Monday, March 16, 2009

Palm Tree For Your Home Or Garden

Palm Tree For Your Home Or Garden

Palm trees might remind you of the tropics, but actually there are many palms that can be grown in cooler weather. These wont be banana trees swaying in the breeze under a hot sun, but theyll still bring a bit of the tropics into your garden, or even inside your home. They are quite adaptable, and are both attractive and unique. Palm trees are easy to care for even for a beginning gardener. The variety you choose should be based on the palm trees intended location. Here are a few choices to consider:

King Palms are great shade trees for your yard. You can start tem off indoors, but they can grow very tall, so expect that youll need to transplant them to your yard after a couple of years. Indoors, they can shield smaller plants from the direct sunlight entering through your windows.

There are a few other varieties that are similar to King Palms but should not be started inside. Majesty Palms, for example, will grow to be ten feet tall in just ten years. In as little as seven years, Queen Palms can grow to be 25 feet tall, making it a bad choice to keep indoors.

If you live in a cool climate, there are still a few palm trees you can grow. In fact, there are hundreds of different species of palm tree. Among these, there are a few that adapt well to lower temperatures. Date Palms can survive temperatures as low as 18 degrees. Texas Sabal Palms and Canary Island Date Palms are a few other choices if you live in a cold climate. Windmill Palms can even tolerate temperatures as low as just five degrees.

If you want to grow a palm as a houseplant, of course, you need not worry about temperatures this cold. However, keep in mind that you can grow houseplants in containers just outside your front door, or on an enclosed porch.

Palm plants need good soil and attentive care, just like any other plant you purchase. Palm trees can benefit from a beneficial fungus such as mycorrhizal fungi, which is added to the soil. Do not use regular plant fertilizer for your majesty palm plants; they require a different type of fertilizer than most houseplants. Look for a slow-release fertilizer with 3-1-3 NPK ratios Also make sure that your palm receives enough magnesium and calcium, too. This may be already mixed into your fertilizer, or you may need to purchase it separately. Also look for a small amount of Manganese in your fertilizer, as this is another important element that your palm tree will use in small quantities.

Palm trees can have issues with salt buildup, but you can easily prevent this. Just flush with water every few hours and measure the salt content with a simple soil testing kit until the levels have been reduced. Palm trees can thrive with very little water, since they are used to the tropics. When you do water them, you can give them plenty of water, as theyre also used to monsoons.
When potting your palm tree, make sure it has a large enough pot to prevent bound roots, and good drainage. Your pot will need to be large and heavy enough to support a large palm.

By: Keith Markensen

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