How far apart to plant palm trees

How Far Apart Should You Plant Areca Palms?

The areca palm tree has long fine-textured leaves or fronds that distinguish it from other types of trees. These trees are great for accenting sidewalks and driveways, and they're all so great for privacy. But how far apart should you plant them? We've researched the appropriate distance between areca palm trees, and in this post, we will cover this topic in depth.

The distance between the areca palm plants will depend on where the plants are located. If you're looking to use the palms as hedge plants, it's best to space them out three to six feet away from one another. However, if you plan to place the plants around other areas of the house, it's best to place them at least four feet away from any structures such as gutters, the home itself, driveways, etc. The reason is to account for the plant's growth and ensure that it does not encumber the home entrance and exit areas.

It's important to know how far apart to plant your areca palm trees before purchasing them and digging up any soil. This will require measuring the area where the plants will be placed and determining how many you'll need to cover it. Continue reading to learn more about planting areca palms and planting them correctly.

Reasons Why Spacing Is Important for Areca Palms

Spread Length

A minimum spacing length is required for areca palms to ensure that the fronds have the ability to grow and spread to their full potential. Depending on the amount of sunlight that the trees receive, they can spread anywhere from five to eight feet long. If you group the plants too close together, you will create a very condensed cluster of fronds that can hinder growth. Each frond must have enough access to the sun for photosynthesis.

Sunlight Requirements

Areca palm trees require full sun to grow properly. Spacing the trees too closely can stifle their growth, as the leaves will overshadow one another.

For example, if you place the plants only two feet apart, not only will the tree trunk possibly encumber the neighboring tree's trunk, but the branches and leaves of the tree will not get the sunlight that they need to thrive. Remember, palm trees are sun-loving trees, and it's vital for all sides of the tree to receive an adequate amount of sunlight daily.

Root System

Although areca palm trees do not have invasive roots, the trees must be properly spaced from the roots of the neighboring trees to prevent competition for nutrients and minerals. The roots of the areca palm are generally fairly small in diameter, and they tend to grow out to be about five times the diameter of the tree--they grow horizontally. If they are too close together, the roots can mingle together, preventing neighboring smaller roots from gaining access to nutrients from the soil.

Water Access

Lastly, you don't want the trees competing for water. Thirsty plant roots can spread out along the soil in their search for water. If the trees are planted too close together, you'll find that some trees may become dryer while other trees thrive. This is because the trees with the larger roots will suck up the water before the others have a chance to absorb it.

It's important to remember that areca palm trees can be pretty demanding when it comes to water. They'll quickly show signs of wilting if the soil is not kept moist. For this reason, there must be adequate and consistent spacing among the trees, especially in the summer months.

How wide do areca palms get?

Most areca palms will reach a mature width of about seven to 10 feet. Keep in mind that palms grown indoors will typically grow smaller than those growing outdoors due to space and environmental limitations. That being stated, you can expect your indoor areca palm to have a spread of anywhere from two to four feet.

How long does it take for areca palms to grow?

On average, these palm trees mature at about 10 years. They are a relatively fast-growing tree and typically grow anywhere from five to ten inches per year until they reach their mature height. However, the final height at which they grow will depend on their growing conditions. Areca palms grown indoors will typically reach a mature height of about seven feet.

Do areca palms like to be root bound?

Yes. Areca palm tree roots do prefer to be a bit cramped in their container. However, they must have adequate drainage holes to prevent them from becoming overwatered. The plant's cramped roots help it to maintain a size that's suitable for indoor growth. However, if you want the plant to grow taller, you can place it in a pot that's a few inches larger than its current pot, one to two inches will suffice. If not, you'll only need to re-pot the palm every other year.

Find out more details about this plant pot on Amazon.

How fast do areca palms grow outside?

Areca palms typically grow anywhere from eight to 15 inches per year when grown outdoors because they have no limitations on their growth. Overall, they can grow to be anywhere from 10 to 30 feet tall.

Do areca palms spread?

