This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area



October 25, 2011

Dealing with sucker growth on palm trees

If you have a palm tree that produces a lot of suckers, that is, a lot of new little fronds from the base, chances are very good that you have a Mediterrean Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis). And if you keep trying to cut off the sucker growth on this type of palm, you might just as well try to rub the stripes off of a tiger. That's just the way it grows.

The proper place for a Mediterrean Fan Palm is in a sunny area with a lot of space to fill. Since this type of palm suckers, it creates a wonderful bushy clump, instead of just a single trunk.

If you don't care for the look of this type of palm tree, dig it up, give it to me, and get one that just produces a single trunk, which is most other palm trees. Otherwise, just leave it alone and let it grow to the shape that it wants to. In this area of The Tropical Paradise you can see that I need to fill in the space, and this palm tree will do it. It's a hot, sunny, out-of-the-way place so it's perfect for this palm tree, which requires no trimming at all, except snipping off a dead twig or two.

I have seen these around town where people have tried to cut off the sucker growth, which all grows back right away, and it just looks sad. Instead, let it grow as nature intended, and it will be glorious!

Update three years later - it finally needed a little bit of trimming, and I used some long leather gloves, which helped a lot
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