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How to Plant a Silver Bismark Palm Tree

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Bismarck palm tree (Bismarckia nobilis) is a stately fan palm desired by gardeners due to its mighty appearance as a specimen tree. The blue-green fronds make this palm stand out among its cousin palms. Bismarck palms are quite hardy trees once established, and can obtain a height of over 40 feet. The requirements for planting a Bismarck palm are similar to those of other palms.

Select an area in your landscape that is large enough to allow the Bismarck palm to achieve its full height and width. Do not plant the palm near structures or powerlines as this tall palm can interfere with them once mature.

Choose an area that receives either full sun or partial sun conditions throughout the day. The palm can tolerate some shade, but requires at least four hours of direct sunlight to grow properly.

Plant the Bismarck palm in soil that is sandy and drains well. Amending the area with organic material such as compost is not a requirement for the palm to grow well.

Dig a hole that is twice as large as the Bismarck palm's root ball but is no deeper. Loosen the soil so the roots will not have a hard time establishing themselves in the new planting site.

Place the root ball into the hole, making sure the tree is standing straight. Fill the hole halfway with soil and pack it down firmly. Fill the remainder of the hole with soil and pack down again, firming it up around the base of the palm tree.

Water the Bismarck palm well once planted. Continue watering the newly planted tree two to three times per week for the first three weeks. Continue with regular watering approximately once per week thereafter. Bismarck palms are quite drought-tolerant once established.

Fertilize the Bismarck palm with a quality palm fertilizer six weeks after planting. Continue with a fertilization schedule of three times per year. Apply in early spring, summer and fall.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Palm fertilizer


  • Only add a Bismarck palm to your outdoor landscape if your regional temperatures do not dip below 23 degrees. Bismarck palms will not tolerate growing in temperatures below that.
  • Pests are usually not a problem with Bismarck palms.
  • Prune off only limbs that are dead, as pruning off live growth can damage the tree.

About the Author


For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.