How to prop up a palm tree

Planting and Caring for Palm Trees the Right Way

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What tree more typifies a tropical environment than a palm tree? There are over 3,000 kinds of palms, and many of them can be grown in the southeastern U.S.

The first consideration is the temperature range where you live. Many palms cannot take temperatures that drop below 32 degrees for more than a few minutes. However, there are also many palm species that can tolerate temperatures that dip below the freezing point for a few hours.

Phoenix sylvestris, Silver Date palm. Photo: Chris Runge, Landscape Concepts

There are palmate (fan-shaped fronds) varieties, such as Trachycarpus, Chamaerops, Rhapidophyllum, Nannorrhops, Serenoa, Sabal palmetto, Trithrinax and Washingtonia. Pinnate (feather-shaped fronds) varieties include Jubaea, Butia, Phoenix and Syagrus.

Some palms can love an environment, while others struggle in the same one. Take the Canary Island Date palm, which hates the south Florida coastal environments. Many times they are yellow to orange in color due to fertilizer deficiencies, or are in decline from attacks by pathogens and insects. Their cousins, Medjool and Silver Date palms, on the other hand, love the environment. They can take the climatic ranges in humidity and salt spray, and do well in alkaline soils.

The Chinese Fan palm, which was, and can still be, a desirable ornamental palm in south Florida, has now escaped captivity and has been listed as an invasive plant.

Bismarckia nobilis, Silver Select Bismarck palm. Photo: Chris Runge, Landscape Concepts

Planting and care

The key to a palm tree’s success is the care it receives during removal and transportation, the root ball it is delivered with, the depth of planting, and proper staking and watering.

While still at the nursery, the palm tree will require special attention from the grower. They will need to correctly prune and fertilize the tree. When removing the palm from the nursery row, care will need to be shown to cleanly cut the roots, not ripping it from the earth. The trunk will need to be protected from scarring by using burlap and a padded tree sling, not steel chains, to lift the tree. Once loaded on the truck, the tree will need to be securely fastened (again, without chains) and the bud and crown of larger palms supported by wooden bracing. The key is to deliver the tree in the same condition in which it was growing.

The size of the root ball is directly related to the height, caliper and density of the head of the palm tree. If a root ball is too small, there will not be enough viable roots for it to survive; too large a root ball and the tree becomes impossible to move. (See sidebar for details.)

Proper excavation and sizing for the scale of the root ball. Photo: Chris Runge, Landscape Concepts

The root ball should be tight and compact, with no sand or dirt falling off, and ragged root tips extending from the soil. Where specified as balled in burlap, the root ball should be securely wrapped and pinned with burlap. This protective wrapping needs to be removed prior to planting.

Once planted, and depending on the size, the palm needs to be properly staked. The trunk should be once again wrapped with burlap, then wood blocks attached on top of burlap with stainless steel banding. Wooden bracing works best for supporting a palm tree during the grow-in period. These braces can range in size from three to four pressure-treated 2x4s to four pressure-treated 6x6s for large critical palms. The bracing is then nailed into the wood blocks, not the tree. The braces should stay on a minimum of six months to as long as one year to ensure the tree’s full establishment.

There are two reasons to brace the tree. The first is liability. You would not want a 6,000-pound tree falling on a home or homeowner. The other reason is survivability. For many palms, once the palms roots are cut they do not form root caps and generally cease to function.

Only the roots contained within the root ball are providing the translocation of valuable water and nutrients. If the tree is not staked, it will rock back and forth in the soil and, as the new root caps emerge from the root ball, they will be snapped off. Then the process must start all over in perpetuity until the palm tree dies.

Correct installation and proper handling by Haupt Nursery, Inc. Photo: Chris Runge, Landscape Concepts

Palms need substantial amounts of water after installation, at least daily for 30 days, and then two to three times per week for the next 60 days. Once established, most palm trees do well on naturally occurring water sources and supplemental irrigation.

Palms can be heavy feeders and require 5 to 20 pounds of fertilizer per tree, up to four times per year. The general rule of thumb is 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 100 square feet of canopy of tree. Using the 8 percent rating for the product below, 1 pound of 8-2-10 contains 1.28 ounces of nitrogen, hence, 18.75 pounds of 8-2-10 needs to be applied to reach a rate of 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 100 square feet of canopy.

