care of palm tree - Knowledgebase Question

seminole, Fl
Question by swboobala
November 7, 2009
I just purchased what I believed to be called a

Answer from NGA
November 7, 2009


Travelers palm is Ravenala madagascariensis. it is not a true palm and has been described as being part banana plant and part palm tree. Its long petioles (leaf stems) and deep green leaves resemble those of the banana and extend out from the trunk like the slats of a giant hand fan. The leaves range up to 10 ft long and from 12-20in in width.

The traveler's palm tolerates sandy and clayey soils with good drainage, and thrives in rich, moist and loamy soils. It responds well to fertilizer and is considered a heavy feeder. Some growers feed their traveler's palm monthly with a light application of tropical plant food or a plant food specifically formulated for palms. Alternatively, a slow release fertilizer (e.g., an 18-18-18) may be used during the summer growing season. This vigorous plant is considered very disease and pest resistant.

The traveler's palm thrives and grows best in full sun but also grows well in part sun/shade. Small plants should be shaded until well established. The traveler's palm requires a lot of light, especially when grown indoors.

Soils should be moist and have good drainage to yield optimal growth.

The traveler's palm is considered to be one of nature's most spectacular trees and is a superb accent plant. Plant the traveler's palm outdoors in a tropical landscape that is free from frosts with overhead room to accommodate the large crown of foliage. Shelter the traveler's palm from strong winds, otherwise the leaves become tattered. Traveler's palm can also be grown indoors and in greenhouses where lighting is plentiful and where the container in which it is growing restricts plant size.

Hope this information answers all your questions. Enjoy your new plant!

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