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Caring for palms can be more difficult than you think. Palms require specialized 
soils and soil amendments in many parts of the country. While palms are very 
hardy, many species can only be grown in warmer climates. There are some palm 
species that can handle a light freeze. Only these species can be grown in the 
Houston area. Palms have become very popular in the last 20 years with growers 
starting to propagate them in great numbers. 
There are many local problems associated with growing palms in the Houston area 
The soils vary around the Houston area with Ph varing greatlly. A good palm company 
should check your Ph and know how to adjust the soil. Most palms will do well with 
a ph of about 6. Simply applying fertilizer is not enough. Careful monitoring is 
required in the Houston area. I have found Ph as low as 4. 5 to over 8.5 in the Houston 
area. If the ph is incorrect, palms can literally starve from nutrient deficiences. 
Palms generally need additional maganese and magnesium. Shortages of potassium 
can also cause them much distress. Composted products can improve the condition 
of the palm. Most palms like lots of organic material. 
There are many major diseases that can affect palms. Root Rot, heart rot, lethal 
yellowing, cadang, phytophthora, and mycoplasma like organisms often kill palms. 
Clay soils and other abiotic disorders can be contributing factors in death. Fungal 
diseases can usually be controlled with fungicides and the elimination of sap-sucking 
insects can also prove a useful method of disease control. 
A wide range of insects attack palms, including caterpillars, moths, butterfilies, 
grasshoppers, beetles, aphids, scale, thrips and borers. Most can be controlled with 
insecticides, while a regular control of weeds or host plants can also help 
to reduce insect problems. A regular spraying program with a systemic insecticide 
should keep insect numbers under control. The End!

Notes from the Tree Doctor

How to Care For Palms


Images 8

The Woodlands 
Lake Conroe 
Harris County 

The Real Tree Doctor


Houston, Spring

The Woodlands, Conroe, Lake Conroe



Caring for Palm Trees

Images 17

Call someone with 25 years of experience. Don,t rely on someone who 
has less than 6 months experience.