The fertilizer you choose should also carry the correct balance of micronutrients. Palms need a balance of NPK, iron, sulfur, magnesium and manganese. Most fertilizer companies carry a product labeled as “palm fertilizer” already containing the correct balance of elements.

Once it’s growing, you eventually have to trim the tree. The only fronds that should be removed from the tree are dead ones. The tree knows when enough is enough and some palms, such as Cocos, Pseudophoenix, Acrocomia, Adonidia, Archontophoenix, Chrysalidocarpus and Roystonea, are actually “self-trimming” in that they shed the old fronds on their own. This is not to say that in cases where the fronds infringe against hardscape or walkway spaces they should not be trimmed, they should just not be over-trimmed, which is a serious maintenance concern.

Root Ball Size
Overall HeightWidth of BallDepth of Ball
15 feet8 inches12 inches
15 to 25 feet10 inches18 inches
26 to 30 feet12 inches24 inches
30 feet14 inches24 inches

10 Best Steps For Transporting Palm Trees (And How To Do It)

Looking around your yard, you might consider planting a palm tree in order to brighten your outdoor aesthetic. Or, you might ponder transplanting a palm tree to a different location in your yard for a practical purpose. Either way, these musings lead to a question: how do folks transport and plant a palm tree in their yard as well as reduce the transplant shock?

Here are 10 simple steps to transport a palm tree:

  • Dig around the root ball of your palm tree
  • Dig out the palm tree
  • Remove old leaves
  • Prepare for transport
  • Prepare the planting location
  • Plant the palm tree
  • Untie the fronds
  • Water the palm tree
  • Add mulch
  • Support the palm with timbers

Keep reading to learn about the root system of a palm tree, the steps in transporting it as well as helpful tips in reducing the tree’s experience of transplant shock.

Just to add – when you shop using links from Tree Journey, we may earn affiliate commissions if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

How To Transport A Palm Tree

Palm trees are some of the least complicated trees to transport and plant. This is because they have a sizable, fibrous root ball instead of a deep, extensive root system. The root ball is fairly easy to dig out, and palm trees can usually have a speedy recovery after transporting and planting.

To safely transplant an adult palm tree, you must prepare the planting location. Afterward, plan to dig out the palm tree with minimal damage to the root ball, successfully transport it to the planting location, and care for the palm tree after it is securely planted in the ground. Remember that a palm tree grown in the field experiences more severe transplant shock than a palm tree grown in a container, which correlates to the amount of damage on the root ball.

A palm tree grown in a container is not cut like a palm tree grown in the field, even though the root ball is still exposed to the air during transportation. Transplant shock occurs when a tree copes with the stresses of its new environment, which include different soil and sunlight exposure. Lessening the severity of transplant shock in a palm tree is discussed in the section, “How to Reduce Transplant Shock in a Palm Tree.”

A quick note before we get started, did you know that you actually can grow certain types of palm trees in New York? Not tropical palm trees, however. You can read more about that in our piece: Here’s Why You Can’t Grow Tropical Palm Trees In New York

Step #1: Dig Around The Root Ball Of A Palm Tree

As previously mentioned, palm trees have a root ball that is composed of small compacted roots. The roots of broadleaf trees, like oaks, grow in diameter and also plunge deep into the soil; this is untrue of the roots of palm trees. The root ball of a palm tree remains the same size, and the small compacted roots stay closer to the surface of the soil.

A University of Florida study discovered that various palm tree species respond in different ways to the cutting of their root systems. The sabal palmetto’s roots, for example, die after cutting and are replaced by new roots; so, it does not make a difference if the roots are cut close to the palm’s base. For the coconut palm, 50% of its cut roots survive and keep growing regardless of how close they are cut to the palm’s base. 

With this in mind, the root ball can be kept small for the sabal palmetto and coconut palm trees when digging out these species. For palm trees that are up to 15 feet in height, dig a one to two feet radius from the trunk and dig one to feet into the soil. If you are in doubt about the sensitivity level to root cutting for your palm tree species, dig a larger radius around the trunk.

Step #2: Dig Out The Palm Tree

After digging around the palm tree, you will cut some of the roots. Root cutting happens regardless of how large the radius is around the trunk.

Cut the soil and palm roots with a spade that goes in a circle around the palm tree. This circle is about 12 to 24 inches away from the trunk of the tree, and it creates space for the root ball. Cut the palm tree’s roots about 12 inches underneath the surface of the soil.

