What Soil is Used for Palm Trees?: With a Simple DIY Soil Guide

Choosing the right soil for a palm tree is a critical element in growing a healthy palm tree and so here we have for you what soil is used for Palm trees. Palm varieties are useful in many ways. They can be a houseplant with a lush tropical feel to the indoor area or an outdoor massive tree. Palm makes the best decorations with easy care.

The Palm needs little attention and care while growing. One way to keep the plant happy is by choosing the right soil. With a little knowledge about the soil for the palm, you can buy or better make your soil for the plant. Keep reading this article to know about the soils, and care for the plant with the best soil recipes to make at your home. 

What are the Types of Palm Trees? 

Palm trees belong to the Arecaceae family of perennial flowering which could be climbers, shrubs, trees, and stemless plants.  Palms are the most extensively cultivated variety of plants. They are used in common products and consumed as foods. Palms have large evergreen leaves with stems. 

  • Mexican Fan Palm can grow up to 70 feet tall. They need fertile yet fully draining soil to grow. Best choice for coastal planting.
  • Windmill Palm can grow up to 40 feet tall. They can survive in many types of soil which are fully draining soil to grow. Best choice for the coastal area.
  • Pygmy date Palm can grow only up to 6 feet tall. They need sandy yet fully draining soil to grow. Best choice for indoor planting.
  • Royal Palm can grow up to 60 feet tall. They can grow in clay or sand or loam and are not picky about the soil choice to grow. 

What is the Best Soil pH for Palm Trees?

What is the Best Soil pH for Palm Trees?

The best soil pH for palm trees can range from 5.5 to 7.5. Palms can grow best in slightly acidic or alkaline soil to neutral soil depending on the variety of palm trees. If the soil is too alkaline, it may affect the plant. To make your Palm soil acidic, add peat moss to it.

pH is tested to find the potential of hydrogen and uses a chemical scale to identify the nature of the soil. Testing for soil pH is the first step in getting to know the soil. Ph can range from 0 to 14. Any soil with a pH higher than 7 is alkaline and less than 7 is acidic. Do a pH test to find the soil pH level.

Testing the Soil

If you want to grow a palm, the first thing you should do is test your soil. Testing the soil for palm trees will make sure the soil is acidic and alkaline enough for the plant. Starting from before planting the plant to every period, keeping a regular check on soil pH is a must. To do the soil pH test, 

Litmus Paper Test– This traditional paper test is used to find if the soil is acidic or not. Mix the water and soil in a container and dip the paper. If the Litmus paper turns red, then the soil is acidic. 

Digital Tester– The Digital Tester is used in the soil to find the soil pH. This electronic device is made of metal which also shows the mineral levels that are present in the soil.

Lab Soil Test– Send your soil sample to a nearby soil lab or extension office to know about the soil. They also give more information to grow the plant along with the soil pH and contents in soil.

Do Palm Trees grow in Sand or Soil?

Do Palm Trees grow in Sand or Soil?

Palm trees grow in sand. Sand is loose soil with fewer nutrients but the soil has pores that helps to hold water and nutrients in it. Palm usually grows in sandy soil which gives them enough drainage and nutrients in it. Light and well-draining soil is a must for a palm tree. Sand-based soils are best for palm trees according to their variety of palm.

What Soil is Used for Palm Trees?

The best soil for Palm trees is Sandy Loam soil. Loamy soil has a mix of sand, silt, and clay content in it. It will give the right amount of drainage, retention, and texture as well as nutrients in the soil for the plant. Sandy loam will give the extra sandy content for good drainage.

In the case of indoor plants, Select soil that does have all the best drainage components mentioned below for Palm tree soil. Buying potting soil or potting mix and making amendments with compost could do the work.

In the case of outdoor plants, buying organic garden soil does do the work. But with the required amendments it will be made for the Palm tree.

Components of the Perfect Palm Tree soil

Components of the Perfect Palm Tree soil

The Three main components which should be present in soil to make it the Perfect soil for Palm Trees are,

Proper Drainage- Proper draining soil is essential for Palm trees. If grown in a pot, it doesn’t need a special drainage hole for drainage. Water sitting in the pot is acceptable at some point. If grown on land, add Peat to nourish the soil and improve drainage.

Water retention– Water retention should be enough for the need for water. Some varieties of Palm Trees ask for moist soil while some need well-draining soil. Adding a combination of ingredients that have equal water retention and drainage will help in tree growth. 

Good aeration- Palm trees like damp soil but they should have good aeration too. As some types love dry and light soil to get the proper aeration, giving that will help them grow. Providing extra aeration for potted plant soil will boost the growth of the plant.

How to prepare Potting soil for a Palm Tree? 

