Palm trees add a beautiful tropical touch to your garden. They come in nearly every shape and size and can be grown in pots or directly in the ground, depending on where you live.

They are beautiful if cared for properly, but they are also finicky about growing conditions and require a small investment. So how can we help our palm trees grow healthy and happy? The first (and easiest) option is fertilizer!

Fertilizers for Palm Trees will make it more comfortable in your garden. Since palm trees are native to the tropics, many of us do not live in their natural environment, and we need to do more to ensure their health. Fertilizing is one of the easiest ways.

A good quality fertilizer can do wonders for your palms, preventing browning and/or falling leaves. Read on to learn about all the wonderful benefits of fertilizing your palms and my 5 best plant-based foods for your palms

Why invest in premium plant foods for your palms?

Whether indoors or out, palm trees are a wonderful addition to any garden. They add a tropical and exotic touch to your garden and definitely help cheer me up when it gets dark around midday in winter.

But let’s be honest: they’re expensive, especially the larger ones. If you’re going to buy a few large palm trees for your yard, you’ll probably spend a few hundred dollars. Of course, that’s not a big deal with mini potted palms, but they’re still more expensive than a little succulent or a cactus.

The last thing you want to do is spend a big paycheck in the palm of your hand and watch them all die. It wasn’t a fun experience and it was really frustrating. I recommend that you learn how to transplant your palm before making any investments.

A good quality fertilizer or plant fertilizers for palm trees can prevent many of the problems that palm trees face in less natural environments. In fact, it not only helps your palm survive, but thrive.

Much of the continental United States lives without palm trees, so helping them live at home is critical to their health. There are only 13 species of palm trees native to the United States, and most of them come from areas like Florida, Texas, and Southern California (fun fact: there are more than 2,500 species of palm trees worldwide).

If you live in these areas, the next tip doesn’t necessarily apply to you, but for those of you who live in cold climates, listen up. In winter you need to bring potted palms indoors or at least close to the house/cover them. I like to bring mine indoors under grow lights, but that’s not something everyone can do. Putting them under a covered awning and covering the ground with straw, mulch, or moss should help.

How do you choose the best fertilizers for palm trees? 

Knowing fertilizer ingredients is important for gardening in general, but absolutely essential for caring for special plants like palms.

Fertilizers and plant-based foods should always have a set of 3 numbers on the package. They look like this: 10-10-10. The first number represents the amount of nitrogen; the second, phosphorus; and the third, potassium.

In the case of palm trees, higher nitrogen levels are indeed beneficial. Nitrogen promotes green leaf growth, which is exactly what we want. For example, my most recommended nutrient profile is 4-1-5. Nice and smooth, but still has enough nitrogen to do its job.

However, there is no need to stress the numbers on fertilizers. It’s not a make-or-break thing – potassium and phosphorus are still very important for growth, so adding a little more won’t hurt. All the fertilizers on this list have been tested for your ingredients and they passed mine!

Types fertilizers for palm trees

There really is a fertilizer that will satisfy every gardener’s needs. Whether it’s starting a sick plant and needing something that has an immediate effect, or a slow burn that works gradually over a period of time and continues to provide nutrients as other plants get absorbed or washed away. Whatever your gardening style and preferences, you can find something that works for you and ensures your palms and ferns stay nourished all season long.

Fertilizers for palm trees spikes

I find that the slow release spikes are great for palms and ferns outdoors. They will slowly release nutrients to the roots over time, so less application is required. So they won’t overwhelm your plants with one big dose at a time. Pre-measured and compact for easy storage, they pose a much lower risk of runoff and root burns. Not to mention your workload is reduced. Just stick them to the ground below the surface and you’re done.

Watering is also not necessary because nutrients are released by microorganisms that live naturally in the soil. This application method is most beneficial in areas with high rainfall, and in most cases, tree fertilizer spikes can increase plant resistance to tree pests and diseases.

Granular fertilizer

Granules are another good option for extended release. One also gives you more control over the feeding process. For example, indoor palms and potted ferns will require different amounts of food and may require a higher frequency of application. Pellets are versatile and can be used for indoor and outdoor fertilization.
Highly concentrated granules provide consistent manual dose nutrition for up to three months. Activating the product usually does not require additional watering, regular watering will do just fine. Also, pelleted forage is less likely to be washed away from the roots of the plant. Simply place them in the soil above the root zone for efficient feeding under the leaf canopy.

Powdered fertilizer

Powder fertilizers are the most economical fertilizers on the market, either applied directly to the soil around the base of the plant or diluted in water as a “tea”.
While effective for many plants, powder fertilizers are not particularly recommended for indoor or outdoor palms and ferns for two reasons. First, powdered fertilizers are easily washed away when watered, and second, concentrated formulas pose a significant risk of root burns if they come into contact with plants.

Liquid fertilizer

Liquids save water and time, especially if you choose a liquid that is versatile and can be used in other parts of your yard. However, liquid fertilizers formulated for palms and ferns may not be suitable for flowering plants growing nearby.

