Gardening Blog - Lush Online Plants Nursery australia

Welcome! We hope you will enjoy our articles about plants, garden care, tropical plants & more. Select a category on the left, or scroll down to start reading! If you are looking for growing information for a specific variety please use the 'search' function below. We'd love to hear your feedback or experience; leave us a comment!
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The Lipstick Palm (Cyrtostachys renda)

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The Lipstick palm (or Red Sealing Wax Palm) is a stunning feather palm with a brilliantly, almost unbelievably vivid red trunk & crown shaft, found in lowland coastal swamps in SE Asia.

The Lipstick Palm is a medium sized, clumping palm which grows to around 6m tall. It is one of the most spectacular and colourful tropical palms and is in high demand as garden and landscaping plant.

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Are Palm Trees really 'Trees'?

Scientist categorise Palms in the Monocot family.

Scientists put palms in the monocot family (monocotyledoneae), which is related to grass, corn, and bamboo, not a tree. A palm uses a different system than trees for transporting water through its mass by using clusters of phloem and zylem packed in a sheath. Another argument is that palms do not produce bark or a cambium layer and do not have the same incredible healing process as trees. The palm’s trunk is spongy and hard as it expands but palms do not produce growth rings like trees.

Scientists determine types and families of plants based on how they operate on the inside and not on the appearance.  Others argue that palms are trees for obvious reasons, they look like trees: palms and trees are tall with mainly brownish trunks and green foliage.

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Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

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The Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) is a dwarf palm suited so small gardens. It is a solitary, very elegant palm, which grows to around 3m tall. This palm is not self cleaning and the leaves will form a skirt around the trunk if not removed.

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Ivory Cane Palm (Pinanga coronata)

Grow Notes for Ivory Cane Palm (Pinanga coronata)

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Macarthur Palm (Ptychosperma macarthuri) - Indoor/Outdoor Palms

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The Macarthur Palm

Whether you call it the Macarthur Palm, Cluster Palm or Hurricane Palm, it is a perfect fit for the tropical garden. It is everything a tropical plant gardener could want from a Palm: low maintenance and neglect hardy in the tropics. This North Queensland native averages 3-6 metres tall (max 9m) making its modest thin-trunked bunches an accent to the garden and not an overwhelming lurch. Once matured it has multiple slender trunks topped by feather shaped fronds.

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Palm Trees; Wonderful Self Cleaning Palms

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Self Cleaning Palm Trees

Caring for a Self Cleaning Palm Tree is not much different than caring for other tropical plants.

A Self Cleaning Palm is a palm that sheds its fronds or trunk-cover efficiently as the plant grows. This isn’t to say other palms don’t shed their Palms, it is just more likely that Self Cleaning Palms will have a fresh appearance during shedding compared to the others that have a visually slower process.

Follow the Self Cleaning Palm’s Care Instructions.

Knowing a palm’s particular species and characteristics will give an advantage to caring for the palm. Never assume that your particular Palm can survive in the conditions of others. An example: Although most Palms love plenty of sun, the Parlour Palm is an exception. Due to its ability to grow beneath the dense canopies of the rainforest, the Parlour Palm actually thrives in lower light conditions. On the contrary, the giant Bangalow Palm craves hours of full sun.

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The Complete Guide to Palms & Palm Nurseries

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Growing Palm Trees in your Home, Garden, and Nursery

With their easily identifiable features and the instant suggestion of the tropics, Palms have become the undeniable shining star of the garden world.  Palms add intrigue, variety, and contrast to almost any garden theme. Tall, small, wide or thin, with over 2500 Species of Palms, there are many available at your local plant nurseries or join the trend and buy palms online.
 
Without Palms, a garden can lack height and personality. Palm trees are the staple of every garden; they provide height for other garden plants, overhead cover to protect plants in the shade, they look stunning in pots, and they are sure to create that tropical lush garden look.
 
