Palm trees. Great, aren’t they? It seems they can beautify and add a tropical touch to any environment. You might be looking to capture some of that palm tree magic in your own garden. Who can blame you? They are wonderful trees.
With that beauty, however, comes quite a bit of effort and know-how. You’ll want to know exactly how to care for your palm tree if you want it looking at it’s best. Maintaining a palm is fairly straightforward but it’s a delicate and exact process. We know you’ve got questions, prospective palm planter. We’ve got the answers.
Are They High Maintenance?
As much as we’d love to give a downright yes or no, there are some nuances to that one. It depends on the requirement you’re asking about. When it comes to their light requirements, for example, they are certainly picky. There are different types of palms and you’ll need to know the preferences of your own. If it prefers sun, you’ll only get a weak plant if you decide to plant it in the shade. If it’s a shade lover and you plant it in the sun, you’ll witness the leaves burn and brown.
In terms of temperature, palms come from a variety of climate zones. Some species are from places that are hot all year while others are from more temperate. This one boils down to what your palm can tolerate, especially at night.
The amount of care the tree will need also varies according to its stage of growth and how much you care about the state of your garden. For example, watering will be more frequent during the first few weeks, after which it will gradually decrease.
When it comes to pruning, which we’ll tell you about in more detail in just a minute, there won’t be much you’ll need to do. In fact, you’ll be trimming your palm two times a year at most.
How Often Do You Trim Palms?
There’s no need to prune palm trees regularly, thankfully. You’ll only need to do so from time to time, when the oldest fronds on the tree turn brown, dry and dead. As the trees grow, new fronds form every year and the oldest ones die. You won’t need to trim more than once or twice a year.
it’s important not to over-trim because you’re anticipating future trimming. Only trim what’s dead. Palm trees rely on fronds for most of their energy, so excessive trimming could leave you with a tree that’s not very healthy.
How Much Does Palm Trimming Cost?
You can decide to hire someone to do your trimming if you’re not keen on the DYI route. The amount you pay to trim palm trees depends on the height and species of the tree. Generally, the taller it is, the higher the cost. Palms that are 60 feet tall will cost you between $200 and $1,200. For shorter ones that are 30 feet tall, you can expect to pay between $75 and $400.
The condition of the palm tree is another factor. If it’s been trimmed regularly, the cost will be lower. If you’ll be scratching your head to remember when last it was trimmed, the cost will likely be higher.
Should I Cut Off The Brown Leaves?
If you want to keep the plant more attractive, you can trim the brown leaf tips. Otherwise, you need to be careful not to remove the whole frond before it becomes completely brown. If and when it does, you can remove it. Palms are heavily reliant on their fronds, so not exercising caution when it comes to cutting off leaves can impact their health severely.
If all fronts on a palm tree die there is no going back. It will die and you will need to remove the tree.
It’s important to remember that the brownness might be a sign that your palm could do with a bit more water and humidity. If you notice the color start to change, try providing your palm with more water, while being careful not damage the roots, and see if there’s an improvement in the health. It’s best to do this as early as possible as it gives you some chance to save the whole frond, which is essential for your palm.
How Often To Water
Palm trees need water and they won’t look their best without it. The exact amount depends on the species and where you are growing it. Generally, you’ll want to water it everyday for the first week. During the second week, you can cut that down to every other day. After that, watering two to three times a week is best. If you’re getting some rainfall, you won’t really need to water.
At early stages of growth, take care not to water excessively. That can discourage the growth of roots, which can lead to your palm experiencing stunted growth.
Watch for the color of the leaves carefully. If they turn yellow, that’s a sign that more water is needed. On drainage again, make sure there isn’t too much water because it can cause the rotting of roots.
Should Palm Trees Be Fertilized?
Palm trees need a steady diet of various nutrients and micronutrients. The most important are nitrogen, potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.
When you fertilize your palms, it’s crucial to use slow-release fertilizers. These can work for up to 10 weeks as they provide nutrients over a long period, which minimizes the risk of leaching. Quick release fertilizer can easily wash away if it rains just a few times. That’s especially true of sandy soils.
You can apply a fertilizer with the above nutrients four times per year. The best practice is to do spread that out over the growing season. It can start as early as March and in October. The exact dates will depend on your location.
You apply the fertilizer by broadcasting it under the whole canopy. Remember to stay at least two feet away from from the trunk. It’s tender and you risk scarring it if you get too close, particularly when you apply quick-release fertilizers.
Contrasted with the beauty and personality palm trees can give your garden or wherever you wish to plant them, the effort required to maintain them is certainly worth it. The tips and answers in this article will make your experience of maintaining a palm much easier.