Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Feed Palm Plants

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Palm plants make a wonderful addition to a tropical landscape. They are also very popular as houseplants. Proper feeding will help the plants live the healthiest, longest life possible. There are many options for fertilization. What's important to remember is that they are each applied differently. Using too much of certain types can burn the palm plant's roots and do more harm than good. The best fertilizer options are slow-release or organic blends.

Feed palm plants when you plant them. Mix 2 oz. of palm fertilizer per 1 inch of tree trunk. Apply the food to the soil around the tree, making sure it's moist at the time. Water the area right away to help the fertilizer reach the roots.

Feed the plant with slow-release fertilizer after planting to give it extra nutrients. Buy a fertilizer that contains 3 to 4 percent potassium, 12 to 13 percent nitrogen and 12 to 13 percent phosphorus. Use 1 oz. per 3 inches of trunk above the ground. Water to get the fertilizer into the ground.

Stick palm pellets in the ground around the bottom of the palm tree. Apply them three to four times a year.

Give palm plants a manganese supplement to counteract natural deficiencies they suffer from. The local nursery should have a supplement in stock. Follow the label instructions.

Add an organic fertilizer to the palm plants monthly. Use fish emulsion, Milorganite, seaweed or blood meal to feed them naturally. Because they are organic, these fertilizers will not harm your plants, no matter how much and how often you apply them.


Things You Will Need

  • Palm fertilizer
  • Water
  • Slow-release tablets
  • Manganese supplement


  • Fertilize palm plants during the growing season, which is April to September.
  • Spread the food evenly around the palm plant.
  • Always follow the instructions on the bag.


  • Avoid over-fertilizing.
  • Never apply fertilizer to dry soil.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.