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Chinese Fan Palm-Versatility Plus


The Chinese fan palm, also called the fountain palm, is a landscape and garden favorite due to its versatility and ease to grow.

This is one of the palm trees that's perfect for a beginning gardener.

It is commonly cultivated as a house plant when they are young, despite the fact they will grow to 50 feet tall in nature.

HK CWB The Leighton Hill Public Big Leaves 6

Appearance

A native to Taiwan, the islands of Southern Japan and  southern China, it has made its way around the world to many different countries.

This palm is a great addition to any landscape no matter what size it is.

The Chinese fan palm has near circular fan leaves which are partly segmented.

This gives the large leaves an attractive droopy sort of appearance once older.

The leaves on the younger trees are a brighter emerald type of green, with a brown/red trunk.


Chinese Fan Palm Tree Infograph


Their leaf stems do have spines on them when they are young to help protect them from predators.

At this stage their leaves appear more flat and don’t droop.

Once they are larger and more mature the spines disappear.

Once at this stage their leaves are a more olive type of green getting up to 6 feet across and their trunks display a more gray color.

They will get arching large, long sprays of whitish yellow flowers- up to 6 feet on older trees.

The blossoms will turn to a fruit that will be an almost deep, bluish, turquoise in color once ripe.

The display of flowers or fruit just adds extra to its beauty.


Livistona chinensis - kew 2
Chinese fan palm ripened fruit


Chinese Fan Palm Growth

The Chinese fan palm is an easy grower adapting itself to many different climates.

It grows on the slower side so is great as a house plant with adequate light.  

Growing in part shade to full sun and in just about any soil conditions, as long as it drains well, it can live as a container specimen for many years.

The only thing you really have to watch is the hotter climates. It will prefer part shade in the extreme heat.

This tree has become so adaptable outside its natural habitat that in some of the warmer wetter climates like Florida or parts of the Caribbean that it is considered an invasive species.

Chinese Fan Palm Tree - Medium

Quick info: Scientific name   Livistona chinensis

  • 40-50 feet tall, 15 feet wide   single trunk
  • Minimum temp 25°F   growth zones 8-11
  • Part to full sun, any well drained soil
  • Drought, cold and somewhat salt tolerant
  • Slow grower, easy for beginners
Chinese Fan Palm-Livistona chinesis

The Chinese fan palm is used to the higher elevations of its natural habitat so it is cold tolerant and drought tolerant.

It does have what is considered a mild salt tolerance as well.

There are no real pest problems to deal with except maybe some spider mites if housed indoors.

It is only mildly susceptible to the lethal yellowing disease.

This tree will thrive, rewarding you with a beautiful canopy if it has regular fertilizer and water.

Consider planting this tree in your yard, or a container around the patio. You can always bring him inside once the colder months arrive.

Easy to enjoy year round!

Mature Chinese Fan Palm


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You may find these other articles useful:

Indoor palm trees has a list of the easiest to grow in your home or office.

Growing will define the plant hardiness zones, soil and lighting types, as well as other commonly used garden terminology.

Planting gives you best practices to get your tropical specimen off to the best start.

Fertilizing teaches how to read the label, what the numbers mean, calculating the correct amount and where to apply.

Care  covers the basics required while pruning shows you when, what and how to trim.

Large varieties, medium or small kinds and the cold hardy types list the trees in each category to help you find the perfect one for your landscape situation.


Palm Tree Passion > Types of Palm Trees > Chinese Fan Palm