How do I know if my palm is lacking water?

  • 2.1. Potted planting of palm trees
  • 2.2. Planting in the open ground of palm trees
  • 4.1. Trachycarpus fortunei or Chamaerops excels
  • 4.2. Humiliated Chamaerops
  • 4.3. Phoenix Canariensis
  • 4.4. Butia Capitata

The palm becomes one of the fashionable plants very often installed in gardens. It brings exoticism and often recalls good memories of distant escape. Although it is not very suitable for culture in the North of the Loire, some varieties stand out and can be implanted in these areas. They particularly appreciate the Mediterranean climate and the oceanic areas because the winters are mild. They also withstand spray.

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Some things should be considered before buying a palm tree, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I want to pot it or in the open ground?

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– Where in my garden?

– What time do I have to spend on it to take care of it?

– What kind of species would I want to acquire?

– What risk am I ready to take about hardiness?

Indeed, to adapt it to our climates, certain requirements are essential. The palm tree as a rule likes:

Lots of sun, he hates the shade

– The rather confined and sheltered spaces of the West (wet) and North (cold) winds. Most importantly, never put a palm tree in the middle of a well-cleared lawn otherwise their life expectancy will be very low. The ideal being a space conceded and exposed to the South.

– The company of other plants more or less large (hedges, shrubs or even perennials) that create a kind of microclimate and containment.

– The rich, light and well watered soils but above all very well drained, the water should never stagnate.

– A special fertilizer intake of palm trees (liquid or granulated) once or twice a month from April to October

– Protection during the winter.


Of course, you find in garden centers palm trees at all periods of the year. However, the best time to plant them either in a pot or in the open ground remains spring from April. The soil begins to warm up, so the roots can settle for a year before facing winter frosts the following year.

If you live in an area where the winters are mild (rarely negative temperatures), in this case, planting can be done all year round .

2.1. Potted planting of palm trees

Pot Choice: If you choose potted planting, repotting is required in 9 out of 10 cases. For this, first buy a pot with a diameter of 15-20 cm larger than the original. It is better to change pots every 3 to 4 years by gradually increasing the size rather than putting it in a disproportionate pot from the departure.

You can choose the type of pot you want, but it will have to be well drilled and drained into the bottom .

The Repotting:

To repot your palm, follow these steps:

– Start by preparing a mixture of substrate for repotting: 2/3 of citrus or Mediterranean plants and 1/3 of garden soil. You can also add 1 good handful of palm special fertilizer granules for 50 liters of substrate.

– Then drill your pot if it is not

– Pour between 5 and 10 cm of clay balls depending on the size of the pot to drain and drain excess water

Place a piece of burlap or an ‘old textile’ above so that the substrate does not mix not as you go into the clay balls and clogging the drainage.

Untangle the roots a little and soak the clod for about 10 minutes in a basin of rainwater.

Pour a little substrate over and then lay out your palm tree on it

– Fill with the rest of the substrate then tap lightly, water it generously until the water flows out of the pot

– Install a mineral mulch on 5 cm ( slate spangle, shale, pozzolan, etc…)

– Avoid putting a saucer under your pot, water should always drain easily.

2.2. Planting in the open ground of palm trees

For planting in open ground, the hardest is to find the location in the garden that will give the most satisfaction to your protégé. For planting in itself, the recipe remains noticeably the same.

The difference is the planting hole. The ideal is to make one at least 80 cm deep on 3 times the diameter of the palm pot .

Next, it will be necessary to follow the following steps:

– Prepare the 2/3 mixture of citrus and Mediterranean plants and 1/3 of garden soil, plus granular fertilizer at the rate of one handful per 100 liters (the dose should be lower than in pot because the palm will have more root space to search for fertilizer elements)

– Pour 10 cm of clay balls to the bottom of the planting hole if your land tends to retain water.

– Place a piece of burlap or ‘textile’ above so that the substrate does not mix as it goes into the clay logs and clogs the drainage.

Untangle a little roots and soak the clod for about 10 minutes in a basin of rainwater.

– Then fill the bottom of the hole with your previously prepared mixture and place the palm tree in such a way that the base of the “trunk” flush to the final level of the soil

Fill with the rest of the substrate then lightly tamp

Watering generously

– Install a mineral mulch on 5 cm (slate spangle, shale, pozzolan, etc…)


Palm as a rule is a plant that requires little maintenance . However, the little he asks is necessary to keep his aesthetic side of the first day.

He will ask:

WATERING: Hearty watering once a week if the weather is hot and dry and every 15 days for palm trees in jars if the weather remains wet.

Note that they must be watered and not drowned. If the earth is still wet at the time you want to water, refrain from it. A “drought” phase of a few days should be done between two watering. Potted palm trees will also need to be watered in winter every 15 days. However, never water if it freezes.

REPOTTING: In pot, provide a repotting every 3/4 years as long as the size of the plant allows. When this is no longer possible, it will be necessary to renew the first 15 centimeters of land every year. Install a roller pot under the heaviest pots for easy handling.

FERTILIZATION: Bring a special organic fertilizer palm 1 to 2 times per month from April to October. You will find granules or liquids.

SIZE: Cut the lowest leaves as they dry out, damage and bend down. The palm will thus develop new, well-green leaves.

WINTERING: In the open ground, completely cover the trunk (stipe) and heart (starting area of the new leaves) with several layers of wintering veil but leaving the leaves in the open air.

– These will be shaken if snow accumulates on it.

