Love pf Palm Trees

Successfully Growing Palm Trees

Successfully growing palm trees really isn’t that hard if you have the correct information on a particular tree and can then match its optimum growing conditions.

Here you’ll learn what terminology like

  •  part sun, part shade
  •  acidic or alkaline soil
  • drought or salt tolerant
  • what the outdoor plant hardiness zones are.  

These are all important information to consider when picking a species for your outdoor location.

Coconut and Fan Palm Growing Side by SideCoconut and Fan Palm Growing Side by Side

Even if your palms are potted or indoors, you’ll need to know what conditions they need to stay happy and healthy.

Go to the page on starting a palm tree from seed requires for more specific info on soaking, pots, fertilizing, etc.

Note: If you need to diagnose a problem with your tree these articles (all with photos) may help.

Pests has the insects that may be infesting your tree and how to eliminate.

Palm tree fungal or bacterial diseases  need to be addressed in specific manners. Learn how to spot them.

Mineral deficiencies are common in many palms. Learn the signs and how to treat for each.

Growing Zones

Here are a couple of maps showing the various hardiness zones with keys to the temperatures.

The zone temps shown are the lowest for the zone.

An important part of growing palm trees or any plants is knowing your average low temperature.

This will help you figure out which zone you are in.

Look for the growing zone of the plants natural to your area. What are the tolerable minimum temps they can withstand.

If your temp is going to go lower you may need to provide a cover for your trees until the cold snap passes.

Keep in mind that some of the cold hardy varieties don’t do well in spots with higher night time temps.

They need it to cool off in the evenings.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for North AmericaUSDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for North America
Hardiness Zone Temps in FahrenheitHardiness Zone Temps in Fahrenheit
Hardiness Zones in CelsiusHardiness Zones in Celsius
Britain and Ireland Zone Hardiness MapBritain and Ireland Zone Hardiness Map

Britain and Ireland Plant Hardiness Zone Map

original image found here

Soil Types for Growing Palm Trees

There are various soil types. When growing palm trees it helps to know the best soil conditions for that variety.

When you dig the area to plant, if there’s something key missing, you can add it to the area where the tree is to be planted.

A good example would be humus- which is  organic type material that will hold moisture.

Happy Growing Fan Palm TreeHappy growing fan palm tree

Acidic or alkaline soil types all have to do with the pH levels found in that soil. A balanced pH is 7. Used often in water testing. Soils are the same in that an alkaline soil has a higher pH level.

An example is limestone. If soil has this ingredient then it is alkaline. Southern Florida has this type.

Acidic soil is the lower than 7 pH levels. Volcanic type soils are acidic- like those found in Hawaii.

Sandy soil would be classed as any soil type with at least 30% sand or more. Think of the desert palms. These kinds will do better in almost any soil as long as there’s a mix of sand with it.

Serpentine soil has a high concentration of minerals in it like magnesium and iron. Chances are they will also have cobalt and nickel too. These are normally toxic to plants.

Some palms have adapted well to these kinds of growing conditions. So well that if taken out of their natural habitat and planted in regular soil they will die.

No worries these trees are generally found in Cuba and New Caledonia and will not be available to purchase.  

Others have adapted very well. If you do see some originating from either place, they are the more adaptable ones.

Date palm trees growing in the desertDate palm trees growing in the desert

Of course the proper fertilizer will help them grow their very best. Depending on where you plant or what kind of climate some fertilizers have the extra ingredients right in them already.

hydroponics pH soil control kit
Digital pocket pen soil pH meter
humus soil additive
Epson palm tone palm food 20 lbs

Light and Sun

When growing palm trees it’s obvious as to what full sun means. Here’s a guideline to the rest:

  • full to part sun (or light shade) is 6 out of 8 hours of direct sunlight.
  • part sun to part shade is 4 out of 8 hours.
  • heavy or deep shade is more than 50%  of the time in shade preferably during the hottest part of the day.

Planting a Palm TreePlanting a Palm Tree

Be mindful of your palms lighting requirements.

Planting a shade loving kind in full sun will cause its leaves to burn and it will eventually die.

A sun loving tree planted in shade won’t do either.

It will cause it to reach for the light it needs and will never develop into the grand specimen it was meant to be.

Meeting the light requirements of some that are brought indoors can be a challenge. If you are going to be growing palm trees and don’t have a solarium type room, a bay window, a skylight or a green house, you could supplement the light it needs artificially.

2 ft 4 light T5 growing plant lights
indoor plastic planter
indoor plant grow light
programmable plant watering system

Water and Moisture

If the palm you choose comes from the tropics then chances are it needs higher humidity in the air and will require more regular watering.

Those that are somewhat drought tolerant should still be supplemented with water at least once a week to keep them healthy and green.

There are even a few considered aquatic in nature. They will be water hungry all the time.

Arid, desert palms will require less water to survive and generally won’t do well in high humidity conditions like those in Florida.

Knowing your tree's growing conditions then matching them the best you can, will produce a palm to be proud of.

More growing resources

  • Palm Tree Care  I know the question you are asking "So what's involved in palm tree care?" I guess that really depends on where you live
  • Pruning Palm Trees  There is a certain amount of skill involved in pruning palm trees, especially the large coconut palms.
  • Bottle Palm Tree Care Instructions  I’ve had an inquiry about bottle palm tree care. Here’s what you have to do to successfully grow these delightful trees.

I'm Darla the creator of Palm Tree Passion.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit.

Creator of Palm Tree PassionDarla

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A NOTE on Buying Palm Tress: If you are looking to buy palm trees of any kind then I would highly recommend purchasing through the Real Palm Tree Store.

They are a huge nursery based in Florida with connections to many quality growers.

Whether you are ordering from inside the United States, Canada or another part of the world-- ordering one tree for your landscape or many for a commercial project-- I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Their customer service is second to none; all products are high quality and backed by a money back 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Make sure to visit real palm trees, ask questions and read the reviews before buying anywhere else.

Palm Tree Store

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