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How to Care for Palm Trees

Palm trees are low to no maintenance once they are established, but there are few things to consider especially for newly planted palm trees. Read on to learn How to Care for Palm Trees.

How to Care for Palm Trees: Planting

  1. Water your potted palm tree well prior to planting.
  2. Dig a hole about twice as wide as the root ball and about as deep as the root ball is tall.
  3. Place your palm tree in the hole and check from every angle to ensure it is straight. The top of the root ball should be just slightly higher than the soil line.
  4. Next, backfill with the soil you dug up or a 50/50 mixture of native soil and planting mix.
  5. Water your new palm tree thoroughly.
  6. Apply 1 to 2 inches of mulch around your tree and extend the mulch mound a couple inches beyond the tree’s canopy.
  7. Water once daily for the first week.

How to Care for Palm Trees Outdoors

Palm trees generally grow in full sun, but can tolerate some shade. Water newly planted trees deeply twice a week until they are established (2 to 3 months). Palm trees are drought tolerant once they are established and rarely need watered. A good quality slow release fertilizer should be applied in early spring. If your soil is lacking, feed your palm tree again in early fall. Palm trees love food! In winter (in cooler climates or harsh winters) palm trunks can be wrapped with burlap or frost cloth to reduce or even prevent possible damage. Deep watering prior to severe temperatures and adding a thick layer of mulch will help to protect the roots during severe freezing temperatures.

How to Care for Palm Trees Indoors

Use a high quality planting mix when planting palm trees in pots. Pick a container slightly larger than the current pot. Be sure it drains well. Water your potted palm tree when the soil is beginning to dry out. Majesty palms prefer moist soil, but other palm trees prefer drier conditions. Palm trees tend to prefer humid climates so mist your indoor palm tree or place the pot on a tray with water and pebbles to increase humidity. This is most important in winter when our homes are dry from running heat. Do not let the roots sit in water.

How to Care for Palm Trees: Pruning

Palm trees do not require pruning. But damaged foliage can be trimmed back for looks or to encourage new growth. Trim the fronds back to where the stalk meets the trunk. Prune with scissors or pruning shears for smaller trees and loppers or a pole saw for large palm trees. There will be foliage that dies back naturally.This does not need to be trimmed off, but it can be if you prefer. This will not hurt your tree and may even encourage quicker regrowth. For indoor palm trees, trim back damaged foliage with scissors for a clean and tidy look.

Now that you know How to Care for Palm Trees, check out our Palm Trees, Tropical Trees, and Tropical Plants collections in our online plant nursery!

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