/ Cabbage Palm / Palmetto Palm
( Sabal Palmetto Palm )
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Origins:
– Sabal Palmetto Palms are native to the Caribbean, Bermuda and the United
States including Florida!
– The hardy Sabal Palm or Cabbage Palm is the state tree of both South
Carolina and Florida.
– These sturdy native palm trees are at home in just about any planting
location. I have even seen them successfully growing right out of the crack of a sidewalk here in the North
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Preferred Exposure:
– Plant Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm in full shade to full sun locations and
everything in between in our North Florida | Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscape.
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Foliage | Trunk:
– Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm have soft green ( almost gray green)
foliage, the palm leafs are divided along the center and folded gently upwards towards each other on
each branch towards the base of the leaf section of each palm frond.
– The trunks of Sabal Palms can be seen growing both covered in old frond
bases or cleared to expose a smoother wood underneath, given time and particularly when planted in areas exposed
to high winds and inclement weather, the older fronds will separate and fall off on their own leaving only a
smooth trunk behind.
– Trunks of Sabal palms are naturally variable and although most often seen
growing straight they are often seen both slightly and heavily curved in the landscape.
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm may be planted into any soil in the North Florida |
Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape.
– High salt tolerant palm tree selection perfect for shoreline plantings in
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Size Variance:
– Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm can reach sizes of 40-90 feet H | and
spreading 10 -15 feet in width. Sable Palm / Cabbage Palm are most often seen at only 30 -40 ft height
range in the North Florida landscape.
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Growth Habit:
– Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm has an upright rounded growth habit
forming a circular mound of palm foliage on top of sturdy trunks. Most often seen growing with a single trunk
they are particularly showy when planted in clumps of two or three palms in one landscape bed
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Growth Rate:
– Slow to moderate growing palm selection will take quite some time to reach
its potential size her in the North Florida landcape when planted from an S & J Nursery container or as a
large field grown transplant. Expect to see only 6-12 inches of growth per year under average rainfall and
moderate fertilizer applications.
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Bloom:
– Flower clusters are white to creamy gray and can be quite showy. Seeds
Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm Water Requirements:
– Extremely drought tolerant once established into the landscape, but
equally at home in wet boggy areas and tolerate even brackish waters.
Best Uses For Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm in the North Florida | Jacksonville |
St. Augustine landscape:
– Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm is an excellent choice for a landscape palm in our
North Florida landscape, foliage adds an instant tropical appeal.
– Plant Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palm in groups or as single accent
– The common name of Cabbage palm comes from the terminal bud being used as a
food source as hearts of palm, although dont try this at home as the removal of the heart or growth tip of
the palm tree kills it. Just seems like a waste of a tree to me, eat an artichoke heart instead. 😉
Care of Sabal Palm / Cabbage Palms:
– Easy care palm tree needs adequate supplimental irrigation when transplanted
into the landscape but will survive on its own with little help from the gardener once established.
– Minimal pruning required.
– Fertilize 1-3 times per year depending on desired growth results.
MINIMUM PALM FERTILIZER REGIMEN – what you should be doing to keep your palm
– Fertilize each spring with a specially blended fertilizer for Palms, follow
manufacturers directions and apply 1/2 lb o 1lb of fertilizer per inch of diameter of trunk on your palm,
measured from a hands width above the ground level. That means for a 12 inch wide trunk from left to right you
would need 6-12 lbs of fertilizer for just that one palm!
– Fertilize every fall with magnesium sulfate ( Epsom Salt) to keep your palm
green and healthy through the winter months!
MAXIMUM PALM FERTILIZER REGIMEN – what you can do to get your palm up and growing
– Fertilize every three to four months with your choice of Palm fertilizer
and Magnesium Sulfate. Water 3-4 times per week and make sure to water thoroughly after each fertilizer
– Wait till fronds have turned completely brown before removing from the palm
as the palm will take back in the nutrients from those older leaves ad use it when forming new ones.
*CAUTION – DO NOT FERTILIZE NEWLY PLANTED
FIELD GROWN PALM TREES WITH PALM
Note : When planting smaller palms being grown in a container, this rule does not
apply, rather, use half the recommended application rate for your trunks diameter, as containered palms roots
have not been damaged or cut during planting but are still only a portion as large as they would be if the palm
had been growing in the ground and excess fertilizer on a confined root system is still not preferable for
Palm fertilizers are water soluable and will burn the new roots your palm tree is
trying to put out as it establishes itself into the landscape. It is best to use only poly coated plant food
that is heat release like Osmocote general purpose fertilizer or non
burning Milorganite in the first year in the landcape, and then the
following year, start your palm food regimen that will provide all of the minor nutrients that your palms will
need to keep them healthy and problem free in Florida’s soils.