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Caring for Palm Trees in Florida

palms

Nowhere else in the continental United States is it possible to grow the wide variety of palms that can be successfully grown in Florida. And a good number of these can be grown in Brevard County. These graceful plants do much to make the Brevard landscape distinctively different.

Many native and exotic species, varying from dwarfs of a few feet to magnificent trees which attain a height of 100ft, are widely utilized with striking effect in Florida.

Planting palms tree in Florida

Palms may be planted at any time of the year. Roots develop mostly during the warm rainy season. Plant the palm at the same depth it was grown in the container.

Prepare the soil taken from the hole with Planting Mix. Add at a rate of 1 part planting mix to 2 parts existing soil. Use this mixture to backfill the hole. After backfilling use the hose to eliminate air pockets.

Watering Palm trees

Thoroughly water the newly planted palm every third day for about two weeks. Then water it weekly until it is established. After that water it as needed. Adjust accordingly to the weather conditions and the moisture
retention of your yard.

Fertilizing your Palms

Palm trees should be fed with Harrell’s 11-4-11.

Use ½ to 3 cups per palm depending on maturity every other month. Do not use organic fertilizers on palms.

Palms that are not fertilized often become deficient in manganese. This deficiency affects the new growth causing a frizzled look of the new leaves.

Unless there is a major pH problem in the soil, manganese deficiencies will not occur if regular applications of Harrell’s are made.

The deficiency is called “frizzle top”. For unfertilized palms experiencing frizzle top, it is recommended to give a cup of manganese along with Harrell’s every 2 months for 3 or more feedings until the problem is resolved.

You can also apply KeyPlex nutritional spray to help prevent frizzle top of palms.

***There is a fertilizer ban in Brevard County from June 1 through September 30th***

Palm Tree Aftercare

Be careful that you never injure the base of the palm with tools or lawnmowers. These injuries will allow the entry of disease such as butt rot into the palm.

Some pruning of palms is necessary. This consists mainly of removing old unsightly fronds and seed stalks.

Do not remove green fronds as over-pruning weakens the palm.

How much Harrell’s Palm fertilizer should I use?

Harrell’s Palm 11-4-11
*Formerly called Leonard’s Palm fertilizer
For strong, healthy palms, use Leonard’s Palm Fertilizer every 2 months.

Check with your local extension office for fertilizer laws. Do not use fertilizer in Brevard County from June 1- September 30th.

Harrel’s Palm Fertilizer Application Rates

Harrell’s should be applied to all palms every two months all year long, except during the fertilizer ban.

Always keep fertilizer at least six inches from the trunk and broadcast it evenly under the palm up to the dripline.

Apply at the following rates:
1st year
½ cup (¼ pound) for the 1st 3 applications
1 cup (½ pound) for applications 4 through 6
2nd year
2 cups (1 pound) every 2 months
3rd year
3 cups (1½ pounds) every 2 months

More fertilizer can be applied to palms with extra-large canopies.
GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
Total Nitrogen 11.00%
.00% Nitrate Nitrogen
2.57% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
.00 % Water-Soluble Nitrogen
8.43% Urea Nitrogen
.00% Other Water Soluble Nitrogen
.00% Water Insoluble Nitrogen
Available Phosphate 4.00%
Soluble Potash 11.00%
Chlorine, not more than 5.00%
Derived from:
Ammoniated Phosphate, Polymer-Coated Sulphur Coated Urea,
Sulphate of Ammonia, Polymer-Coated Muriate of Potash, Polymer
Coated Urea, Sulphate of Potash-Magnesia
Secondary Plant Foods
Magnesium 2.86%
2.86% Soluble Magnesium
Boron .03%
Copper .05%
.05% Soluble Copper
Iron 1.10%
1.00% Soluble Iron
.10% Iron (Chelated)
Manganese .54%
.54% Soluble Manganese
Zinc .05%
.05% Soluble Zinc
Derived from:
Copper Sulphate, Iron Sulphate, Sodium Borate, Zinc Sulphate,
Iron EDTA, Manganese Sulphate, Sulphate of Potash-Magnesia

Popular Florida palm varieties

Cold tolerance and salt tolerance of palm trees in Florida, zones 9 and 10.

