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Caring for your Palms

While palm trees are inherent to the South Florida landscape, healthy palms require some care.

Poor, shallow soils, coupled with heavy rainfall during the growing season results in a very low natural reservoir of essential plant nutrients.

Palms in Coral Springs should receive a complete granular fertilizer formulated for palms three or four times per year at a rate of 5-8 lbs each application. Fertilizers such as "Lesco 8-10-10" or a "Palm Special" are appropriate for palm tree maintenance in South Florida. Specialty palm fertilizers contain additional magnesium and complete trace mineral amendment. Dropping below a minimum of two applications, even for the most budget conscious maintenance schedules, is not recommended.

Dry, granular fertilizers should be broadcast or banded under the canopy of the palm, but should not be placed up against the trunk where newly emerging roots may be injured.

For palms under eight feet tall, 2-5 lbs. of fertilizer per feeding should be adequate. Newly planted palms can receive even less (1/2 to 2 lbs., depending on size). A reasonable formula to use is 1/2 lb. of fertilizer per 2 feet of overall height, up to about 15 lbs. for a mature specimen (greater than 30' in height).

For more information, contact Mark Westfall at cdmaw@coralsprings.org.