How to Prune Bamboo Palm After a Frost

Overview

Bamboo palms are grown for their delicate appearance and manageable size. Rarely reaching more than 12 feet in height, they have slender trunks and dark green leaves. Although bamboo palms can survive temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit, heavy frosts can do damage to leaves. It is crucial to prune a bamboo palm after a frost to ensure a healthy comeback. If your palm is potted, move it to an enclosed porch for easy pruning.

Step 1

Inspect the plant for damage. Notice any yellow or brown leaves and run your finger along the stem to feel for any cracks or breaks.

Step 2

Determine the size of shears necessary. This will be determined by the size and age of your bamboo palm. For most plants, hand shears or sharp scissors will work. But be careful--using the wrong size of shears can mean uneven cuts, damaged bark and potential accidents.

Step 3

Use sharp, clean pruning shears. Dull blades make uneven cuts and are most likely to tear the bark while dirty blades can spread disease. Sharpen your pruning shears before each use and clean with boiling water afterwards.

Step 4

Remove dead or dying fronds. Use shears to cleanly cut off yellow or brown fronds at the base of the stem. Cut off any stems that have cracked or broken.

Step 5

On the lower half of the plant, cut new shoots at the base of the stem in order to maintain old growth and focus the palm's energy on upper branches. This will aid in quick recovery.

Tips and Warnings

  • Over-pruning can be deadly to a palm tree. Always err on the side of caution.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears or scissors

References

  • Pruning Plants
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Pruning Palms
Keywords: prune palm after frost, bamboo palm, palm care

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.