Windmill Palm Tree
The Windmill Palm Tree, scientific name Trachycarpus fortunei, is one of the most popular palms because of its ability to withstand temperatures down to 5 degrees that makes it a great choice for areas in USDA zones 7-11. Whenever you see pictures of palm trees in the snow, this is usually what you see. This palm tree can be grown in states such as Alaska, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and more. It is a very adaptable palm and is simple to grow. You can also start it indoors until it gets too big.
Windmill Palm Tree Info
Scientific name: Trachycarpus fortunei
Common names: The Windmill Palm is also known as Chusan Palm and Chinese Windmill Palm.
Origin: It is native to central and eastern China.
Appearance: Trachycarpus fortunei has a slender single trunk that is around 8 to 10 inches in diameter. The trunk is covered with a loose mat of coarse gray or brown fiber and is a bit narrower at the base.
The Windmill Palm has palmate, sword-like leaves that are 4 ft in diameter. They range from dark green to yellow-green in color that seem almost silvery on the underside. Leaves grow upward more so than outward. The petiole is about 1 ½ feet long and armed with sharp thorns.
Flowers/Fruits: The Windmill Palm is dioecious, male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. In the early summer Windmill Palm produces large plumes of yellow flowers on the male plants and greenish on the female plants. Flowers are held on 3ft long branched stalks. Later flowers of the female plants transform into bluish-black fruits that are about 1/2 in (1.3 cm) in diameter. The fruits get ripe in the mid fall. The Windmill Palm fruit is not edible.
Growth Rate: Slow. Windmill is slow growing palm that can reach 10 – 20 ft in height and 5-10 ft wide.
Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.
Cold Tolerance: is extremely cold hardy and can tolerate cold down to 5F when mature. The fronds can handle weight also, makit it one of the best palm trees in the snow. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 7b (5 to 10 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
Light Req: Partial shade.
Growth Rate: Moderate. The Windmill Palm likes moist and well drained soil. Enough moister in the soil speeds up plant growth and improves the appearance. Although Windmill Palm is very drought tolerant, irregular watering and drought will slow its growth rate dramatically. For the best results, water it every other day, for the first three months, and weekly for the remainder of its first year.
Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.
Insects and Diseases: Very few insect and disease problems exist to endanger growing Windmill Palm trees. Scales and palm aphids are pests that usually cause problems for Windmill Palm. Windmill Palm may be infected by root rot, moderately susceptible to lethal yellowing disease, and leaf spots.
Propagation: Propagated by seeds. Windmill palm seeds will germinate in 8 to 12 weeks without a lot of fuss. Sow seed at 75°F in spring or fall.