Pretty Palms and Cycads for your Containers
Palm Trees, Exotic Gardens, Mediterranean Gardens, Tropical Gardens, Water-wise Gardens
Palms and cycads make striking container plants for decks, patios, porches and around pools, adding an exotic and tropical touch to our outdoor living areas. The palm family is quite fascinating with about 2,500 species coming from many different climate zones, tropical, subtropical or temperate. While most palm trees thrive in the landscape, there are also quite a few species that are suitable to container gardening.
Generally speaking, if you want to grow a palm in a container, select species that are either slow-growing or low-growing which should be able to remain in the same container for 2-4 years. After that time, transplant them into a larger container. Make sure the species selected is also drought tolerant so that it can adapt to the limited moisture in a container.
- Use a well-draining soil rich in organic material
- When you remove the container from the root ball of your newly purchased palm, make sure you handle with care the root ball. Some palms suffer from having their roots cuts or bent and could undergo severe shock.
- Palms are very intolerant of being planted too deep, regardless of age or size. Plant the palm so that the base of the stem (where the roots emerge) is about 1/2 in. (1 cm) below the soil level.
- Fill in air pockets and compact the backfill around the root ball. Water the root zone thoroughly.
- Irrigation frequency varies considerably depending on the species grown, the prevailing temperatures, the type of growing substrate, and the size of the container. A reasonable rule-of-thumb is to make sure that the substrate remains evenly moist but never saturated.
- 2-4 weeks after planting, apply a palm fertilizer. Fertilize again one month later or as instructed on the product label. When your palm is established, fertilize 4 times a year.
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.