Planting Palm Trees

Planting palm trees isn’t complicated if you follow a few simple guidelines, whether you purchase a container or field grown specimen.

You will handle each in much the same manner with a couple of slight differences.

Both should be handled with care when moving them around.

Digging the Hole for Our Bottle Palm TreeDigging the Hole for Our Bottle Palm Tree

Some types are very fragile in 2 main areas - the roots and the heart of the palm, or bud, where the new growth comes from.

If you are looking for more specific info on starting a palm tree from seed click here.

When to Plant

The time of year you choose will depend on where you live.

If you live where there are cooler conditions in winter, then its best to wait until warmer spring temperatures arrive.

Palms planted in cooler conditions will not establish their roots as quickly.

If you live in a place like the Dominican Republic and the conditions are always on the warmer side-then you can plant almost any time of year.

When planting palm trees you must take into consideration the water requirements. Before they are established they will require a lot more water.

Unless you are available for supplemental watering, then pick a wetter, rainier time of year.

The Perfect Spot

Before you picked your palm, hopefully you did a bit of research on what kind of growing conditions it is best suited for. Or if you had the spot in mind before then set to finding the tree to suit that location.

If your new palm requires lots of moisture then consider planting it in a low spot, or if it prefers drier conditions then you may choose higher, drier ground.

Our New Young Bottle Palm just PlantedOur New Young Bottle Palm just Planted

Don’t forget to take into account the lighting requirements. Full sun or mostly shade could make a big difference in the location in your landscape.

digging spade shovel
spade for digging dirt
lawn sprinkler multi nozzle
50 ft garden hose

Digging the Hole

Depending on the size of tree and where you live, this could be the hardest part. Many places have ground that is not easy to dig.

Measure your palms pot or root ball before you start. Then make the hole about 1.5 to 2 times the width.  When planting palm trees the top of the roots should be level with the surrounding soil.

Too much loose dirt under the roots will only serve to hold water around the roots once the dirt has settled.

Measuring the Container for Proper Height.Measuring the Container for Proper Height.

Actually Planting Palm Trees

Place your new palm in the center of the hole and back fill the soil equally around it.

If you need some organic matter mixed in now is the time to do it.

Word of caution:

Only use what is necessary.

If you use too much then your tree’s roots will never extend past the hole you dug.

It could act like a container holding the roots.

For rocky soil get some looser dirt from the surrounding area to mix in.

The looser ground will initially help your palm’s roots get established. 

If you are using mulch as top cover for moisture retention then make sure the mulch isn’t up on the trunk either.

Place it just out from the trunk instead. That’s where the new roots will be growing anyway.

The mulched area will also keep weeds and grass at bay. No injuries to the trunk from weed eater string or lawn mower blades.

Back Filling the Hole with Tree PlacedBack Filling the Hole with Tree Placed
Showing Slope of Dirt to Allow Water to Seep Down to the RootsShowing Slope of Dirt to Allow Water to Seep Down to the Roots

As you are back filling the soil around the tree, stop every so often, water it and pack it down slightly to remove any possible air pockets from around the roots.  Roots exposed to air will die.

Use some soil to form a ridge around the edge of the hole or slope the dirt slightly to end up below the surrounding turf. Like making a trench.

This will serve to hold a bit of water there long enough for it to seep into the ground right where the roots will need it.

Once planted don't forget to supplement it with a good quality water soluble palm fertilizer. this will also help to get it established in it's new location. 

tree staking anchoring kit

Extra Info for Field Grown

The big difference when planting palm trees that are field grown is they have had their roots cut.

This leaves them with fewer roots providing nutrients and moisture to the same size tree. These types will need to be watered more frequently for this reason.

Try not to pull or bend any of the existing roots and cause any further damage.

Young Triangle Palm Planted in New HomeYoung Triangle Palm Planted in New Home

If it is a taller specimen it will be top heavy and may need to be braced for extra support in higher winds to prevent it from being up rooted.

You are sure to find everything you need by checking out all these gardening accessories

Here's more on caring for palm trees

  • 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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