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How to Prune Dwarf Palmetto

By Dale Devries ; Updated September 21, 2017

The dwarf palmetto is also known as the bluestem palmetto because of the blue tinge to the leaves. The botanical name of the plant in Sabal minor and it is native to Florida. Dwarf palmetto trees grow as far north as gardening Zone 7 and all across the southern United States. The trunk of the tree is unusual because it rarely emerges from the ground, making it look much more like a shrub than a tree. This is one of the more cold hardy palms and needs very little pruning.

Prune out some of the inside leaves to open the plant up for ventilation. If the tree is very bushy and some of the leaves on the inside are turning brown, they should be pruned out. As long as they are all green and healthy, leave them there because they are storing food for the plant.

Prune off all bottom leaves that have turned brown. Once a year, all the bottom leaves that have died off should be removed and discarded. It not only makes the tree look better, but keeps mildew diseases from starting around the tree.

Prune to shape the tree if you have a branch that sticks out of place. Most of the dwarf palmettos have an irregular shape and one branch can shoot out the side much longer than the rest. However, they look more natural left alone and the less you prune these trees, the healthier they are.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gardening gloves