Palm trees send us straight to the tropics. Their recognizable shape is synonymous with luscious forests, deserted beaches and summer tans. These days, they are increasingly popular in household landscaping projects. It takes great care and attention to keep your palms healthy throughout their lives. At full height, coconut palms can reach 100 feet and have been known to produce coconuts for a century. With the proper care, your palm seedlings can reach their full potential.
Prepare the soil. Dig a hole as deep and slightly wider than the container holding each seedling. Mix in 25 percent sand to the original soil to keep the soil well-drained.
Plant your seedlings in an area with full sun. Palm trees need at least eight hours of sun per day and lots of space for their trunks and roots to expand. Depending on the type of palm, you might need to space each tree out 10 to 20 feet.
Apply mulch around the base of the seedlings. Start with a 1- to 2-inch layer around the base of the plant and add more as the plant grows. This keeps the soil moist and keeps weeds away.
Water your seedlings regularly. Palms do best in areas with heavy rainfall and need lots of water to grow. Water seedlings and young palms several times each week. In periods of drought, soak the base of your palm with a hose at least twice a month.
Fertilize. Use a slow-release palm fertilizer four times a year for best results. Palm Special labeled as 12-4-12 or 13-13-13 is commercially available throughout the United States. It usually comes in the form of pellets to be buried around the base of the tree.
Do not prune. Palm trees recycle nutrients from old fronds back into the core of the plant. Fronds fall off naturally and usually do not need removal. Excessive pruning is even against city code in some areas. If you feel you must prune, only remove those fronds hanging below a parallel line to the ground.