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Chinese Fan Palm Tree

Chinese fan palm tree in the wild landscape. Fan palm trees

The Chinese Fan Palm Tree, scientific name Livistonia chinensis, is getting very popular in Florida landscapes. It is also great for indoors and can be used as a houseplant. This palm is very cold hardy and can tolerate drought which makes is great for desert conditions. This palm can grow in states like Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.

Chinese Fan Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Livistonia chinensis

Common names: The Chinese Fan Palm is also known as Chinese Fountain Palm and Fountain Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to China and southern Japan.

Appearance: Livistonia chinensis has a single straight grey-brown trunk ringed with old leaf scars. It is slightly swollen at the base, about 17-18 inches in diameter.

The trunk is topped with an evergreen dense crown of palmate, or fan-shaped, leaves that droop downward creating fountain-like effect. Large, partially segmented leaves can grow up to 5ft long and 5ft wide, and range from bluish-green to glossy olive green in color. The petioles are armed with sharp thorns.

Flowers/Fruits: The Chinese Fan Palm produces yellow-cream flowers that are held by, shorter than the leaves, inflorescence. Flowers are bisexual, male and female flowers grow on the same plant. Flowers are followed by small, oval fruits 1 inch long. Green fruits turn dark blue to blue-gray when ripe.

Growth Rate: Slow.  In its native habitat Chinese Fan Palm can grow up to 50ft tall, but in cultivation, it usually doesn’t get taller than 20-30ft and 5-10 ft wide. This palm will grow faster if fertilized.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Cold Tolerance: It’s cold hardy and can tolerate cold up to 10F. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 8a (10 to 15 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Partial shade to full sun.

Water Req: Moderate. Prefers moist but well-drained soil. Chinese Fan Palm tolerates drought very well.

Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds.

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