Tree Care: Queen Palm Care

The Queen Palm (Syagrus Romanzoffianum) is a medium sized palm that was originally brought to the U.S. from Brazil. Queen Palms can be grown in many parts of the U.S. where winter temperatures don't go below 20 degrees very often. In the Western United States, Queen Palms are everyone's favorite for lush, tropical feature trees in many types of landscapes. Queen Palms are ideally sized (15' to 20' tall) for many landscape uses. They don't grow too tall and overbearing, but they're not tall enough to be considered a dwarf palm. Queen Palms are very clean and easy to grow, making them the number one choice around pools, patios and courtyards. They do not have an invasive root system, so proximity to sidewalks or pool decks isn't a problem.

For a tropical effect, Queen Palms are best planted in groups of 2 to 5 trees of varying sizes. This provides a more natural look. Planting around water features, gazebos and patios tremendously adds to the tropical appeal. Since Queen Palms are not native to the Western United States, they, like many other nonnative trees do require a little extra care. Click back and check out fertilizing and watering requirements for healthy Queen Palms.

Recommended Watering

Though most people consider a Queen Palm a tree, it is more closely related to grass in structure and growth characteristics. Accordingly, watering requirements and scheduling will similar to those of grass. The biggest mistakes made in watering Queens are not watering often enough not watering wide enough.

Given that Queen Palms are similar to grass, they do not have extremely deep roots (1' to 4' Avg.) They do, to most people's surprise, have fairly wide roots (usually at least as wide and the fronds). As a Queen Palm grows, its root base gets wider. Most of the water absorption takes place at the tips of the roots. It is important to water adequately around the entire root base each time water is applied. A good rule of thumb is to water an area at the base of the tree at least five times as wide at the diameter of the trunk. (e.g. a 1-foot wide trunk should be watered at least 5 feet wide) When watering by hand or a drip system, this area should be saturated to a depth of at least 3 feet. To check saturation, you should always be able to insert a long screwdriver into your soil 2 to 3 feet away from the trunk. If you can't, water more often and wider.

Another common mistake is failing to move drip system emitters wider as the tree grows. In many cases where Queen Palms are struggling, the drip emitters are right against the trunk many years after the tree was planted! How often to water Queen Palms will vary somewhat with soil conditions, rainfall and temperature. Use the following schedule as a guide, but make adjustments, if necessary, based on the above-mentioned variables.

Click below, print, and keep our 'Queen Palm Care Guide' handy throughout the year:

Queen Palm Care Guide