The Q&A Archives: Windmill Palm

Question: What is the best way to care for this tree and how do you know when to remove the leaf. Thanks~Jean

Answer: Palms require little maintenance during the growing season. In most areas of the Southeast, the season of rapid growth for palms coincides with the arrival of high temperatures in the mid-eighties. This season runs from about May-June through September-October. Palms are commonly fertilized with a "palm special" fertilizer that contains trace element supplements. Apply according to label directions.

Most palms will tolerate some drought. In the Southeast, however, it is a good idea to keep your palms well-watered during their period of rapid growth. Doing so will help the palms put on new, vigorous growth, and will help ensure a stronger plant going into the winter. In the absence of adequate rainfall, soaking the ground around the palm thoroughly once a week should suffice. Keeping the ground constantly waterlogged is unnecessary and in the case of certain species, will result in the death of the plant.

The only pruning that most palms need is occasional removal of dead fronds. As new fronds develop at the top, the lower ones will yellow and die. Remove only the yellowed fronds, cutting (or sawing) them off within a few inches of the trunk.

Enjoy your palm!

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