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Palm Care & Guide

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Soil Requirements

The soil beneath your palm tree is just as important to its health as the sun above. Palms need drainage.

When planting and repotting my palms I use an equal mix of compost, grit and sharp sand as a basic rule of thumb.

Planting
When planting a palm in the ground it's usually best if you can dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball, but about the depth of the root ball, all though I have planted many where this hasn't been possible and the palms have done fine.

Feeding
When first planting or repotting a palm it's best to not feed the palm for 3-4 weeks and let the roots settle, then feed every two weeks through out the growing season, which is roughly April to October.

I feed my palms and tropical plants liquid seaweed and a high nitrogen based feed to get the best out of them.
 

Sago Palms

Put on protective gloves to avoid the spiky sago palm leaves jabbing you.

Look for brown sago palm leaves that appear dead.

Trim the dead king sago leaves as close as you can to the base.

Never trim yellow fronds or leaves as doing so can stress the plant too much.

 

The long feathery leaves are palm-like and divided into sections. The overall effect is of large broad leaves heavily textured and an exotic sculpted form. Sagos are the hardiest of all the cycads. They can withstand brief periods of temperatures as low as 15 degrees F. (-9 C.), but are killed at 23 F. (-5 C.) or below. This means you need to provide your sago palm winter protection. The amount of care you need to take depends upon the length of the cold snap and the zone in which you live.

 

Winterizing Sago Palms Outside Sago care outside in winter where temperatures do not freeze is minimal. Keep the plant moderately moist but do not give it as much moisture as you do in summer. This is because the plant is semi-dormant and not actively growing. Even in warmer areas, a light layer of mulch around the base of the palm offers extra sago palm winter protection for the roots and conserves moisture while preventing competitive weeds. If your palm is located where light freezes occasionally occur, sago care in winter should start with a 3-inch (7.5 cm.) layer of mulch around the root zone. Prune off dead leaves and stems as they occur and feed the plant in late winter to early spring to get the growth season off to a good start. Covering the plant with a fleece bag or lightweight blanket is a good way of providing sago palm winter protection from short term freezes. Watch the weather report and cover the plant before you go to bed. Uncover when frost has melted in the morning. Should you miss a night and your cycad gets zapped by the cold, it may kill the leaves. Simply cut off the dead foliage, fertilize in spring and it will probably come back with new leaves.

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Phoenix Canary Palm

Water: The Canary Island Date Palm needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Keep your Phoenix Canariensis in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis.

Make sure to keep the Canary Island Date Palm in soil with well-draining properties.

 

In cold areas, covering the crown with straw will really boost the cold tolerance of the palm. Tie the straw in to avoid wind blowing it around your garden. If the palm is on the tender side or the minimum temperature is low, then wrap the whole thing in frost protection fleece. The palm is ready for the worst of the winter.

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Chamaerops Humilis Palm

Position: Full sun.
Water regularly during growing season. Do not overwater. There is normally no need to water Chamaerops palms during the winter, only make sure the root ball does not dry out.


Frost hardy down to -9°C (mature plants can tolerate even lower temperatures). It is one of the hardiest palm trees.


Remove lower leaves as they become brown or tatty. Cut close to the trunk.
Well-drained. Fertile. Repot every two to three years if grown in a planter.

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Trachycarpus Fortunei Palm

Partial shade or full sun.


 Water regularly during growing season. Do not overwater. There is normally no need to water Chusan palms during the winter, only make sure the root ball does not dry out.


Frost hardy down to -9°C (mature plants can tolerate even lower temperatures).It is one of the hardiest palm trees .


Remove lower leaves as they become brown or tatty. Cut around 8 to 10 inch away from the trunk.


Well-drained. Fertile. Repot every two to three years if grown in a planter.

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Jelly Palm

Plant the jelly palm where it will receive full sun or partial shade.

 

Allow the soil to dry out in between watering. Jelly palms are susceptible to root rot when grown in constantly wet soil.

Prune dead fronds from the tree. Unlike other palms, the jelly palm won’t drop the fronds when they die and they’ll need to be removed.

If you are concerned about overwintering a palm it is possible to give winter protection by wrapping in fleece or hessian during cold spells and if you grow in a container please protect the roots from freezing too by wrapping/insulating the pot. Mature Jelly palms are hardy down to  -8C.

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Washingtonia Robusta

Although often scorched by frost below around -5C or so Washingtonia Robusta quickly regrows when the weather improves and replaces the damaged leaves. Most palms need tropical or subtropical temperatures, but there are some suitable for planting outdoors in the British Isles.