Mexican Fan Palm: Cold Hardy Palm
Mexican Fan palm trees (Washingtonia robusta) are native to Mexico, and
are known for being a cold hardy palm tree as well as having a fast
These palm trees are popular in commercial and
large residential settings. They add tropical
appeal when planted along a long, winding driveway or wide
Washington robusta (also known as Mexican Fan Palm and Washington Palm)
belongs to the Arecaceae family, and can be planted year round in USDA
hardiness zones 9 through 11.
The Washington Palm tree is
considered to be cold-hardy and drought tolerant - it will adapt to a
variety of soil types and will thrive in partial to full sun.
Washing Palms can grow up to eighty feet tall, with a spread of ten
to fifteen feet
wide. Star shaped fronds fan out from a straight, grey trunk
to form a symmetrical crown or canopy. Lower fronds stay on
the tree after they die, giving this palm a shaggy appearance.
Star shaped palm fronds are 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, or planted in a line
along a long driveway or walkway.
Fan Palm Care
Mexican Fan palm trees add dramatic tropical appeal 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 9 – 11.
Choose a location that receives partial to full sun. The
location should be large enough to accommodate full growth.
Washington palm trees should not be planted near structures or power
lines. Allow a minimum of fifteen feet between plantings.
Washington 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
Washington 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.