Caring for Palms

It’s not too often that we get freeze warnings in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties in Florida. But, it does happen. Pasco County has

been known to get frequent freezing weather, and this does cause concern for plants and trees, especially palms. Regardless of where you live in our area, it’s important to be prepared and to know how to protect your landscaping.

Below are a few tips that will help you keep your favored palms from freezing temperatures.

Cover palms with a sheet or blanket (do not use plastic). If possible, place a light bulb under the cover for heat. A string of Christmas tree lights will work, too! This trick works perfectly with your flowers and shrubs, too! Be careful to set it up so it does not present a fire or electrical hazard.

If frost or cold damage should occur on your palm below are some guidelines to follow in helping them return to good health. Remember – patience is essential with cold damaged palms.

 

According to University of Florida, avoid the temptation to immediately trim damaged palm fronds (the leaves on the palm).

As long as ANY green tissue remains the frond should not be removed, but allowed to recover. Once the palm has shown new growth of approximately 3-4 new fronds, the damaged fronds can be removed.

 

Once the dead foliage is removed, to prevent secondary infection, use Copper Sulfate or Kocide 101 to drench the head and bud. Fertilize palms in the spring to encourage new growth. For best results use a high quality, controlled release palm fertilizer, preferably with minors/micro nutrients. (Mix all chemicals at labeled rates only. “The label is the law!”) Florida’s Finest Palm Fertilizer is recommended.

Not comfortable taking on this task? Always call a professional to help with fertilizing and trimming. You want to make sure your investment grows and does not perish.

 

Earthscapes

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