To prepare the potting soil for Palm Trees, add one part of the Potting soil to One part of the organic matter. Organic matter includes soil, compost, bark, coir, moss, and plant waste such as lawn clipping, leaves, stems, and branches. 

Depending on the texture of the mix, add one or two parts of coco coir to it to improve the aeration. You can add perlite to increase the drainage of the soil.

The preparation of a potting mix for Palm is cost-efficient and easy. Succulent, cactus soil is quite opposite to garden or potting soil. Cactus soil is even more nutritious and suitable for Palm trees rather than others. Adding potting mix directly for Palms is not good. But after mending the soil to improve drainage and aeration will make the potting mix doable for Palm trees.

DIY Tips to make soil for Palm tree at Home (Complete guide)

Soil for most plants can be made by mixing potting soil or some minerals and organic matter. But Palm tree needs soil that is suitable for each type. Palms are very picky about their choices to grow in moist and nutritious soil. So, making a Do-it-yourself soil is your best choice. To make your own DIY soil for your Palm tree,


  • Collecting all the ingredients before making the soil.
  • Take time to mix the ingredients.
  • Learn other items like reading a pH tester, types of nutrients, and their uses.

Now you can start making the DIY with the below-given ingredients and follow up,


  • Gear up with gloves to avoid the dirt from the soil.
  • Measuring cup or instrument to measure the ingredients.
  • Bucket or vessel to make space to mix the soil.
  • A small shovel/ Trowel to mix the soil.
  • Dust mask.


Inorganic matters

  • Coarse sand– Coarse sand is added to give a loose texture to the soil. The sand is added to reduce the clay content in the soil.
  • Volcanic rocks– These are rocks from volcanic lava. The rock contains many minerals which help in plant growth.
  • Gravel– Gravel is rock fragments that are formed from the breakdown of rock. They are used in decorative and to provide aeration to the soil.
  • Vermiculite– Vermiculite is added to the soil to aerate it and also to retain moisture and nutrient in it.
  • Perlite– Perlite is formed from volcanic emission. They make the best aeration for the Palm potted soil.
  • Pumice– Formed from volcanoes when they erupted explosively. The liquid explosion is formed to pumice rock making the aeration for the soil.

Organic matters

  • Potting soil– The potting mix with the soil makes the potting soil. Potting mix has peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and many others. 
  • Coconut Coir– The coconut fiber is an all-rounder made from coconut husk used for many purposes. They are used in soil to improve soil texture, drainage, and aeration.
  • Compost– Compost is a mixture of organic waste formed and added to soil to enrich it. 
  • Manure– Manure is a natural source of nutrients to the soil. It is made from decomposed plant and animal waste.
  • Saw dust
  • Peat moss– This soil amendment is made from peat bogs. This active decomposing peat moss is used to hold water in the soil.


My best recipe for Potted Palm Tree is,

  • 1 Part Potting soil
  • 1 Part of any organic matter

My best recipe for an Outdoor Palm tree is,

  • 1 Part Organic matters
  • 2 Parts Inorganic matters


After collecting all the required ingredients and tools add the measured ingredients to the bucket with the help of a trowel and add One part of organic matter to one part of the inorganic matter of any choice and mix it well so both are mixed. This will give the best soil for your outdoor Tree.

For indoor plants add one part perlite or pumice or sand to 1 part potting soil and mix all well to make the best soil for your Palm tree. When using potting soil add the required amount of sand to it and other nutrients to reach the pH requirement of the plant.

Where to Buy Soil for a Palm Tree?

Soil for Palm trees can be bought in a nearby commercial store or online. Store-bought soil is readymade to use but may contain fertilizers. Online, you can make your choice based on your research with the review, rating, and the right mix mentioned in the label. With whatever way of buying the soil, adding some soil conditioner will help for the betterment of the plant as well the soil.

To know more about soil conditioners, click here.

Best Commercials to buy soil Palm Trees


Miracle Gro

The miracle-gro indoor potting mix is best for indoor plants such as cacti and succulents. This light and drain fast mix contains coconut coir, fertilisers, and other products. The product is certified by the mulch and soil council for the standard. Adding perlite and decoratives to the pot with this mix is required to grow the Palm tree.

Miracle-gro gives value-for-money products at a reasonable rate with premium quality. They also provide various other types of potting mixes, all-purpose soil, and fertilisers at affordable prices for the garden.

Soil Survey

Soil survey

The Soil Sunrise- Palm Tree potting mix is specially made for indoor Palm plants. This light and fast-draining mix contain Sand, Lime, perlite, peat moss, and Pumice. The product is certified for the standard. This ready-to-use mix also can be used for majesty, cat, ponytail, sago, and fan palm varieties.

They give premium quality, value-for-money products at a reasonable rate. They also provide various other types of potting mixes, and all-purpose soil. Plant food and fertilisers at affordable prices for the plants.



