Mexican Blue Palm Care Guide (Brahea Armata)

Mexican Blue Palm Care Guide

Mexican blue palm trees are straightforward to grow because they do not grow too fast, and they are extremely drought resistant and hardy.

This tremendous Mexican plant is native to the northern part of Mexico, even though it can also be grown in the southern and south American areas.

These hardy trees can be grown in zones 9 to 11 and sunset zones 8 through 24. Brahea Armata can grow up to a height of 80 to 100 ft, and their eaves are dark green and fan-shaped, reaching between 3 to 5 ft wide.

Growing Mexican palm trees is easy when planted in the right conditions. These plants are primarily found in desserts and grow naturally in pockets of underground water. They can tolerate both direct sun and partial sun shades and well-drained, alkaline soil.

Let’s quickly learn how to grow and care for the Mexican Blue Palm trees!

Mexican Blue Palm Care Guide

Photo by cultivar413 via Flickr

When grown properly under ideal plant conditions, this plant can grow up to 3 -10 ft per year, and their striking height makes this plant ideal for planting in grooves and large areas, but due to their thorny leaves and massive size, they are not very good choices for yards.

Sometimes, maintaining some species of this plant can be problematic. In most of its matured trees, the dead fronds usually drop off as the trees grow, and the younger trees also tend to hold onto these dead fronds.

See Also: Should Sago Palm Pups Be Removed?

So as these dying trees collapse against a trunk, they create a shaggy skirt of dead and dried yellow or brown leaves known as thatch. Sometimes, these thatches are formed on the trees, and many people recognize them as part of the trees while others remove them.

The primary reason why people who remove them do so is because this thatch serves as a breeding area for rats and vermin and a fire hazard.

Some cities also make it legal for residents to remove the thatch from their trees, and sometimes it becomes daunting and requires a professional to get it off when the trees get older.

If your tree is still smaller, you can remove these fronds yourself, and you have to wait until they get dehydrated before you decide to remove them.

You can achieve this with a pruning knife or any other type of sharp knife that you have around, but you have to be very careful so you do not hurt the significant parts of the tree or even yourself.

Some essential factors you should consider so you would be able to take care of your Mexican palm trees properly are;

1. Climate And Soil

Mexican palm trees prefer well-draining and moderately rich soil, but they can also survive properly in sandy and poor soils as long as they have a high draining capacity.

You can grow your young plants in a container or a small flower pot and place them to give your decks and patios a tropical look but make sure you do not plant one in a small yard since these plants need open areas to grow well.

There are some parts of Florida and California where these plants are considered invasive, and if you live in these areas of Mexico where this plant is an unwelcome guest, you can consider planting a Guadalupe palm instead; these species are a bit smaller, and you cannot view them as invasive, and they can also be grown in zones 10-11.

2. Watering And Fertilizer Application

it would be best if you water these plants at least once a month, although they are tolerant to salt and drought.

The fertilizer needs of this plant vary depending on the soil type they are planted. Still, for a general maintenance recommendation, you should apply 1 ½ pound of 8-1-10-4 palm tree fertilizer for every 100 square feet area.

3. Pests And Diseases

A common disease the Mexican palm tree suffers from is Ganoderma butt rot, a soil-borne fungus affecting all palm species. This fungus spreads upwards from the soil until it destroys the plant entirely by causing the leaves first to drop, and then the tree eventually dies.

There is no known cure or prevention for this fungus, so make sure you keep the surrounding areas of your plants clean, and whenever one of these plants gets infected, remove it from the rest as fast as possible so it does not affect others.

Another disease common to this plant is the thielaviopsis trunk rot which causes the tree’s canopy to fall without warning. You can also be able to refrain your plants from this disease by pulling off the lower leaves gently before they drop and not wounding the tree with a weed trimmer.

The wind and infected pruning tools disperse the trunk rot diseases, and there is also no chemical cure for this ailment. There is not much trouble with these plants and pests, but you should avoid buying leaves with visible holes from borers.

Why is Mexican Palm Tree Turning Yellow?

Photo by Berthold Werner via Wikimedia

One of the primary reasons your Mexican palm trees turn yellow is that they lack the essential nutrients to grow healthy. Although, in some cases, it is just its natural color; here are some ways to tell if the yellow color is natural or it should be a cause of concern.

Whenever most plant owners see the yellow color of leaves on their plants, it often passes off as a red flag, and in most cases, most palm trees turn yellow because it is lacking some essential nutrients like nitrogen, manganese, or even magnesium; all these help the trees grow healthy and strong.

For you to be able to know if the yellow color of the palm tree you got is natural, you can google the specie you got and ask for the color it can be, if yellow is one of them and you are sure that your plant has been taken care of properly, then it might just be a natural cause.

See Also: Is Yucca A Palm Tree?

What Fertilizers Can I Use on My Palm Trees?

Below is a list of some fantastic plant food suitable for your palm trees, and you can choose which is ideal for you based on your palm tree oasis.

  • Espoma organic palm-tone plant food; is convenient, resealable, has a gentle nutrient composition, and is also organic
  • Indoor plant food liquid fertilizer; has a liquid formula, a gentle nutrient composition, and is all-natural.
  • Jobe’s fern & palm fertilizer spikes; it has a steady stream of nutrients that help your palm roots, high nitrogen content, and is easy to use
  • Miracle-gro shakes n’ feed palm plant food; this fertilizer is designed to prevent the curling or yellowing on the fronds; it is easy to use and slow releasing
  • Jobe’s organic palm tree granular plant food; increases the strength of your root, is organic, and has resealable packaging

How Do I Tell If My Palm Plant Is Healthy?

The best way to check if your palm tree is healthy is through its fronds if you notice that the fonds and green are very beneficial because most times, yellow fronds and leaves are clear indications of an unhealthy trait.

Apart from the yellowing of the fronds, there are some other ways you can tell that your palm trees are either unhealthy or not. To know if your palm tree is suffering, there would be visible signs of pests like aphids, caterpillars, spider mites, and mealybugs.

If caught early enough, you can eliminate them and prevent damage.

Palm trees also develop diseases with visible signs like discoloration or wilting, growth of an unhealthy crown, and spots on the leaves and bud root; excessive shedding can also be an obvious sign.

How Do I Keep My Palm Trees Healthy?

You can keep your palm trees healthy by providing them with the right amount of water, fertilizing these plants properly with adequate fertilizers, and pruning at the right time.

How Do You Water a Mexican Palm Tree?

Watering your Mexican palm trees can be done monthly since this specie is drought resistant in the spring and fall.

You can choose to water every seven to 10 days, and in the winder, from the 14 to 21 days would do. You can place a drip emitter around the trunk to distribute water evenly, even to the under roots.

See Also: 9 Best Potted Plants For Pool Area

How Long Do Mexican Palm Trees Live?

The Mexican palm trees can live up to 500 years old and are usually propagated by seeds that germinate within 2-3 months, and this Mexican fan palm can grow up to 100 ft tall.

These plants add up to 2-3 feet per year when they are still young and when they gradually start attaining maturity, they slowly add a foot or even less.

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