After doing a lot of work around Golden Cane Palms I thought I would write a bit about them. In the last 10 years they have become the most popular palm on the Gold Coast. They have they benefit of not growing too large, and multiple stemmed so that they can cover the ugly view of an area you want to hide.
They are a nice looking palm with nice gold leaf stems and trunks, hence the name.
A medium to established plant can become quite thick, and some people like to thin them out at the bottom. The easy way is tochop them off at the bottom with secateurs, but will come back with curled leaves when this is done. If they are a bit taller the new trunks you can get below their growing point and remove them forever. Otherwise sharpen your crowbar with an angle grinder so it’s a sharp as an axe, then remove the new shoots carefully without damaging the trunks you want to keep. This will keep the base thin for a few years.
The next thing is the leaves. Many people plant them in confined spaces, and as they grow taller leaves will get in your way. The leaves need to be cut flush with the stem. This not only is the most attractive way to prune them, but the alternative leave the stump can spike you on the way past. I have taught many a client how to do this, as there is no time lost doing it the right or wrong way, but I still find them repeating the more ugly and dangerous way. Cut off any leaf that is over hanging your walking and access area, to just over your head height.
The main problem with the plant are their roots. I don’t think I have come across a plant that is so hard to cut the roots. When I’m due to plant plants around an established Golden Cane Palm, I sharpen my post hole shovel, mattock and crowbar. Still I find the digging difficult. You compare this with another common palm found in the area, the alexander and that’s a walk in the park to cut their roots.
Golden Cane Palms are water suckers, so any plant near their base needs more watering than usual.
Also on the point of water suckers, there are many palm that shouldn’t be planted near swimming pools because they will naturally seek out water. In extreme cases they can crack pool shells.
Now you have some of the inside tips on Golden Cane Palms you can enjoy them in your garden.