years ago we built a new home on a 2 acre property in Motueka (Nelson)
and have since transplanted 5 phoenix palms. The property was used
for growing kiwifruit and is just sand. We have established our
lawns, trees and most of our gardens which all seem to be doing
well. Irrigation is in for all areas.
Our problem is that one
of the phoenix palms is very yellow. All the palms are planted on
the lawns and are irrigated with them during the drier periods of
Is there something we
should be feeding them or maybe something we are doing wrong?
knowing how long ago the palms were transplanted, I would say the
yellowing is the after effects of transplanting the palm. You say
you irrigate in the drier months; the palm will need regular deep
watering to become established, especially if your soil is light
If the fronds around
the bottom are yellow, but the fronds in the crown are still green
and upright, then the palm will be okay. If the fronds in the crown
collapse, you are likely to lose the palm. Remove the yellow fronds
from around the bottom.
Phoenix palms are shallow
rooting, so until it is established you will need to keep the water
up to it. Once it starts showing signs of improving, your palms
will not require watering, and you can rely on nature.
Light sandy soils are
free-draining, so you will need to water regularly and deeply at
least twice a week. A person in our office has transplanted a phoenix
palm he used to leave the hose on it all night.
Mulching around the tree
will help keep the soil moist. Use compost, lawn clippings, or any
well rotted organic material such as animal manure, saw dust, pea
or barley straw this helps put nitrogen back into the soil
as well as improving the soil structure. If you want to fertilise
the palm, use sheep manure pellets or a controlled release fertiliser
such as Magamp or Osmocote.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH