Top 3 tips for potted palms

Potted palms

Potted palms make great feature plants. Tropical Bali vibe, old-world Victorian elegance, minimalist Nordic chic or ’70s indoor-plant craziness… all these styles and more are possible when you grow palms in containers. Here are three tips for success.

  • Choose the right container. Most containers are suitable for palms, but unless you’re diligent with watering, avoid terracotta, which dries out quickly. Choose a container one or two sizes bigger than the pot size at purchase to allow room for roots to develop and support the lush growth above. Always use premium-quality potting mix.
  • Feed palms well. Fertilise palms with organic pellets every three months in the warmer months. Supplement with fortnightly applications of liquid organic fertiliser for faster growth. Water regularly to keep the potting mix just moist. Repeated drying out may cause palms to lose their lush, tropical look.
  • Watch out for pests. Palms can suffer from sap-sucking insects such as mites, scale and mealy bugs. Spray with botanically based horticultural oil, but avoid mineral oil, as palms can be sensitive to these. Test-spray a frond before treating the entire plant.

For more growing tips on potted palms, and ideas on which palms to grow, pick up a copy of the March issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.