Digging out the palm tree requires lifting, which usually requires multiple people depending on the palm tree’s size. For palm trees that are between 20 and 25 feet in height, a crane or a tractor is required in order to successfully move the tree. Palm trees can be monstrously heavy; in fact, a 20-foot palm tree is approximately 1,000 pounds.

Step #3: Remove Old Leaves On The Palm Tree

Many nurseries remove up to two-thirds of old leaves on palm trees to minimize the level of water stress in the trees. Some homeowners will even remove all of the leaves.  

The amount of leaves that are removed depends on the particular palm tree species that is being transported. For example, since the sabal palmetto species’ roots all die and regrow during transplanting and planting, completely removing the leaves is the best option to help ensure the tree’s survival.

Step #4: Prepare To Transport The Palm Tree

Tie together the extra fronds of the palm tree to avoid damaging the leaves, which should be done before using a crane to lift the palm tree. Attach two splits on opposite sides of the tree trunk to prevent the palm tree from fracturing, which is particularly needed for skinnier palm trees. 

A palm tree cannot repair itself if its trunk is harmed, so it is crucial to avoid nailing something to the trunk. Also, any scratches along the palm tree’s trunk can make the tree more susceptible to fungus and insects. 

Wrap the trunk with nylon or polyester slings before fastening ropes, cables or chains. Using soaked burlap, wrap the root ball so the root system stays wet during transportation. 

If you are using a truck to transport the palm tree, then wrap the whole tree with a wet tarp. This shields the tree from damages to the fronds, bark and roots. This also protects the root ball from the wind, which can dry out the roots.

Step #5: Prepare The Planting Location

Test the planting location’s soil to ensure that it is the right spot to transplant a palm tree. Palm trees must be in a location with decent drainage. To begin the test, dig a hole that is two times the diameter of the palm tree’s root ball.

Pour water into the hole until it is filled and wait. After an hour, pour more water into the hole and observe the length of time it takes for the water to disappear. The location has decent drainage if it only takes a few hours for the water to leave; however, if the water has not disappeared after a few days, this indicates a drainage issue.

It is possible to create better drainage in this location by placing stones in the planting hole and drilling several holes at the bottom, which breaks up the soil. You can also install a pipe for drainage.

Step #6: Plant The Palm Tree

It is important to plant the palm tree as soon as you can. If you are unable to immediately plant the tree, then simply keep it in a shaded area and make sure that the roots stay moist. You can even put mulch over the root ball to keep it from possibly drying out.

Plant the palm tree at a similar depth in which it was previously growing. If the palm tree is planted too deeply in the soil, it could experience water stress and deficiencies in nutrients. If the palm tree is planted too shallowly in the soil, this could also be a problem because the wind might blow over the tree.

Before planting the palm tree, drench the soil with water and center the tree in the planting hole. Backfill the area with native soil, water and backfill again. Ensure that there are zero air pockets, and then make a soil boundary around the palm in order to hold the water.

Step #7: Untie The Fronds Of The Palm Tree

Gardeners have different opinions about the placement of this step: untying the fronds of the palm tree. Some think that leaving the fronds tied for several weeks after transplanting the palm tree can reduce water loss and stop the palm from shifting in the wind.

Other gardeners think that leaving the fronds tied does not help the growth of the palm tree. Rather, they think it might make the tree more susceptible to diseases. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether to untie the fronds after planting the palm tree or waiting to untie them at a later time.

Step #8: Water The Palm Tree

Palm trees grown in the field have cut roots, which means they have a tinier root ball in which to take in water. While the palm tree is growing new roots, its necessity for water is significantly larger than a palm tree grown in a container. Whether you have a palm tree grown in the field or one grown in a container, it will need to be watered on a daily basis for three weeks.

Once you have hit the fourth week, you can water your palm tree every other day. To successfully water your palm tree, turn on your water hose so that it drips water for about 20 minutes in the soil around the root ball. After six weeks, you can reduce your watering frequency.

Step #9: Add Mulch Around The Palm Tree

To keep moisture and prevent weed growth, add mulch around the base of the palm tree. Over time, the mulch will break down and enrich the native soil. Add around two inches of mulch, making the area thinner closer to the trunk and thicker directly above the root ball.

While adding mulch around the palm tree, place it about one foot away from the trunk of a tinier palm tree and about two feet away from the trunk of a bigger tree. An overabundance of mulch directly against the trunk can bring about rot in the trunk and even fungal diseases. It can also stop water from reaching the root system of the palm tree.

