What are the Best Tips for Planting Palm Trees?

Susan Grindstaff

When planting palm trees, there are some important things to keep in mind. Choosing the right location is crucial, as some species are much larger than others. If the tree is going to be grown indoors, a dwarf variety should probably be used. Planting palm trees outdoors is generally not difficult, but the trees will typically only tolerate very warm climates, and may even die if exposed to freezing temperatures. Different species of palm trees may have very different requirements, so it is important to understand the needs of the particular species being planted.

There are about 2,600 species of palm trees, and most grow in tropical or subtropical areas.
There are about 2,600 species of palm trees, and most grow in tropical or subtropical areas.

Another important factor that should be considered prior to planting palm trees is the amount of sunlight exposure the tree will have. Again, the species is very important, as some varieties of palms love as much sun as they can get, while others prefer shade. Buyers should check with the nursery where the plant was purchased to obtain as much information as possible before they begin planting.

A palm tree.
A palm tree.

Planting palm trees is very much like planting most other types of trees. The root ball should not be disturbed until it is ready to plant. If the root ball is wrapped in cloth, it is generally better to leave the cloth in place until it is time to plant the tree. Most gardening experts caution that it is generally not a good idea to let too much time elapse before planting the new palm. The tree needs to get back into the ground as soon as possible.

With the exception of desert-bred species, most palm trees require plenty of water. When planting palm trees, it is considered important to water it as soon as it is planted, and to keep the soil around the root ball evenly moist until the tree has become established. This usually takes about four weeks. After that, the new plant should be watered weekly, unless drought conditions exist. During drought, young trees should probably be watered every day.

The hole used for planting a new palm tree should generally be about twice the width of the root ball, but only a few inches deeper. If planting more than one tree, some experts advise hole spacing of about 35 feet (10.66 m). Palm trees typically prefer well-drained sandy soil, as it is a close approximation of a typical beachfront environment. In addition, most gardeners suggest that most palm trees need an average daily temperature of not less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius).

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