How often should you fertilize palm trees

Palm Tree Fertilizer Needs – Tips For Fertilizing Palm Trees

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Palm Trees

By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Image by pal1983

Throughout Florida and many similar areas, palm trees are planted as specimen plants for their exotic, tropical look. However, palm trees have high nutritional demands and the calciferous, sandy soil they’re often grown in cannot always accommodate these needs. Read on to learn more about fertilizing palm trees.

Fertilizers for Palms

Palm trees are a famous icon for many tropical locations. However, nutrients are quickly leached out of sandy soils, especially in regions with heavy seasonal rains. In regions like this, palm trees can become seriously deficient in certain nutrients. Nutrient deficiencies can cause numerous problems, affecting the overall health and appeal of palm trees.

Like all plants, palm trees require a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients for optimal growth. Deficiencies of one or more of these nutrients can be seen on the large foliage of palm trees.

Palm trees are quite prone to magnesium deficiencies, which cause older foliage to turn yellow to orange, while newer foliage may retain a deep green color. Potassium deficiency in palm trees may be displayed as yellow to orange spots on all the foliage. A manganese deficiency in palm trees will cause the new foliage of palms to turn yellow and new shoots to wither.

All these problems are not just unappealing, they can also lead to defoliation and the slow death of palm trees if not corrected.

How to Fertilize Palms

Sandy soils drain very quickly, and vital nutrients drain away right along with the water. For this reason, it is not very effective to water in fertilizer when feeding a palm tree, as the plant’s roots won’t have adequate time to soak them up. Instead, it is recommended that you use slow-release fertilizer that is specifically formulated for palms when fertilizing palm trees.

These are available as granules, pellets, or spikes. They deliver small doses of nutrients to palm roots over an extended period of time. Granules or pellets should be applied to the soil directly above the root zone, under the canopy.

Palm tree fertilizer should be applied one to three times a year, depending on the specific brand’s instructions. Some slow-release fertilizers may say “feeds up to 3 months,” for example. You would apply a fertilizer like this more often than one that “feeds up to 6 months.”

Generally, the initial dose of palm fertilizer would be applied in early spring. If only two feedings are required, the second dose of palm tree fertilizer would be applied in midsummer. However, it is always important to follow the instructions on the label of the specific fertilizer you are using. Over-fertilizing can be more harmful than not fertilizing at all.

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How And When To Fertilize Palm Trees

Palm trees nutritional deficiencies are easily prevented by following a yearly fertilization program. The right combination of the main elements like nitrogen, phosphate and potassium is the most important in a palm’s diet.

Deficiencies of one or more nutrients can cause numerous health problems and affect the overall appeal of tree.

As a general rule, fertilize palm trees 2-3 times a year, during growing season, with a fertilizer specially formulated for palm trees. The best way to apply the fertilizer is to broadcast it around the entire root zone of the plant avoiding getting too close to the trunk.

When To Fertilize Your Palm Tree

While the fertilizing schedule depends on the product you use, the best time to fertilize palm trees is during growth season (end of March through end of October). If you live in warm climate with temperatures that don’t go below freezing, you might need to apply it up to four times a year.

Since palms can be grown not only in tropical climates, there are some areas where the temperatures drop below freezing. If you live in one of those areas, stop fertilizing a few months before the first cold snap.

Now, some palm enthusiasts believe that fertilizing during winter season will help the plant to maintain strength and be ready for growing season in the Spring. I disagree. I think it promotes growth at the wrong time which weakens the tree before cold weather.

If you have a newly planted palm, don’t fertilize it until after it puts out a new spear, I would say about 2 month after planting. Mature palms are different and should follow their normal fertilization schedule.

How To Fertilize a Palm Tree Step-by-Step

Fertilizing palm trees is not much different from fertilizing any other type of plants. You want to have the right quality fertilizer, follow the schedule and apply the correct amount to avoid over-fertilization.

Consider spending a little more money on continues release formula because it is less labor intensive and will provide more benefit to the plants.

Step 1: Get a good quality slow release fertilizer

In this example we have Miracle-Gro Palm Tree Food. It has a slow release formula specially designed for palm trees with NPK ratio of 8-4-8 and other added micronutrients.

Step 2: Water the soil thoroughly

Don’t fertilize on a dry soil. Water the area thoroughly first.

Step 3: Apply fertilizer

Don’t put all fertilizer in one pile. Scatter it all around the root area of the tree, which is approximately the extension of the canopy. If there is mulch, move it to the side before adding fertilizer.

