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Palm trees for the garden – tips on planting, care and wintering

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Mediterranean flair, exotic touch from foreign lands – the palm trees bring the beach feeling into your own garden. The plants are widespread in subtropical regions and especially in the rainforests, in Europe they grow in Spain and southern France. In Germany, too, they are becoming increasingly popular – at least as houseplants. Many amateur gardeners worry that the palms are unsuitable for the garden. In fact, not a single species of palm is frost-hardy – but they can survive the winter outside under certain circumstances. In the article you will learn more about the family of palm plants: the right location, planting, care and, of course, wintering.

Palm trees for the garden – finding the right location.

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The different types of palms also have similar location requirements – they love sunny locations with high humidity – in the garden, for example, they can be planted right next to the water features. Ideally, the soil should have a low clay content – a mixture with sand that allows water to pass through is optimal. This is because stagnant moisture is basically not tolerated by palms. Since they form a wide and deep root system, they should first be placed in a larger pot. When transplanting outdoors, the distance from paved paths, drainage water pipes, neighbors and the terrace should be at least 4 meters.

Palm trees for the garden – this is what you should consider when caring for them

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The palms do not have high demands and grow quickly, if the humidity (around 45%) is sufficient and the temperature ranges from 6 to 20 degrees. To prevent the leaves from drying out during the summer season, the crown must be sprayed with water every week. Give liquid fertilizer (1ml fertilizer, 1 liter of watering water) every two weeks during the growing season from April to early October. Optionally, you can buy slow-release fertilizer and give it once a year. How much water the plant needs is closely related to the weather – as a rule, you need to water the palm from above, as soon as the soil surface dries.

palm trees for garden underplanting ground cover


Although all palms can be cultivated outside from spring to mid-autumn, in winter they should be stored in a greenhouse or in a cool but very bright room. The plants are sensitive to cold flooring (such as stone slabs on the floor), therefore should be placed on a chair or wooden table.

From fungal diseases the palms suffer basically very rarely. Sometimes mealybugs and spider mites infest the plants – in this case, you can put protective sticks in the ground and increase the humidity in the room.

Palm trees for the garden – create accents in the outdoor area.

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Similar to house trees, palms can be showcased as soloists – preferably right next to the pool, garden pond or ornamental fountain. In California the trees reach a height of up to 12 meters, and are often used as shade trees in outdoor areas. In Germany, at any rate, most palm species grow much more slowly. Give regular fertilizer, so you stimulate plant growth.

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Palms are often multi-stemmed, with the other stems developing over time from root runners – so leave at least 2 meters around the tree free of flowers and native perennials. Underplanting is only possible with shade-loving groundcovers and ferns.

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Not all palms are, in fact, palms – the popular jucca palm is a member of the asparagus family. This low-maintenance plant can reach a maximum height of 6 meters and can decorate rooms as a houseplant in winter, and accentuate the garden in summer.

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An exotic island in the middle of the big city – palm trees create a vacation feeling in your own garden. Their broad crown can also provide privacy – especially if the houses are close together, it can protect the private area and shield the terrace from foreign eyes.

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The seating group made of exotic woods blends harmoniously into the Mediterranean garden landscape, creating a coherent picture.  Our tip – plant the palm tree in a tub first, this allows a certain freedom of design in the summer.

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A comfortable bench in the middle of the garden offers the opportunity to relax outdoors and plan the further design of the outdoor area in detail, or simply rest in your own oasis of well-being after a long day of work.

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Garden designs that look as close to nature as possible are particularly appealing – water features, natural stone patio and a small desert garden create a beautiful ensemble. Tall palm trees create exciting contrasts and add the finishing touch to the garden look.

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In the front garden, the low-maintenance palms welcome guests – in any case, the plants must be protected from frost, snow and strong winds in winter. In autumn, you should also be careful not to waterlogging – this can not tolerate the plants.

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