Q: How often should I water my palms?
A: In general, palms should be watered daily with 4 to 5 gallons of water for the first two weeks until the root system is established. Ensure that the soil is wet and not soggy. Too much water may cause permanent damage. Depending on the type of palm and time of year, watering may be decreased to twice a month or less once the tree is established. Make sure you water the trees from the bottom up. Watering from the top down can cause rotting. Soil that has good drainage is important to help prevent over saturation and adding sand to the soil mixture can help with drainage. Placing mulch around the base of the tree and not against the trunk can also help with retaining water.
For cold hardy palms, watering will vary depending on the time of year and the temperature. Here is a guideline for how much to water in any given season.
Winter (60 degrees of less) no need to water, except for the first 30 days after installation. (5 gallons or till mote is full)
Spring (75 degrees or less) water palm once a week. (5 gallons or till mote is full)
Beginning of summer (90 degrees or less) 2-3 times a week
Heat of summer (90 degrees and above) 4-5 times a week
Q: When do I apply fertilizer to my palm tree?
A: Newly planted palms should not be fertilized until they put out a new spear. For palms planted from the Georgia/Tennessee border down to Atlanta, apply fertilizer in three applications. In heavy clay soils use half the recommended amount of fertilizer, and do not apply granular fertilizers after August 1. Be sure to fertilize only during the growing season (between April 1 and August 1).
Q: It is a good idea to correctly support larger, newly planted palms?
A: Larger palms will require some form of bracing to maintain stability during the first six to eight months after installation. Three equidistantly-spaced braces are used to support the palm. If Atlanta Palms installs your palm tree, we handle the bracing.
Q: When should I prune my palm tree?
A: The only time you should prune your palm tree is when the fronds are discolored, broken or pointing to the ground at more than a 90 degree angle. Palms get most of their energy from their fronds, so it’s important to be careful not to remove too many.
Q: Why are drip irrigation systems preferable to sprinklers?
A: Both drip irrigation and sprinklers are good irrigation systems for your palm trees. Drip irrigation is designed to have deeper saturation into a specific area. Sprinklers (spray irrigation) will only saturate the top 3-5 inches per watering cycle whereas Palms root balls are 2-3 feet deep and require a deeper water saturation to develop new roots. Newly planted palms can suffer root loss with a lapse in deep water saturation especially during the hotter and drier summer months.