Keep them away from air conditioners and drafts.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never apply fertilizer to dry soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Mycorrhizal fungi


  • Cole Brothers: Caring for Your Palms
  • Plant-Care: Majesty Palm
  • Sun Palm Trees: Palm Tree Care -- Frequently Asked Questions
  • Plant Ideas: House Plant Index
Keywords: palm care, care for palms, grow palm trees

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.