Acoelorraphe wrightii, Paurotis, Saw cabbage: Large clumping, high cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Our best cluster palm for outdoors.
Acrocomia species, Gru-Gru large size, high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Exotic & spiny.
Adonidia merrilli, Christmas Palm: Medium size, low cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Very susceptible to lethal yellowing.
Archontophoenix, Alexandra king palm, Alexandra: medium size, low cold tolerance, low salt tolerance. Graceful, very fast-growing.
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, king palm: medium-sized, medium to low cold tolerance, low salt tolerance. Fast, can stand light freezes quite well.
Arenga engleri, dwarf sugar palm: small-sized clumping, high cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Very attractive/needs extra iron.
Bismarckia nobilis, bismarckia: large-sized, medium cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Leaves are bluish.
Butia capitata jelly or pindo palm: medium-sized, very high cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Slow-growing/edible fruit.
Carpenteria acuminata, carple: medium-sized, very low cold tolerance, low native to Australia’s top end.
Caryota mitis, fishtail palm: medium clumping, low cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Most often used indoors in Brevard.
Chamaerops humilis, European fan palm: medium-sized clumping, very high cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Needs good drainage.
Coccothrina x spp., Silver palm: small-sized, medium cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Slow growing, carefree, native.
Cocos nucifera, coconut: medium-sized, low cold tolerance, highest salt tolerance. Good for Brevard beaches.
Copernicia alba, Copernicia: medium-sized, high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Beautiful slender fan palm.
Dictyosperma album, Princess palm: medium-sized, very low cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Sometimes called Hurricane palm.
Dypsis lutescens, Areca/yellow butterfly: medium-sized clumping, low cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Recovers from freeze.
Howea forsteriana, Kentia palm: medium-sized, low cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Popular house plant that can stand some cold.
Hyophorbe lagenicaulis, Bottle palm: small-sized, very low cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Bottle-shaped trunk, can be grown in a container.
Hyophorbe verschaffeltii, Spindle palm: small-sized, low cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Unusually shaped and colored trunk.
Hyphaene spp. gingerbread: Large branched, medium cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Strange branching with many heads.
Licuala spinosa, Licuala small-sized clumping, medium cold tolerance, low salt tolerance. Strangely shaped leaves, best in shade.
Livistona australis, Australian fan palm: medium-sized, very high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Foliage more attractive than ‘Chinese fan’
Livistona chinensis, Chinese fan palm: medium-sized, very high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Looks best in shade
Livistona decipiens, Weeping fan palm: large-sized, very high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Full sun / very fast-growing
Neodypsis decaryl, Triangle palm: medium-sized, low cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Very unusual 3 tiered growth
Phoenix canariensis, Pineapple/canary island: large-sized, very high cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Needs space to grow.
Phoenix dactyflera, True date palm: large-sized clumping, very high cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Bluish leaves/full sun.
Phoenix reclinata, Senegal date: large-sized clumping, high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Suckers should be limited
Phoenix roebelini, Pygmy date: small-sized, medium cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Should be protected during freezes.
Phoenix sylvestris, Indian date: large-sized, high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. The best large date for Brevard.
Pinanga coronata, Ivory cane palm: small-sized clumping, very low cold tolerance, low salt tolerance. Needs protection from sun & cold.
Ptychosperma elegans, Alexander palm: Solitaire slender, very low cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Can be grown in a container.
Ravenea rivularis majesty palm: Medium to large-sized, medium cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Fast-growing, from Madagascar.
Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Needle palm: Small-sized clumping, extra high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Looks best in partial shade.
Rhapis excelsa, Lady palm: Small-sized clumping, very high cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Excelsa is the best species of Rhapis.
Roystonea spp., Royal palm: large-sized, low cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Recommended for warmer parts of Brevard.
Sabal cusiaram, Puerto Rican hat palm: large-sized, very high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Trunk like ‘Royal Palm’.
Sabal mauritiformis, Savannah palm: medium-sized, medium cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Most tropical of sabals, large leaves, slim trunk.
Sabal palmetto, Cabbage palm: medium-sized, very high cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Florida’s State tree.
Sabal, Yapa yapa: medium sized, med/high cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Native to Cuba, slender trunk.
Seranoa repens, Saw cabbage: small sized clumping, very high cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. An underused native palm.
Syagrus romanoffzianua, Cocos plumosa/queen: medium sized, high cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Most popular exotic in Florida.
Syagrus schizophylla, Arikury small sized., low/med cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Slim trunk, does best in light shade.
Thrinax radiata, Thatch palm: small-sized, low / med cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Native, slim trunk.
Veitchia spp., Dwarf royal: slender sized, very low cold tolerance, high salt tolerance. Beautiful natives of South Pacific.
Washingtonia robusta, Skyduster: large sized. Very high cold tolerance, very high salt tolerance. Tallest growing palm for Brevard.
Wodyetia bifurcata, Foxtail: medium sized, low cold tolerance, medium salt tolerance. Popular Australian exotic.

Download Palm PDFs Here:

https://rockledgegardens.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Palm.pdf

https://rockledgegardens.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Harrells.pdf