The biggest benefit of using a quick-release liquid formula is how quickly nutrients are transported through the soil to the root system. Liquid fertilizers also tend to balance the pH in the soil.

I’m a real proponent of liquid fertilizers, especially when my diseased plants need a quick nutrient replenishment, but I strongly recommend that you use this fertilizer sparingly as accidental overfeeding is common and can cause root damage.

Organic fertilizers for palm trees & Compounds

The choice of organic or synthetic (inorganic) fertilizer is a matter of preference and expectation of results. A basic understanding of the differences can help you choose a solid fertilizer.

Organic products are plant or animal based and contain fertilizers and other natural materials. Inorganic is made from minerals and synthetic chemicals. Organic forages have fewer nutrients but will nourish your palms and ferns for longer while improving the soil. Inorganic fertilizers can lead to taller trees and more lush foliage. However, they do have an impact on the environment.

As mentioned, the choice just depends on your garden and planting needs. One thing’s for sure, when it comes to the best palm and fern fertilizers, there are plenty of options. Let’s stick to my advice.

How to Fertilizes For Palm Trees?

I recommend choosing a slow-release fertilizer made specifically for palm trees. Slow-release fertilizers are usually supplied in granular, spiked or granular form that dissolves gradually over an extended period of time.

1. Espoma Organic Palm Color Plant Food (my first choice)

This fantastic fertilizer is one of my favorites for tropical gardening! It’s easy to use, gentle on sensitive plants and all natural.

The packaging is super practical as the bag is resealable. You’ll never have to worry about messing up your shed again!

The nutritional profile is good, very mild, 4-1-5, but still a bit strong. This higher nitrogen content promotes strong leaves that seem to grow wider and taller with each passing day.

It’s even cheap, around $3.50 a pound. Such a high quality organic product is definitely worth the money.

The only downside is that there is no information on how often you need to use it. This information may be on the packaging, but it doesn’t show up on Amazon, so I don’t know how often you need to use it.

2. Liquid fertilizer for houseplants (best choice for potted palms)

I know what you’re thinking – why is houseplant fertilizer on this list? Then I tell you!

Many people have potted palms, which should be considered indoor plants rather than large outdoor palms. This product is great for potted palms because it won’t seep into other soils.

An NPK ratio of 3-1.5-1.5 is also mild enough for small palms, and you’ll find that higher nitrogen levels promote larger leaves. A moderate NPK ratio is very important for potted plants, especially more delicate palms.

The liquid formula is also designed to absorb into the roots faster, so this product can make a big difference very quickly.

The only downside is that you should use it every time you water – if you have a lot of houseplants or palms that want to use it, you can run out of the bottle pretty quickly.

Advantages (+) Disadvantages (-)
+ Quick-absorbing liquid formula
+ very mild nutrients
+ The best recipe for potted palms
+ good for your other houseplants too – the bottle runs out very quickly
– Definitely too gentle for mature palms

>> See more: Fertilize Apple Trees

3. Jobe’s Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes (easiest to use)

Few articles on fertilizers don’t include Jobe’s products, and this article is no exception. If you skip to product #5, you’ll see that I didn’t include two amazing products from this company, but two.

These fertilizer tips are super easy to use and I bet my cat can do it. You just stick it in the soil near the roots of the plant, water it as usual, and you’ll see wonderful results.

It’s also super budget friendly. A pack of 30 spikes is only $5.55. Since they are also released slowly, this pack can last a long time.

The only downside I can find with this product is the nutritional content. It’s pretty strong, at 16-2-6, so watch for signs that it’s actually burning your palms. However, if your palms are more elastic, you don’t have to worry.


4. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Palm Food (best seller)

This granulated plant food from Miracle-Gro is another great choice for your palms.

You only need to use it every 3 months as it’s formulated to release stable nutrients and the convenient packaging means you don’t even have to touch the product. As an inorganic product, there is no risk of chemical burns or irritation as no contact with fertilizer is required.

12-4-8 has a slightly stronger nutritional profile than some of the other products here, but not strong enough to hurt your palms.

The only downside to this product is the ease of use as the bottle is very easy to use. Be careful not to use too much or you may burn your plants!

5. Jobe’s Organics Palm Granulated Plant Food (Best for Young Palms)

As promised, another Job’s product! This time, however, it’s granular organic plant fertilizers, not spikes of inorganic fertilizers.

I highly recommend this product if you are a strict organic gardener. It’s not too expensive, and it’s also designed to fit in the palm of your hand. At $1.77 a pound, that’s hardly anything for a product of this quality.

It’s also designed to increase the strength of the base of the palm, which is especially useful if you live in an area with frequent storms (although palm trees live quite a long time, it doesn’t hurt to have them planted firmly in the ground!) It’s also great for Young palms as it helps establish their roots.

Whether you’re just starting out with adding palms and ferns to your collection, or you’re an experienced gardener, craigslistsitesusa.com hope you found this information and product advice insightful to help you decide which palms and ferns you need. Fertilizer to keep your leafy friends happy and healthy.