Foolproof Palm Care: Chinese Fan Palm

The Chinese Fan Palm (Livistonia chinensis) is on the short list of palms that happily grow in USDA Hardiness Zone 9. It is a relatively slow-growing palm, but once the trunk emerges from beneath the ‘skirt’ of fronds, its stately presence in your landscape is certainly worth the wait.

Planting site

Under ideal growing conditions, Chinese fan palms palms can grow 20 to 50 ft. tall, and 8 to 15 ft. wide. This information on mature size is important to know prior to planting so that plants are planted in an area of the landscape that can accommodate their growth. Chinese fan palms prefer full sun and can tolerate partial shade, but should be planted in well drained soils.  The UF/IFAS Assessment Invasive Species team has investigated the Chinese fan palm for its potential to be an invasive plant, and it is listed as a ‘caution’ plant for Central and South Florida. Click on the links to learn more about invasive plants and the Chinese fan palm

Nutrient requirements

Chinese fan palms tend not to be prone to nutrient deficiencies unlike many other palms. Occasionally however,  potassium deficiencies can occur with symptoms showing up as yellow translucent spots on leaflets. To learn more about nutrient deficiencies and palm nutrition, click on these links: potassium deficiency and fertilizing palms.

Pests and diseases

Although not prone to pests, like all palms, Chinese fan palms are susceptible to Ganoderma butt rot disease. The most noticeable sign of this disease is a mushroom (aka conk) growing at the base of the trunk. Click on the link for more information on Ganoderma.


When pruning palms, proper pruning guidelines should be followed. Over-pruning palms can make them susceptible to  pests and diseases.  Additionally, because palms have unique nutritional requirements and they tend to recycle many of their nutrients from older growth to newer growth, over-pruning palms can also result in nutrient deficiencies. When pruning palms, only spent flower stalks, immature fruit, and brown fronds should be removed. Click on the link to learn more about pruning palms.

Learn more:

For more articles on palm care and other landscaping topics, click on this link: Fool-proof Palm Care


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Posted: January 26, 2023

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes
Tags: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Foolproof Palm Care, Gardening, Home Landscape, Landscaping, Palms

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