Step 4: Work fertilizer into the soil

If the soil is not too hard, work the fertilizer into the 1-3″ of the soil.

Step 5: Water again thoroughly

Water the soil again and you are done. The Miracle-Gro Palm Tree Food lasts up to 6 weeks.

Here is a great step-by-step video that you can follow.

How Often Do I Need To Fertilize a Palm Tree

In reality, the frequency of fertilization greatly depends on your soil type and the amount of rain your area is getting.

In Florida, where the soil is sandy and the rains are heavy during the growing season, the reservoir of essential nutrients is very low. Nutrients are quickly leached from this type of soil by heavy rains. So, you will need to fertilize it 3-4 times a year to keep up adequate nutrient levels.

In California, on another hand, rainfall is lower and soils are generally much better quality. Therefore, you can probably get away with 2-3 fertilization a year.

What Nutrients Does My Palm Need

Providing the right combination of nutrients for your palm is one of the secrets to growing healthy and beautiful palms. And, if you hated chemistry in school as much as I did, this might be a struggle for you, but I promise to make it as easy as possible.

The three most important elements that your palm needs are Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), and Potassium (K). In addition, it requires micronutrients like Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn) and Iron (Fe) which are also important.

Potassium, also known as Potash, is the most important element for the palm trees. Nitrogen and Magnesium are also needed in relatively large amounts. The micronutrients Manganese and Iron should also be present but less important. Phosphorus which is required by most palms in large amounts is relatively unimportant.

As you can see, there are only five elements to worry about. Let’s talk about proportions. When buying a fertilizer, you will see three numbers on the front or the back of the package like: 12-4-12 or 15-5-15 or 3-1-2. It’s the NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium) ratio. The higher the number, the stronger the fertilizer is.

The recommended formula should have the same amount of Nitrogen (N) and Potassium (K). Make sure that N and K rates are equivalent.

BTW, it’s critical to use fertilizer in a slow-realease form. If the nutrients are released too quickly, the roots can absorb only a portion of them while the rest of the fertilizer is wasted.

That is why it is important to use a good quality continuous release formula that will maintain the right level of nutrients over time even during heavy rains.

Here are some great examples of my favorite slow release fertilizers. Jobes has (NPK) 10-5-10 formula with micronutrients is a perfect combination for palm trees.

Another one with NPK of 12-4-12 and the micronutrients.

5 Best Palm Trees Fertilizers

Providing your palm tree with a quality fertilizer or plant food “supplements” is important, so it can maintain its good “health.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s better to use fertilizer that has continuous release formula that feeds your palm tree for few months rather than using a cheap fertilizer that will wash away after 2-3 rains.

While there are a lot of different products on the market, here are my five favorite fertilizers. All of them have slow-release formula and the best NPK ratio for your palm.

1. Jobe’s Palm Outdoor Fertilizer Spikes

If you are looking for an easy to use fertilizer that has a slow release formula, Jobe’s Palm Fertilizer will be your best pick. This product promotes root development and the long-term vitality of all types of palms.

It has a slow release formula with NPK 10-5-10 that is design to effectively fertilize your palms while protecting them from the common deficiencies of Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium and Iron.

When placed underground near the feeder roots of your palm, the spikes release their nutrients where the tree can best use them. Special binders ensure that the fertilizer dissolves slowly and safely and feeds your tree for up to 6 months. Here is Jobe’s Outdoor Palm Fertilizer and Jobe’s Indoor Palm Fertilizer.

2. Jobe’s Organics Palm Tree Fertilizer

With over 4,000 five star reviews on Amazon, it is safe to say that Jobe’s Organics is one BEST fertilizer on today’s market. Made by the same company, it delivers long term benefits without synthetic chemical and toxic ingredients.

What’s in it? It contains Biozome which is a combination of healthy bacteria, Mycorrhizal fungi and Archaea. This unique and proprietary blend of beneficial microorganisms with NPK of 4-2-4 improves soil quality, increases root mass, while promoting plant growth and helping your garden resist disease, insects, drought and other unfavorable conditions within a growing season.

More importantly, it is safe for use around kids and pets. Since it comes in granular form, you will need to measure it before application. Lasts up to 3 months.

3. Miracle-Gro Palm Tree Food

If you are looking for an easy to apply fertilizer, Miracle-Gro is a great one. Formulated specially for palm trees, it has slow release formula with NPK of 8-4-8. Added magnesium, iron and manganese help prevent fronds from yellowing and curling while slow release nitrogen helps prevent overfeeding and burning.

