The growth rate of the queen palm tree, a native of Brazil, can be hampered by excessive watering. Often planted in a lawn environment, the queen palm requires less water than the surrounding grass. The tree produces a round orange, fleshy fruit that typically grows to a length of 1 inch or less.
The queen palm tree (Syagrus romanzoffiana) is considered to be a fast-grower which, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, denotes a tree that grows in excess of 24 inches annually. It develops into a single-trunked palm with a crown of shiny, bright green leaves that provide a dense, yet drooping, canopy. Even when the leaves -- called fronds -- brown or die, they typically hang onto the tree and require pruning for removal. Its fruit, orange dates, hang in clusters and ripen during the winter.
The queen palm tree growth rate is in excess of 2 feet per year. It ultimately grows to between 25 and 50 feet in height with a spread of 15 to 25 feet. It achieves its best rate of growth in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9b through 11, an area that encompasses only the subtropical and tropical regions of the country, including Florida, south Texas, Hawaii and coastal areas of Louisiana, Alabama and California.
A member of the Arecaceae family, the queen palm demands full sunshine and enjoys its best growth rate in acidic, well-drained soil. Alkaline soils will cause nutritional deficiencies in the tree that lead to stunted foliage and may potentially kill the queen palm. This disorder is prevented by applying manganese and iron to the fronds in order to renew their green color and maintain the health of the tree.
Gardeners should avoid pruning too many fronds at once as this can injure the queen palm. Reduce the chances for trunk decay by keeping grass and weeds away from the base. The palm is somewhat tolerant of salt spray, while pests like scale and the palm leaf skeletonizer can be problems for the tree. It is also susceptible to ganoderma butt rot, a disease that is capable of slowing down the growth rate and eventually killing the queen palm.
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