Palm Plant Care Outdoor – Best Garden Tips

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Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Tony Manhart

In this blog post, we discuss palm plant care outdoors, which is essential to maintain healthy and happy palms. Knowledge of how to care for palm trees outdoors is important to help you learn the general ways you can use to take care of your plant.

Palms are plants that can grow across the world, and you don’t have to live in the tropics to enjoy them. Whether they are grown in pots or outdoors, palm trees evoke a tropical bliss that is outstanding.

The secret to healthy, graceful palms lies in the care you give them. Before you learn how to care for palm trees outdoors, you should have an understanding of how to choose the right palm. The helpful tips below will guide you in having a thriving palm garden if they are properly implemented.

Palm Plant Care Outdoor – A Quick Summary

New palm trees need watering at least 2 times a week for the first 6 months. The ideal fertilizer for palm trees is 8-2-12. Palm trees need well-draining soil, typically, sandy loam is the optimal choice for their growth.

Choosing Palms That You Can Grow

  • Palms have a wide variety to choose from. You will need to select the type that does well in your area. When choosing palms, pay attention to nursery catalog descriptions or plant tags, and remember these 2 essential points.
  • The winter hardiness ability. Potted palms do not have this concern because they spend winter safely indoors. The outdoor landscape palms spend the winter season outside. You must match your palm tree to the climate as it is important for its growth. Some cold-hardy palm trees can withstand very low temperatures – below 0 degrees – while others perish from frost.
Choosing Palms that You Can Grow
  • The palms mature in size. This depends on what size of palm tree you want in your yard. Some go for the very tall ones, while others prefer medium or the shortest ones.
  • Space and purpose. First, establish where you want to plant them before picking the height. It will help you see the picture more clearly with the space in mind. By choosing the right palm suitable for your intended space and purpose, you get to enjoy its beauty.

Read about How Fast Do Windmill Palm Trees Grow? 

How to Care for Palm Trees Outdoors

Palm trees, just like other kinds of plants, require special care but are low maintenance. It is important to take special care of their roots because they do not have deep roots growing beneath the tree. The palm tree roots branch very little and do not increase in size as the tree grows upward.

Most palms have a single trunk, although some species grow as clusters. They have a single growing point at the top of the trunk called the terminal bud. Once the terminal bud is injured, most palm trees die.

The roots of a palm tree do not damage sidewalks and utilities because they do not thicken like other trees.

Outdoor palm tree general care

  • Soil. Palm trees receive most of their nutrients from the topsoil and the top of the nearby ground. This means you will need to fertilize and amend the soil with proper nutrients.
  • Watering. New palm trees need watering at least 2 times a week for the first 6 months. Give it adequate water to ensure moisture is penetrating 1 ½ feet into the soil. If you are growing your palm tree on sandy soil, add extra water, as this type of growing medium does not properly maintain moisture. Once the plant gets established, watering will depend on the season, climate, and rainfall frequency. In most cases, gardeners water 2 times a month during summer, decreasing the frequency in the colder season to once every 6 weeks.
  • Fertilization. Palms suffer from a nutritional deficiency in manganese, iron, and zinc.  Using peat moss, pine bark, compost, or liquid sulfur lowers the pH of the soil. The ideal fertilizer for palm trees is 8-2-12, which varies significantly from other plants. Remember, palms get their nutrients from the top of the soil.
  • Pruning. Most palm trees shed their fronds as a natural process. When pruning, remove the yellowing or browning old fronds because they take away important nutrients from the tree. Do not trim the branches too close to the trunk, as this might easily damage the tree. Do not prune off more leaves than the tree has produced in one year. This will cause stunted growth.

Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Palm Plant Food, 4.5 lb

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If you want to know more about the roots of palm trees, watch the following video:

Pests and Diseases

Palms are susceptible to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and pests. The most common pests include:

  • Giant palm borer.  This borer is large and quite ugly.  This borer lives the inside of the palm trunk for up to 9 years before exiting as beetles through big-sized holes.
  • Palm budworm.  This beetle’s larvae feed on the flowers of many varieties of palm trees.  These caterpillars are about an inch long and are pink-green.
  • Thrips.  The North American thrips make up a large family of insects.  Some of the thrips have a taste for palm trees feeding on leaves and flowers by puncturing the surfaces to suck out the sap.  Thrips are not fatal to palms but when they feed on adult plants discolor and wilt the leaves.

Find out How to GetRid of Sod Webworm

Pests and diseases are common with palm growing. Fungal diseases are best treated with fungicides and the removal of the affected parts.


How do you keep outdoor palms alive?

It’s an age old question. The answer is to feed them. The type of food you feed your palm will determine the amount of leaf growth, the overall size and shape of the palm and even how fast it will grow. I like to start my palms out in containers in the spring so they have a head start on the year.

I also like to give them a good dose of fertilizer and water. This helps their root systems get established and keep them healthy all year long. I like to use a slow release fertilizer that has a ratio of 10:10:10. In other words, one part nitrogen, one part phosphorus and one part potassium. This fertilizer helps with root development, stem development and leaves.

