Palm trees spread holiday flair in the room and on the terrace. With proper care, you will avoid pest infestation and brown leaves. Here are the best potted palm care tips.
When caring for palm trees, it is important to take their exotic origin into account and to provide them with an environment similar to that in their natural habitat in indoor settings. And the maintenance effort is worth it! With their green fronds, palm trees are the undisputed stars when it comes to South Sea flair and living space greening. Unfortunately, the green exotic species in the room often suffer from pests and develop slightly yellow or brown leaves. Here are the most important care tips to avoid precisely this kind of damage to palm trees.
Palm tree care and location selection
One of the most important aspects of palm tree care is the choice of location. Palms come from the tropics and subtropics and are therefore correspondingly hungry for light. With a few exceptions such as the mountain palm (Chamaedora elegans) or the stick palm (Rhapis excelsa), ornamental palms should be placed in the brightest possible location without being exposed to the blazing sun.
Direct sunlight quickly leads to the leaves drying out. If you place your indoor palm on the terrace or in the bed in summer, you should also choose a slightly protected place here so that the filigree fronds do not burn. Another care tip: Palm leaves that are regularly showered or dusted can absorb light better and remain healthier and more vital.
Irrigation: The right amount is crucial
Palm trees usually grow in poor, well-drained soils. Therefore, ensure a continuous supply of water when caring for your palms. Watering is best seldom, but thoroughly, ideally with rainwater or filtered tap water. Always ensure good water drainage on palm trees to avoid waterlogging. Most indoor palms also need a relatively high level of humidity.
Therefore, spray the fronds regularly with room-temperature and low-lime water. Especially in winter, when the heating also dries out the air in the room, this care measure is useful for palm trees to avoid brown leaf tips. Plant pests also occur much more frequently on dried-out and inadequately cared for palms than on saturated ones.
Fertilize palms properly
Regular fertilization should not be missing in the palm tree care
Usually, the nutritional needs of palms are rather moderate. When keeping them in pots, fertilizing is an essential part of palm tree care. The poor plant substrate should be upgraded with palm fertilizer about every two weeks in the summer after the first year. This is particularly recommended for older and larger specimens that can no longer be repotted regularly.
Simply add some liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water for proper fertilization. Alternatively, you can use conventional green plant fertilizer and cut the amount in half. Warning: a lot doesn’t help a lot! If over-fertilized, the fine roots of the palm burn, which causes great damage to the plant. So be careful when fertilizing your palms.
Palm tree care in winter
Palms love warmth: most species need temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius all year round. Indoor palms should therefore also be kept warm in the winter months. Palm trees that are left outside in the bucket in the summer must either be wrapped up warm over the winter or taken completely indoors. Conditionally hardy species such as the Chinese hemp palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) and Wagner’s hemp palm (Trachycarpus wagnerianus) can remain outside with an appropriately well-insulated plant pot and a winter fleece.
More sensitive species should be moved to cool, light winter quarters, for example, an unheated winter garden or a frost-proof greenhouse. Palm tree care in winter is somewhat different from that in summer. Over the winter, the water supply is significantly reduced and fertilization is discontinued. However, it is essential to check the plants for pest infestation at short intervals, as scale insects and spider mites like to roam the palm trees, especially in winter quarters.
Most palm species need winter protection
Repot palm trees
Since most palms grow in a rather loose substrate, they form a very stable and strong root system. This can completely penetrate a plant pot in a few years. Regular repotting of palm trees – especially at a young age – is, therefore, the alpha and omega of care! Always repot your indoor palm when the plant substrate is completely rooted.
Care tip: The larger the pot you choose, the larger the plant will usually be in the end.
So you can regulate the desired dimensions of your palm a little with the pot size. Repotting is usually done in spring. Choose a slightly acidic, well-drained, and structurally stable substrate. After repotting, top-heavy palms should first be supported with a stick until the roots have taken root in the new pot.