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How to Plant a Queen Palm

palm tree image by Christine Valin from

The queen palm tree is one of the most popular domestically grown palm trees in the world. Gardeners and landscapers love the queen palm's elegant fronds and its 6-foot summer blossoms. However, although extensively grown in the United States, the queen palm is actually native to South America. And in the US, it only grows successfully outdoors in growing zones 9B through 11--meaning only the warmest and most southern regions of the country.

Water your potted queen palm sapling. While it is waiting to be planted, its roots should never be allowed to dry out.

Dig a hole that is three times the diameter and twice the depth of the container that your queen palm sapling is currently growing in.

Amend the excavated soil. Remove a third of the soil you just dug out of the hole and mix it with equal parts peat moss and aged compost.

Carefully remove the queen palm tree from its container without damaging its roots.

Backfill the hole halfway with the amended soil.

Place the queen palm in the hole so that its root crown sits slightly above the surrounding soil. You may have to backfill more of the soil to accomplish this.

Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain.

Finish filling the hole with the amended soil. The top of the palm tree's root ball should be covered with no more than 1 inch of soil. Pat the soil down gently with your hands when you are finished to remove any air pockets.

Use some of the remaining soil to create a 4-inch-high berm or "dam" around the planting area.

Fill the berm with water and allow it to soak into the soil. This berm will act as a measuring tool to make sure that your newly planted queen palm gets enough water. Water your queen palm every other day for the first three months. Then gradually cut back watering frequency to three times weekly, until the queen palm is established and produces new growth.

Spread a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the queen palm's planting area to help the soil retain moisture. But keep the mulch at least 3 inches away from the palm's trunk.


Have your soil's pH tested by using a home pH testing kit. Queen palms need slightly acidic soil to grow normally; those grown in alkaline soils suffer from mineral deficiencies. Do not let the roots of your potted palm dry out while you are waiting to plant it.


Queen palm trees cannot survive in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

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