ONE OF OUR FAVORITE COLD-HARDY PALMS
The silvery leaves of this beautiful palm make it a favorite for landscaping. Just make sure when planting to allow it lots of space. The trunk may grow to 25 – 30 ft., and its large wedge-shaped leaves can grow to 10 feet wide.
This hardy plant does well in cold weather, and gives forth little cream colored flowers during the late spring. The Bismarck Palm will flourish in a good amount of rainfall, though it is also drought resistant.
History of the Bismarck Palm
The Bismarck is a monotypic genus of the flowering palm and is native to Western and Northern Madagascar. The name comes from the Latin word, “noble,” which accurately represents the plant’s growth. They are typically found in the highlands and reach the western and northern coasts.
Now these trees can be sound all over the world in different tropic and subtropic climates. They are very commonly found in the United States, Indonesia, and Australia.
Caring for the Bismarck Palm
When growing a Silver Bismarck Palm, there is nothing to worry about. These trees do not require a lot of maintenance but you will have to worry about mineral deficiencies. If you make sure that the plant is getting sufficient minerals from the soil and the fertilizer then you are good to go.
Makes sure that the area where you grow your Bismarck palm tree is not windy, as these trees are easily damaged in the wind.
The best way to grow Bismarck palm is in complete sunlight. The direct sunlight is very important and can promote good growth. However, the tree can also grow in partial sunlight. You can grow it in the shade but there should be some source of light.
It is not important for you to use a typical kind of soil for this plant. You can go for multiple options such as sand or loam. However, it is very important for you make sure that the soil has all the necessary nutrients for the tree to grow strong. If your soil does not have adequate amounts of potassium, magnesium or other important minerals then that will affect the growth of your tree.
To check whether the tree has necessary nutrients you can buy a test and find out about all the deficiencies in your soil.
It can be tricky to water the Bismarck Palm. When you first plant the tree, you must water it regularly to keep the roots moist. However, it is very important for you to avoid waterlogging your palm tree. For the first month, water your plant every day and then over time you can decrease the frequency of watering.
For the Bismarck palm you need to make sure that you get a granular palm fertilizer and use it three times a year. The best times to use the fertilizer are spring, summer, and fall.
Common Issues of the Bismarck Palm
It is best not to remove living leaves from the plant as that will reduce the potassium supply for the tree. This happens because cutting off the living leaves will release a chemical that attracts palmetto weevil. This can be very dangerous for the tree.
The larvae from the Palmetto weevil can kill the tree, which is why it is very important for you to control pests.
Typically, there are not many diseases in the silver Bismarck palm but it is susceptible to some diseases such as Ganoderma butt rot which is a fungal disease. This disease can cause the tree to be unstable and even cause it to die.
The stem of the palm can often grow too big and if that happens, you can easily prune the tree. If you prune the trunk, it is possible for that to induce branching. The palm tree has good regenerative properties and that can help you grow your tree even after you prune it.
You can propagate the Bismarckia nobilis from the seeds and the seeds are collected from the female plants. First soak the seeds in hot water and leave them soaked for two days.
You can use small pots with sand and potting soil for the propagation. Before you put the seeds into soil, you need to wet it slightly and then press the seed one inch into the soil. For the plant to grow you need to keep in a warm spot. It will take at least six to eight weeks for the seeds to germinate.
Potting / Repotting
It is not particularly easy to transplant the palm and it usually takes up to a year or two for the plant to recover completely.