Yes. The areca palm tree does spread. The offshoots grow from the base of the plant, similar to that of a bamboo tree. Eventually, the offshoots will grow so long to the point where they began to spread out horizontally, increasing the spread of the entire tree. For this reason, it's important to adequately space your areca palm trees to ensure that they don't become too cramped in their space. If the canopy of palm becomes too wide for your indoor or outdoor location, you can prune it down, however.

Check out these pruning shears on Amazon.

How do you multiply areca palms?

If you're looking to multiply your areca palm, you can split up the plant to propagate it. Let's look at the right steps to do this.

1. Separate the offshoot

Start by using your hands to separate an offshoot from the bottom of the tree. Next, take a utility knife and split the offshoot away from the main branch. If you're having trouble cutting the offshoot, you can also use a small electric saw, especially if the tree is fully mature.

Check out this utility knife on Amazon.


Cut the offshoot

After you cut off the offshoot from the main branch, pull it away from the soil by its base. Be sure to grab the offshoot strongly to free it from the soil, as it may require a bit of effort. Keep in mind that the offshoot probably won't come out of the ground in one tug, so you may need to rock it back and forth a few times to loosen it up around the soil. It's also helpful to take a small garden shovel and dig around the offshoot to make it a bit easier.

Read more details about this garden shovel on Amazon.

3. Soak the offshoot seedling

Next, wipe off the dirt from the offshoot, and then place it in a bowl of spring water for 45 minutes to an hour. The water should be cool or lukewarm, and the roots should be completely submerged in the water. When removing the offshoot from the water, be sure not to touch the plant's root, as it can be damaged easily.

4. Plant the offshoot seedling

Next, transplant the small offshoot into a planter's pot. Be sure that the pot is big enough to fit the offshoot completely. Next, pour in your soil mixture and then place the offshoot inside of it. Be sure that the roots on the bottom of the offshoot are completely submerged in the soil at least a few inches down. Add water to the soil until it reaches one inch above the top layer.

You can also add sand and peat moss to the soil mixture to make it a bit heavier. Once your offshoot begins to grow roots, you can begin watering the plant as usual. The offshoot will take about five to six weeks to germinate. Try to keep the environment had a humidity level of at least 50% and on the warm side so that the offshoot doesn't die before it has a chance to grow.

Read more details about this peat moss on Amazon.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has been helpful in illustrating how to space areca palms when planting them. Remember, these plants will spread anywhere from six to eight feet, so they must have enough room to breathe and absorb sunlight. This will prevent their fronds do not become damaged from overcrowding.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

Mealybugs On Areca Palm – What To Do?

How Often Should You Water Areca Palm?

How Close Can You Group Palm Trees? | Home Guides

By Leslie Rose

Planning is critical to the success of your tropical garden. Although palm trees may be planted closely together without regard for nutrition and water competition, a garden that has been densely packed may take on a cluttered look, and is likely to force some sun-loving palms to compete for sunshine. A well-planned tropical garden looks more attractive and creates an environment where all its plants may thrive.

Eventual Size

  1. Fully grown, many palm trees will reach a predictable height and width. Plant these trees with enough room to grow fully into their adult state. Roots from these trees will extend as far as 50 feet from the tree to find water, so palms do not often encounter problems competing for water and nutrients. As a general rule, do not plant large palm trees with an anticipated canopy diameter so closely together that leaves from their canopies will rub together.

Access to Sun

  1. Like other trees, different species of palms have different sun requirements based on their typical location in nature. Larger, taller trees are meant to form the canopy, while smaller trees are understory plants. Research the sun requirements and the height of your chosen palm before planting it. Understory plants will be short to medium sized (usually shorter than 15 feet, some as short as 2 to 3 feet) and will accept or thrive in shade. Canopy palms will grow to be as tall as 100 feet, and will require full sun. As you plan your landscape, plant canopy palms first and allow them to grow for several seasons before planting understory palms in the shade beneath them.

The Aesthetics of Grouping Palms

  1. In addition to the practical considerations of grouping understory and canopy palms in a single landscape, clusters of palms often look better when you place taller and shorter plants close together. Grouping short palms with taller palms creates a visual dynamic that leads the eye around the gardens while at the same time adding a sense of fullness to the landscape.