Step #10: Support The Palm Tree With Timbers

Palm trees grown in the field tend to have tinier root systems in relation to their height; this means that they usually need support after planting. This contrasts with palm trees grown in containers; their root systems tend to be large enough in order to maintain the trees in upright positions.

To stop a freshly planted palm tree from blowing over during storms, support the tree with timbers. Again, avoid nailing to the trunk because a palm tree cannot repair itself if its trunk is harmed. Using burlap, wrap the trunk and attach four short lengths of wood with bands; this will not harm the trunk, and it stops the wood from sliding out of place.

Nail up to five supporting timbers into the larger wood pieces. Maintain this support structure for around one year, or until you have noticed that the tree has grown enough new roots that allow it to stand on its own.

How To Reduce Transplant Shock In A Palm Tree

Even though you have done your best to be careful while transporting and planting a palm tree, the tree still experiences stress as it adjusts to its new location. If you observe drooping, yellow or brown leaves on your transplanted palm tree, this is a sign that the tree is experiencing transplant shock.

This might look like the tree is dying, but it is not: transplant shock is when the root ball hardens because it has been cut, moved and directly exposed to sunlight, air and different soil. Mother Nature did not create an organic situation in which palm trees are transplanted, so the tree is forced to cope with these unnatural changes.

It can take one year for a palm tree to fully recover from transplant shock. After three years, a transplanted palm tree is considered to be completely established in its new planting location. 

While transplanting a palm tree, much of its root system is lost or dies. The roots that survive face challenges in bringing in enough water for the palm tree, which causes water stress. In fact, any changes to the root ball of a palm tree causes stress to the tree. Again, this transplant shock is unavoidable, but there are a few tips to follow that allow you to reduce the shock in your palm tree.

To add, at this point you may be interested in another popular palm tree article: 5 Reasons New Orleans Has Palm Trees (Plus Growing Tips)

Tip #1: Transport And Plant The Palm Tree During Warm Rainy Months

The best time to transport and plant the palm tree is during months that are warm and rainy. Depending on where you live, this might not include the springtime. If you live in Florida (a state with a plentiful amount of thriving palm trees), transporting and planting a palm tree should be done between June and November, which is the rainy season.  

If you transplant your palm tree during a time that is warm and rainy, it profoundly assists in your palm tree’s survival and minimizes the transplant shock. In addition, planting in the evening is ideal because the sun is less intense and temperatures are cooler. This provides the palm tree both the evening and the entire night to start acclimating to the new location before its extensive exposure to sunlight the following day.

Tip #2: Acclimate The Palm Tree

If you are transporting a palm tree grown in a container, you can set the palm tree in the general area of its new planting location a week prior to planting it. Doing this offers the palm tree more time to acclimate to the varying levels of sunlight and temperature in its new planting location. 

You can also consider planting the palm tree in its new location and then covering it with a plastic canopy. Every week, you can poke holes in the covering, which slowly allows in more light.  

Tip #3: Leave The Old Soil In The Palm Tree’s Root Ball

Although you might be planning to offer healthier soil at the new planting location, you still want to leave the old soil in the palm tree’s root ball. This reduces the root system’s exposure to the elements, which decreases the tree’s stress levels. When you backfill the planting hole, this is when you can utilize a healthier, better soil around the root ball.

Tip #4: Avoid Fertilizing The Palm Tree After Planting It

Avoid fertilizing the palm tree immediately after planting it because this invites more stress for the tree. Make sure that you allow your transplanted palm tree some time to regenerate its root system. Wait at least two months or until you see significant root growth before you fertilize the palm tree. 

Be mindful of the fact that palm trees grown in containers are accustomed to high nitrogen levels because of the potting soil. This means that they require fertilizer that contains high nitrogen levels in order to thrive. If these palm trees do not receive that nitrogen, they can develop a deficiency in the element and be slow in establishing their root system.

Here are a few other tips you can consider to help reduce transplant shock in your palm tree:

  • Saturate the rootball area with a fungicide between two to four times during the first several months.
  • Between two to four months, apply a slow-release fertilizer to the palm tree. You can also utilize a foliar spray because the absorption by the root system is minimal.
  • Offer protection from the cold during winter until the palm tree has completely established its root system.
  • Frequently check for signs of diseases and insects, the latter of which can be attracted to weaker plants.

