S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Chinese Fan Palms / Livistonia chinensis
in the Northeast Florida Jacksonville | St. Augustine area Landscape
Chinese Fan Palm Origins:
– Livistonia Chinensis is native to Japan and Taiwan. Although they are similar in appearance to the much more popular Washingtonian fan palm, Chinese fan palms are better suited to
the urban landscape. Grow these self cleaning Chinese Fan Palms for a Wahingtonia substitute in moderately frost free areas of our North Florida landscape, and you wont have to trim old leaf fronds off or pay someone to do it for you, the older leaves will fall off all on their own!
Note: Newly planted palms may suffer some frond damage after being planted into the landscape in their first year or two in the colder areas of our North Florida landscape but will quickly regrow a rich lushly foliated top in the spring if trimmed and fertilized after the winter season.
Chinese Fan Palm Preferred Exposure:
– Plant Chinese Fan Palms in a partial shade to full sun location for best results in the North Florida | Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscape.
Chinese Fan Palm Foliage | Trunk:
– Chinese fan palms have deep green highly decorative foliage, the palm leaf tips are divided and the long narrow strap like tips hang down giving an overall waterfall effect. Very pretty specimen palm in clusters of planted alone.
– Perhaps the best attribute of these pretty Chinese Fan Palms is that the
fronds are self cleaning. When the palm frond is old it will fall from the tree all on its own so no need to climb up it to prune out old browned fronds!
– Chinese Fan Palm fronds have sharp spines that enlarge towards the trunk of the palm.
-Trunk has a reddish cast to the wood that eventually fades to a grey color.
Chinese Fan Palm Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Chinese Fan Palms may be planted into any soil in the North Florida |
Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape.
– Not a highly salt tolerant palm tree selection.
Chinese Fan Palm Size Variance:
– Livistonia Chinensis plants can reach sizes of 30-50 feet H | and
spreading 10 feet in width. Chinese Fan Palms are most often seen at only 30 ft height range in the North Florida landscape.
Chinese Fan Palm Growth Habit:
– Livistonia Chinensis has an upright rounded head with slightly
weeping leaf tips. Most often seen growing with a single trunk they can be found planted in clumps of two or three palms in one pot.
Chinese Fan Palm Growth Rate:
– Slow growing pal selection will take quite some time to reach
its potential size her in the North Florida landscapes when planted from an S & J Nursery container.
– Expect to see only 6-8 inches of growth per year under average rainfall and moderate fertilizer applications.
Chinese Fan Palm Bloom:
– Flower clusters are white to creamy gray with round fleshy blue black
fruits, not particularly showy and are not considered to be a litter problem.
Chinese Fan Palm Water Requirements:
– Moderately drought tolerant once established into the landscape.
Best Uses For Chinese Fan Palm in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine
– Livistonia Chinensis is an excellent choice for a landscape
statement as its big bold textured foliage is very showy in the landscape and adds instant tropical appeal.
– Excellent potted plant for porches, patio, pool side and even indoor
– Plant Chinese Fan Palm in groups or as single accent palms.
Care of Chinese Fan Palm Palms:
– Self cleaning palm requires no pruning.
-.Fertilize 1-3 times per year depending on desired growth results.
MINIMUM PALM FERTILIZER REGIMEN – what you should be doing to keep your palm healthy
– Fertilize each spring with a specially blended fertilizer for Palms, follow
manufacturers directions and apply 1/2 lb o 1lb of fertilizer per inch of diameter of trunk on your palm, measured from a hands width above the ground level. That means for a 12 inch wide trunk from left to right you
would need 6-12 lbs of fertilizer for just that one palm!
– Fertilize every fall with magnesium sulfate ( Epsom Salt) to keep your palm green and healthy through the winter months!
MAXIMUM PALM FERTILIZER REGIMEN – what you can do to get your palm up and growing
– Fertilize every three to four months with your choice of Palm
fertilizer and Magnesium Sulfate. Water 3-4 times per week and make sure to water thoroughly after each fertilizer application.
– Wait till fronds have turned completely brown before removing from the palm as the palm will take back in the nutrients from those older leaves ad use it when forming new ones.
*CAUTION – DO NOT FERTILIZE NEWLY PLANTED
FIELD GROWN PALM TREES WITH PALM
Note : When planting smaller palms being grown in a container, this rule does not apply, rather, use half the recommended application rate for your trunks diameter, as container palms roots have not been damaged or cut during planting but are still only a portion as large as they would be if the palm had been growing in the ground and excess fertilizer on a confined root system is still not preferable for maximum health.
Palm fertilizers are water soluble and will burn the new roots your palm tree is trying to put out as it establishes itself into the landscape. It is best to use only poly coated plant food that is heat release like Osmocote general purpose fertilizer or non burning Milorganite in the first year in the landscapes, and then the following year, start your palm food regimen that will provide all of the minor nutrients that your palms will need to keep them healthy and problem free in Florida’s soils.