The palm tree might be the quintessential thought that comes to mind when driving through any destination vacation.
With its long luxurious trunk swaying in the breeze, it is impossible not to be at ease. It is also a famous structure of landscape for the entrances of many neighborhoods and to line businesses. While these trees are often too large to own on private property, that doesn’t mean you might not find yourself having to care for one, with care and understanding that could be a summer breeze.
Mexican Palm Growth and Care Guide
Mexican Palms are large trees often growing up to 30 feet on average. It is possible, however, for these trees to reach a staggering 70 to 100 feet. They are signified by there long trunks with jutting small prongs leading up to the crown of cascading green flowing down like a fountain. These trees grow rapidly, growing on average 3 ft per year.
Mexican Palms are hardy in USDA zone 9-11 and sunset zones 8-24. They are native to the desserts in Northern Mexico but can be found growing in most of the south/southwestern United States. While they seem to grow in places with a warm climate, they are cold hardy up to 18 degrees.
It is best to completely soak the root system in a juvenile Mexican Palm and then completely dry in between watering cycle. Once matured, it needs little to no effort in watering.
Though it does not need regular watering, a Mexican Palm thrives the best when there is a regular fertilizing schedule. For general maintenance of your Mexican Palm, you want to mix 1 ½ pound of fertilizer with surrounding soil once every three months.
Fertilizer does not have to be fancy anything from a local garden shop will do. This might be an optimal opportunity to test your composting skills, seeing how coffee ground with neutralize alkilinty in the soil makes it ideal for Mexican Palms.
Before the Mexican Palm reaches 30 ft, it is recommended to do regular pruning by only trimming the brown or dying leaves from the crown’s bottom. After it gets 30 feet and over, the tree tends to do the pruning itself. It will begin dropping the leaves down to the ground. The only thing left for you to do is clean up the mess.
6. Rooting System
When you see a 100 ft tree, you want to ensure that they are securely anchored for several different. For obvious reasons, you hope it doesn’t fall, but you want to know that you have proper spacing for this purpose.
The root system of the Mexican palm is a crowded, tightly woven ball. Each old root that falls off of the root system remains integrated into the root ball. When planting multiple trees, you don’t want their root ball to attach, so care must be taken to avoid a tangle. It is recommended to plant each palm at least 8 feet apart from each other to avoid crowding. Because its root system is so compact, it is easy to transplant a tree to another location.
Allowing the ground to be saturated with water for the overnight. Fertilizer can be spread at the base and repeated every three months after that. Mixing one-ounce foliar spray in a gallon water bottle and spraying the fronds will provide it with additional nutrients.
Transplanting a Mexican Palm is a reasonably straightforward process. You can find a juvenile tree at many nurseries and will be able to purchase one with a wrapped root ball ready to transplant.
After digging a hole twice as wide and the root ball’s same depth, you carefully unwrap the bottom to expose the root ball. Ensuring that the base is level with the ground and place the root ball in the middle of the hole. Water the entire root system entirely before filling in the void with surrounding dirt.
Are They Poisonous?
Though these trees look entirely innocuous, especially since they are so similar to their non-dangerous counterparts, Mexican Palms are incredibly toxic to animals and humans alike. Every part of the tree should be treated with caution, and if ingested, could cause intestinal upset, vomiting, and death. If you fear your animal has gotten ahold of a part of a Mexican Palm, you must seek veterinary assistance immediately.
How Long Is the Lifespan?
Not only is the Mexican Palm a giant, growing 3 ft a year in its youth and a 1 foot a year in maturity. It can also live for a staggering 500 years.
It is hard to believe that Mexican Palms are susceptible to any diseases with such an impressive lifespan. However, a few telltale signs that your Mexican Palm is sick if you find that the older Prons or withering and hanging parallel to the trunk or the new growth appears stunted and yellowing.
This could be a sign of infection. If an infection does occur, it could cause the tree’s head to fall completely off the trunk or for the trunk to give out and collapse altogether. Depending on the type of infection, there are a serious of pesticides, fungicides you could use. Or it may only mean you are watering too much.
The Mexican Palm is a giant to behold, with its majestic long trunk and a large crown, it is sure to be a show stopper in the middle of a dessert. Though people have tried, it is almost impossible to keep this tree in a private yard.
There are some over pruning methods to keep this the tree small, but it leaves it open and susceptible to infection and diseases. It is best and more comfortable to enjoy these trees in their natural environment or local parks or business landscape.
However, if you can’t find your way out into the Mexican desert and find yourself suddenly in possession of this giant tree, know that it is simple to care for and a joy to witness.