Nothing says Queensland like swaying palm trees. There are a multitude of palm varieties available and each should be considered carefully before you plant.
The Golden Cane Palm or Dypsis lutescens originated in Madagascar and is perfectly suited to our sub-tropical climate and work wonders as a screen. This clumping palm is a versatile plant for landscaping; the golden colouring making a bold accent and providing much-needed shading around pools. Being an unarmed palm they have no spikes or spines to be concerned about.
The Golden Cane can grow up to 6 -12 metres in height (around 4 metres being the norm) with arched leaves that can be up to 2-3 metres long. The plant contains 40-60 pairs of leaflets and bears panicles of yellowy flowers during the summer months.
Due to the non-invasive root system, the Golden Cane is appropriate for planting near swimming pools and home foundations. The thin and fibrous roots form big mats making them unlikely to invade pools or underground pipes unless a leak already exists despite their nature of being water suckers. If in doubt, plant the Golden Canes well clear of any underground pipes.
All palms will spread their roots superficially and could interfere with other shallow-rooted plants such as lawns. For this reason Golden Canes are best suited to garden beds rather than within the lawn it’s self. On the plus side, the growth of Golden Canes is fairly predictable unlike some trees whose roots will grow and cause interference with driveways and other structures.
Palms require a rich and moist soil. Initially water your palms once a week for the first few years and keep them well mulched and fed with either an all-purpose plant food or compost. Once they are fully established they won’t require any specific treatment other than ensuring that the roots don’t consistently sit in water.
The leaves will naturally shed every few months or simply die and hand down needing just a gentle pull to dislodge from the stem. Clean up may seem to be an ongoing process due to the sheer number of palm leaves within a single clump. To off-set this, and if full screening is not required, the Golden Cane Palms can be quite easily separated; clumps of 3-4 stems usually offering both adequate screening and shade.
If you are concerned about planting Golden Can Palms directly into the ground, or are renting and want to take your plants with you in the future, these plants do extremely well in containers; just plant in a large pot with free-draining potting mix. Due to the non-branching nature of the root system, Golden Cane Palms can be transplanted quite easily. For a larger palm we recommend staking and supporting the stem while the plant is re-established in its new home.