Palms are natives to almost every tropical region on the planet. Palms are used worldwide as a source of food, commercial profit and they are also very important to many tropical villages that use palms as building and roofing material. The palm is truly a gift from the earth.

How to Grow Palm Trees

Growing palm trees requires care and dedication. Knowing a palm’s particular species and characteristics will help ensure you provide the right amount of light, water, soil and nutrients.  Even the hardiest of palms need attention and by a general inspection of the soil and foliage, you can determine what it needs to thrive. Palms are generally happier in a rich, moist, well-drained soil. Most palms desire, very warm climates, lots of sun and plenty of water. They need plentiful water but palms also benefit when the soil dries between watering.
 
Palms need a proper place to grow and if you are starting a palm nursery, most baby palms like a warm area with good sun exposure. Nurture these little palms with close attention to the particular species care instructions and the results are gorgeous, strong, and mature palms for many years of enjoyment.
 
Can I Grow Palms in Cool Climates? Many palms will survive in cool climates. The general rule is that palms like warm weather and lots of water but many palm species could withstand some frost. If your area is too frosty then there is a palm, like the parlour palm, that will grow in an indoor parlour pot or within a climate controlled nursery.
 
Hardy in many ways, palms must also be handled as sensitive plants. The advantage with palms is their necessities tend to be basic and if these needs are met then even the smallest palms are mighty survivors. In an ideal environment, the lifespan of a palm can range from 40-100 years depending on the species. There are few palms that will survive the zero range on the Celsius scale but there are a great variety of palms, to choose, that will survive a moderate frost.  There are really no unusual pests or diseases:  so frost, lack of moisture and not enough light are the main hindrances of a successful palm.
 
When choosing a palm, many people nurture smaller palms because a 30cm plant is much cheaper than having a 20m giant, like the Queen Palm, transplanted at full maturity into your yard. These baby palms need adequate spacing to develop and they will need protection from too much sunlight and heavy wind. Once they strengthen by design and become full grown specimens, they will withstand a wide diversity of harsh elements.

How to Grow Palm Trees Indoors as House Plants

Palm plants can easily be grown indoors, on the deck or in an enclosed patio. Indoor palms are easy to grow because they require the usual conditions:  warmth, light and moisture.  When potting your palm, make sure it has a large pot to prevent tangled roots and that there is space for good drainage. The pot should also be strong enough to support the palm. For more versatility indoors, select a palm that is light weight and has a short maximum height. Also search for a palm that grows well in shady areas.
 
An example of a perfect indoor palm is the Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans), it is short and a great survivor in dimly lit interiors. This quaint palm grows at ground level beneath the lush canopy of Central American rainforests.   Their maximum height is about 2m tall, giving them the perfect size to be enjoyed indoors. Since they don’t need much light, this is a benefit to growing them in your home; these palms are highly tolerant of dark rooms. They like a consistently moist soil but not drenched.  Another added benefit for growing indoors is that the Parlour Palm is frost hardy and known to survive at -10 degrees Celsius, this means it will survive the temperature of most living spaces.

Palm Nurseries and Palm Selection

Caring for a home Palm Nursery is not much different than the care provided at commercial palm nurseries. Palm seeds vary in strength and some shells are thicker, making it hard for the seedling to puncture through. The rule of the true “green thumb” is to wait. If the seed is nurtured as the baby Palm seedling grows inside the shell then the eventual outcome could be a 20m marvel. This is very important, depending on the species or the random thickness of the seed-shell, the seed should be given the same conditions that are vital to mature palms.  Some seeds may take a year to sprout so they will need a very warm surrounding with generous light and a rich, well moistened soil.
 
Not all species are available at your local nursery and the only option for some palms may be available as seed. Buying seeds or young palms online from a reputable plant nursery is a common way to get your exact palm and stay within your budget.

