Care for Palm Plants


Palm plants, also known as palm trees, make up a significant part of the landscape plants located in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. When properly cared for, palm trees can be very aesthetically pleasing. Proper fertilization, watering, pruning and mulching will keep your palm plants looking their best. However, if proper care practices aren't followed, palm trees, like any other plant, will suffer. The good news is that it's easy to care for palm plants and takes just a little time.

Step 1

Fertilize your palm plants with a slow-release palm fertilizer two to four times per year. Use 8 oz. of fertilizer per inch of trunk diameter. Spread the fertilizer from the edge of the palm tree's canopy to within 1 foot from the palm tree trunk.

Step 2

Water the palm plants during periods of dry weather. Irrigate under the entire canopy of the palm tree and provide 1 inch of water per week to the irrigation area.

Step 3

Prune your palm plants only as necessary. Prune off dead or dying fronds with a pruning shears. Leave green fronds on unless it's absolutely necessary to remove them.

Step 4

Put down a layer of mulch that is 2 to 6 inches thick around your palm tree. The mulch should start 6 inches away from the trunk and extend for 18 inches.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never prune off palm fronds that are above a line that is horizontal to the ground. Severe pruning, or "hurricane cutting," can result in the trunks developing a "pencil top," which is a narrowing of the trunk. This will make the trunk more susceptible to snapping off in high winds. Always use commercial sterilized mulch. Freshly ground tree mulch can contain an organism that can result in bud rot of the palm.

Things You'll Need

  • Palm fertilizer
  • Garden hose
  • Pruning shears
  • Commercial sterilized wood mulch


  • Broward County Florida: Palm Tree Care
  • Sun Palm Trees: Palm Tree Care
Keywords: care for palm plants, palm trees, slow release palm fertilizer, commercial sterilized mulch, prune off dead or dying fronds

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.