Chinese Fan Palm Tree

Botanical Name: Livistona chinensis

Chinese Fan Palm is a BIG plant with sprawling fanlike fronds that grow up to 2 ft (60 cm) across.

When mature, this palm is a picture of elegance. Its broad, fan-shaped foliage is carried on tall stems, making it a graceful ornamental for the home. Treat it right and you'll enjoy your Chinese Fan Palm for many years.

Put it in a bright spot, but out of direct sunlight. You'll find that this palm is adaptable to average home temperatures and is easy to please.

Older fronds may turn brown. Cut off old fronds near the trunk, using sharp pruners.

Brown leaf tips are fairly common on indoor palms, caused by low humidity or dry soil.

Repot in spring only when the palm becomes severely rootbound. Pots should be deep enough to give roots room to grow. Use a heavy pot -- although slow-growing, this palm will eventually get tall and become top-heavy.

Once the plant reaches the size you want, you can top-dress it instead by replacing the top couple inches of potting mix. Take care not to disturb any roots that may be near the surface.

Chinese Fan Palm Care

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Origin: China, southern Japan and Taiwan

Height: Up to 10 ft (3 m) tall in a container

Light: Bright (indirect) light year-round

Water: Water thoroughly then allow soil to dry slightly between waterings. Water less in winter when growth has slowed. Use filtered or distilled water because tap water may contain fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals that can damage palms. When watering, avoid getting the base of the palm wet to prevent rot. Use a container with drainage holes, and fast-draining potting mix to prevent soggy soil.

Humidity: Average room (around 40-50% relative humidity). 

Temperature: 70-80°F/21-27°C days; 55-60°F/13-16°C nights

Soil: Mix 2 parts peat moss-based potting mix and 1 part sharp sand. Repot only when necessary, about every 3 years.

Fertilizer: Most indoor plants like a steady diet of liquid plant food, but not palms. Palms are slow-growing, especially indoors, and don't need much fertilizer. Feed with a slow-release fertilizer, such as Jobe's Indoor Palm Fertilizer food spikes once in spring and again in summer. It contains the micronutrients this palm needs to keep it lush and green.

Propagation: Sow seeds in spring, barely covering the seeds with soil. Keep them warm (75-80°F/24-27°C) and moist. Seeds can take 2 months to germinate, so be patient. 

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