Other Considerations

  1. Palm trees are best placed in a location away from homes and sidewalks. Although the roots are not likely to lift a sidewalk or damage a foundation, it's unwise to plant a large palm near a structure. The canopy of the palm must have room to clear the eaves of the roof, and root damage is still a consideration if planted too close to a structure.


  • Jungle Music: Palm Tree Care, Placement of Palm Trees
  • University of Florida Extension: Fertilizing Palm Trees

Writer Bio

Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.

We grow a palm tree in an apartment

Russia is predominantly a northern country. Maybe that's why palm trees are so popular with flower growers who grow indoor plants. They bring a bit of southern exoticism into our everyday life. Most representatives of the palm family look very impressive, so interior designers are willing to use them in their work. Almost all representatives of the palm family are tall, they occupy a fairly large space in a home or office. Most palm trees come from the tropics or subtropics. In their natural habitat, palm trees are not limited in growth, so they often reach enormous sizes. In some species, only leaves grow up to 17 m with a two-meter width. But they grow slowly, many species do not require complex care, so flower growers in our country have long and successfully grown many varieties of palm trees in urban apartments. Although the optimal place for growing such plants in captivity is, of course, a winter garden.

There are many types of palm trees that are often found in our apartments. Flower growers call such varieties - house palm trees, cultivating them as houseplants. Depending on the shape of the leaves, home palms are divided into two large groups:

  • Pinnate - these include coconut, dipsis, chamedorea, date, howe.

  • Fan-leaved - palm trees, the leaves of which are similar in shape to the correct fan. This group includes chamerops, karyota, trachycarpus, etc.

How to care for indoor palms

Usually, palm trees cultivated as indoor plants need a large area. It is advisable to place them in the living room or in the spacious hall. Even if the variety you grow is not too tall, the palm remains a solitary plant, all interference must be eliminated. Keep in mind that cats are often a big threat to house palms, as their leaves can be a welcome treat for pets. Indoor palm trees need minimal care, regular and timely watering, periodic feeding with nutrients, removing dust from the leaves. A certain difficulty can only be caused by a regular transplant, and then when the plant has already reached an impressive size.

A native of the tropics needs light

Palm trees need to be grown in a bright room, into which the sun's rays freely penetrate all day. At the same time, oddly enough, tropical palms prefer bright light, but diffused. Not all of them love direct sunlight, most of them even need shading in the hottest period of spring and summer. It is necessary to protect plants from the sun from 11 o'clock to noon. For shading, it is enough to use light tulle, covering the window with a translucent curtain. But shading is needed only in the summer. From August until the onset of spring, palm trees are not afraid of the sun's rays.

Often palm trees are placed in the dark corners of the room, thus making a big mistake, since there are no indoor plants that would love the shade. There are only shade-tolerant ones. In addition, most palm trees have a fairly spreading crown, which requires uniform lighting. If this condition is not met, then the leaves will grow asymmetrically, which will worsen the decorative effect of the plant. So even a meter away from the window, it's time to think about lighting the palm tree with artificial sources.

Linear LED lamp UNIEL for seedlings and flowering 35W IP40 housing white

Temperature range

It is different for tropical and subtropical palms. The first must be kept warm in winter, while the temperature should not fall below 16 ° C. But excessive heat is also not needed, 24 ° C should be the upper limit. But subtropical palms in winter are kept in rooms with a lower temperature, about 8-12 ° C. Palm trees of any variety do not like drafts, which adversely affect their development. Especially dangerous is the cold air that enters the room during winter ventilation, when both the window and the door are open at the same time. The root system of a palm tree is very sensitive to cold, so pots and planters in which they grow cannot be placed directly on a cold windowsill or marble tile floor. To avoid hypothermia of the root system, a pot with a palm tree growing in it is placed in a larger one or in a wooden barrel, and the space remaining between the walls is insulated by filling it with expanded clay or moss.

Palm trees such as cariota, areca, coconut, acanthophenix, and chamedorea need warmth even in winter. They need a fairly high temperature and high humidity. Wintering in cool rooms should be chamerops, trachycarpus, washingtonia, etc.

