Planting Palm Trees

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The best procedures for planting palm trees. How to prepare the soil for palms. Palm tree installation drainage and spacing info. Palm seeds sowing details.

Most palms prefer full sun, but there are some that would rather grow in the shade.The best site for palm trees is in a planting bed.
Pygmy Date palms planted in a bed with canna lilies outside one of the nicest Ramada Inns we’ve ever seen in Naples, Florida.

When planted in open lawn areas, they may be damaged by lawn maintenance equipment.

Also, be sure to keep tall growing varieties well away from power lines.

Palm Tree Planting

Palm trees planted inside the Longwood Gardens conservatory

The most important thing about the soil you will be planting a palm tree in is its drainage. Palms grow best in well composted, fast draining soil. Adding Mycorrhizal Fungi to the soil helps to increase the nutrients.

Although most palms prefer an acid soil (6-6.5 pH) which is high in organic matter, they will tolerate a wide range of soil types.

How to Plant Palm Trees

This palm tree has been planted too high.Notice all the exposed roots.
  1. Thoroughly wet the tree and the soil around its roots.
  2. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball of your palm. If you examine the base of the palm tree’s trunk, you will notice an area where the roots begin to grow from the trunk. The tree needs to be planted deeply enough so that this area is covered by soil.
  3. Dig in any organic matter or fertilizer you deem necessary now. Compost and composted manure helps palms planted on sandy soils to establish more quickly.  Adding mycorrhizae to the planting hole will help the palm’s root system to establish more quickly. If the soil is dry, water the planting hole before setting the palm tree into it.
  4. Remove the palm from its container and examine the roots. Cut away any dead or broken roots and straighten out any that are circling or kinked.
  5. Set the palm into the planting hole so that all the roots will be below the surface of the soil. This will usually, but not always, be the same depth that the tree is planted in inside the nursery container.
  6. Make a basin around the root zone out of the extra soil. Tamp the soil down with your foot and water it thoroughly.

For a newly planted palm tree it is a good idea to mulch the soil around its base. The basin will catch and hold water long enough for it to soak down into the root zone. Mulching also keeps tree roots cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Water it regularly in the hot months of summer but not much during the winter.

When planting palms in pairs or groups, space the plants at least as far apart as their crowns width at maturity.

Planting Palm Tree Seeds

Bismarck Palm – Seeds – $29.95
Palm Seeds – Freshly Harvested by Season

Christmas Palm – Seeds – $12.95
Palm Seeds – Freshly Harvested by Season

Planting palm tree seeds is the most common way to propagate these plants.

Obtain and sow the freshest seed you can get. Fresh palm seed germinates much more readily than seed which has been stored for a long time.

Palm seeds begin their underground growth first so it can take a while before they send up their first leaf. If you plant a flat of seeds, do not expect all of them to germinate at once. The first seedlings may be up in a month but stragglers may continue to appear for up to a year.

Palm seed is sown like the seed of any other garden plant. Sow the seeds as deep as they are wide in any well drained seed starting mix. Keep the flats moist, shaded and warm until the seedlings sprout.

Move the seedlings into bright light and never let them dry out.

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