Care of Palm Trees


Palm trees are a warm-weather, tropical tree variety that is easily maintained when grown under the proper conditions. Successfully growing a palm tree depends on several factors. Choose a disease-resistant variety recommended for the area and verify the mature size it will grow based on the area it will be planted. Palm trees are not desert-loving trees and require sufficient water amounts to grow properly. The planting soil should not become compacted as this will damage the root structure and decrease available nutrients.

Step 1

Select a planting location that has a sandy soil as a palm tree will not tolerate wet soil. The location should offer full sunlight and not be near overhead power lines.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Place the tree into the hole, making sure it is standing straight. Mix palm fertilizer into the removed soil at a rate of 2 oz. per inch of the trunk's diameter. Fill the soil around the root ball and gently pack in place to prevent air pockets.

Step 3

Water the newly planting tree daily for two weeks to stimulate root growth. Continue to water the tree twice a month for six months, making sure the water penetrates the soil to a depth of 18 inches. Soils heavy in sand may require additional watering. Water established trees twice a month during dry periods.

Step 4

Fertilize palm trees after planting by applying a slow-release palm fertilizer at the rate of 1 oz. for every 3 inches of trunk diameter. Fertilize established trees with a slow-release palm fertilizer two to four times a year. Soak the ground well after applying fertilizer.

Step 5

Apply a 2- to 6-inch-thick layer of mulch in an 18-inch-diameter ring around the tree. Start the mulch 6 inches from the base of the trunk. Choose commercial sterile mulches instead of fresh tree mulches to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.

Step 6

Prune the fronds from the bottom of the tree trunk once they turn yellow or brown with a large pruning clipper. The fronds are the large compound-type leaves that grow on the palm. Do not cut close to the trunk of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Palm fertilizer
  • Water
  • Slow-release palm fertilizer
  • Commercial sterile mulch
  • Large pruning clipper


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Keywords: palm tree care, grow palm trees, plant palm trees

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.