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How to Care for Potted Palm Plants

Palms make great container plants. They are generally easy to care for and will add a tropical flare to your outside porch or indoors. Being a very versatile plant, there are quite a few varieties you can use that will grow well in a container. As long as you remember that palms are tropical in nature and meet their basic requirements, even a novice gardener should have success growing and caring for them.

Water your potted palm daily while in the nursery container waiting for transplanting. The nursery waters plants daily and you should continue this process until planting the palm into its permanent container.

Use a rich, well-draining potting mix that has a slow-release fertilizer incorporated into it. Amend the fertilizer into the potting mix before filling the container. Do not use a heavy potting soil that retains water.

Plant the palm in a container that is large enough to house the plant. Choose a container that is three times larger than the palm’s root ball and has drain holes in it. This will allow enough room for the palm’s root system to grow properly.

Change out the soil every couple of years. Remove the palm from its container and pour out the old soil. Fill the container with fresh soil that has organic material in it. Transplant into a larger container if the palm has outgrown the one it is presently in and its roots are becoming pot-bound.

Water indoor grown palms when the soil feels dry. They will need to be watered approximately once a week. Containers situated outdoors will require water two to three times a week, as the conditions will be warmer than inside. Water the palm until water begins to run out of the bottom of the container.

Grow indoor varieties of palms in an area that receives filtered sunlight. Situate outdoor containers where they receive full or partial sun, depending on the variety of palm.

Add humidity to indoor growing conditions. Situate the palm on a saucer filled with pebbles or sand, but do not sit the container in a saucer filled with water. Mist the palms several times a week with a spray bottle filled with water. Allow rain to pour on outdoor container-grown palms.

Apply a 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer once per month to indoor and outdoor container-grown palms. Add a fresh application of a slow-release fertilizer to the soil every six months.

Clean the leaves free of dust or dirt by wiping them with a cloth moistened with mild dish detergent and water. Wipe the soap off the fronds with fresh water.


Pests are generally not a problem with palm trees.

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