Feed Palms to Keep Them Healthy

If there is any kind of vegetation closely associated with the warmer, sunnier parts of the United States, it is the palm tree. Although many of the palms we see in these areas today are not native varieties, most of them do well where they receive plenty of sun, sufficient water, and a good supply of nutrients.

Palms have special needs that must be met with plant foods formulated to meet nutrient deficiencies. In particular, palms need plant food that supplies the micronutrients manganese and magnesium.

• A lack of manganese in the diet will cause yellowing and a reduction in size of the new leaves of palms. If the deficiency is severe, the new leaves will look withered and the tree may eventually die.

• A lack of magnesium affects the older leaves of palms, causing them to turn yellow at the edges or between the veins.

• Also, a lack of iron can cause yellowing of all but the veins of leaves.

Look for a plant food specially formulated for in-ground palms. This balanced 8-8-8 formulation contains manganese, magnesium, and iron to prevent fronds from yellowing and curling. Just shake it on evenly under the palm canopy to feed continuously for up to 3 months. For best results, work the plant food into the top 1 to 3 inches of soil and water it in. Palms should be fed on a regular schedule during the warmer months.