If your palm tree is not in a container or under cover, you will have to water it on a regular basis. When it comes to growing palms, it is best to plant them in a well-drained area. To make sure that the palms are happy, they need to be in full sun for at least six hours a day. It is also important to fertilize them with fertilizer. Keep Learning There are many different kinds of palm trees that can be planted outside.

How much water do outdoor palm trees need?

An indoor palm tree needs approximately 10 gallons of water a week, while an outdoor palm tree needs about 50 gallons a week. The difference in amount of water needed between indoor and outdoor palms is due to the fact that outdoor palms are exposed to more weather elements than indoor palms.

How do I keep my palm trees healthy?

There are many factors that can affect your palm trees' health, but the most common is a lack of water.

You may have heard the old adage, "A thirsty plant is a dead plant." And while it's true that if you don't give your palm tree enough water, you're going to end up with an unhappy palm tree, that's not the only factor at play here.

In fact, one of the biggest mistakes people make when caring for their palm trees is simply watering too often. "There's a misconception that palm trees need to be watered daily," says Dr. Robert D'Amato, Palm Beach County horticulturalist and owner of D'Amato Palm Nursery.

"The truth is that they don't need to be watered as much as other plants." While it's true that a palm tree needs plenty of water to thrive, the key is not to overdo it. While it's true that you should water your palm tree every day, you shouldn't overwater it either. "You don't want to over-water because that will encourage disease and pests," says Dr. D'Amato. "If you keep your palm tree watered all the time, it's going to get weak and eventually die.

How do I keep my palm tree green?

If you have a pot with drainage holes, you might try to repot your palm tree into a pot with drainage holes.

This will prevent the roots from sitting in water and rotting. You could cut off the damaged leaves and try to replace them with new ones. Also, try to fertilize the tree with an organic fertilizer, like fish emulsion or seaweed extract.

Do Palms Like Full Sun?

So, do palms like the full sun? You may be surprised to know that palm trees are noted for their capacity to adapt to various light levels. They often flourish in full sun; however, this would depend on the type of palm tree you are growing. In most cases, these plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to develop healthy leaves and keep up their lush appearance.

But, it is also crucial to keep in mind that depending on the palm plants’ natural habitat and growing conditions, some species actually do best in filtered light or partial shade. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor the quantity of sunshine your palm trees receive. Thereafter, you can make the necessary adjustments to ensure that they are growing in the right conditions.

Also, do keep in mind that too much direct sunlight can result in leaf burn and progressive plant damage. The aim is to give your palms the ideal quantity of sunlight to ensure healthy growth and development. Amongst the most popular potted palms that grow in full sun is the Adonidia variety, which is a good choice if you live in a region that receives ample sunlight.

Best Soil for Outdoor Palm Trees in Pots?

If you’re wondering what the best soil for outdoor palm trees in pots is, then take heed of the following information. We are all aware that the tropical beauty of palm trees is sought after. These plants are a great complement to any outdoor garden and landscape, especially when they are at their healthiest.

However, to keep your palm trees healthy and happy, you would have to make use of the best soil that suits these tropical eye-catchers. Keep in mind that for potted palms that are grown in pots, soil selection should be done carefully. This is because the best soil for potted outdoor palm plants should have the capacity to hold moisture, have good drainage capabilities, and offer ample nutrients.

This is why the ideal soil for growing palm trees in containers is sandy loam. The reason for this is that sandy loam has excellent drainage properties and is loose enough to keep the environment aerated. Incorporating organic matter into the soil mixture is also recommended as it aids in moisture retention and supplies the palm plants with the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive.

You must remember that while growing palm plants in pots, proper drainage is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining their health. This must be diligently adhered to because soggy soil can cause root rot and other harmful plant diseases.

do palms like full sun

Palm Tree Growing Conditions

When it comes to palm tree growing conditions, it may surprise you to know how hardy these tropical beauties actually are. The flexibility of palm trees when it comes to adapting to different growing conditions is beneficial to gardeners and homeowners who want to add them to their landscapes.

These plants grow exceptionally well in both tropical and subtropical regions, which is advantageous. However, certain aspects have to be taken into account when growing palm trees if you want them to continue thriving. These include the environment they are planted in, watering schedules, the climate and temperatures they are exposed to, sunlight, and other variables.

These factors will determine the best-growing conditions for palm trees. Palm plant care outdoors or inside is quite similar. While some varieties prefer full sun, other types do well in partial shade. For this reason, you should know what palm plant you are growing to better understand the care that they need.

Here are a few palm tree-growing tips:

  1. As mentioned above, palm plants require nutrient-rich, moisture-retentive soil that drains well.
  2. To avoid drought stress, palm trees need to be watered regularly. This is especially true during the hot and dry season.
  3. Full light is recommended to grow palm trees, although some types may tolerate some shade.
  4. Because palm trees are sensitive to temperature changes, it is crucial to protect them from harsh or freezing conditions.
  5. Fertilization is an important part of palm plant care because their shallow roots extract available nutrients from the topsoil.


Palm trees can grow robust and healthy if they are afforded the correct growing conditions. They are tolerant plants that adapt well when the proper care is diligently implanted. Remember that palm root rot is caused by overwatering or the use of incorrect soil. To avoid this, ensure that you take note of the information in this article about palm plant care outdoors. This will allow your palm tree to be provided with the best growing conditions.



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