That’s A Wrap!

Whether you are purchasing a palm tree from a nursery or intending to transplant a palm tree from one spot in your yard to another, the steps in how to transport and plant the palm tree are the same. Knowing how palm roots grow and react to being cut can prevent damage to the root system. Plus, implementing this knowledge will bolster the likelihood of the palm tree’s survival. 


Hinkamp, Dennis. “Transplanting: Think Twice, Dig Once.” (2001).

Hodel, Donald R., A. James Downer, and Dennis R. Pittenger. “Transplanting palms.” HortTechnology 19.4 (2009): 686-689.

Hunsberger, A. G. B. “Tree Planting: A Quick Guide for Homeowners.”

Pittenger, Dennis R., Donald R. Hodel, and A. James Downer. “Transplanting specimen palms: a review of common practices and research-based information.” HortTechnology 15.1 (2005): 128-132.

Palm tree in a pot - care at home

There are types of palm trees that are not suitable for indoor cultivation, mainly due to the fact that these palm trees need maximum light throughout the daylight hours - direct sunlight.

These include: Brahea, Bismarkia nobilis, Archontophoenix cumminghaniana (King Palms), Syagrus romanofskiana (Queen Palms) and Ravenea rivularis, Verschefeltia species, most Licualas, Genomonas, Pinangas and Cyrtostachys.

The word “unsuitable” does not mean categorical, it is just difficult for these palm trees to provide the necessary conditions for development at home: lighting, temperature, humidity.

1) SOIL. Sufficient air and water permeability of the soil mixture must be maintained.

What does the permeability of the substrate mean? - after watering the palm tree, excess water should drain through the drain hole after a few minutes. If excess water lingers in the soil for a long time, then the palm roots will suffocate and the plant will die.

Palm is a plant that will stay in the same soil mixture for a long time, since almost all of them have a negative attitude towards the destruction of the earthen clod during transplantation. Therefore, in all cases, you need to carry out TRANSPPING, i.e. plant transplantation with preservation of an earthy coma. In the best case for the plant, you can replace the topsoil. Long-term watering the plant with hard water changes the acidity of the soil over time.

Conclusion. Choose the right mixture for planting palm trees, and try to water the plant with not hard water.

2) IRRIGATION Water for watering palm trees should be as soft as possible - rain or purified. When watering with tap water (as a rule, it is hard), starting from the top layer, the soil mixture will be saturated with salts, so in this case it is necessary to change the top layer of soil once a year. The temperature of the water used for irrigation should not be lower than the air temperature in the room. When using tap water, it must be defended for at least a day, since many palm trees are sensitive to the presence of chlorine.

The frequency of watering is:

  • without drying the earthen coma;
  • with slight drying of the earthen clod;
  • with strong drying of the earthen ball

Remember, the plant itself reduces or increases water intake. Your task, as a grower, is to correctly determine the frequency of watering. The frequency of watering for each type of palm is indicated individually.

Amount of water for watering palm trees. The amount of water during irrigation should be such that after irrigation, excess water flows out through the drainage hole. If there is not enough water during irrigation, then salts will quickly accumulate in the soil mixture, as a result of which the plant will suffer.

3) HUMIDITY b . Maximum decorativeness of palm trees is achieved at high humidity. In room conditions, this state is difficult to achieve, if not impossible.

If desired and possible, the air humidity can be increased in the following ways:

  • place trays with water in the area next to the plant;
  • use a humidifier;
  • in the summer, in the heat, spray the plants with rainwater or distilled water.

Palm leaves should not be sprayed with hard tap water, otherwise they will soon develop a coating and the plant will lose its decorative effect.

Leaves should not be sprayed in autumn-winter and early spring, otherwise you will get problems with fungal diseases. It is not advisable to spray the leaves in cloudy weather, and also if the palm tree is located in a place with insufficient lighting (shade or partial shade).


Periodic pruning required. The "CUTTING" section is in each article for each type of palm tree. Leaves should be periodically washed with warm water or wiped with a damp flannel.

Leaves should not be cleaned with chemical cleaners as palm trees are very sensitive to chemicals. If you use floral polishes, then after a short period of time the leaves will begin to turn yellow.


The palm tree is a tree that develops using very limited resources. If you have provided the plant with the recommended development conditions (lighting, watering, temperature, humidity), then most likely you may encounter only one problem - the loss of the plant's decorative effect (chlorosis, spots, growth retardation, leaf fall, etc.). All this is due to the lack of macro and micronutrients.

