How Do I Improve My Palm Tree?

How do I improve my Palm’s health?

As strange as it may seem, often the way to improve a palm’s health is to provide less attention to it by limiting the amount of trimming it.  Too often we see palms that have been over trimmed and look somewhat spindly and unattractive. Most palms should have a 360-degree canopy whereas the fronds on the palm should not be pruned above 3 and 9 o’clock- if you can picture that on a clock.  Many times, we see palms trimmed closer to 11-1 o’clock or 10-2 o’clock!

So why is this important? Palms grow from the top – they are not like trees where they have many branches and, in some cases, many trunks.  The top of the palm produces fronds and it can take weeks to months before these become visible.  When an abundance of fronds is removed, the palm has limited resources to create the energy it needs to thrive. This can create a deficiency that may not show up for months. Palms move their nutrition around.  When new growth pushes out the top of the palm, the nutrition moves up the palm toward the new growth.  This will cause the lower fronds to start to discolor.  If these fronds have any green on them, they should not be removed. This will add to overall deficiency of the palm.  This is a normal sequence of events, however, if you find your palm is producing less new growth or the fronds are discoloring at a rapid pace, there probably is more going on and should be investigated.

Another common thing we see around is “hurricane cutting” palms.  It has been shown by scientists that this practice further endangers the palm rather than assisting it.  Palms that have been pruned like this are more likely to suffer major damage in storms than if they had a full crown of fronds.

Finally, using a good quality palm fertilizer is important.  Palms should have a healthy green color and if they look very pale green or almost yellow in color, it is most likely nutrition related. Check out our Palm Fertilizer here!

Using all these guidelines will help you have the beautiful healthy palms that you would like to see on your property.