Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fertilizing Queen Palm Tree

It is very important to properly fertilize Queen Palm Tree. I this post I will answer following questions:
  • When should you fertilize your Queen Palm Tree?
  • How often do you need to fertilize your Queen Palm Tree?
  • How much fertilizer should you use?
  • What is the best fertilizer for Queen Palm Trees?
  • What are the most important nutrients for your Queen Palm Tree?
  • What is the worst fertilizer for your Queen Palm?
1. When should I fertilize my Queen Palm Tree?

Fertilize your Queen Palm ONLY during growing months, from April to beginning of October. Queen Palms increase growth rate during warm months and slow down during winter month. It is important to begin fertilizing your Queen Palm in the early April because it's when growing period starts. Fertilizer will supply your Queen Palm with all the nutrients needed for the fast growth.

2. How often do I need to fertilize my Queen Palm Tree?

4-5 times a year should be plenty. Queen Palm Tree is very fast growing palm that needs fertilizer and I think fertilizing it 5 times a yea will keep it happy and healthy.

3. How much fertilizer should I use?

How much fertilizer to use depends on the age and the size of your Queen Palm. Queen Palm Trees have wide roots, so when applying fertilizer it is necessary to cover the root ball of your palm. The wider the better. Read the instructions on the back of the fertilizer bag.

Important Note: Apply fertilizer at LEAST 2 foot away from the Queen Palm trunk. Queen Palm Tree fertilizer needs to be applied BEFORE watering. Not after.

4. What is the best fertilizer for Queen Palm Trees?

I recommend using 8-3-9 slow release formula. Slow release fertilizer will feed your palm for few months and won't burn the roots of your palm. A lot of palm trees die from the fertilizer root burn. Find 8-3-9 fertilizer that contains other micro nutrients. At least 6, but the more different micro elements, the better. Here is the list of additional micro elements: Magnesium, Manganese, Sulphur, Boron, Copper, Iron, Molybdenum, Zinc.

Don't buy cheap fertilizer trying to save money, because it means less quality plant food for you palm. And don't buy it because of the brand name. This is one of the most valuable advice you can get - Always read the label! Remember, BEST fertilizer is not cheap. I apologies, but I couldn't find any good fertilizer on Amazon.com. I'll keep looking.

5. What are the most important nutrients for your Queen Palm Tree?

Most important nutrients that your Queen Palm Tree needs are represented by 3 number on each fertilizer bag. If you are confused by the 3 numbers, don't worry, they are: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). The numbers are the percentage by weight of the N, P, K found in the fertilizer. The bag of 8-3-9 fertilizer will contain 8% of Nitrogen, 3% of Phosphorous, and 9% of potassium (potash).

Nitrogen is responsible for the dark green color of your palm fronds and development of the new leaves. Phosphorous helps the root system and blooming. Potassium helps cold hardiness of the palm and keeps tolerant to different diseases.

Queen palm also needs additional manganese. Don't confuse with magnesium. A lot of Queen Palms have a "frizzle top" because of the manganese deficiency. Always apply additional manganese with your regular fertilizer EVEN if it already contain manganese.

6. What is the worst fertilizer for my Queen Palm?

I thought you never ask. By far the worst fertilizer is the potting soil that includes fertilizer. I get so many emails from people, saying that it killed every plant in their garden. Do NOT buy potting soil that contains fertilizer.

I really hope you found my article useful. Please share your fertilizing experience and tips on Fertilizing Qeen Palm Tree.

Susan :)

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