For each type of palm trees, detailed recommendations for top dressing are given.

There is one "but" most growers are accustomed to "feeding" the plant by applying fertilizer through the soil. The trouble is that soil mixtures in a pot are not always able to give the plant some nutrients. Therefore, I recommend once a month to carry out foliar feeding of palm trees. The technology of foliar feeding is described in detail in the relevant section of the site (see here).


In some articles I read - "if there is dry air, then the spider mite will attack the plant." Complete nonsense.

Pests either exist or they don't. Each pest has both optimal conditions for its development, and not quite. However, the pest develops in both cases - the task of all living things is to SURVIVE. Therefore:

  • carefully inspect the plant before bringing it into the apartment;
  • it is obligatory to create QUARANTINE for the plant. Everything is described in detail in the article "Plant Quarantine";
  • do not bring plants from tourist trips into the apartment - they are 100% pest free. Pest control is expensive and harmful to humans, requires a systematic approach, but if this does not scare you, then see the control methods in the Pests section.


In all cases, I recommend treating diseases of physiological origin.

Diseases of fungal and bacterial origin are a big PROBLEM:

  • difficult to identify;
  • not all "sores" can be cured in room conditions;
  • not all sell effective drugs;
  • all preparations are harmful to humans;
  • the palm tree will lose its decorative effect for at least a few years;
  • there is a threat of the spread of diseases to other plants in the apartment.

If all of the above did not scare you away, see the section of the site "Diseases".

8) LIGHTING. For each type of palm, the optimal and permissible lighting is indicated.


Before spending money on purchasing a pot, you should consider that with a probability close to 100% it will be disposable and will last a maximum of 2-3 years.

Palm tree is a fast growing plant, every 2-3 years it needs to be transferred or transplanted into a larger pot. Palm trees do not tolerate the exposure of the root system very well, that is, during transshipment or transplantation, it is desirable to keep the earthen clod intact. Partial replacement of the top layer of the soil mixture is allowed. Based on these features, the service life of the pot emerges - 2/3 of the year (from transplant to transplant). In order to keep the earth lump intact, ceramic pots are broken, plastic ones are cut.

Pot material and color.

Pot can be of any material (ceramic, plastic, wood, concrete, etc.). But, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of each material:

  • ceramics (not glazed inside) - the material itself absorbs moisture, and therefore the earthen lump in the pot will dry out quickly. When keeping a palm tree outdoors in the summer, you will have to water the plant every day, and maybe even more than once.
  • color of the pot - the color of the pot should be light, because in spring / summer / autumn, solar radiation can heat up a dark surface to a temperature of over +65 0 C - first the pot is heated, and then the earth mixture and palm roots. And this is unacceptable, because at best, the palm tree will fall into a state of stagnation and get sick, at worst, it will die. If it is so important for you that the pot be dark, then the situation can be corrected by placing it in a pot of the required color: the air gap between the pot and the pot will not allow solar radiation to heat the pot and overheat the roots.

Pot size and shape.

Required proportions of the pot: the height must be greater than the diameter of the neck of the pot (bowls do not fit). There should be a hole in the bottom to drain the water.

When choosing the size (volume) of the pot, you should be guided by the following rules:

  • a small plant cannot be planted in a large pot;
  • The next pot size should be 25-30% larger than the previous one.

If you are growing a palm tree from seed, the first pot will be 200 ml, i.e. the container in which you plant the sprouted seedling when picking. The next pot size will be 0.4-0.5L, then 0.7-1L.

If you purchased a "teenage palm tree" in a retail chain, then after it becomes necessary to transplant / transship, select a new pot size 25-30% larger than the existing one (in which the palm tree grows).

The size of the pot significantly affects the development of the palm tree. If you plant a small plant (for example, a seedling) in a large pot (3-5l), then the plant will most likely die (the roots will rot).

If you delay in transferring a young plant to a larger pot, the palm tree will stop growing.

The photo below shows three Washingtonia thread palms grown under the same conditions. But there is one difference - for clarity, one palm tree was not transplanted into a larger container - and that's what happened !!

