The Q&A Archives: How often do I water my palm trees?

Question: I read everywhere to

Answer: I wish there were a formula for watering that I could pass on to you, but the frequency of watering will depend upon the soil conditions and, of course, the weather. Here are a few guidelines:
After the palm tree has been planted, build a ring of soil around the hole to hold irrigation water. In the summer, newly planted palms will probably need a good soaking every two or three days; the smaller the palm, the more likely it is to dry out in harsh winds.

As plants become established and roots spread out, irrigations can be spaced farther apart. Within a year of planting, most palms that are in lawns or other planted areas will be able to thrive off of the normal irrigation for the area, needing only a flushing once or twice a year to keep salts from accumulating.

Regular deep waterings are vital for good growth. To some extent, watering practices can regulate growth rate. In general, trees growing in sandy soils need irrigation more frequently than those planted in fine-textured silt or clay soils. Established palms of most species do well with six to eight inches of water every two or three weeks during the growing season, and the same amount every four to six weeks in winter.

A minimum of two bubblers or two to four drip emitters should be positioned on opposite sides of the palm trunk. The irrigation basin for bubblers should be circular and extend 24 to 36 inches from the trunk in all directions. Make the basin at least 12 inches deep. Bubblers can be installed in three-inch perforated plastic pipe sections placed to a depth of eight to 10 feet within the irrigation basin at planting time. This makes it easier to moisten the root-zone soil to the desired depth. In sprinkler-irrigated lawns, do not allow water to hit the terminal bud or palm leaves. Moisture in the heart frond area can activate a serious bud-rot disease.

Hope this answers your question!

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