Foolproof Palm Care: Saw Palmetto

The Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a native Floridian and is a staple of many natural areas. It is also used in landscapes, but because of its flammability in wildfire-prone areas, it should be used with caution and not planted within 30 ft. of buildings. Saw Palmetto fruit is also an important source of food for wildlife.

Planting Site

Saw Palmettos prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade. They have a high salt tolerance and do best in well-drained soils, but can be difficult to transplant. Due to a clumping growth habit, at maturity, Saw Palmettos can be 3 to 10 ft. tall by 4 to 10 ft. wide, so selecting a planting site with enough space is important.

Nutrient requirements

Toward the end of a heavy rainy season, Saw Palmettos in the landscape may occasionally exhibit a potassium nutrient deficiency (e.g. yellowing fronds or yellow/brown spots on fronds). Prior to applying a fertilizer specially formulated for palms to address nutrient deficiencies, it is recommended that a soil pH reading is done. Click on the link to learn more about palm nutrient requirements fertilizing palms.

Pests and diseases

Generally, Saw Palmettos in the landscape do not experience significant pest and disease issues. To support optimal plant health however, regular scouting for signs of pests/diseases is recommended.

Learn more:

For more information on Saw Palmetto, click on this link.


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Posted: June 19, 2023

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Pests & Disease
Tags: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Foolproof Palm Care, Horticulture

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