Care of Canary Island palm trees

Updated February 21, 2017

In general, few homeowners have room in their gardens, lawns or landscapes for a 18 m (60 foot) high, 7.5 m (25 foot) wide tree. For this reason, Canary Island palm trees are rarely found on residential lands. Instead, these trees are used by sidewalks, parking lot islands and in front of offices or other buildings to brighten up the area. If you are responsible for caring for one of these trees, fulfill its basic requirements and the Canary Island palm can provide evergreen colour and vitality year-round.

Dig a hole for the tree that is at least three times as large as the tree's container or root ball. Dig to the depth that the tree is sitting in its container, so that it continues to grow at the same depth. The Canary Island palm can thrive in almost any well-drained soil; mix in vermiculite, peat or other draining material if necessary.

Remove the container and gently spread the roots of the tree. Center the roots in the hole you made. Fill in the hole with the soil you removed, gently tamping the soil as you fill to eliminate air bubbles.

Water the soil thoroughly so that it is soaked through at least 45 cm (18 inches) below the surface. Intense watering is important when first planting to encourage the roots to take hold.

Apply a 7.5 cm (3 inch) layer of compost, bark or other mulch over the area of the hole you dug. Adding mulch will help to conserve water and eliminate weeds.

Prune any overhanging branches and remove any awnings or other obstructions that shade the Canary Island palm tree. This tree requires at least six hours of full sunlight each day to thrive.

Fertilise the Canary Island palm with a well-balanced fertiliser just before the growing season, generally in late spring or early summer. The palm does not require excessive amounts of any nutrient, so balanced fertiliser will provide proper food. Applying fertiliser just before the growing season will encourage healthy growth.

Water the palm tree once per week, applying 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water with each watering. This will be enough water to sustain the plant while not damaging the roots, except in excessive weather conditions. If your area suffers from extreme heat, drought or heavy rainfall, adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Prune any fronds or leaves that hang excessively low so as to prevent a danger for people or vehicles passing beneath. Prune any damaged or diseased fronds as well. Otherwise, the canary palm needs no pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Soil mixture
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shear or saw
  • Fertiliser
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.