Related articles:

  • Date palm at home.
  • Trachycarpus.
  • Hamedorea.
  • Coconut.
  • Areca.
  • Yucca.
  • Hovea.
  • Karyota.
  • Chrysalidocarpus.
  • Liviston.
  • Video - palm tree transplant.

home care, transplanting and reproduction, growing problems


Palm family. Fine representatives of this family are the best representatives of ornamental and deciduous plants for growing indoors, although the best place for a palm tree is in a winter garden. Most palms are native to the tropics and subtropics. At home, palm trees grow to enormous sizes, for example, leaves can reach 15-17 m in length and 2 m in width. Nevertheless, many of the palm trees turned out to be rather unpretentious, and their rather slow growth allows them to be successfully grown in city apartments.

There are several types of so-called house palms - they can be grown as houseplants. Conventionally, according to the shape of the leaves, they can be divided into two groups:

  • pinnate (dipsis, coconut, date, howea, hamedorea)
  • fan leaves (karyota, chamerops, trachycarpus, liviston).

Palm care at home

Most home grown palms require a fairly large space. The living room or hall is best suited. Even if your palm tree is not large, it is still a single plant, and nothing should interfere with it. By the way, if there is a cat in the house, then keep in mind that a palm tree can turn out to be a very tasty green for her. Caring for palm trees is simple: timely watering, annual transplantation, periodic top dressing and rinsing the leaves from dust.


The room where the palm tree will grow should be bright, with good sunlight. Bright diffused light is best, since not all palm trees tolerate direct sun well, most of them require shading in the hottest spring and summer time - from 11 am to 4 pm from the south and west. As a shade in the summer, a light tulle curtain on the window is enough. But this is only in summer, and from August to February, palm trees are not afraid of any sun. In winter in mid-latitudes, shading is not required at all.

Very often people try to decorate the dark corners of a room with palm trees, forgetting that there are no shade-loving indoor plants, only shade-tolerant ones. In addition, the crown of palm trees is spreading and requires uniform lighting from all sides. Therefore, already a meter from the window, it is desirable to organize additional lighting with fluorescent lamps.



Tropical palm trees require maintenance in winter in moderately warm or warm rooms, where from 16 to 24°C. Palm trees, which are native to the subtropics, are best kept in winter only in cool rooms, where the temperature is about 8-12 ° C. All palm trees do not tolerate drafts well. It is especially necessary to be wary of cold air when airing a room in winter through a window and a door. Palm roots are very sensitive to cold, so do not place palm pots directly on a cold window sill or marble floor slabs. So that the root system does not overcool, a pot with a palm tree is placed in another, larger pot, or a wooden tub, and the space between the walls of the containers is covered with expanded clay, filled with sphagnum moss, or peat.

  • Warm room palms: areca, coconut, caryota, chamedorea, acanthophenix, phoenix Robelini - require warm content and high humidity.
  • Temperate indoor palms: hovei (Belmora, Forstera), Bonneti coco, geonoma, clinostigma, ropalostylis, rapis.
  • Cool room palms: chamerops, brachea, washingtonia, trachycarpus, etc.


All palms, even those that come from dry areas, are quite moisture-loving, so watering is plentiful in summer, almost every day, and moderate in winter. But this concept of moisture-loving applies only to palm trees planted in loose soil with good drainage. Those. when watering, the earth should have time to dry out in the upper third of the pot. And in the depths (if you touch it with your finger) - be slightly moist all the time, but not damp. The frequency of watering directly depends on the air temperature, for example, when keeping a palm tree in a very cool room in winter (about 5-7 ° C), the plant is watered very rarely (once every 1.5-2 months), or watering is replaced by light spraying. Caring for palm trees also consists in periodically loosening the topsoil after watering.


Palm trees love moist air, the optimum humidity for them is 40-50%. Therefore, palm trees need regular spraying, especially in summer in the heat and in winter in a heated room. Due to the dryness of the air, palm trees suffer greatly (the ends of the leaves dry) and lose their decorative appeal (see below). The water for spraying should be warm, while spraying the plant on both sides of the leaves. In winter, in apartments, the humidity is on average 20-25%, while spraying only temporarily alleviates the situation, but in no case should watering be increased. Remember that extra watering does not compensate for the lack of humidity! In such cases, hanging the batteries with wet sheets and installing an air humidifier helps, and for small palm trees, placing the pot on a wide tray with wet expanded clay or sphagnum moss.

