Fertilizing Palms?

echobellyNovember 18, 2011

There are 27 Queen palms on my property. I've lived here just two years, and read that palms need to be fertilized 4 times a year. I've been fertilizing them for about a year, and the only difference I've noticed is that now almost all have at least a couple big bundles of blooms and are dropping palm dates.The squirrels can't keep up. The first year I don't remember any blooming. Most of the trees are too tall to reach with my extension saw to cut the bundles off. The ground under the trees is covered with dates and flies. I'm tempted to stop fertilizing if it's just causing the trees to set seeds. There are a few palms on the back of the property that look kind of sad, yellowing fronds and all. The fronds are still yellow, but even they are setting seed. I use a basic palm fertilizer from a big box store. Any opinions?

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Don't fertilize more than 3 times a year. Actually, twice a year - March and October - is enough. Those "dates" are not an edible fruit, they are the seeds from the Queen Palms. And not fertilizing is not going to stop them from blooming and throwing seeds; it may eventually kill the palms, but nature makes them bloom regardless.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 6:42PM
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lesco 8-10-10 works great. pricey, but it works. twice a year here...store brands stink....

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 7:05PM
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Palms are not true trees and require different fertilizer on a different schedule.
Please read these two documents for valuable information. Here are a few sentences to give you an idea:

Research at the University of Florida has shown that regular use of a fertilizer having an analysis (=the three numbers on all fertilizer labels which refer to their N-P2O5-K2O content) of 8N-2P2O5-12K2O +4Mg with micronutrients can correct mild to moderate deficiencies and prevent their recurrence in most soil types in south and central Florida. However, not all fertilizers having an analysis of 8N-2P2O5-12K2O+4Mg with micronutrients are effective, and if improperly formulated, may be worse for palm health than no fertilizer at all.

Chemical symbols are: N=nitrogen, P=phosphorus, K=potassium, Mg=magnesium, Ca=calcium, Mn=manganese, Fe=iron, B=boron, Cu=copper, Zn=zinc

High N fertilizers applied to turfgrass even 30 feet away from a palm on one side only have been known to kill palms from induced K deficiency.

2 links address palm fertilizing : http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep273
Nutrient Deficiencies of Landscape and Field-grown Palms in Florida

and the link below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilization of Field-grown and Landscape Palms in Florida

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 6:45AM
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