5 Tips for Caring for Palm Trees in Arizona

5 Tips for Caring for Palm Trees in Arizona

By Felipe Benavides on June, 20 2018

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Felipe Benavides

Felipe has been working in the Nursery and Garden center for many years and bring extensive knowledge to trees, plants, and landscape design.

AZ_campus_path_palmsCopyright: humannet / 123RF Stock Photo

Palm trees are a common sight in the Phoenix area. There are beautiful palms lining walkways at Arizona State University, and towering palms are seen in many of the most prominent neighborhoods in east Phoenix.

Most palm trees are subtropical or tropical. A few of them are also surprisingly cold hardy. We have seen a few palms growing in unexpected places such as Portland, Seattle, and Denver!

And, while palm trees are not native to Arizona, we sure do love the sight of them. These are some of the best architectural plants. Palms are ideal for accents in the garden, planted poolside, at the golf course, or planted along the pond at your favorite park. Even though they aren’t natives, they have adapted well to our area. In fact, they are associated with the concept of a desert oasis, helping us humans adapt to our harsh summertime environment. 

Even though it is hard to miss the many palms that dot our landscape, only one species is native to Arizona. The California Fan Palm, (Washingtonia filifera) is said to have been transplanted to Arizona via animals dropping seeds.

A grove of palms creates shade, and besides offering relief from the sun, they can make us think of fun-filled vacations. Of course, yellow and brown foliage is not the picture of a healthy palm and is no fun at all. The good news is that with special care, we can keep our palms thriving so that they can help us feel calm and relaxed during this time of the year. These iconic trees require minimal maintenance, which is another reason to love palms!


Issues to Look For

Keep an eye out for these issues that palms can have early on, and you can keep the lush appearance of your palm for years to come. 

Yellowing leaflets: Are the leaflets on older fronds turning yellow? The palm might be lacking magnesium. Older fronds are the ones that are lower on the tree. A deficiency in Magnesium can turn beautiful fronds into yellowing fronds.

Orange or yellow spotting: A potassium deficiency can cause older fronds to acquire yellow or orange spots. This deficiency can also cause the trunk to be narrow. 

Scorched fronds: Do newer fronds appear scorched? Are the leaflets starting to curl? If so, there may be a Manganese deficiency.

Did you know that one of the most common causes of palm tree death is a result of improper fertilization? It’s true!


Five Tips for a Healthy Palm 

Palms, like all plants, benefit from loving care. A bit of maintenance goes a long way in keeping palms lush and lovely. We spoke to our experts and below are five tips for keeping the foliage of your palm green and healthy all year long.

Planting: Knowing where to plant your palm is an excellent start. The type of tree you have will determine the perfect spot. Other factors to consider when planting include the amount of sun exposure and the amount of space required to grow.

Let the Pros do the Digging: Get your palms planted right the first time – let our pros do the digging! Our professional planting makes it easy to have the yard you have always wanted. It includes all the digging, planting, and mulch. We also add Moon Juice. Everything we plant is guaranteed to grow!

Watering: Fertile, well-drained soil will help established palms thrive. Irrigating newly planted palms is beneficial. You will want to be sure to keep the soil sufficiently moist because it is essential to keep the palm healthy. Look for signs of stress from a lack of water. Slow growth and browning on the tips of the oldest leaves are symptoms. Some palm species show signs of stress when the leaflets wilt. The trunk can hollow out or collapse from water stress. Be sure to water deeply about four to five times a week when the temperatures reach above 100 degrees. Drip watering or using a soaker hose with a very slow trickle is recommended. An easy way to check the moisture level in the soil is to grab a little shovel and scrape the surface at least six inches deep.

Tip: We recommend watering in the early morning or late afternoon during the summer.

Fertilizing: Keep your palm looking healthy with the proper fertilizers. A fertilizer, such as Super Palm Juice, has magnesium, which can prevent it from being iron deficient. Palms love this easy-to-apply liquid – it can reach roots fast! This fertilizer can help increase moisture and nutrient uptake. Super Palm Juice can also stimulate root growth and can help protect against stress. Moon Juice is recommended for palms because it has manganese, which can help them prevent and recover from stressors.

Cleaning and Trimming: Hosing off the palms periodically with a water hose can help control spider mites and other sucking insects. Also, frequent washing provides some humidity. Some palms are self-cleaning and will shed the old leaf bases on their own. For those palms that hold their bases, they can be trimmed. Prune them by slicing the old bases off at the very bottom of the base. Always make sure that you do not cut into the trunk. Also, always clean any tools with rubbing alcohol so that you can prevent diseases from spreading, Of course, for best results, hire a professional tree trimmer.


We do the Work!

Palms bring value and interest to any landscape in Arizona. Moon Valley Nurseries can do the work! Allow our nursery pros to help you design and select the perfect palms. We deliver and plant them, too. At Moon Valley Nurseries, we custom-grow palms that are ready to thrive in your yard. Visit us and check out our beautiful palm trees, such as our Piru Queen Palms and King Palms, which are two of the most popular palms for any size yard. Our Canary Island Date Palms add elegance and luxury to all types of properties. Line up some Date Palms along a driveway and create a grand entrance! Mediterranean Fan Palms are the ideal size for planting in small areas! We have just what you need to establish an oasis with palms in your yard. Moon Valley Nurseries only sells palms that are guaranteed to be disease-free!

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