Silver Bismarck Palm Care
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.
A well-drained or loamy soil is ideal for bismarck palms.
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.
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.
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.
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.