How to water palm trees

All representatives of the palm family, including varieties that grow naturally in arid places, love moisture. In the summer they need to be watered almost every day, and plentifully. In winter, watering should be moderate. But only palm trees that grow in loose soil with a light texture and good drainage can be cared for in this way. The main rule that must be observed when watering is that until the next soil of the upper part of the pot, in which the palm tree grows, must have time to dry. Whereas in the depths, the soil mixture should always be slightly moist - not to be confused with damp! It is necessary to choose the frequency of watering, taking into account the air temperature in the room. For example, if a palm tree is kept in a cool room in winter at a temperature of only 5-7 ° C, watering should be carried out extremely rarely. It is enough once every one and a half or even 2 months, sometimes it can be completely replaced with light spraying. After watering, the soil in the pot should be periodically loosened.

Humidity control

Palm trees need a fairly high humidity, the optimum humidity level for them is 40-50%. To ensure it, plants need to be sprayed regularly. This procedure is especially necessary on the hottest days of summer, but in winter - only if your home or office is intensively heated. Excessive dryness of the air can adversely affect the condition of the leaves: their ends will dry out, the plants will lose their decorative effect. You need to spray the palm carefully, directing the sprayer onto the leaf from both sides - both from the top and from the bottom.

Humidifier SCARLETT SC-AH986M22 3.8l 300ml/h white

In winter, in urban apartments, the humidity is about 20-25 percent. In such a situation, spraying becomes only a measure to reduce the criticality of the situation, while watering should not be increased against the usual volume of moisture for this season. The fact is that excessive moisture still does not compensate for the effect of dry air on the condition of the plant. Buying a humidifier can help. Or, at worst, you can hang wet sheets on the radiators. If the palms are still small, then it would be good to place a container with them on a wide pallet filled with wet expanded clay or sphagnum.

Proper transplantation of palm trees

When planning a transplant, you need to prepare the optimal soil mixture to fill the new container for your plant. It should consist of two parts of humus-leaf soil, 2 parts of light clay-soddy soil, 1 part of peat, 1 part of sand, 1 part of completely rotted manure. All this must be mixed by adding a little charcoal to the mixture. Thus, the soil will turn out to be very nutritious, the plant will develop fully. If you take ordinary soil, for example, from a garden or garden plot, or another version of a poorer soil mixture, then it will be impossible to achieve the ideal state of the palm tree, its active development.

Transplantation is carried out in the spring. Young palms that are not yet three years old require an annual transplant. If palm trees cross this line, then they can be replanted every 3-5 years. These plants, like many others, do not like transplanting too much, but if it is done correctly, then the palm tree feels good. An important condition for a competent transplant is the choice of a suitable container for planting. The state of the root system of the palm tree will help determine the pot. If its roots grow in width, approaching the walls of the pot, then the next one must necessarily be of a larger diameter. If the growth of the roots is directed downward, then you can choose a pot of the same diameter as the previous one, but its height should be greater. If during the transplantation process you see that part of the plant's roots are damaged or sick, they are removed, being careful not to damage nearby healthy tissues. Before transplanting palm trees into a pot, you need to place high-quality drainage and a pillow of 3-8 cm of compost. The thickness of the last layer depends on the age of the palm tree and the size of the pot. After that, the plant is placed in a new container and covered with prepared soil mixture. Immediately after transplanting, plants, even if they belong to the sun-loving group, should not be placed under direct sunlight. A couple of weeks after transplanting, watering the plant should be moderate.

If your palm tree is already old enough and its roots protrude strongly from the pot, and transplantation is not yet planned, then they should be covered with wet moss on top. Since adult palm trees are rarely transplanted, while they actively consume nutrients and the soil in the pot becomes depleted, even if you regularly feed the plants in spring and summer, experts recommend removing the top layer of the earth every year, replacing it with fresh soil mixture or compost.

Soil soil universal Zhivaya Zemlya 25l

How and with what to fertilize palm trees

Fertilizers should be used only during the growth period, and not during the dormant season. Palm trees are fed every 2-3 weeks, using fertilizers intended for decorative leafy plants. Before fertilizing, the earthen lump must be well moistened with water. For top dressing, you can use fertilizers such as Ideal, Giant, Uniflor-growth, etc. Palm trees are not fertilized in autumn or winter. Top dressing is also not carried out within 2 months after the palm tree is transplanted into a new soil mixture.

