The wind slips through the stems and fronds of the palms, evoking thoughts of trade winds and tropical beaches. The palm, or Arecaceae family, also known as Palmaceae, includes approximately 202 genera and more than 2,600 species. Based on the species, a hand may have a single up or backward to 50 comes growing in a clump from a common root system. A multistemmed palm tree is generally pruned to keep three or more stems.

An Indoor Paradise

Palms are mainly tropical trees that cannot tolerate long exposure to low temperatures. The golden cane palm (Dypsis lutescens), also called areca palm is just one of the multistemmed palms that grow as houseplants. Able to develop outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, golden cane palm thrives in bright light and moist, well-draining dirt. Another indoor favored that has more than 1 stem is woman palm (Rhapis excels), which rises outside in USDA zones 9 through 11. Lady hands prefers shade to part shade and moist soil, though once established, it tolerates some drought.

Small Palms for Small Gardens

Small multistemmed palms need pruning to remove all but a few stems and the leaves will need to be trimmed to expose the trunks. In a small garden or as an accent plant, European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis), also known as Mediterranean fan palm, rises in USDA zones 8 through 10. Once it prefers full sunlight, it tolerates some shade. The delicate fronds of finger palm (Rhapis multifida), also called jade empress palm, belie its sturdy nature because it thrives in USDA zones 9a through 11. Finger palm prefers a shady place and moist, well-draining dirt.

A bit more Impact

Larger multistemmed palm trees are usually planted near the home where the tree receives afternoon shade or as a matched pair, with one on each side of the driveway to get a formal landscape design. Cabada palm (Dypsis cabadae) thrives in the warm climates of USDA zones 10 through 11, growing up to 30 feet tall, while Senegal date palm (Phoenix reclinata) rises in USDA zones 9 through 11. Senegal date palm grows in clumps, rising to heights of 25 to 50 feet tall. Use caution when thinning the leaves and stalks to expose the curving stems because the leaf comes have needlelike thorns close to the trunk.

Pruning Palm Trees

Many multistemmed palm varieties produce new stems from the origins, requiring regular trimming to keep up the tree at just three stems. When pruning the origin suckers around the base of a palm tree, put on gloves, safety goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, a dust mask and gloves or work boots. Even though anvil pruners cut little suckers readily, bigger stems may need loppers or a saw to remove the whole piece. When pruning, dip the pruning tool’s blades to a solution of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water after each cut. Soak the resources in the solution for five minutes after pruning each tree to stop spreading diseases or pests from tree to tree.

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