How to Care for Palm Trees


Palm trees are a favorite in tropical landscaping as well as home gardens. They come in many shapes and sizes and are a perfect way to add flair to your home. Palm trees are relatively easy to care for when grown in warm climates with sufficient rainfall. Preventative measures are the most effective when protecting your palm from disease. Follow simple steps to care for your palm tree.

Step 1

Plant your palm in the right location. Good drainage, eight hours a day of sunlight and a radius of 15 feet of space are the ideal conditions for your palm tree to grow well.

Step 2

Add a 6-inch layer of mulch around the base of fully grown palms to avoid weeds and insects. The mulch should extend to the edge of the canopy and be replenished throughout the year.

Step 3

Water your palm on a regular basis. In periods of infrequent rainfall, water the tree with a slow drip hose for several hours at least twice a month. Young palms in their first year of growth should be watered thoroughly once a week.

Step 4

Fertilize your palm with a slow-release formula four times a year. A 12-4-12 or 13-13-13 formula provides nutrients tailored specifically to palm trees.

Step 5

Take care of the trunk. Palm bark is fragile and can be damaged with pruning, high winds or decorations. Take great care not to damage this protective layer as it is a primary entry point for disease and insects.

Tips and Warnings

  • Puncture wounds in palm trees never heal. Do not nail signs or lights to the trunks of palms.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • Palm Tree Maintenance
  • University of Floridia
  • Jungle Music
Keywords: palm tree, palm care, tropical landscaping

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.