The Q&A Archives: Queen Palm

Question: I purchased queen palms in February and they don't seem to be doing well. They seem to be wilted. They get full sun most of the day and I spray water them 2-3 times a week. What may be wrong? How can I correct the problem. I bought these because the sales person said they thrive & grow fast!

Answer: Queen palms do thrive in your area and they do grow fast, but not until their root systems become established. In my own experience, that takes a full year. Until then, they look unhappy. I planted Queen Palms a year ago and they looked like they were barely surviving - until this spring. Suddenly they are putting out lots of new growth and they look happy! I think yours will react the same way. They'll spend the rest of the summer getting their roots established and then you'll see lots of healthy new growth. It's important to water deeply, slowly to help the roots become established. It's difficult to say "how much to water" since soil conditions, weather, your microclimate, irrigation system, etc. all play a part. With a newly installed tree, you should probably water once a week, and make sure the water penetrates 2-3 feet deep out to where the root zone is expanding. Use a pointed stick or piece of metal to push in the soil. It will move easily through moist soil and stop at dry soil. After they're established, you should be able to water your palms once every two-three weeks. At least once a month, water deeply enough to "leach" or push salts well below the root zone. Frequent, light "sprinklings" or short time spans with drip irrigation, allow salts to accumulate in the top layers of soil, where the roots are, which is bad news. Similar symptoms occur when too much fertilizer has been applied. It's generally not advisable to fertilize landscape plants in the summer heat. Plant roots often "burn". I hope this information helps!

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