The Care of Live Palm Trees


Caring for live palm trees is not difficult, as long as you understand the conditions you are faced with and choose appropriate species. Whether you are planning on keeping a palm outside or inside, knowing the difference among species and understanding fertilizing, watering and care during cold weather events are all important concepts. Despite the challenges that come with raising a tropical plant, palm trees can adapt to a wide range of conditions and live healthy lives with the proper care.

Step 1

Choose an appropriate species of palm for your purposes or area. Pygmy date palms and lady palms are popular choices for indoor plants, and many different varieties of palms are available for planting outdoors.

Step 2

Research your palm species to determine the best placement. Some palms, such as royal palms and Washington palms, prefer full sunlight, whereas pygmy date palms and other species prefer partial shade.

Step 3

Check the soil conditions to ensure that there is good soil for growing palms, which means the soil should be well drained and have a pH of between 6 and 6.5.

Step 4

Dig a hole just deep enough to cover the roots, preferably at the same depth the palm tree was originally planted.

Step 5

Brace the newly planted palm tree using burlap padding, strapping and 2-by-4 lumber, for approximately 18 to 24 months to give the root system of the live palm tree time to firmly root in the ground.

Step 6

Use a granular fertilizer specifically formulated for palm trees that can release nutrients over time to help replenish any nutrients the tree may draw from the soil.

Step 7

Water established palm trees at least once a week, as needed, to a depth of at least 2 inches. Water new palm trees daily for the first few months.

Tips and Warnings

  • Planting a palm tree too deeply will suffocate the root system and kill the palm, so proper depth is important. Watering a palm tree too much can promote root rot, which is a fungal infection that can easily kill a tree. Never allow the soil to dry out completely on a newly planted palm.

Things You'll Need

  • Burlap padding
  • Strapping
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • Granular palm fertilizer


  • University of Florida Extension: Planting a Palm
  • Jungle Music: Palm Trees in the Landscape

Who Can Help

  • Palmantics: Palm Tree Species
  • Palm Tree Diseases
Keywords: palm tree care, planting palm trees, growing palm trees, palm tree growth

About this Author

Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.