How to Grow Bismarckia - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Trees Category   /   2023

Bismarckia, also known as the silver palm or Bismarck palm, is a genus of flowering plants in the palm family. The genus is named after Otto von Bismarck, the first Chancellor of Germany. The Bismarckia genus consists of two species: B. nobilis and B. plantaginea. Bismarckia nobilis is the more commonly cultivated species and is native to Madagascar. Bismarckia plantaginea is native to the Mascarene Islands, which are located in the Indian Ocean.

How to Grow Bismarckia - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Bismarckia plant? Because of its low-maintenance needs and high resistance to pests and disease, the Bismarck palm is an excellent choice for beginning palm growers. It is also a good choice for those who want a low-maintenance landscape.

Plant Size

How big can it be? Eventually, it can reach heights of up to 60 m in the wild. When cultivated, Bismarckia is usually much smaller, with most specimens topping out at around 15 m.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? Sometimes, depending on the size of the pot, you may need to water your Bismarckia every day during the hottest months. If the leaves start to droop, that's a sign that it needs water. It's best to let the top inch or so of soil dry out before watering again. If you're growing your Bismarckia outdoors, you'll probably only need to water it once a week. It's a good idea to check the soil before watering to make sure it's not already moist.

Bismarckia Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Tree
Family Aracaceae
Origin Western and Northern Madagascar. A synonym is Bismarck’s palm tree.

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? If you live in a region with freezing temperatures and snowfall in winter, it’s important to choose plants that are perennial. Perennial plants are those that live for more than two years. The Bismarckia is a type of palm that is native to Madagascar. It’s a perennial plant that can live for up to 100 years!

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? The Bismarckia plant is a tropical plant that can carry a wide range of temperatures. The plant is able to withstand temperatures from 50 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is not recommended to allow the plant to be exposed to temperatures below 60.8 to 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit for a prolonged period of time. The plant can withstand short-term exposure to temperatures of 26.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but the result may be that the leaves will drop.


What about the humidity? If the air is too dry, the leaves of the Bismarckia plant will suffer, and in extreme cases, the plant may die. To avoid this, it is necessary to spray the plant with water from time to time, especially if the room is heated.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? So, the best place for a Bismarckia plant is a south, south-west facing window where it will receive bright light for 5-6 hours a day. In winter, it's a good idea to supplement the natural light with some artificial light.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Bismarckia? While Bismarckia plants prefer air-permeable soils, they can also tolerate heavy clay soils as long as sand and organic materials are added. This is due to the plant's low substrate needs.

Watering Time

How much I must water Bismarckia? known that it is unpretentious to the composition of the soil and watering. It is enough to water a moderate, however, does not allow the substrate to completely dry out. Sufficiently resistant to drought.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. When and how often to fertilize Bismarckia plants. Bismarckia is a genus of flowering plants in the palm family. The genus is named after Otto von Bismarck. They are native to Madagascar. Bismarckia are large palms, the trunks growing to 20 m tall. The leaves are pinnate, with up to 30 pairs of leaflets. The leaf margins are often toothed. The inflorescences are borne among the leaves, and are up to 5 m long. The flowers are white, pink, or blue. Bismarckia is fed during the growth period with complex mineral fertilizers for trees about once every 2 weeks.


How to reproduce Bismarckia? Sometimes, it is difficult to get Bismarckia to reproduce through seed. The best way to do this is by cutting, and soaking the seeds in manganese for 6 to 8 hours. It is also recommended that you plant the seeds in a sterile mixture of peat and perlite that has been pre-moistened. Germination usually takes place within 6 to 8 weeks, but can sometimes take up to several months. Once the seedlings have appeared, they should be removed from the battery and placed in a shady area. Watering should be done very mildly and only on occasion. Once the plant has grown strong, it can be moved to a sunny window.


Why Bismarckia won't bloom? The Bismarckia plant is a monocot and its flowers have both male and female reproductive organs. The plant is also hermaphroditic, meaning it can self-fertilize. The flowers are dark in color and have spiky, hanging inflorescences.

Caring The Bismarckia

How to care the plant? Common Name: Bismarck Palm, Bismarckia Palm. Scientific Name: Bismarckia nobilis. Light: Bismarckia need full sun to partial shade. Soil: A well-drained, sandy soil is best. Fertilizer: Fertilize every other month with a quality granular fertilizer. Water: Water regularly, keeping the soil moist, but not soggy. Hardiness: Bismarckia are hardy in zones 10-11. Propagation: Bismarckia are best propagated by seed. It is advisable to carry out the transplant as rarely as possible, not more than once every 4 years if the roots appear on the surface or in the opening of the pot. When transplanting, it is very easy to injure the roots, which can even lead to the death of the palm. Therefore, in adult plants, only the top layer of the soil is replaced. Bismarckia needs a narrow but deep pot. The palm needs to remove the old dried leaves. Those leaves that are not dried completely, it is better to leave on the plant, their premature removal depletes potassium in the plant.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Bismarckia plant? Eventually, this plant is quite unpretentious. It is resistant to pests, it is only affected by spider mites and scale insects. For Bismarckia, nothing is more dangerous than drying, and excessive moisture, especially at low temperatures, which can lead to root rot.


What is the benefit of the plant? Eventually, it can reach a height of about 20 m. The Bismarck palm is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. The flowers are pollinated by bees, and the fruits are black when ripe and have a diameter of about 5 cm.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Bismarckia poisonous? The plant is not poisonous, but the stalks have very sharp edges and can cut small children and pets if they touch it.