This is one of the best palm tree fertilizers on today’s market. It is fast, efficient, long lasting method of fertilizing palm trees and has all the nutrients your palm trees need. Each bag contains 15 feedings (based on 10 ft tree). Lasts up to 6 weeks.

4. Carl Pool Palm Food

Another great option is Palm Food by Carl Pool. Although it’s not an organic formula, it contains the extra levels of magnesium and manganese. Also, it has 3 different nitrogen sources that give your palms both immediate and longer feeding. Because it uses insoluble nitrogen, it resists leaching and won’t contaminate groundwater.

This is a very affective fertilizer that many professionals use. Its slow-realeas formula has NPK of 12-4-12 ratio with 5% of Magnesium and 2% of Manganese. Lasts up to 3-4 months.

5. Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Palm, Tropical & Hibiscus Fertilizer

Last but not least, the Organic Dr. Earth Exotic Blend is the only Non-GMO Project Verified fertilizer in US. It can be used not only for palms, but also for other tropical and sub-tropical plants. Its organic formula has no synthetic chemicals or other toxic ingredients and is people and pet safe.

It contains feed grade ingredients enriched with proteins, multi-minerals, carbohydrates, humic acids & and trace elements that create healthy soil for growing strong, healthy palms.

This is a great organic fertilizer especially if you have other tropical plants growing right next to your palm tree. You don’t want to buy two different fertilizers. It has a NPK of 5-4-6 with 2% Magnesium. Lasts up to 2 months.

Signs Of Nutrient Deficiencies In Palms

This is a very large topic that deserves its own post, but I still want to say a few words about nutrient deficiencies before we talk about the best fertilizers.

  • Nitrogen (N) Deficiency – You will notice general yellowing of the leaves. First the older leaves will start to turn light green color. As the deficiency progresses, the entire canopy will become abnormally yellow-greenish.
  • Potassium (K) Deficiency – Shows up as yellow spotting on older leaves, which in severe cases can spread to the youngest leaves.
  • Magnesium (Mg) Deficiency – On older leaves, the tips on the leaflet will appear bright yellow extending toward the leaf stem. Eventually the newer leaves will be affected as well.
  • Manganese (Mn) Deficiency – Also called “Frizzletop”, generally shows up on newest leaves. The new growth emerges deformed with dead, brown areas.
  • Iron (Fe) Deficiency – You will notice that the new leaves are turning yellowish with green veining.

If you are new to gardening, this might sound confusing since most of the deficiencies have the same symptom of yellowing, so it is hard to tell them apart. If you suspect your palm is suffering from deficiency, I suggest just applying a good quality fertilizer.

You can read more about nutrient deficiency in palms on the University of Florida site. They have some good examples of deficiencies in different palm species.

Is Epsom Salt Good Fertilizer For Palm Trees

Epsom salt is mineral compound made of magnesium and sulfur. So, you can use Epson salt as a fertilizer for palm trees that are suffering from Magnesium deficiency.

While Epson salt is a great supplement, it can’t replace palm fertilizer because palms also need other elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

For 10ft palm tree you can use around 2 lbs of Epson salt. First, spread the salt around the root area of the palm tree. Ovoid getting too close to the trunk. Next, water the area thoroughly ensuring the salt gets dissolve. Repeat 3 times during growing season.

Homemade Fertilizer For Palm Trees

If you have a lot of trees, fertilizing all of them each year might cost you an arm and a leg. To safe money, many yard owners are trying to come up with homemade fertilizer.

One of the homemade fertilizer recipes I found online was this one:  

1/2 can of beer,
1 cup of Epsom salts
1/4 cup of ammonia
1 cup of water

Mix it all together and use 1 ounce per 1 gallon of water. Sadly, this is a scam. It’s not going to work. The first problem is that the concertation of Magnesium is much higher than Nitrogen. Also, there is no potassium nor phosphorus except for a small amount in the beer.

Since this is in a liquid form, it will be washed away with the first rain and roots won’t have enough time to absorb anything. Basically you are wasting your money and your time without providing any benefit to the plant.

