Fire Palm, Archontophoenix alexandrae - Nursing Guide

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Fire Palm, Archontophoenix alexandrae - Nursing Guide: alexandrae

Also known as the king or Alexander palm, the fire palm is becoming increasingly popular in our latitudes. Originally native to Australia, the ornamental plant needs optimal environmental conditions to thrive. If the location, temperatures, water and nutrients supply, the plant grows very fast and can spread in a short time. However, used to warm temperatures, the fir tree needs an adequate winter quarters. Otherwise, however, the plant is easy to maintain and is - apart from the slightly more demanding propagation - also suitable for beginners.


The plant native to Australia, which mainly grows in humid areas in its country of origin, also requires a location with the highest possible humidity and high temperatures in our latitudes. However, care should be taken not to expose the crop to the blazing sun; Although the fir tree also thrives in full sun, it is essential to protect it from the strong midday heat. In contrast, the plant feels particularly comfortable in partially shaded areas of the local green space, as long as the selected place offers high humidity.
However, the optimal location also depends on the age of the fire palm; In principle, young plants do not tolerate strong heat, whereas older plants may well be exposed to the blazing sun for hours after careful adaptation without being damaged. In addition to the type of solar radiation, the temperature also plays a decisive role in a successful attitude of the fire palm; The plant feels particularly comfortable when it is warm between 19 and 24° C.
In addition, sufficient brightness is required for good growth. From the claims, which places the plant in the optimal location, there are different possible areas in which one can set up the palm tree. These include:
  • a light-filled conservatory
  • a sheltered area on the balcony or the terrace
  • a partially shaded area in the garden
After the winter break, which takes place in a sheltered room, the fire palm should first be spent for a period of two weeks in a partially shaded place, as the influence of the spring sun can cause burns on the leaves.


In order for the fir tree to feel at home in the chosen location, it is important to provide it with an optimal substrate. Particularly suitable in this context is a high-quality soil that allows both light and moisture through. In addition, attention must be paid to the optimum pH of the earth, which should be slightly acidic. Above all, a mixture of different components has proved its worth, for example
  • - compost
  • - earth
  • - Broken clay break or lava granulate
  • - and gravel.
Tip: Who puts conventional soil with expanded clay, ensures better irrigation and ventilation of the sensitive roots!
Over the years, fir palms are not only less sensitive to the location - robustness also gradually increases with respect to substrate requirements. So hobby gardeners can also use pure soil in older plants, for example compost or humus soil. However, this should preferably also be light and water permeable. Some specimen are so hardened that they can cope with pure garden soil.

Pouring and fertilizing

Fire palm - Archontophoenix alexandrae

Basically, the fir tree is a very moisture-loving plant that needs to be optimally supplied with water both inside and outside. Since the plant forms a dense root system, it is necessary to water the substrate regularly. The amount of water required depends on the size of the plant and the volume of the pot, so that small fir trees need less moisture than large specimens.
For casting, use only soft water, which has the best room temperature. In addition, the leaves of the plant should be sprayed regularly with water. In addition to an optimal irrigation of the fir tree, a specific fertilization is required so that the plant is supplied with all vital nutrients.
Here are the following points to consider:
  • fertilize twice a month
  • Fertilization exclusively during the growth phase (April to October).
  • commercial leaf plant fertilizer for healthy plants
  • Palm fertilizer for the special needs


If the fire palm is regularly poured and fertilized, it needs little care otherwise. However, under optimal conditions, the plant often grows very quickly, so that the planters can become too narrow in a short time. Then it is important to repot the plant to give the roots more room again.Many copies of the fire palm need to be repotted once a year. At the latest when the pot is completely rooted, the move is in a larger vessel. It has been proven to choose a pot that is about 2 numbers larger than the last - this corresponds to an additional diameter of about 3cm.
The repotting should be done before the start of the growth phase, so that the plant has enough time to get used to the new pot. A good time is the early spring, when the first rays of the sun already warm the plant, but the growth process has not yet begun. When repotting the following steps are to be observed:
  • Carefully loosen the substrate baked with the pot
  • remove dried or rotten root
  • Fill pot with expanded clay and soil
  • Insert plant and straighten
  • Set pouring edge
Even though hobby gardeners often suspect otherwise: The care of the fire palm does not include cutting the plant, as it only has one growing point.

Propagation and cultivation

Fire palm - Archontophoenix alexandrae

The proliferation of the fir tree is usually done by seeds, but requires a little practice and tact - a task for experienced hobby gardeners, who already have a wealth of experience. The cultivation of the fire palm can basically be done year round, as long as it takes place in the house.
The following should be noted:
  • Soak seeds overnight in room-warm water (Vorquellen)
  • Sow seeds in nutrient-poor growing substrate (eg moist coconut fiber)
  • Sowing depth: 1-2cm
  • Cultivation temperature: 20-26° C
During the cultivation the hobby gardener ensures a uniform irrigation. However, the seeds should not be drowned in water, but merely moisturized. The general germination time of the fir palm seeds may vary according to the ambient and initial conditions; so not soaked seeds germinate much slower. The first germination can already be done after two weeks, but even after two and a half months, it is still possible that the seed rises.
About eight weeks after budding, the plant is placed in a tall pot; In this way, the experienced hobby gardener avoids that the plant lifts out of the pot - because the growth then progresses quickly. It should be noted that the young plant should not be exposed to the blazing sun. In the penumbra she is best kept.


No matter if the fir tree has got a place within the garden or on the balcony - when the warm season comes to an end, every hobby gardener has to think about relocating. The palms are only able to withstand temperatures around the freezing point for a short time and should even be placed under frost protection at temperatures as low as 5° C. The optimal winter quarters should meet the following conditions:
  • Protection from rain and snow
  • sufficient brightness
  • Temperatures between 10 and 15° C
  • Protection against dry air
During wintering in a sheltered area, dry air in particular becomes a problem for fir trees. Especially spider mites feel comfortable in this environment and can spread explosively. Preventive help room humidifier, which ensure a higher humidity, and the regular spraying of plant leaves.

Diseases and pests

Fire palm - Archontophoenix alexandrae

Not only in winter, but increasingly in the cold season, appear as classical pests of the fire palm the following species:
  • spider mites
  • mealybugs
  • aphids
It has been proven to examine the plant for pest infestation even before it is placed in the winter quarters and to counteract it at the slightest sign. If the infestation is low, it may be sufficient to thoroughly flush the plant. Persistent pest infestation is treated with neem oil or a mixture of soap and water. In the fight against aphids, it is important to repeat the application several times to catch pests in each stage. Spider mites can be particularly dangerous to the plant; The treatment should take place as early as possible and not only when the pest has formed fine webs between the leaves. Otherwise, the fire palm is in danger of dying.
Among the classic diseases that are based on typical care mistakes, the root rot counts. If water was not poured evenly and waterlogging has occurred in the meantime, the root can be damaged considerably and gradually fade away. It has proven in this case to put the plant in new, dry soil. But even on the leaves damage can be caused by various care mistakes.
If these turn brown, for example, the following causes may be considered:
  • Acquired by continuous casting
  • Fouling after pest infestation
  • General nutritional deficiency
Often even the experienced hobby gardener can recognize the underlying cause only after the exclusion process and initiate the appropriate measures to remedy the damage. Treated in a timely manner, but the plant drives out after a short time again.Graceful, easy-care and decorative - who gives the fire palm an optimal environment, will certainly enjoy the magnificent plant for a long time!

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