Gardening tips

Planting, Growing & Caring for your Palm Tree

Once you are sure of the kind and variety of palm tree you want to plant in your lawn or drawing room, the next set of important questions which emerge is how to plant it, ensuring proper growth as well as care.

Whether the Seed or the seedling?

While you may be tempted to grow your Palmae from scratch and hence sow seeds but since palms are quite vulnerable and growing them from the seed can prove to be quite challenging especially if you are experimenting. Hence, it is recommended to opt for a seedling instead which can easily be obtained from the nearby nursery.

Whether the pot or ground?

The good news is that your palm tree can be planted either in the pot or the ground and it shall grow equally well with adequate care. One point of concern is that in the case of the pot, the plant is more susceptible to cold temperature and hence needs proper insulation. An inside coating of bubble wrap of your pot can provide necessary protection and provide drainage holes at the bottom of the pot shall enable good drainage.

Soil and climate

The palm trees need well-drained acidic soil for good growth. So, if the soil is too clayey, you may add coarse sand to provide proper drainage medium for the plant else a lot of prevalent moisture can rot the roots. The right time to plant your Palm is certainly before the summer i.e. immediately after the winter season ends so that the plant gets substantial time to adapt itself to its surroundings and is well-rooted before its time for the cold winds to blow again. Temperatures are ranging between fifteen to twenty-five degrees centigrade coupled with a fair amount of sunlight augur well for the plant. Mixing a decent amount of compost and peat to the soil will aid in providing fertility and organic nutrients to the soil.

Also Read: 5 Improper Water Techniques in Gardening

Caring for your palm

Do not over water the plant – it can be harmful to the palm. Water it only when the top inch of the soil appears dry. During the peak growth season, the tropical plant can be watered twice a week. The palm, being a tropical plant likes humidity. So, parched climate can also be harmful.

If you’ve just re-potted your palm, fertilization should be avoided for around two months. Under normal circumstances, the soil can be fertilized using a natural organic fertilizer once a quarter.

Good ventilation is important for the plant else it might be prone to pests. So, try to keep it outdoors in a shady area for at least some time during the day. Brown tips of the leaves are a result of less than required humidity. Prune the unhealthy leaves and sprinkle the plant with water regularly.

Wipe off the dust from your green palms now and then to keep off spider mites and insects. If you do notice an infestation, using insecticidal soap mixed with water to clean the leaves and part of root above the surface will be effective.

As the plant matures, re-potting should be done once every two or three years.

With adequate care and the right conditions, the beautiful palms can not only transport you to the tropics but also keep your indoor air toxin-free!

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