Top 10 Palm Tree Fertilization Mistakes

  1. Fertilizing a newly planted palm. Never fertilize a newly planted palm, even if it says that is safe to do so on the fertilizer package. Give it around 2 months.
  2. Putting fertilizer too close to the trunk. This can easily burn the palm tree trunk. 
  3. Putting fertilizer too close to the roots when repotting a palm. That will burn the roots.
  4. Fertilizing during cold weather in the winter instead of the growing season.
  5. Using a cheap fertilizer that doesn’t have all the nutrient elements.
  6. Putting fertilizer in one pile instead of spreading it around the entire root area.
  7. Putting fertilizer on the crown of the palm instead of soil.
  8. Over-fertilizing a palm after noticing some nutrient deficiency. It’s better to under fertilize the palm than over-fertilize it.
  9. Fertilizing on a dry soil. I always recommend watering it first.
  10. Applying only foliar spray fertilizers.

Related articles:

–How To Care For Indoor Palm Trees And Not To Kill Them
–Expert Advice: How to Prune a Palm Tree (with Pictures)
–Expert Tips: How To Water Palm Trees The Right Way
–How To Plant A Palm Tree In 10 Easy Steps (with Pictures)

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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.

Household palm fertilizer for growth and density

This exotic plant can decorate any interior, add comfort and improve the microclimate. But caring for the palm tree is important, otherwise it will begin to wither and hurt. The plant is properly watered and fed with special means.

Indoor palm species

Home grown:

Date palms . Blooms with small yellow flowers. The leaves are long, pointed.

Washington . Fan leaves, blooms very rarely.

Hamedorei . Thin trunks, sometimes growing up to 2 meters. Leaves lanceolate, flowers with a pleasant aroma.

Yucca . Tall palm. It blooms with white large flowers, similar to bells.

Dracaena . Palm tree with linear leaves. Flowers are white or blue.

Semenov Valentin Gennadievich

Expert on garden and horticultural crops, their diseases and pests.

Regardless of the species, the plant needs good nutrition.

— Semenov Valentin Gennadievich Expert on horticultural and horticultural crops, their diseases and pests.

Palm care

House palm is considered a capricious plant, sensitive to any change in care.

For comfortable growth she needs:

  • 🌴 light and moisture;
  • 🌴 no strong temperature fluctuations;
  • 🌴 no drafts;
  • 🌴 top dressing;
  • 🌴 leaf cutting.

This is a moisture-loving plant, so it needs to be properly watered. Regular spraying of the foliage will not be superfluous. Humidifiers are often used.

Particular attention is paid to the choice of the pot. It must be breathable. Changing the pot too often is not recommended - such changes for the plant will be very stressful.

Tips for beginners:

  1. Not all types of palms love light equally . Some require shade or partial shade. Therefore, when purchasing a plant, the requirements of the species are taken into account.
  2. Stimulants must not be used. This negatively affects the health of the plant.
  3. Needs a lot of primer .
  4. Palm trees are often transplanted . Young plants are transplanted every few years, older ones - once every 5 years.
  5. Use wood substrate .

Only some types of palm trees love the scorching sun - for example, the queen of desert oases, the date palm, about which they say: “She bathes her feet in water, and her head in the fire of the sun (K. Ilyin, an expert on greenhouse plants).

Palm owners are advised to watch out for drafts, especially during the cold season. Due to a sharp temperature drop, the plant often dies. Another important condition for proper palm care is proper feeding. It is carried out without waiting for the deterioration of the plant.

Signs of nutritional deficiencies

Because of their strong vegetative mass, these plants require a lot of nutrients. With their insufficient number, the appearance of the palm tree deteriorates. Therefore, it is not difficult to see the lack of one or another element.

Signs of nutritional deficiency:

the palm tree begins to grow more slowly;

leaves fade;

light green leaves appear;

the border curls.

If no action is taken, the condition of the plant will deteriorate. The leaves will begin to dry and fall off. Without fertilizer, the palm tree will quickly die.

Top dressing

In order for the palm tree to grow well and not get sick, different types of fertilizers are used. Many prefer store-bought products, but homemade ones have proven their effectiveness. Experts advise alternating fertilizers, using them for root and foliar feeding.


The period of active growth in palm trees begins in April and lasts until September. At this time, the plant needs a lot of fertilizer. But excessive use of dressings can harm, so they are recommended to be applied once every 10 days. In winter, the life processes of the plant slow down, so less fertilizer is required. Usually no more than 1 time per month.

In the case of transplanting palm trees, it is not recommended to use fertilizer immediately. The plant should take root in a new place, so top dressing can only be done after 2-3 weeks. If the palm tree is sick, but the reason is not related to the lack of certain elements, you do not need to use fertilizer. Just before flowering, it is more effective to apply foliar top dressing.

