Garden Care Tips and Tricks

Planting Palm Trees – Expert Guide

Many aspects of planting palm trees are similar to planting any other kind of tree. Plants grown in nurseries are generally potted, or they are balled and burlapped. After purchasing your tree, plant it right away. You should keep the root ball moist but not soggy if there is a time lag between purchase and planting. 

Be careful when handling and transporting palm trees. It is easy for the bark to be damaged, and damaged areas will be vulnerable to bugs and fungi. When the soil temperature is 65 degrees or warmer, planting is best during the warmer months.

How to Plant a Palm Tree?

Container plants can also be planted, but new trees should be planted in the spring. However, we recommend putting your new palm tree out in late spring or early summer when the weather is warm so it can get started growing right away.

Seed Selection

Milder climates are suitable to grow palm species, and you can choose your plant according to its size and appearance. You might consider this if the winter temperatures dip into the 20s where you live. In addition to sago palms and saw palmettos, you can plant various palm trees in your garden. Taller palm trees such as the European fan palm and Chinese windmill palm can grow to 15 to 20 feet tall.

Place Your Palm Tree

You will need to consider the type of tree you have when choosing where you want your palm to grow. Tall trees overgrow; smaller trees grow slowly. The sun needs to be placed differently for each species. If you want to know how much space the tree will need, you can check the tag on the tree or ask your local garden center.

Planting Your Palm Tree

As soon as you buy your palm tree, keep the root ball moist but not soggy. 

  • To cover the root ball with soil, dig a hole at least as wide as the root ball. 
  • You should cover one-third of the root ball with native soil and one-third with Miracle Gro® Garden Soil for Palms, Cactus & Citrus.
  • You can feed your palms using this as long as it lasts for three months.

Water Thirsty New Palm Trees

Be sure to maintain proper hydration for your palm for the first two to three weeks after planting. Keeping the root area moist while saving water is possible with a soaker hose. In time, you can reduce the amount of soak-watering to 15 minutes twice a month after your palm becomes established. Don’t overwater in the winter months.

How to Feed Your Palm Tree?

In comparison to other trees, palms have different nutritional requirements. For the fronds to stay green, they need sufficient amounts of magnesium, iron, and manganese. Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed Continuous Release Palm Plant Food can help your palm remain beautiful and thriving during the year. Apply it around the roots of one to three inches of soil, then water thoroughly.


If the soil is gravel and sand, the tree will need to be watered more frequently until it is placed. Depending on the type, size, and whether the tree was a container plant or a root ball specimen, it will take a different amount of time to establish. 

To maintain healthy roots, be sure to water thoroughly without flooding them. During the start of the season, standard guidelines recommend watering daily, then weekly for the next few months, before tapering off the irrigation.

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