In our area of Florida, palm trees are a popular and rewarding tree to grow and care for. Thanks to our mild tropical climate, palms thrive very well in Lithia, Valrico, Brandon, and the surrounding areas.

Whether you are a novice when it comes to palm tree care or a pro, we have everything you need to know about caring for palms in this short guide.

Allow Palms to Acclimate Before Planting

Palm seedlings growing in plant pots in Lithia, FL.

Before planting a new palm tree in your yard, you must first acclimate it to ensure it can handle direct sunlight. If your palm was previously grown in a shaded area, then you must slowly introduce it to full sunlight to prevent sunburn and shock. One of the best ways to do this is by starting your palm off in a shaded area such as a porch or screened-in patio, and then slowly moving it to sunnier areas. This allows your palm to adjust to the increased light level without burning, drying out, or going into shock.

Plant Palms in Well-Draining Soil & Water Properly

Palm trees like moist soil, but can also suffer from too much water. To ensure you provide your palm with the proper amount of water, be sure to plant it in loamy, well-draining soil. If your soil tends to retain too much water, add 30 to 50 percent sand into your soil to improve its drainage.

For the first six months after planting your palm, be sure to water it every day to keep it consistently moist. Palm trees are at their most vulnerable when young and need a lot of moisture to prevent them from burning or drying out. Once your tree has established itself, you can decrease your watering to three times a week. Providing occasional deep watering is also beneficial for your tree and allows the soil around its roots to absorb more moisture.

Because we receive quite a bit of rainfall throughout the year, you can decrease the frequency at which you water your palms; during the warmer months, Florida palms only need to be watered twice a month, and only once a month during the colder months.

Provide Vitamins & Nutrients Via Fertilization

Fertilizer for palm trees in Lithia, FL.

Much like humans and animals, trees need vitamins to remain healthy and ensure they receive all the nutrients they need to grow strong. Fertilizer provides your palm tree with these key nutrients and keeps it growing strong and healthy for many years. Without fertilizer, your palm can become weak and die off. When fertilizing your palm trees, make sure to never apply too much, and always place fertilizer about two feet away from the trunk to avoid burning it. Also, never fertilize young palms as this can severely burn and damage their roots, causing them to die. A well-established, mature palm should be fertilized four to five times a year.

Carefully Trim & Prune Palm Trees When Needed

Trimming and pruning are beneficial, and often necessary, for most trees; however, too much for a palm can be detrimental to its health. Only trim off yellow, brown, and old fronds that have not fallen naturally. Healthy, young, and green leaves should never be removed from your palm as this can actually hurt it by taking stored nutrients away from the tree and sending it into shock. When you trim or prune your palm tree, don’t cut too close to the trunk. Doing so can damage the palm’s trunk and leave wounds in its bark where diseases and pests can easily infiltrate and wreak havoc.

Invest in Preventative Pest & Disease Control

Red palm weevil damage on a palm tree in Lithia, FL.

Preventative disease and pest control are imperative to keeping your palm safe from damage. When insects and diseases ravage your palm trees, they can kill your palms. Preventative control treatments keep your palm trees free of destructive and contagious diseases and pest infestations and ensure they grow strong and resilient. If your palm trees do succumb to any diseases or pest infestations, a professional company can quickly and safely treat your trees to return them to a healthy state.

Call us today for all your landscaping needs!

At Lithia Landscape & Design, we provide extensive landscape maintenance to include tree, shrub, and plant care services to keep your foliage healthy and strong all year round. If you’re wanting quality maintenance services for your palm trees and other landscape plants, call us today at (813) 927-0429. We serve the areas of Lithia, Valrico, Brandon, and nearby Florida communities.