Types of fertilizers

Proper feeding of palm trees involves the use of different methods of fertilization. These include:


foliar fertilizers.

A popular method of top dressing is watering. A small amount of the product is dissolved in water according to the instructions. The palm tree is watered with this composition:

  • after moistening the soil with water so as not to burn the root system;
  • without using more of the drug than indicated by the manufacturer.

Foliar application provides additional nutrition to plants. The method is simple - fertilizers are sprayed on the leaves. Often, foliar top dressing is used in the presence of root injuries, before flowering, or in case of palm disease. The preparation for foliar feeding is diluted in a lower concentration than for irrigation. This is necessary so as not to burn the tender leaves.

Popular products

Commercial products are often used for indoor plants. But it is important to choose the right fertilizer that does not harm the palm tree. All fertilizers are stored in a place protected from light and moisture.

Quality popular products include:​

Preparation Composition How to use


Complex fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and minerals) Dilute 5 ml of product in 1 liter of water. Used for irrigation

Palm Focus

In addition to all the substances necessary for the palm tree, it contains seaweed concentrate To use 10 ml diluted in 1 liter of water


Complex preparation. There are several varieties depending on the content of a particular element Dissolve 1 g in 1 liter of water, then water the plant

Flower Paradise

All-purpose complex remedy. Also suitable for foliar feeding. Dilute 2 g per liter of water

Bona Forte

In addition to NPK, it contains humic acids, important trace elements Use 10 ml per 1.5 L for irrigation and 5 ml per 1.5 L for spraying

Variety of fertilizer Crystalon by color:

Green. Universal tool, suitable for year-round use.

Yellow. Contains a lot of phosphorus, has a positive effect on plant growth.

Red. Potassium predominates.

Blue. More nitrogen and potassium.

Brown. In addition to NPK, it contains sulfur, manganese and potassium.

Orange. This remedy also contains a lot of potassium.

Nitrogen and phosphorus are washed out of the soil in large quantities, and therefore the plant does not have time to absorb them. Therefore, it is so important to alternate root and foliar top dressing (A. Babitsky, specialist in indoor and greenhouse plants).

Household fertilizers

Indoor palm, like all plants, absorbs natural fertilizers well. They contain a sufficient amount of useful substances. Best for palm fertilizer:

Banana peel . Banana skins are dried and ground into a powder. It is added to water for watering a plant or sprinkled on the soil in a pot. This fertilizer effectively saturates the palm tree with all the necessary elements.

Orange peels . Banana and orange peels are excellent top dressing. They are crushed and placed in a three-liter jar, adding 2 tsp. Sahara. Then pour hot water and insist (from several hours to several weeks). Enough peel of 1 banana and 1 orange. The resulting infusion is watered with a palm tree.

Potato starch . Potato starch is very useful for palm trees, being a natural source of energy for them. But you don’t need to make starch yourself or buy it in a store. There is a lot of it in the water left after boiling potatoes. Plants are watered with this water. But it is important to ensure that there is no salt in it.

Yeast . If the plant is weakened and needs additional feeding, yeast is used. Take ordinary or dry yeast. For 1 liter of water, 10 g of yeast and 1 tbsp. l. Sahara. Fertilizer is insisted for several hours, and before use it is diluted in a ratio of 1:5.

Succinic acid . Succinic acid contains a huge amount of substances useful for indoor plants. Therefore, it is often used as a top dressing. For 1 liter of warm water, 1 tablet or 0.20 g of succinic acid is required. The resulting composition is watered with a palm tree or sprayed with leaves.

Onion . Onion broth is used as foliar top dressing. It will take 2 liters of water and 50 g of husk. The agent is boiled for 10 minutes, after which it is insisted for several hours. Be sure to filter before use.

Ash . An excellent tool that helps to quickly restore a plant, improve its immunity and accelerate growth, is ash. To prepare the solution, you need 1 liter of water and 1 tbsp. l. ash. The resulting product is watered with a palm tree.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to foliar?

This type of fertilizer is always applied in the morning. Especially if sunlight falls on the palm most of the time. Otherwise, you can easily burn the leaves.

Can only natural household products be used to fertilize indoor palm trees?

In this case, the plant may not receive some important trace elements. Therefore, one cannot do without high-quality preparations, the composition of which is provided for fertilizing palm trees. But these two types of dressings can be alternated or even combined.

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