How to Plant Queen Palm

Overview

The queen palm is a lush, small- to medium-sized tropical palm crowned by bright green, feathery leaves that form a graceful canopy, with hanging clusters of ornamental dates adorning the tree during the winter months. If the queen palm is treated right, it will grow quickly, and can reach a height of 25 feet by the time it's 8 to 10 years old, eventually reaching a height of 30 to 40 feet. Plant queen palm in areas where winter temperatures don't drop below 30 degrees F.

Step 1

Purchase a young queen palm at a reputable greenhouse or nursery. Choose a healthy tree with bright green leaves and a straight trunk.

Step 2

Dig a hole about four times wider than the palm's root ball or container, and about the same depth. Tip the container over on its side and carefully remove the tree from its container. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap, just loosen the top of the burlap and fold it down around the tree.

Step 3

Locate the palm tree's soil line, which will be visible on the tree's root ball, or on the burlap. The palm should be planted at the same depth, with the soil line even with the top of the soil. Planting the palm too deeply will limit the supply of nutrients and water to the roots.

Step 4

Place the queen palm in the hole, and turn it until it has its best face forward. Ask a helper to hold the tree straight while you fill the hole with a mixture of half compost and half reserved soil.

Step 5

Make a shallow trench around the hole that will hold water and direct it to the outer roots so that the entire root system will be watered. The trench can be leveled out when the palm is established. Put a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the tree to conserve moisture and enrich the soil.

Step 6

Water the queen palm daily for the first two weeks, then cut down to two or three times a week--at least three times a week if the weather is hot and dry. Water once or twice a week during the winter months, depending on your climate. Always water the tree slowly and deeply,

Step 7

Feed the queen palm for the first time when it's 3 months old, and feed it every three months after that time. Use a good quality fertilizer formulated for palm trees, and apply it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Always fertilize damp soil, and water deeply after you apply fertilizer.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use caution when mowing or trimming weeds around the queen palm, because even a small injury to the palm's bark can create an opening for pests or disease. If necessary, wrap the trunk with heavy plastic to protect it.

Things You'll Need

  • Young queen palm
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Garden hose
  • Palm tree fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida: Syagrus romanzoffiana Queen Palm
  • University of Arizona: Queen Palm
  • BackyardGardener.com: Arecastrum romanzoffiana
Keywords: queen palm, ornramental dates, root ball

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.