Palm trees add a touch of tropical splendor and spruce up the look of any space they grow in. You must have noticed rows of palm trees at your favourite resort, or hotel, restaurant or golf clubs, adding that fancy tropical touch to the area around. Infact, palm trees are one of the most popular house plants to be grown around the world, and is one of the easiest plants to care for. So if you have been thinking of adding a palm tree to your house decor, its probably a pretty workable idea. For beginners, let us first understand the nature of palms and how they can be grown at home.
There will be a wide variety of palms available in the nursery but make sure you know which one fits your house. Since palms are tropical plants and grow to a certain height, make sure you know which variety will grow to what height before buying. Although easy to care for, they have specific light and water requirements, hence make sure you know how to care for it. If you have made up your mind to go the palm way, then here is our ready guide to things you must know about this lovely tropical plant.
When you are planning to move the palm tree from one location to another, the steps remain the same as planting. However, transplantation shocks are bound to occur due to the stress they undergo during the transplantation. They undergo this stress due to lack of sufficient water as well. Hence it is advisable to keep the soil moist before digging and abundantly water the tree before, during and after the transplantation process. If they are smaller varieties like the ones used in this house, set up by interior decorators Panipat-based Studio AVT, then there is no need for transplanting or repotting.
The first thing you need to figure out while buying a palm tree is which species will you buy? Given that there are so many different varieties (around 3000), let us take a look at the different types of palms and how you can choose the one that suits your place.
We have grouped them in terms of size i.e small, medium and tall. You can choose your pick based on this categorization.
i) Small Palm trees- They are the most popular and preferred option for indoor plants. They are only about 10 feet-12 feet tall and also work as a ground cover in the gardens. They do well in the containers and require only some amount of shade throughout the day. The Pygmy Date palm, Bamboo Palm, Chamaedorea are some examples of this category.
Ii) Medium Palm trees- If you have a house that has a nice small garden or verandah, the medium palms are the ones to go for. They are about 15 ft to 50ft tall and display a symmetrical shape as they grow. The solitary medium palm trees are mainly used as focal point and as individual center piece. Hesper palm, Bottle palm and spindle palms are some example of the solitary palm trees. Then there is the clustering medium palm tree variety with dense foliage and different heights. Fishtail palm and Areca are those that belong to this category.
ii) Large Palm Trees- Finally we have the large palm trees that are more than 40ft. Buy this variety only when you have plenty of garden space. They are majestic and can be used to decorate your landscape. Triangle palms, Date palms are some examples.
Palm trees do not need a lot of care but will require some amount of maintenance. Depending on which variety you are growing and where you are planting them, ensure that they are frequently watered and fertilized. One tip here: Please do not fertilize in the first 6-8 weeks after planting. It will improve the longevity of the tree. Keep the tree watered as often as possible especially during the establishment period. The ideal schedule would be to water daily in the first few weeks followed by weekly for a few months and then tapering off the watering. If your palm is in a container, make sure the soil is evenly wet and not drenched.
Remember these are tropical plants hence they thrive in humid conditions. Hence keep the humidity as high as possible by keeping it on a pebble tray or misting it often. You can use a humidifier to keep the plant humidified. Also ensure proper heat and lighting. The palm trees prefer bright light. They are prone to parasites in too much of light situation.
The palm essentially draws all the nutrients from the leaves. Hence do not over prune the leaves and take only the brown unhealthy leaves away. Prune the trees only when it is absolutely necessary. Less done, the better. Spring and the summer seasons are the best time to prune. Keep that in mind!
Wrapping the roots must ideally be done prior to transplantation. The cuts must be clean and must be cut at least 3 feet away from the trunk. The root cuts vary according to the type of palm tree but they must be carefully done to avoid mishaps.
Palm trees are attractive, exotic and transform the place into a piece of beauty instantly. If maintenance is not a problem for you, palms are the best bet as an indoor or garden plant.
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