How to transplant a palm tree in the ground and in a pot

There are palm trees that can be potted

Do you have a palm tree and want to know how to transplant it? If so, the first thing you need to keep in mind is that this is a type of plant that doesn’t like changes too much. It has a very sensitive and fragile root system, like that of all grasses, which is why the transplants must be done with great care so that it can pass normally.

For this reason, it is also important to perform them at the right time, as long as the plant suffers as little damage as possible. So we will explain how to transplant a palm treewhether you want to plant in a larger pot or in the garden.


How to repot a palm tree?

Palm trees need space

There are many palms that can still be in pots, such as the robelina palm (roebellini phoenix), Palm heart (Chamaerops humilis), and of course the Chamaedorea, which have very thin trunks rarely exceeding two meters in height. But it’s very, very important to make sure they’re in the right pots.because if we keep them in those that are already small, over time they will weaken and eventually die.

As a result, This should be avoided by transplanting them into a larger pot as soon as the roots come out of the holes of the one it currently has, and/or if the plant has been in the same pot for more than three years.. If in doubt, what we can do is take it by the trunk and try to remove it a little: if doing so we see that the bread of earth comes out whole, without falling apart, it means that it needs to be changed.

When to transplant a potted palm? The ideal time is spring, once it has settled in. It could also be done at the beginning of summer, but it is better to do it before the temperatures start to exceed a maximum of 20 ºC, because when that happens these plants grow a little faster since the heat stimulates their growth.

Materials you will need

  • Pot with holes in its base. It should be about 7 centimeters wider and taller than the one you already have.
  • Quality substrate, light and fluffy. We recommend the universal of the following brands: Flower, BioBizz, Weedness. You can click on the links if you want to buy them.
  • Watering can filled with water for watering after transplanting.
  • Gardening gloves.

Do you have everything? Now is the time to transplant it.

Step by step

To transplant the palm into a larger pot, what to do is this:

  1. The first thing is to take the new pot and add enough substrate, more or less up to half or a little less. The height of the old pot should be taken into account, as the plant should not be too high or too low in relation to the edge of the pot.
  2. Then you need to remove the palm tree from the old pot. First of all, I recommend to give the pot a few blows so that the earth comes out of it, and so it can come out better. In the event that the roots have come out of the drainage holes and become entangled, they will have to be untangled carefully.
  3. Then we introduce it into the new pot, placing it in the center.
  4. Later, we will finish filling the pot, leaving the trunk uncovered because if it is covered with earth it can rot.
  5. Finally, we will proceed to the water. You need to pour water until the soil is very wet.

How to plant a palm tree in the ground?

Palm trees grow best in the ground

Washingtonia filibusta (left) and Phoenix roebellini, from my garden.

The vast majority of palm species are too large to be put in pots, so very often there will be no choice but to plant them in the ground if they are to remain beautiful. But to do it right, we have to wait until spring arrives and the risk of frost is behind usotherwise they would be damaged.

Same if it is an exotic species, it is better to wait until the beginning of summer is near, since anyway until the temperatures do not exceed 20ºC it will probably not grow. And if for some reason it is planted earlier and there is a drop in temperatures, the most exposed leaves will no longer look healthy.


  • A hoe to make the planting hole.
  • Gardening gloves to protect your hands.
  • Watering can with water.
  • And of course a place to plant our palm tree.

With regard to this last point, we must take into account several things: first, that palm roots are not aggressive and that consequently they cannot break anything, unless the pavement is very soft or badly made; and two, that there are palms which need sun (like Washingtonia, Phoenix, Chamaerops, Sabal, Butia, Jubaea, Parajaubea, Trithrinax, Roystonea, etc.), and others which prefer shade, like the Chamaedorea, Howea forsteriana (kentia), Cyrtostachys renda (red palm), Calamus, Archontophoenix, among others.

Step by step

Once you have everything you can plant your palm tree in the ground by following these steps:

  1. Make a hole or planting hole of at least 50 x 50 centimeters and fill it with water. Then wait for the earth to absorb everything and control how long it takes to do so. And is that if it takes more than 30-40 minutes you will have to make the largest hole, 1 x 1 meter, and put a layer of about 40 centimeters of volcanic clay (on sale here) or perlite.
  2. Then fill the hole with a universal growing medium from one of the brands we mentioned before, such as Flower or BioBizz, taking into account the height of the pot.
  3. Then, gently remove the plant from its container. Give the pot a few taps so that the soil loosens and the palm tree can easily come out.
  4. The next step is to insert it into the hole and finish filling it.
  5. Make a pit with the remaining soil and water.

So you can transplant your palm trees well.

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