Planting Instructions and Care for Palmetto Palm Trees

GENERAL INFORMATION Palms may be planted at any season of the year, but the warm, rainy summer months are the best. Palms resemble grasses, because they establish a healthy root system and recover quickly from the effects of transplanting during the summer.

Palms Collage 1

Palms should be planted just at the ground level. (BE CAREFUL NOT TO PLANT TOO DEEP). If you have purchased a palm with burlap, plant it with the burlap.  When planting you must not forget the vital step of watering. A sufficient timetable for watering would be every two to three days. But most important is not to let the palm suffer from lack of moisture during the first season. With each watering be sure to saturate the ground and also spray the palm’s green top.


1. Dig the hole 6 inches larger than the size of the root ball. If the existing soil is poorly drained, dig the hole deeper and add a sand gravel mix to improve drainage.

2. Set the tree in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the existing grade. Never plant a Sabal Palm low.

3. Back fill with soil adding water at the same time. Eliminate all air pockets and compact the soil (preferably sandy soil) firmly.

4. Stake larger trees located in high wind areas.

5. Watering schedule:

A. First 30 days – twice per day (early morning and late afternoon) with 1 – 1.5 hours with an automatic drip / injection irrigation system or by slowly filling a hand made saucer twice per day.
B. 30 – 60 days – water every other day with two watering cycles per day.
C. 60 – 90 days – water every third day with two watering cycles per day.
D. 90 – 120 days – water twice weekly


Select a slow release fertilizer with an approximate 3:1:3 (NPK) ratio. a 15:5:15 or a 16:4:8 fertilizer would be ideal. Micro elements of Magnesium, Calcium, and Manganese needs to be included.
Fertilize after 30 days of installing the palm tree
Fertilize twice per year and completely around the tree distributing the granules over the entire root distribution area.
Fertilize only between early April and late August to avoid winter growth of vulnerable new leaves.


Some of the Palms that you have acquired over the years – especially Sabal Palms – may have reached a height that is too high and/or too difficult to prune the older and lower fronds.

We have the equipment and expertise to do this, and we have 11 years of experience being the first to study the various palms, travel to the best nurseries in Florida, and bringing up only the winter hardy varieties.

Please call Big Al in Ogden at (910) 343-0596 for an appointment and an estimate.