Palms require unique care, but as is the case with most plants, it all starts with the soil.  Palms have high requirements of certain nutritional elements – specifically nitrogen, potassium, magnesium and manganese.  Often the existing soil does not supply these in high enough quantities, or it does not allow for maximum uptake of these elements.  Therefore, obtaining a soil sample should be the first step in caring for your palms.  The soil sample provides valuable information on nutrient needs and enables custom blending of fertilizer to the specific needs of your palms.

Another factor are the diseases and insect pests that can impact palms. Additionally, pruning is essential for the health of palms.  Pruning should focus only on tissue that is dead or severely discolored as nutrients in the declining foliage may be reused by the plant in new tissues.  Premature or excessive pruning may exacerbate nutrient deficiencies by not allowing the plant to recycle these nutrients. 

Probably more pronounced than with most species, nutritional deficiencies and imbalances of the soil can lead to compromised health and beauty with palms.  So get to know your soil, fertilize based on that information and prune wisely to maintain healthy palms.

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