Palm fertilizer. What to look for in a palm tree fertilizer. Is organic fertilizer for palm trees the better choice? What about palm special fertilizer spikes?Well fed Sabal and Livistonia palms at Congo River.
Palm trees have special needs when it comes to what they like to eat. You might get away with feeding them whatever plant food you happen to have on hand for a while but, in the end, both you and they will pay the price.
The once beautiful green fronds will begin to yellow. Some of the more fertilizer sensitive trees like the Pygmy date palms, sago palms, queen palm trees, and royal palm trees may die if they are not provided with the minor elements.
Palms require a complete food containing all the minor elements. This is not cheap or easy to find.
You will have to read the label on the back of the bag to see what minor elements the palm fertilizer contains. A bag with 6 minor elements is good.
A bag with 10 is better.
The difference will be reflected in the price.
Don’t let the weight of the bags fool you. Some palm and ornamental fertilizer manufacturers will add fillers to make up the weight. The only way to tell what you are buying is to read the label.
Buying Palm Tree Fertilizer
The beautiful white Bismark palm.
When buying palm tree fertilizer, this is what you want to look for:
- The words “palm special fertilizer” on the bag usually indicates that it is formulated especially for these trees.
- The minor elements: (3-4%)magnesium, (3-4%)manganese, iron, zinc, boron, sulphur, copper, and molybdenum.
- An 8-4-12(nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) formulation. This is the latest recommendation from the University of Florida.
Brand Name Palm Tree Fertilizers
EnviroWise Palm Fertilizer with Foliar Sprayer
Miracle Grow, Scotts and Sunniland palm fertilizers are all good products. But it is better to buy the food with the most micro nutrients and the best formulation than to go by brand name alone.
By shopping this way, you may be able to pick up a superior food at a lower price.
Organic Palm Food
The lady palm makes a lovely hedge.
One supplement you should not use on palm trees is Ironite.
It is best reserved for woody plants and trees.
If you can find a complete organic palm food, feel free to use it. You will probably pay a premium for the organic labeling.
Plants can’t tell the difference between organic and chemical fertilizers. It makes a difference to the long term health of the soil, but the palms couldn’t care less. They just want their micro nutrients.
I’ll tell you what matters more than this. The form of the fertilizer.
Slow release pellets are the best choice. They will never overfeed or burn your trees. They can be used on in-ground or potted palms.
Water soluble food tends to build up in the soil and can burn. Fertilizer spikes may not spread over the entire root run.
Homemade Palm Tree Fertilizer
If you can’t find a palm fertilizer with all the elements you need, buy the best palm special fertilizer you can afford and doctor it.
Epsom salts will provide magnesium which is a standard palm tree care requirement for all palms. All palms also require manganese which can be purchased separately and added to other fertilizers.
The laundry powder, 20 Mule Team Borax can be used to supply boron.