Selecting a Palm and Preparing the Nursery or Garden

Many people have a specific “vision” for their palms or an idea of the type of palm they’d like to include amongst their other garden plants. Other plants already living in the garden may benefit from the added shade of a larger palm like the Majestic Palm (Ravenea rivularis) or a smaller clustering palm, like the Cluster Palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii), may be a good choice for in the shady areas near the house or deck. The conditions of the environment must be considered whether planting in the nursery or garden.
 
The landscape features are important for the future growth of the palm. So, if the plant starts at 1m and there is power lines overhead, it may be a hazard 25 years from now.  Most palms will only need several feet of moist dirt and will be non invasive but consideration must be given to the species mature trunk width and the habits of the palms and roots. Choices should be made wisely to ensure the selected palm will have the best environment to flourish for decades.
 
Are palms invasive? The roots of a palm are strong and will grow down with less intrusion or apparently no intrusion compared to most trees. The design of the palm roots is to grow downward and this creates a deep hold into the soil.

Styles and Types of Palm

Large and small palms, alone or in clusters:  the ideal selections are determined by what will give your garden contrast and “flowing” esthetics.
 
Palms have two general styles and they are commonly referred to as fan and feather. This describes the appearance of the actual palm layout. Fan palms “fan out” like a folding hand fan and a perfect example of this is the Chinese Fan Palm. Feather palms “feather” from a central rib like a bird’s feather and the description is obvious in reference to the Canary Island Date Palm.

Smaller Palms and Palms for Small Gardens

Ptychosperma microcarpum - This is a fairly small palm, only growing up to 5m tall, with beautiful bright green feathery foliage, similar to the Foxtail Palm. Its overall appearance is very similar to the MacArthur Palm which is very popular for use in landscaping. The PNG Cluster Palm can be solitary or clustering, and is suitable as indoor palm, as well as outdoors in the garden
 

Colourful Palm Trees

Redneck Palm (Dypsis leptocheilos) Red, hairy crown shaft. From Madagascar and grows 10m tall. Very easy to grow, grows well as far south as Sydney.
 
The Pink Crown Palm (Dypsis gracilis/Pink Crown) 

Dypsis Pink Crown is a very dainty, graceful palm with a fine, attractive stem. Leaves are short & curly and new growth is an attractive purplish pink. The Pink Crown Palm is a very popular collector’s palm from Madagascar, and grows in the undergrowth of rain forests in its native habitat. 

It grows to around 4m tall and is best grown in part shade, in a protected, moist spot. Usually grown in subtropical to tropical areas, but will grow as far south as Sydney in a protected spot as long as temperatures do not get below 1C. Usually a solitary palm, but best grown in groups of at least 3 to provide maximum impact in the garden with its stunning, colourful new growth.

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Australian Fan Palm (Licuala ramsayi), native Australian tropical palm tree

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Beautiful Native Australian Fan Palm

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Kentia Palm Trees (Howea forsteriana)

The Kentia Palm is a beautiful solitary upright palm with arching dark green leaves. It is native to Lord Howe Island east of Australia and can reach a height of 10-20m when grown outdoors. It’s very graceful with a dark green ringed trunk and a brown hessian like thatch around the leaf bases.

Kentia Palms are the most popular indoor palm because of its capability to retain a great appearance in low light situations, air conditioning & tolerance of neglect.

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Golden Cane Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

The Golden Cane Palm is one of the most popular and attractive of all palms. It is very easy to grow, and especially attractive due to its bamboo look. Golden Canes are clustering palms, with up to a dozen ringed, bamboo-like golden coloured trunks. Foliage is evergreen, of fine texture, and yellow-green in colour.

Golden Canes grow to a height of around 4 meters in the ground. They are excellent palms for some shade around the swimming pool or the home, as their rootsystem is non-invasive. They are also very adaptable and can be grown in full sun to part shade. These Palms are excellent for screening, they are fast growing, and are very bushy, creating a screen quickly and efficiently. Golden Canes can be pruned to shape & size to form a tidy, dense hedge.

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