Chinese Fan Palm: Fountain-Like Elegance
Chinese fan palm trees (Livistona chinensis) are native to China and
southern Japan, and are known for their fountain-like
These palm trees are popular in commercial and
large residential settings. They add tropical
elegance when planted along a long, winding driveway or wide
Livistona chinensis (also known as Chinese Fan Palm, Chinese Fountain
Palm, or Fountain Palm) belongs to the Arecaceae family, and can be
planted year round in USDA hardiness zones 9B through 11. The
Fountain Palm tree is considered to be low maintenance - it will adapt
to a variety of soil types and will thrive in partial to full sun.
Fountain palms can grow up to fifty feet tall, with a spread of ten to
twelve feet wide.
Drooping, star shaped fronds fan out from a straight trunk to form a
symmetrical crown or canopy. The ribbon-like segments at the
end of the leaf tips give this palm tree a graceful, fountain-like
Drooping, star shaped palm fronds are light green in color, with a leaf
blade length of thirty-six inches. These palm trees are
planted outdoors as single specimens in residential sized landscapes,
planted in a line along a long driveway or walkway, or can be planted
in a container.
Fan Palm Care
Chinese Fan palm trees add elegant tropical flare to residential and
commercial landscape designs. Single specimens are typically
used as a focal point in the landscape. Several trees can be
planted in a row along a driveway or winding road in large residential
and commercial landscapes.
Tips for Planting
USDA Hardiness Zone
Can be planted year-round in zones 9B – 11.
Choose a location that receives partial to full sun. The
location should be large enough to accommodate full growth.
Fountain palm trees should not be planted near structures or power
lines. Allow a minimum of ten between plantings.
Fountain palms like sandy, well-draining soil.
Steps for Planting
- Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball. Note: The hole
should be as deep as the root ball is tall. The soil
surrounding the roots should be loose to allow for easy establishment.
- When placing the root ball in the hole, make sure the tree
is standing straight. Fill the hole halfway with soil and
pack firmly. Fill the hole with the remaining soil while
packing firmly around the base of the palm tree. Large, newly
planted palm trees may need to be protected from winds and storms by
using a brace.
- Water thoroughly after planting is completed.
Newly planted palms like lots of water. For the first two to
three weeks, water daily. Continue watering three times a
week. Once established, palms require minimal
watering. During the warmer months, approximately two to
three times per week. Water approximately once a week during
- Approximately six weeks after planting, fertilize Fountain
Palms with a high-quality palm tree fertilizer. Fertilization
schedule will be three times a year thereafter.
Choose the location wisely; transplanting palm trees once they are
established is risky.