Fertilizing Your Palm Trees
If you have invested in palm trees and other plants for your yard’s landscaping, you definitely want to treat them with tender care. A large part of this care involves strategically fertilizing your palm trees to help them thrive. So what exactly should you do, and when?
Frequency of Fertilization
Many people believe that the soil needs to be fertilized when a palm is planted, but that’s a common misconception. Since palm trees are so fragile when they are first transplanted, they risk sustaining root damage if they are fertilized too quickly. The best time to fertilize your new palm is after three to four months, then four times a year after that. Given the climate in Florida, it’s best to use a heavy fertilizer application in the fall and spring, then a lighter application in the winter and summer.
Be sure to fertilize on damp soil to prevent plant burn and death. If you live in an area of Florida with especially high rainfall, you will most likely need more fertilizer and microelements than a dryer area of Florida since the rain will quickly leach nutrients from the soil.
Choosing a Fertilizer
Like any product you find at the store, many different types of palm fertilizers are available. You want to use a blend of three parts nitrogen, one part phosphate, and three parts potassium. These three core ingredients are vital, but a high quality fertilizer will also include magnesium, calcium, iron, sulfur, copper, molybdenum, boron, manganese, and other important microelements.
Even better, find a fertilizer that is of “slow release.” Fertilizers that aren’t slow release are often cheaper than the slow release kinds and won’t work as efficiently. Similarly, very cheap fertilizers use extremely high concentrations of ammonium nitrate that eventually lead to plant burn and injury.
When in doubt, as your landscape management company for advice. Chances are, they offer year round maintenance plans to help you ensure that your palms receive the best treatment possible.