Chinese fan palms: The versatile utility players of SW Florida landscapes.

Chinese fan palms
Chinese fans grow from multi-stem palms to single-trunk majestic beauties. These were purchased full size and installed at a south Sarasota residence.

Chinese fan palms can adapt to just about any role you want them to play. Install multi-stem ones along your property for low-to-the-ground lush privacy. Select a large, single-trunk specimen to anchor a tropical bed. Or, consider a few for large- to medium-size containers around your deck or pool area.

But wait, how can a palm be this versatile? At one home, you see a Chinese fan palm standing tall and stately, showing off its nice thick trunk. But across the street, it’s shorter and flouncy, with tiers of weeping fronds spilling down to the ground for a natural hedge effect. Sure it’s the same plant?  Yes.

Chinese fan palms
These young Chinese fan palms serve as an excellent privacy barrier.

Chinese fan palms’ secret to versatility? They take it slow.

The reason why these palms make such good utility players is that they’re extremely slow growers, which means they look good at all stages of their lives. Install yours young, and they’ll eventually reach about 25 feet. The key word is “eventually.” (Don’t worry, your young ones aren’t going to morph into single-trunk palms overnight.) Plant them at least five feet from your house so they’ll have enough frond space as they mature. Space seven-gallon pots four feet apart and three-gallon pots three feet part. These young utility players like to go wide! If you want tall, single-trunk specimens, buy them at mature size unless you don’t mind waiting around for a few years.

Chinese fan palms
A stately Chinese fan palm commands instant attention at this Venice, FL residence.

Chinese fan palms: Plant care.

Considered to be one of South Florida’s hardiest palms, Chinese fans are moderately salt/drought tolerant once established. They don’t mind cold, either — thriving in Zones 9 and 10 in sun or shade. Plant in a well-drained area and let dry out between waterings.  Fertilize with a good palm granular in spring, summer and fall. Yes, you’ll have to trim off older fronds, but only occasionally. Remember, they’re very slow growers.

Summary: As everyone knows, a baseball utility player can impact the success of an entire team. Similarly, the Chinese fan palm can impact any size yard with its amazing versatility due to a slow growth habit. Want ArtisTree Landscape to include a few in your design plan? Game on!

Chinese fan palms
This single, multi-stem Chinese fan palm was the perfect choice for this natural setting in Nokomis, FL.
ArtisTree HOA landscape maintenance

To get your landscape renovation started now, browse ArtisTree’s portfolio and then call Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897, ext. 312, to meet with one of our award-winning designers. We proudly serve Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

ArtisTree also provides complete landscape maintenance services for HOA communities throughout Southwest Florida. Contact Michael Casper at 941.488.8897, ext. 321, for your custom proposal.  

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