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How to Care for a King Palm

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017

The king palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) is a tropical palm native to Queensland, Australia. The king palm can be found in subtropical and tropical regions of the world, including the extreme southern part of the United States. King palms, like other palm trees, require some supplemental care to keep them looking their best. When properly maintained, they can create a striking effect. It is fairly easy to care for a king palm with a few key care practices.

Add mycorrhizal fungi to the soil around your king palm. These fungi provide your palm tree with essential nutrients and moisture. Also, they can help your palm tree grow a more extensive root system. Mycorrhizal fungi comes in a granular soil additive.

Fertilize your king palm tree with a palm fertilizer. Palm fertilizers contain micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron sulfate and copper sulfate, which are vital to a palm tree's survival.

Water your palm sufficiently throughout the year. Use a soaker hose to deliver water to your palm at a slow but steady rate. This will allow sufficient penetration to the root system. Palms should be watered twice a month during the summer and once every six weeks in the winter months.

Prune off the dead fronds of your King palm with pruning shears. Cut the fronds off an inch or two away from the trunk to prevent trunk damage.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Mycorrhizal fungi additive
  • Palm fertilizer
  • Soaker hose
  • Water source
  • Pruning shears
  • Wood mulch

Tip

  • It may also be beneficial to add a two- to three-inch-deep layer of wood mulch around your king palm tree. The mulch should extend out as far as the tree canopy does. This will prevent moisture competition by keeping grass and other plants from growing over the palm's root system.

Warnings

  • Don't prune off green fronds unless absolutely necessary. These fronds are providing the products of photosynthesis for the life and growth of your king palm, and pruning off fronds unnecessarily can weaken or kill your palm.
  • Don't allow the soil to get soggy by over watering. Water-logged soil can cause root rot of your king palm. Root rot is especially prevalent in the cooler winter months.