Bismarck Palm Tree

Silver Bismarck Palm Care

Bismarck Palm Tree-silver-bismarck-palm
Silver bismarck palm

The silver bismarck (Bismarckia nobilis) is an exotic palm with wide silver-blueish large fan-shaped fronds (leaves) that’s native to western and northern Madagascar near the east coast of Africa growing in open grasslands. The silver bismarck palm belongs to the family endemic.

This sub-tropical beauty is a slow grower that can reach heights of 30-60 ft with a spread of 12-16 ft. Once these palms are established they become drought-tolerant. The silver bismarck thrives in zones 9-11, bismarcks are moderately salt-tolerant withstanding light salt sprays. Silver bismarcks are one of my favorite because it’s unique in appearance and will stand out in a garden design. For more on the silver, bismarck let’s take a closer look.

The planting location

Although the silver bismarck thrives best in full sunlight they can also survive in partial shade.

Soil requirements

A well-drained or loamy soil is ideal for bismarck palms.

Water requirements

A newly installed bismarck should be well watered for the first 6 months, the soil should be moist, not waterlogged. As stated earlier these palms are drought-tolerant once established.

Fertilizer requirements

Getting your soil tested will reveal nutrient availability, potassium, magnesium or boron is a must for your bismarck palm to grow healthy. Applying a granular controlled release of 8-2-12 plus micronutrients is ideal.

Fertilizing can be carried out 3 times per year, once in the spring, summer, and fall. Before applying fertilizer read and follow the manufactures label for best results.

Where to install silver bismarck

  • The silver bismarck can be install and grown as a specimen or a stand-alone plant
  • Install along a long driveway, give equal spacing for comfortable growth
  • Plant bismarck in a large garden plant bed

Garden insect pests issues

The Palmetto Weevil is a threat to many palms some of which include Royal, Coconuts, Fan, Canary island date, Washingtonia, Florida thatch, Sabal, sliver bismarck, etc… palmetto weevil attacks the palm from its crown (center) feeding on the palm’s soft tissues.

The grubs which are produced by these weevils also feed on the palm’s tissues which are nutrient-rich. These grubs then crawl to the outer edges of the fronds (leaves) where they emerge. Because of nutrient loss, the fronds are discolored with holes that are burned.

More of the crown is destroyed as the grub population increases. Drooping takes place and because of their fast consumption (grubs), the tree will eventually become hallow.

The palms then become weak with a bulge, leans, and will fall over as time persists.

A study has shown that improper care of silver bismarcks such as palm receiving a wound, cold weather or incorrect pruning may bring on stress encouraging or attracting the palmetto weevil.

Palm injections of pesticides are believed to give some results while another suggestion is to remove the tree and properly disposed of it so that these weevils don’t spread to healthy ones.

Disease issues

Besides Ganoderma butt rot the silver bismarck palm is disease-resistance, Ganoderma butt rot is a fungal disease that causes decay in the lower part of the palm’s trunk.

A white and brown shelf-like substance that resembles a mushroom may or may not form in the affected area. This shelf like-substance is called a conk, unfortunately, Ganoderma butt rot is not treatable, the infected palm must be uprooted and properly disposed of.

Pruning procedures

Silver bismarck are slow growers which means you won’t have to prune that often however if the fronds (leaves) are broken or disease can be removed with a pruning saw or hand pruner will get the job done. Removing the flower stalk will also improve the palm’s appearance.

The final word on bismarck palm tree

The silver bismarck is a gorgeous palm that can be found in many home gardens even used commercially. These palms are one of my favorites and you can enjoy them too.

This palm will go to work for you giving you what you want as your landscape and garden areas are flavored with their charm. Go ahead and give the silver bismarck a try, you will be so happy that you did.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

6 thoughts on “Bismarck Palm Tree”

  1. This is a gorgeous tree. I love going through Georgia and Florida to see the beautiful palm trees. My daughter and I were joking that, as we crossed the border between the two states, that they were trying to outdo each other with their planted “welcome” displays!  Since I live in the northeast, could you tell me how well this might do as a house tree?

    • Growing silver bismarck inside is not that popular because off size and height which they get, however you can give it a try by installing one that will fit comfortably in a container provided you meet the plant’s requirements. The root ball will also become restricted because of the container. Give it a try and see how it goes. A 7 gallon size or a little smaller is ideal. If the plant begins to decline after you have met the requirments then it is best to transplant outdoors.

  2. Oh how I would love to have a Silver Bismark Palm in my backyard! Thanks to your post I can start dreaming about. Not only that, you’ve provided some excellent and helpful information when it comes to plant maintenance. With the Silver Bismark Palm I like how it can thrive in full sunlight but also can survive in partial shade. Good to know about fertilization, pests and disease as well. I’ll definitely save your post for when the time comes to get one of these beauties, thanks for the info!

    • These plants are amazing and unique enhancing the apperance of your garden . I am so happy to help and wishing you the best of success with growing your bismarck palm.

  3. The Bismarck Silver Palm is a gorgeous tree. I live in Canada so this is not here. I like how you give a complete overview on where to plant, how to fertilize, the soil that is best for growing this particular palm, the pests and problems that one may encounter growing the Bismarck Palm tree. I do garden and find your information to be very comprehensive. If I could I would love to grow this Palms.

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and your kind remarks. These palms are beautiful and will bring much flavor into your garden and landscape area. I am so happy to help, have a good day and all the best to you.


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