Proper Care of Palm Trees


Palms are tropical trees that grow best in climates with warm, mild winters. Palm trees can be planted individually, in groups or in rows, depending on the particular species' shape and mature size, as well as the landscape's dimensions. Some palms can grow up to 100 feet tall or more, while others remain small and grow in more of a multiple-trunk or shrub-like form. In most landscapes, palm trees require regular care in order to thrive.

Step 1

Mound up a berm of soil around your newly-planted palm tree to facilitate watering. Water the palm tree deeply once each week for the first four to six months to thoroughly soak the soil down to and around the root ball and surrounding soil.

Step 2

Water established palm trees deeply and thoroughly once each week during the summer months. You don't need to water the palm trees during the rest of the year when rainfall is more than 1 inch per week, according to Clemson University Extension.

Step 3

Fertilize your palm trees from April through September with a slow-release 12-4-12-4 NPKMg (Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium-Magnesium) palm tree food containing micronutrients. Follow the application instructions on the fertilizer label and wait until newly-planted palms grow a new spear before fertilizing.

Step 4

Mulch around your palm trees to control weeds and preserve soil moisture. Spread a 2- to 3-inch-thick layer of mulch on the ground around the palms, keeping the mulch about 2 inches away from the trunk.

Step 5

Prune away only dead, damaged or diseased foliage, flower stalks and fruits from your palm trees. Don't cut off living growth or any leaves growing above the horizontal.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't forget to support your newly-planted palm trees, if the trees are larger. Brace the palm trees for the first six to eight months using 2-by-4 lumber leaning up against the trunk. Don't nail or screw into the palm tree's trunk, Clemson Extension advises.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden hose or irrigation system
  • Slow-release 12-4-12-4 NPKMg palm fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Pruning tools


  • Clemson University Extension: Palms & Cycads

Who Can Help

  • Palm-Trees: Palm Trees
Keywords: palm tree care, grow palm trees, planting palms

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.