How to Plant a King Palm


King palms live up to their name with their elegant, royal appearance. They can reach 50 feet tall and grow feathery branches 8 to 14 feet long. They are easy to maintain and require little or no pruning. The more tropical the environment, the better your king palms will grow. With proper care and full sunlight, king palms can grow 25 feet in 10 years.

Step 1

Choose a flat, spacious area with well-drained soil to plant your tree. A king palm needs at least eight hours of sun a day.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the young palm's container. The hole should be deep enough to cover the root ball with 2 to 4 inches of soil.

Step 3

Fill the bottom of the hole with 2 to 4 inches of sand to ensure proper drainage.

Step 4

Place the palm in the center of the hole and fill in around the root ball with a mixture of 50 percent sand and 50 percent original soil.

Step 5

Firmly tamp the soil with your foot to eliminate air pockets.

Step 6

Spread a 6-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant, extending to the width of the canopy. This will help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds.

Step 7

Water your palm immediately after planting, then daily for the first week. Once established, water your palm three times per week in the summer and one or two times per week in the winter.

Step 8

Apply a slow-release fertilizer specially formatted for palms at least three times a year. Fertilizers usually come in the form of pellets or spikes to be buried a few feet from the base of the tree.

Tips and Warnings

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

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Young king palm
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Wooden planks


  • Palm Tree Care
  • Florida Palm Trees
  • Jungle Music Nursery
Keywords: king palm, palm care, tropical landscaping

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. She is a featured poet on NYC public radio, is the winner of the San Jacinto & Alethean Literary Societies' Poetry Award, and has authored three collections of poetry including "cold days," "bastante" and "short poems." She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Southwestern University.