The gigantic Traveler's Palm adds the desired lush greenery and tropical elegance to your garden with its gigantic presence. Easily recognizable, Ravenala madagascariensis can be used as a focal point in your garden. Though it can be a bit demanding in the initial stages in regards to its care, once established Traveler's Palm tree can grow easily with no fuss.
Welcome to the world of the fan-shaped palm tree, with an impressive size, likely to give you a sophisticated touch of tropics in your landscape of indoor spaces. Learn how to grow, care, and propagate the Traveler's Palm tree below.
The Meaning Behind Traveler's Palm Name
Traveler's Palm is not a true palm tree but belongs to the family of Strelitziaceae, together with the Bird of Paradise. Discovered in Madagascar, the Ravenala madagascariensis is believed to collect water using its foliage and store it at the base/trunk and can be easily poked to tap the stored water by any traveler, hence the name Traveler's Palm.
Due to its graceful presence, it is considered a symbol of welcoming your visitors home, hence should be planted at the entrance. Planting near the doorways makes the Traveler's Palm tree a true anchor to spiritual energy while offering the needed protection. Known for its resilience and tolerance to harsh conditions, Ravenala madagascariensis represents strength and adaptability.
Growing and Caring Guide of the Traveler's Palm Tree
Traveler's Palm tree can be finicky during the planting stage if not well cared for. Before planting your Ravenala madagascariensis, choose a conducive and accommodative space to plant it. The space should be enough and capable of supporting the expansive growth of the palm tree, either by height or width, given that this palm can grow really tall, to an impressive height of 15 meters (50 ft) and a spread of 4-6 meters (15-20 ft).
The following conditions are ideal to enhance the optimal growth of your Traveler's Palm while inviting lush greenery and tropical beauty into your space.
Traveler's Palm is best suited for tropical and sub-tropical zones, preferably USDA zones 10. Growing your palm tree in a warm, humid region, will contribute to its health and growth. Traveler's palm tree is highly sensitive to cooler temperatures, consider covering it during winter to avoid any harm which might occur as a result.
Location and Light
Traveler's Palm tree likes to bask most of the time, though, during the young stage, exposure to the scorching sun can burn the foliage, once it adapts, it prefers exposure to bright to partial full sun. Grow your Ravenala madagascariensis close to or surrounded by strong trees, which can act as windbreakers, strong winds can easily damage a Traveler's Palm foliage.
Growing in well-draining soil, rich in organic matter, will enhance the uptake of sufficient nutrients while improving water retention. A pH of 6-7 is ideal because the traveler's palm prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil pH.
Traveler's Palm tree is a thirsty palm tree type, watering consistently is highly recommended but watch out to avoid making it waterlogged. During the dry season, water deeply to ensure enough water gets to the root system. Once it is fully grown, the leaves will be harvested water and stored at the base, so you will not have to water more during this stage, in fact, you can stop watering once it's fully grown, unless during the dry season alone.
Fertilization and Mulching
Apply a well-balanced and slow-release fertilizer during the growing seasons (spring, summer, and autumn) to stimulate faster growth. Mulching is also crucial to prevent excessive moisture loss while inhibiting the growth of weeds.
Traveler's Palm does not require intense pruning, but regularly monitoring weak or fallen leaves should suffice. Remove those leaves to enhance the aesthetical appeal of the palm tree.
Common Pests and Diseases
Traveler's Palm tree is resistant to pests and diseases, but some of the common pests you should be wary of include; aphids, scale insects, and mealy bugs. Once spotted, treat the infestation promptly to avoid further spread, with either appropriate insecticides or natural remedies.
How to Propagate the Traveler's Palm Tree
Ravenala madagascariensis is propagated through the seeds, the following process should be followed when propagating it.
- Gather the seeds, and be on the lookout for the seed pods produced by the palm tree, once they turn brown, it is a sign that they will soon dry and burst wide open. Collect the seeds from the pods and prepare for the start of the propagation process.
- Seed preparation, due to the seeds having a very hardy outer shell, it is good to soften it to enhance the germination process. There are two steps to do this, soaking in warm water for 24-48 hours or using sandpaper to scratch the top layer.
- Prepare your trays by putting a well-draining potting mix in them and plant your prepared seeds there.
- Water consistently but do not overwater it because it might result in waterlogging and subsequently lower the germination success rate.
- The Traveler's Palm seeds may take longer than expected to germinate, maybe weeks or a few months but be patient because eventually, they will germinate.
- Once the seedlings are strong enough and have developed enough leaves, prepare to transplant to your preferred location. Once the transplantation has been done, the caring guide covered above will apply.
Though it might take several years for the Traveler's palm to reach its ideal height and spread, the end result is impressive and a true aesthetic for your landscape. With the above growing and caring guide, your tropical garden will be transformed desirably, with the right amount of greenery and the presence of this palm tree type.
Remember to fully enjoy a thriving Traveler's Palm, space is crucial to avoid inhibiting its growth and health, so choose where to grow it wisely.