Growing Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis)

Chinese Fan Palm

Chinese fan palm is a plant that will make a lovely addition to any southern yard. It has a single trunk, and it can easily grow to be 25 feet tall or more.

When the plant is mature, the fronds can easily have a stem that is over four feet in length.

It is a drought- and salt-tolerant plant, and it can be seen growing in hardiness zones nine, 10, and 11. Typically, this is a plant that is easy to grow in warmer climates, but it will need some care to keep it healthy.

Light and Temperature Requirements

The Chinese fan palm is a plant that needs a lot of sunlight to grow. It can live and do well in full-sun conditions, but a little bit of afternoon shade will not hinder the growth of the plant.

Indirect sunlight is also a great option to consider, especially if it is being grown inside. The light that comes through a window is ideal if it is a northern or a southern facing window.

The Chinese fan palm prefers temperatures that are warm and between 65 and 80 degrees at all times. With that being said, this plant is also one of the only frost-resistant palms, so it can actually tolerate lower temperatures that drop to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering Requirements

The Chinese Fan Palm is considered a drought-tolerant plant, so it does not need much water, especially if it is getting rainwater because it is growing outdoors. During the growing season, you can give the plant a little bit more water if it seems dry to the touch, but always check the soil before watering it so that you do not risk overwatering the palm.

Giving the plant too much water could result in the death of the Chinese fan palm.

Soil and Fertilizer Requirements

This is a plant that will typically grow in most types of soil, but something that is well-draining is going to be best so that the roots do not sit in water.

Clay or sand are good options that are well-draining.

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Even though this is a palm that is slow to grow, using a bit of fertilizer can help give the palm the nutrients that it needs to grow more quickly. If you can use an 8-2-12 palm fertilizer, it will help to ensure that the plant gets the proper potassium and other nutrients during the growing season.

Small Chinese Fan Palm

Pruning and Propagating Tips

This Chinese Fan Palm does not need to be pruned much other than to keep the shape that you want the palm to have. It should be trimmed if the leaves turn brown as well. The dead leaves should be removed from the palm roughly once a year.

When it comes to propagation, you will need to use cuttings from the plant that you already have to create a new one. Make sure to keep new plants out of direct sunlight until they develop roots, and make sure to use rich soil that has a lot of nutrients for the new plant.

You can also use the seed of a plant, but it can take a very long time to take root and grow.

Pests and Diseases

If you notice that the leaves are discolored, it could be a sign that the plant is not getting enough potassium. Trunk rot is also an issue that the plant can face when it is being given too much water. This is a plant that does not have a lot of problems with pests, but spider mites can still infest the leaves, so if you see them, wipe the fronds down with some water to remove them.

Planting Location Tips

  • Never plant this palm in an area with a lot of wet soil.
  • It will do well in indirect sunlight, so a window or a mesh cover could protect the plant.
  • It is capable of handling the frost.
  • Make sure the plant gets enough potassium in the soil of fertilizer that you give it.