How to Trim Tropical Palm Plants


Tropical palm plants can be grown outside or indoors. They need tropical environments with high humidity and warm temperatures. There are 2,500 species of palms. They are evergreen tree-like species, with a single trunk and a fan of leaves on top. The three genera of palms that do best indoors are kentia palm, bamboo palm and lady palm. Trim tropical palm plants to remove dying foliage and promote the best growth.

Step 1

Trim tropical palm plants cautiously. Many are self-pruning, so your efforts can result in reducing their health, affect how they deal with cold and make them less tolerant to deal with windstorms.

Step 2

Prune damaged or dead fronds that appear yellow or brown in color. Cut them off where they meet the main trunk of the plant. Be very careful not to touch or damage the trunk.

Step 3

Remove the flowers and fruit stalks. They both steal strength from the tropical palm and aren't needed. Eventually, the fruit provides food for birds and rodents. It also drops to the ground and makes a mess. The seeds will drop and create seedling in unwanted parts of the landscape.

Step 4

Remove loose petioles off the palm plant by hand. If they don't pull off with ease, leave them on the tree.

Step 5

Thin out palm plants as new growth emerges to control the size. Mature fronds grow below the current season's blooms. Leave at least two rows of mature fronds in place when pruning.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never cut off more leaves than the tropical palm plant produces in one season.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves
  • Ladder


  • Jungle Music Palms and Cycads: Palms as House Plants
  • Palm Trees, Cycads, Bromeliads and other Tropical Plants
  • Sun Palm Trees: Palm Tree Care
Keywords: trim tropical palm plants, tropical palm plants, trim tropical plants

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.