The Care of Sylvester Palm Trees

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Loppers

  • Water

  • 15-5-15 or 12-4-12 slow release fertilizer

  • Long sleeves

  • Garden gloves


Sylvester palm trees also grow well in large pots.

Always wear long sleeves and garden gloves when planting or caring for the Sylvester palm, since the trunk has sharp points on it.

Sylvester palm trees have a number of other common names, including India date palm, wild date palm, silver date palm, and sugar date palm. Although the Sylvester palm is native to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it also thrives in United States Department of Agriculture growing zones 8 through 11. Caring for a Sylvester palm tree is not as challenging as with other palms, because this variety is relatively pest- and disease-resistant.

Step 1

Examine the planting location for the Sylvester palm throughout the course of the day to ensure that it receives full to partial sunlight for at least six hours. Prune back vegetation and tree limbs that are nearby to allow for adequate sunlight penetration, especially when the Sylvester palm is young.

Step 2

Water the soil under the palm tree to at least a 6-inch depth whenever the soil feels dry 1 inch below the surface. Although Sylvester palm trees are drought-tolerant once mature, small trees require supplemental watering.

Step 3

Wait until the early fall and look at the bottom of the canopy where the lowest fronds are located. Use a ladder if needed and identify any brown fronds which are dead. Cut off all dead fronds as closely as possible to the trunk using loppers. Throw all of the removed fronds into a composter.

Step 4

Fertilize the Sylvester palm using a slow-release granular fertilizer such as 15-5-15 or 12-4-12. In addition, look for a fertilizer bag that contains microelements such as magnesium or iron. Spread it out the length of the branches and then water the soil well afterward. Fertilize from spring through the fall months.


Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.