First Aid for Your Trees, Servicing the Greater Tampa Bay Area

How to Properly Water Palm Trees

sprinkler, watering lawn.

Ensuring palm trees are getting the right amount of water can be easier said than done. Over watering and delivering water too fast are the two most common mistakes palm tree enthusiasts make when watering.

To understand how to water the right way, we must first understand the palms root system.

There is an urban legend that has circulated for years stating that the palm tree’s roots are equivalent to the height of the palm tree. This is not true, in fact palm tree roots are relatively shallow and stem from what is known as a root ball. The palms roots grow out from this root ball, routinely dying off and then regenerating. Therefore, the roots do not grow to be very long. This is beneficial if you intend on planting your palms near a pool, walkway, or foundation; but this does affect the way you water your palm tree.

How much water do palm trees need?

Most palm trees like moist soil that is well drained. Planting your palm tree in a well irrigated area will help to eliminate pooling and prevent excessive watering. Since the palm trees roots are shallow, the palm gains a bulk of its nutrients from the top soil. This is where the water delivery system comes into action. Simply dumping 25 gallons of water in 2 seconds is not a very effective delivery system as the water will simply runoff, taking nutrients with it. While using, a sprinkler will deliver the water to the soil at a decreased rate providing the water adequate time to be absorbed and preventing runoff.

One might consider running the sprinkler for 30 minutes and then turning it off for 30 minutes before resuming watering for remaining 30 minutes. This method will ensure that the top soil, as well as, below the root ball is getting enough water to remain moist.

What time of day should I water my palm tree?

Palms trees should be watered in the early morning before temperatures have increased to greatly. Watering in the afternoon when the sun is high in the sky and temperatures are 100-degrees, or more, could cause the palm fronds, or palm leaves to burn.

Is it okay to wet the palm fronds (palm leaves)?

Yes, palm trees like to be lightly wetted on occasion. Just be sure not to overdo it, soaking the top of the palm regularly can cause rot.

How often should I be watering my palm tree?

How often you water your palm tree will depend greatly on the soil concentration and how long the soil remains moist, this is something you should consult your arborist about. However, generally a newly planted palm tree will need to be watered every day for the first week, to help establish its root system, then every other day for the second week.

Once the palm tree is established the palm tree will require watering 2-3 times a week. You may need to adjust watering based on the season, as palm trees grow slower during the colder months. Therefore, watering may only be necessary once a week during the winter.


Consult with a Tree Medics Certified Arborist regarding all of your palm tree care needs. We are always more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and offer affordable tree healthcare evaluations; call 813-407-9974 to schedule your consultation today!

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