How to transplant a palm tree


Soil - 2 parts light clay-turf, 2 parts humus-leaf, 1 part peat, 1 part rotted manure, 1 part sand and some charcoal. This is a very nutritious soil. On poorer potting mixes, palm trees will not grow well. Palm trees are transplanted in the spring. Young palms up to 3 years - annually, older than 3 years - after 3-5 years. In general, palm trees do not really like transplantation, but if it is carried out correctly, they tolerate it well. One of the conditions for a correct transplant is the selection of appropriate dishes. To do this, you need to examine the root system of the plant - if the roots have grown in width, closer to the walls of the pot, then take a new pot of larger diameter; if the roots grew predominantly downward, i.e. deep into the pot, then a new pot should be larger than before, but not in diameter, but in height.

If diseased or damaged roots are found during transplantation, they must be removed without damaging healthy tissues.

Before planting in a pot, be sure to put good drainage and compost (well-rotted manure) is applied on top of it in a layer of 3-8 cm, depending on the age of the plant and the size of the container. Then the plant is placed in a pot and covered with earth, while the soil is slightly compacted. After transplanting palm trees, even sun-loving ones do not put in direct sunlight. Watering the first two weeks after transplantation is moderate.

If the roots of a palm tree protrude strongly from the pot, it is best to cover them with damp moss. Since adult palm trees are transplanted after a few years, and they consume nutrients quickly, despite regular top dressing in spring and summer, it is recommended to annually (if the root system allows) to remove the top layer of the earth (the most depleted), and replace it with fresh nutrient soil (you can compost - it, unlike fresh manure, does not smell).

Palm fertilizer

Apply top dressing when the plant is healthy and in a period of growth, not dormancy. Fertilize palm trees after 2-3 weeks with fertilizers for decorative and deciduous plants.

Top dressing is carried out only after the earth ball is watered and soaked with water. You can feed with any purchased fertilizers suitable for palm trees, for example, "Ideal", "Uniflor-growth", "Tsniflor-micro", "Giant", etc. Do not feed palm trees in autumn and winter, as well as the first two months after transplanting into fresh earth.


To prevent attack by thrips, aphids and other pests, periodically wipe palm leaves with a damp sponge, and small plants can be immersed with leaves in warm water with a solution of Persian chamomile or green soap. After 30 minutes, the plant must be washed with clean warm water. Palm trees are regularly sprayed, taken out in the rain in the summer, or at home for a shower, if the size of the plant allows.

Propagation of palm trees


Palm trees can be propagated by seeds, but this is quite difficult and not everyone succeeds. Palm seeds quickly lose their germination. Palm seeds germinate in an average of 20-30 days (liviston, washingtonia, sabal, trachycarpus), with soil heating, palm seeds stored for 3-4 years germinate in 2-4 months. Therefore, buy only fresh seeds, best in flower shops.

Before sowing, large seeds with a hard shell must be carefully filed so as not to damage the seed itself, small seeds, but also with a hard shell, are soaked for 3-4 days in warm water (30-35 ° C). Sowing seeds is best done in late winter or early spring. Seeds are soaked in warm water for 2-3 days before sowing. Pots for planting seedlings take no more than 15 cm in height, otherwise the roots of the seedlings grow strongly in length. At the bottom of the pot there must be one or more holes for water to drain.

First, put a good drainage from a crock and a mixture of river sand and expanded clay (broken red brick or small pieces of foam plastic) into the pot, then pour in a soil mixture consisting of 1 part of soddy soil and 3 parts of coarse sand. Pure river sand is poured over the soil mixture with a layer of 4 cm, into which palm seeds are sown, no deeper than 2-3 cm. The sowing density is 3-3.5 cm between the seeds. To keep the soil moist, cover it with a small layer of moss on top. The optimum temperature for seed germination is 20-22°C for subtropical palms and 28-30°C. Seedlings are watered daily with water, the temperature of which is not lower than room temperature.

When the germinated seedlings grow their first leaf, 8-10 cm in size, they are transplanted into pots 9 cm in diameter in a soil mixture consisting of 3 parts soddy, 2 parts humus, 2 parts leafy earth and 1 part sand. Good drainage is also poured into the bottom of the pot. If the seedling has a very long root, then it is folded in a spiral and covered with earth, while it is necessary to save the remainder of the seed, which will provide nutrition for the young plant. The soil is compacted and watered abundantly.

It is even more convenient to sow palm seeds in peat tablets. After the seed germinates and shoots appear, peat tablets, without violating their integrity, are planted in pots.

Place the pot in a warm and bright place, but not in direct sunlight.

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