Here the snow has accumulated greatly, it is necessary to shake the emergency leaves!

In pot, They should also be preserved from frost attacks by putting them if possible in a room at a temperature between 1 and 10° and exposed to light . For species the most rustic ones can stay outside, bring them closer to the south facade of the house to keep them from the winds. Likewise, raise and cover the pot and the trunk to maximally isolate the roots of the frost.

The wintering sails allow to gain a few degrees and protects from gales of wind.

DISEASES: The palm tree is a relatively resistant plant to diseases and insects. Only one insect can kill it quickly: the weevil . It is a beetle that lays its eggs in the heart of the palm. Larvae will grow there and devour the palm from the inside. But be afraid, this insect grows only in the warmest countries of the Mediterranean rim.

He will experience more commonly attacks of mealybugs, aphids , or problems related to the weather and the environment in which it is located.


4.1. Trachycarpus fortunei or Chamaerops excels

This variety is the most rustic. It can under the right crop conditions, withstand a temperature of -18/-20°C. In pot, it can withstand up to -12°C because its roots are more exposed to frost.

This is one of the main reasons why this variety is one of the most democratized. Its second highlight is its very decorative side.

Despite very slow growth, a stipe (trunk) covered with brown fibers, eventually formed. These fibers form a natural insulation for the palm tree stipe. The longer it grows, the longer its stipe grows to reach a height of 10 meters in the natural state.

Its flowering occurs at the top of the crown of leaves. Yellow in color , inedible black fruits will succeed. Its leaves are palmed and very fleshy.

This palm will never or very rarely form releases at its foot.

It is one of the few species that can be acclimatised in the open ground north of the Loire.

4.2. Humiliated Chamaerops

BRIGHT! A species of palm very different from the previous one. It is much more compact and produces good numbers of discharges at its base forming little by little large clumps of fairly trapy palm.

In the open ground and in the right conditions, it is resistant to temperatures of the order of -12°C, in pot -8°C.

In nature, it can form a tuft of stipes culminating at 8 meters in height .

Its stipe is also covered with brown fibers. but in fewer quantities. However, it should be approached with caution because the stems bearing the leaves are very pungent.

It also produces flowers and fruits similar to Trachycarpus fortunei. It can quite easily resemble itself.

4.3. Phoenix Canariensis

ELEGANT! Phoenix is one of the most appreciated palm trees for its very aerial appearance and long leaves worn by a relatively small and round stipe when young.

But its appearance is undoubtedly one of its main assets north of the Loire because it is not very rustic . That is why this variety must be grown only in pots or it will have to be renewed every year.

In the open ground, it will hardly withstand temperatures below -10°C. In pot, this temperature drops to -6° . If you wish keep it, put the property in a bright, frost-free room during the winter.

At adult size, its stem can reach the height of 20 meters and takes the appearance of a real smooth trunk like a tree. This variety is not covered with brown fibers which makes it more frily.

Its pinnate leaves should also be approached with caution because the tip is very pungent. Especially since they can reach the length of 5 meters.

4.4. Butia Capitata

BLUISH! This variety of palm has a lot of resemblance to the Phoenix. Its leaves are more bluish.

Its stipe is also devoid of brown fibers and is more fleshy.

Its resistance to cold also does not allow it to be grown in open ground in the northern regions. However, with a resistance of -12° under the right conditions, it is more resistant but less used than Phoenix canariensis. Better to grow it also in a pot where it will withstand up to -8°C.

This palm enjoys periods of drought. The bluish colour of its leaves gives it good resistance to the sun’s rays. That is why its hardiness is good but it must at all times be in a fairly dry and very sunny atmosphere.

Its flowering is yellow to orange-red but appears only on subjects of a certain age and please actually. Its height in the natural state is about 6 meters high .


1. My palm tree has the leaves that turn yellow

Answer 1: The problem comes probably a lack of fertilization or too limestone soil. Bring a fertilizer rich in magnesium or potassium and they should green again.

Answer 2: If the problem persists, it can also come from watering. Let the earth dry well between two waterings. The palm may be a victim of root asphyxiation due to too much watering, or a lack of watering

2. The lower leaves curl, stain, cut out and brownish

Answer : This is quite normal, your palm grows, the lower leaves simply need to be cut flush with the stipe

3. My palm has a black heart, leaves no longer come out and it seems to rot from the inside

Answer: The heart of your palm may have frozen and/or rotted due to excess watering. It’s good to throw away.

4. Small white spots like shells cover the leaves of my palm

Answer: this are undoubtedly shielded mealybugs . Floury mealybugs, taking the appearance of white wool, can also attack this kind of plants. Systemic treatment based on insecticidal oil will be required if you want to cope with it.

Protection and recommendations are to be taken when using plant protection products. Seek help from a seller and follow the instructions for use noted on the package.

If you prefer a more environmentally friendly method, you can use black soap that will scare the mealybugs but will not kill them.

5. Black/Brown Spots Covering the leaves

Answer: The problem is probably root. There is either an excess of water or a deficiency , be careful to watering. This phenomenon is quite common after a winter that is quite often wet in the north of the Loire. If the problem is quickly solved, the palm will survive without problems.

6. A new leaf has just come out but seems atrophied

The tip of this may have had to freeze during the previous winter or was attacked by a pest . Only the unaesthetic side is really a problem because the palm tree easily scars this type of injury especially if the leaf is out. Cut there or leave there, the following sheets will be normal again.

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