Plant hygiene

To protect the palm tree from attack by pests such as thrips, aphids and other species, each leaf must be regularly wiped with a damp sponge. If the plant is small, then it can be completely immersed with leaves in a warm solution of Persian chamomile or green soap. The leaves are kept in the solution for 30 minutes, then they are washed with warm water. In winter, palm trees, as we have said, need to be sprayed. In summer, they can be taken out into the rain or placed in the shower, if the size of the plant allows it.

How palms are propagated

You can try growing palm trees from seeds. This does not guarantee 100% success and not everyone succeeds. The fact is that the seeds of these plants lose their germination capacity in a short time. It takes about 20-30 days to germinate fresh seeds. If the seeds are already 3-4 years old, then, under the condition of soil heating, they germinate even later - this will take from 2 to 4 months. It is better to buy fresh seeds, and do it in serious flower shops.

Before sowing, large-sized seeds with a hard shell are carefully filed without damaging the inside of the seed. If the seeds are small, and their shell is also hard, then you need to place the material for 3-4 days in warm water, the temperature of which should be approximately 35 °. The best time to sow seeds is late winter or early spring. Seeds should be soaked in warm water before sowing. Pots for seedlings are prepared small, not exceeding 15 cm in height. Otherwise, the roots of developing seedlings grow rapidly down. The bottom of the containers should have one or more holes so that excess moisture flows out through them after watering.

Each pot is supplied with drainage, after which it is filled with a soil mixture, which includes soddy soil, diluted with coarse sand in a ratio of one to three. A layer of 4 cm thick is poured over the soil mixture, consisting of pure river sand. Palm seeds are sown in it, deepening them by no more than 2-3 cm. There should be a distance of 3.5 cm between the seeds.

From above, the soil is covered with a thin layer of moss, this allows you to maintain its wet state. Germinate seeds at a temperature of 22 ° C for subtropical palms, but if you have sown seeds of tropical varieties, the germination regime should be higher - 28-30 ° C. Watering seedlings should be carried out daily, the water temperature should be warm or room temperature. When the first leaf of germinated seedlings grows to 8 cm, small palms are transplanted into pots with a wider diameter of at least 9see. They need to be filled with a soil mixture, which includes 2 parts of humus, 2 parts of leafy and three parts of soddy soil, as well as 1 part of sand. Good drainage is preliminarily laid at the bottom of the pot. Too long roots of seedlings are not shortened, but simply folded in a spiral and covered with soil mixture. The rest of the seed should never be removed; it will nourish the young plant for some time. The soil after planting should be compacted and watered abundantly.

planting and caring for a palm tree in the garden

You can't call palms unpretentious, but for some reason they attract you like a magnet. Palm trees not only create a resort mood, but seem to enliven distant corners of consciousness. The topic will be important for novice palm growers, collector gardeners and anyone who wants to successfully grow their trachycarpus indoors and outdoors.

Trachycarpus_fortunei /

Palms are usually grown from seeds, sometimes using stimulants, to form layers at the bottom of the trunk, separating and rooting them like cuttings. But this procedure can destroy the mother plant, because. large wounds are formed into which the infection can penetrate, and due to the need for high humidity, the root system can rot.

Seed propagation is not difficult and can be done by beginners. Unstratified seeds are stored in a dry place until March. Before sowing, they are soaked for a couple of hours in warm water (thermal scarification), periodically changing the cooled water.

Torquay Palms /

Best planted in individual 1 liter containers, over 20 cm high, with drain holes. In such a container, a palm tree can grow for 2 years. The soil mixture is prepared breathable, from large fractions of sand, peat and garden soil in equal parts. Vermiculite and perlite are often added to optimize soil moisture and texture. At the bottom of the pot, drainage from pebbles and expanded clay is necessarily poured, sometimes charcoal is added (drainage is necessary for each transplant!). Planting seeds to a depth of 1 cm. Germination occurs at a temperature of +24+28°C, good lighting (but not direct sun) and high humidity. Sometimes a greenhouse is created for these purposes by placing glass jars on the pots. As soon as the second leaf appears, the greenhouse can be removed.

