How to Grow Queen Palm Trees

Overview

The queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) is single trunked, with an open, casual crown. It is fast growing and can reach a height of 25 to 50 feet and a spread of 15 to 25 feet. It is a tropical plant and will tolerate low temperatures of about 25 degrees. It makes an impressive display when planted in rows. Propagation is by seed.

Step 1

Choose a sunny location with slightly acidic, well drained soil. When planted in alkaline soil it will need regular applications of manganese and /or iron to maintain plant vigor. Queen palms are moderately salt tolerant. Choose a location that will accommodate its mature size.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and as deep as the container or B & B (balled and burlaped) tree. Mix some organic material (peat moss, leaf mold, manure, or compost) and sand into the soil that has been removed. The ration should be 1/3 organic matter to 2/3 soil.

Step 3

Remove the plant from its container. If the plant is balled and burlaped, place the tree in the hole before removing the wrapping. Remove as much of the wrapping as you can and remove all the strings. What is left of the burlap will disintegrate over time.

Step 4

Fill in around roots with the enriched soil mix. When you have filled the hole halfway, water the tree to help settle the soil around the roots. Once it drains continue filling in the hole and water again. Cover the soil with a light mulch to help maintain moisture and cool temperatures around the roots. Stake the tree for the first two to three years until it is are firmly established.

Step 5

Water every day for the first 2 weeks, then weekly if needed for the first year while the tree is actively growing. Queen palms are moderately drought-tolerant once established.

Step 6

Fertilize the Queen Palm several times a year with palm fertilizer or Epsom salts according to the package directions.

Step 7

Prune dead fronds only. This can be accomplished with a pole trimmer when the tree is taller. Queen palms do not like pruning. Taking off too many fronds at once can cause the tree to decline.

Tips and Warnings

  • Protect the trunk from damage. Queen palms are susceptible to ganodema butt rot, which enters the tree through wounds to the lower trunk. There is no cure for this disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic matter
  • Pruning shears
  • Garden hose
  • Mulch
  • Planting stakes
  • Palm tree fertilizer
  • Epsom salt
  • Pole trimmer

References

  • Syagus romanzoffiana, Queen Palm
Keywords: planting queen palms, how to grow Syagrus romanzoffiana, how to care for a queen palm

About this Author

Joan Puma is a graduate of Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts, and has worked in the film industry for many years as a script supervisor. Puma's interest in gardening lead her to write The Complete Urban Gardener, which was published by Harper & Row. Other interests include, art history, medieval history, and equitation.