Miracle-gro Cactus, palm, and citrus potting mix are ideal for your desert Palm tree and they give all the essential nutrients the desert-loving plants will thrive. This fast-draining formula has sand and perlite in it to create the best environment for the plant. This soil is fortified with nutrients to prevent diseases in the plants. This is best with the added plant food which makes it super filled with nutrients.

No Name of the product Quantity




1 Miracle-gro Indoor potting mix  24
2 Soil Sunrise Palm tree potting mix 4 15
3 Miracle-gro Cactus, palm, and citrus potting mix 4 18

Can I use Garden soil for Palm Trees?

Yes, you can use garden soil for Palm trees. Garden soil will be heavy, damp and moisture pretended with lots of organic, and inorganic patterns in it. Palms that outdoors thrive in garden soil. Garden soil will be loamy, and perfect drainage and nutrients will make it suitable for Palm trees to grow. But add some more drainage amendments to make it perfect. Potted palms will need different types of soil.

Do Palm Trees grow in Clay Soil?

Do Palm Trees grow in Clay Soil?

Palm Trees can grow in Clay soil with proper preparation. Clay soil may look fine for palm trees but using it directly for palms is not good. It may lead to blocking the nutrients from the plant root. Properly amend the clay soil before planting the palm in it. Adjust the soil according to the palm and check the pH and nutrients before planting.

Can I use Cactus Soil for Palm Trees?

Yes, cactus soil mix can be used for Palm Trees. Keeping a check on the sand in the soil will only make the difference. Cactus plants need more sandy soil than a Palm trees. Often the term cactus and succulent are used indifferently. You may find labels in soil bags stating cactus and succulent soil. As the characteristics and needs of both cacti and succulents are common, they can be used for one another.

Selecting the Right Place and Pot for Palms

Selecting the Right Place and Pot for Palms

The right place to grow a Palm depends on the variety of the Palm. Some types can grow into a tree that can’t be grown indoors. Some dwarf varieties with limited growth and weight can be grown in the pot. Palm prefers a shady place but some species can tolerate hot sun. Palms are temperature tolerant as long they have moist soil.

Picking the right pot is essential for every houseplant. The right pot for a Palm plant is categorised by the size and material of the pot. 

The pot for the plant can be plastic, ceramic, or wood. But the best one for Palm trees is Terracotta because of the water storing nature. This will help to keep the plant moist even at high temperatures.

The Size of the pot for the Palm tree can not be fixed. There is no perfect size pot for plants. Giving the plant a pot that is two sizes bigger than the plant will be good. 

Potting and Repotting for Palm Trees

Potting should be done, when the store-bought plant is in a small pot disregarding its size

Repotting a Palm every two years once during summer will enrich the plant with nutrients in the new soil. Repotting can be done at certain times,

  • When the plant has outgrown the pot or container in which it grows.
  • When its plant is externally damaged due to any cause like animal accidents and many such.
  • Fungal or bacterial infection can damage the soil during such times there is a need to repot the Palm.
  • Root rot is not a major problem and the plant can recover on its own. But at times, when it gets severe repotting should be done to save the plant and root.

Repotting should not be done in yellow leaves, dropping leaves, dryness, sunburn, and insect-invaded soil.

To repot a plant, selecting a container or pot regarding the size of the plant is the first step. The two factors which determine the pot size are: Water requirement and growth space.

  • Loosen the plant from the pot with a shovel and dug it out.
  • Remove the soil rock and remove any debris from the root to add it to the new soil.
  • Place the plant in a new pot with a ⅔ new soil and fill in the sides to make the plant straight.
  • Add water and potting mix to make up for the lost nutrients.

Amendments to use for Palm Tree Soil

Amendments to use for Palm Tree Soil

Soil amendments are vital for both soil and plant but also are a threat. Since all amendments added to soil are organic, it may invite insects, pests, and diseases to plants. Though pests are unavoidable, they can be prevented. Palm tree-like amendments from the plant waste. Any plant waste such as compost, shredded leaves, pine bark, and twigs makes the best soil amendments for the Palm Tree. The plant or green manure is less smelly and cheap.


Creating the best soil for the Palm plant will nurture your plant for full and healthy growth. The best soil will aid the plant to have good aeration, drainage, and nutrients. With the above-mentioned guidelines, you can make your own DIY soil for the Palm tree. Adding proper care and nutrients will add the Palm tree to your indoor potted plant collection.


What is the best compost for Palm trees?

The best Compost for Palm trees is plant-based compost.

Do Palm Trees need Special soil?

Palm tree needs soil that is well-draining and nutritious for the plant.

Do Palm Trees need full sun?

The sun needed for the palm trees depends on the variety of the Tree.