Once every 2-4 years, the palm tree is transplanted , and the less often the transplant, the healthier the plant. With each transplant, the volume of the pot is increased by 2 times. Transplantation is carried out in the spring by transshipment, with minimization of damage to the root system. Before transplanting, the palm tree needs to be watered, so the earthen lump is better preserved. It is important not to deepen the root neck, otherwise the palm tree may rot, it is better to raise it 1 cm above the ground.

Trachycarpus_fortunei /

When transplanted into open ground for 3-5 years, the palm tree is hardened by taking it out into the fresh air from May to October . When planting in the garden in May, it is necessary to dig a hole that is not very wide (50 cm), but deep enough (more than 70 cm). It is difficult to grow a palm tree on clay soils, because. this soil is wet and cold. In this case, it is necessary to dig a hole 1 m wide and 1.5 m deep. Lay 20 cm of drainage at the bottom (40 cm on clays), fill the rest with a mixture of peat, sand, garden soil or compost, perlite or charcoal (not ash!) In equal parts. The trachycarpus looks good against the background of a near-trunk circle lined with pebbles.

Palm trees are fed 1-2 times a month. In the open field, trachycarpus are fed with granulated fertilizers or mulching with compost. At room conditions, foliar top dressing is good 1 time / month, spraying the leaves with a 1% solution of trace elements (magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium, molybdenum, copper, iron nitrate). Frequent spraying of leaves to get rid of dust or increase humidity leads to wetting of the growth point (apical bud), the appearance of mold on the leaves. To remove dust from the leaves, they are wiped with a wet, clean sponge. Pale leaves and low growth rate in good light indicate the depletion of nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium in the soil. Spot drying of the leaves in diffused light, optimal temperature and air humidity indicates a low potassium content. Drying of the leaves around the perimeter with sufficient watering - lack of manganese and magnesium.

pilot_micha /

Trachycarpus should be watered no more than once a week, even in hot weather. Usually it rains enough. If rains are frequent in your region, then trachycarpus should be planted in the brightest elevated place so that moisture quickly evaporates from it. In hot, dry weather, the crown can be sprinkled with warm water once a week. Trachycarpus are quite xerophytic plants and easily tolerate a 2-week drought, storing some water in the trunk. Watering both garden and indoor palms is allowed only with water at room temperature. If the tips of the rays of young leaves turn yellow, then the soil is dry. Fully yellowing leaves speak of their old age and you should not be afraid of this. In winter, soil palms need to ensure that the soil is as dry as possible so that condensation does not form in the shelter. Among palms, trachycarpus is considered the most resistant species to high winter soil moisture. But dew on the apical bud is the death of the palm tree. To prevent this from happening, the upper leaves are tied into a bundle, and the petioles of the leaves and the growing point are powdered with charcoal. When the growing point rots, the upper leaves (spear) are easily pulled out, remaining in the hands.

Trachycarpus_fortune /

For the winter, stemless palms are covered with a frame with agrofibre and a foam box . Outside, they heavily mulch with straw, buckwheat or rice husks to avoid freezing of the soil and roots. At the first frost, adult palm trees are wrapped in burlap and agrofibre, not only the trunk, but also the leaves, collecting them in a bundle. Between the layers, the trunk is wrapped with a New Year's garland with incandescent bulbs (LEDs do not heat up). At frosts below -10 ° C, a garland is turned on, which warms up the layers of insulation. On frosty winter nights, the luminous trunks of palm trees look very festive and create a mood. In regions where frosts drop below -30 ° C, 2 layers of 3-centimeter foam rubber are wound on the trunk over agrofibre, and oilcloth on top. They even cut off all the leaves so that it is more convenient to wrap the apical bud. If the summer is warm, then in 4 months the trachycarpus produces up to 2-3 dozen new leaves, for this you just need a good top dressing every 2 weeks.

In indoor conditions, even with good lighting for 12 hours, the palm tree may develop poorly due to the deterioration of photosynthesis due to a layer of dust on the leaves.

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