How to Grow Palm Trees
Growing Palms

How to grow palm trees. Growing palms outdoors, indoors and in pots. Learn the specific cultural needs of a wide variety of palm plants. Find out which is the fastest growing palm tree. Discover which slow growing palms make perfect container plants.

Coconut palms tower over a ponytail palm tree in Maui, HI Coconut palms tower over a ponytail palm tree in Maui, HI.

Nothing evokes the look and feel of paradise like the gracefully swaying fronds of a palm tree.

One glimpse of the bowing fronds of a feather-leaved palm variety dancing on the breeze and you are instantly transported to your favorite island hideaway.

There is another benefit to growing palms. Palm trees are very predictable in their habits of growth. Much more so than other types of trees.

If you know the mature height and crown spread of the variety you are growing, you can safely plan your landscape around it without fear of unpleasant surprises.

This predictability has made palms popular street trees in warm areas.

Where Palm Trees Grow

Queen and Mexican fan palms on a landscape in Lake Wales, FL Queen and Mexican fan palms on a landscape in Lake Wales, FL.

The vast majority of palm species inhabit the tropical rainforests of the world.

The crowns of the taller varieties form the canopy that makes the forests cool and shady. Low growing palms form the understory.

A significant minority of species are found growing on the dry soils of open grasslands. Here, they tend to colonize along stream beds.

Few palms inhabit desserts. These species are known as oasis palms because the only occur where there is water deep underground. the California Fan palm and the edible Date palm are the most popular of this group.

These water loving plants prefer the tropics to the temperate zone but there are a few palms that occur naturally in cold climates. The Chusan Windmill palm is the hardiest of these and is often planted in the northern U.S. and Canada.

Relatively few palms will tolerate snow. The Windmill palm which originates in the Himalayas can be seen there, blanketed in snow, each winter.

Many palm varieties are well suited to growing on the sandy beaches of the world. These plants have deep tap roots which can reach down through the sand to the water table below. They are tough enough to withstand salt spray and hurricane force winds.

Thrinax radiata, the Florida Thatch palm and Cocos nucifera, the Coconut palm are the most well known of these.

How to Grow Palm Trees

Date palms in bloom in Daytona Beach. Date palms in bloom in Daytona Beach.

Each variety of palm has its own specific needs.

If you see the name of the palm you are growing on this page, click on it to go to a page about how to grow that particular tree.

If you don't know what type of palm tree you have, follow these general instructions:

  • Plant the tree in the sun. Most palms thrive on sunlight. Only a few prefer shade.

  • Make sure the soil in the planting area drains quickly, but do not allow the roots to completely dry out. Not all varieties can handle drought.

  • Feed your tree in spring and summer with a fertilizer made especially for palm trees. Such a fertilizer will contain most of the micronutrients that many palms require.
  • The following links will take you to pages of tips for growing palms of various types.

    Planting Palms

    Explains the best procedures for planting palm trees.

    How to prepare the soil for palm tree planting. How to grow palm trees from seeds. Palm growing drainage and spacing info.

    Feeding Palms

    What to look for in a palm tree fertilizer. Is organic fertilizer for palm trees the better choice? Palm special fertilizer spikes.

    Growing Coconut Palms

    Coconut palm growing tips and instruction. Cocos nucifera palm plant photos.

    How to Grow Royal Palm Trees

    Instructions for growing Florida and Cuban royal palms. How to tell the difference between these near twins.

    Growing Sago Palms

    Sago Palm Bonsai Tree - With Baby (cycas revoluta)

    Buy a Sago Palm Bonsai Tree - With Baby (Cycas revoluta)

    Growing Sago palm plants from seeds. Growing Sago palm pups. Though not strictly a palm (Sagos are technically cycads) this is the best variety to use for growing a palm bonsai.

    Queen Palm Care

    This is the fastest growing palm tree in Central Florida. Syagrus romanzoffiana can easily put on 2 feet per year. This quick growth along with their feathery fronds is what makes the Queen such a popular landscape palm around here.

    How to Grow Traveler's Palms

    Ravenala madagascariensis looks like a cross between a palm tree and a banana plant. It is not a true palm, but don't let this technicality stop you from growing this stunning tropical tree.

    How to Grow Fountain Palms

    The weeping leaf tips of the Chinese fountain palm make it one of the most beautiful varieties you can plant. It is slow-growing and tolerant of indoor lighting.

    Indoor Palm Plant Care

    Areca palm tree growing in a large pot.

    Teaches how to grow palms indoors and how to grow palm trees in containers.

    A slow growing palm will make the best indoor palm tree. The Lady palm is the slowest growing palm I know of. It typically only grows 1 or 2 new leaves per year.

    Cold Hardy Palms

    A list of palm plant species which can withstand freezing winters. If you plan on growing palm trees outside the tropics, these are the pages you need to visit.

    How to Grow Palm Tree Bonsai

    Pony Tail Palm Bonsai Tree (beaucamea recurvata)

    Buy a Pony Tail Palm Bonsai Tree Here

    Two plants are commonly used for palm bonsai. Neither is technically a palm but both are commonly called palm trees.

    One is the Pony Tail palm and the other is the Sago palm tree.

    Florida Palm Trees
    The best types of palm trees to plant in central and south Florida. Discover which palm trees are native to Florida and the best palm tree to grow in NW Florida. How to grow palm trees in the Sunshine State.

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