Palm trees come in different sizes. Some are short, some are of average height, and some are insanely tall. There are species of palm trees that can reach a height of 200 feet. The height of the palm tree is dependent on the species.
The best way to prevent having a taller than life palm tree is to cultivate short palm tree species. That would save you the stress of bothering yourself on how to stop a palm tree from growing taller. In this article, we will check some things you can do to influence your tree’s height.
Why Stop Palm Tree From Growing Tall?
For the Beauty
Some people plant the palm for its beauty and do not need it to grow so tall. Allowing the palm tree to grow too tall is not necessary if they are indoor plants.
Maintain Personal Space
If you allow the palm tree to grow as tall as it can, you may find it growing into people’s spaces. No one likes to get complaints regularly from their neighbors about how the fronds are littering their compound or how the fruits falling into their compounds attract pests.
More Flowers and Fruits
It is the same energy the palm tree needs and uses to produce fruits that it also uses to grow tall. If you want more fruits, it is wise to limit the tree’s height, so the tree can channel nutrients into bearing fruits.
How To Stop A Palm Tree From Growing Taller
1. Cultivate A Short Palm Tree
Cultivating a short palm tree species is the first step towards having a palm tree that is not too tall. Ask about the fruit of the palm you intend to purchase, to know if it came from a tall or short tree.
You can as well get the fruits from a short palm species that you know. It is risky to try messing with the growth of the palm tree. It may just die instead of stopping growth.
There are dwarf species like palmetto and licuala. For these two, they do not grow more than one foot every year. Parlour palm is another short species. It is one of the smallest palm species known to man. It can be only 2 feet tall.
2. Cutting Down the Palm Tree
You could make use of the hurricane cutting method, a style of cutting trees to get your palm tree to become shorter. Or stagnate in height. Take away the dead and brown palm fronds.
You can also take away the green fronds as much as you can. Leave only a few green fronds atop the palm tree. If you always prune or trim your palm tree, it will slow down its growth.
There are many challenges with pruning or trimming the palm tree. One is that excess trimming will cause your plant to have stunted growth (which is what you want), but this trimming will cause the palm to be vulnerable to plant diseases.
Again, the palm tree's trunk will get weak if the palm trees undergo pruning for an extended period. A palm tree with a fragile trunk cannot withstand the pressure of hurricanes or strong winds.
3. Manipulate the Roots
You can tweak the palm tree's roots, so the plant can stop growing, but this is only a temporal solution. Wait for spring, and then with a wooden stick, get rid of dry soil off your palm tree’s root system. Use your tools to prune the palm tree roots.
Cutaway all the big roots, and leave just the tendrils. When you have finished cutting, cover the palm’s roots with soil and leave it for seven days. Suppose seven days elapse, water the plant. This process will make your palm tree not to grow for 30 days.
4. Stress Train Your Palm Tree
This stress training is right for indoor palms. To do this, apply gentle pressure on the plant’s stem. The pressure on the stem should be strong enough to bend but not break the plant.
Do this once your palm has reached 6 inches in height. As it grows, keep bending the stem towards the pot’s base.
5. Keep the Lights Close
Usually, the shoots of plants grow towards the presence of light - A phenomenon known as positive phototropism. That is why plants grow upwards in search of light. So, if you deny your plants light, they will grow towards any source of light they see.
So, if you do not want your plant to grow so tall, you can keep the lights close to it, so they do not bother going too far in search of light. You can use LED lights to do this.
Surround the plants with the LED lights. They are safe and will not burn your plant since it gives off only minimal heat.
Keep the lights 12 inches from the palm and observe the reaction of the leaves. If they curl and droop, shift the LED light to 18 inches.
If you see that the leaves are still robust and growing adequately, lower the lights to 6 inches. The fronds indicate whether or not the plant loves the LED light.
There are other lighting options you might want to try, like the HPS. They give off more heat and can burn your fronds. So, the best thing is to place it 24 inches off the plant’s top. Always adjust the lighting distance when you notice the plant is responding positively or negatively to the light.
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Plants in the home do not need much height, so knowing how to stop a palm tree from growing taller is crucial if you want to maintain aesthetics. We hope this article has furnished you with valuable info on what to do.
For us, the best way to ensure you have a short palm tree is to plant a short variety. Palm trees might look strong and mighty, but little damage to their trunk can be the end of the plant. So, while you are manipulating the plant, ensure you do not harm the tree trunk, or else the plant will die.