Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chusan Palm, Windmill Palm
Trachycarpus fortunei 'Nainital'

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Trachycarpus (trak-ee-KAR-pus) (Info)
Species: fortunei (for-TOO-nee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Nainital
Additional cultivar information: (aka Naini Tal)


over 40 ft. (12 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By TDogg77
Thumbnail #1 of Trachycarpus fortunei by TDogg77

By TDogg77
Thumbnail #2 of Trachycarpus fortunei by TDogg77

By TDogg77
Thumbnail #3 of Trachycarpus fortunei by TDogg77

By TDogg77
Thumbnail #4 of Trachycarpus fortunei by TDogg77


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive NorthSC On Feb 15, 2014, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I wish everyone would describe hardiness of a plant in several stages: while a seedlings, while a young plant, a larger plant but still without much trunk and then an adult plant. This same palm as a small 1 footer can get damaged by temperatures that are much warmer than 5F. Make it a new default standard and lots of new research.

Some plants while small can get killed by 32F or below (or above), yet some can withstand down to 20F more or less as seedlings. This kind of research and info is important to provide along hardiness for adults palms. Giving hardiness info (USDA zones and temperatures) just for adult plants is not enough to get the entire picture.

Mine as a 1 ft. plant got exposed to 12F and has its fronds dried, but is not dead yet and the spear does not pull.

Positive AnglerAlex88 On Nov 9, 2013, AnglerAlex88 from Burns Harbor, IN wrote:

Bought a 3-4 year old Trachy in 2005 from a grower In Dallas and had it shipped to my home in the Chicago area. In spring of 06 I planted it on the south facing of my house. It stood about 3 feet tall in the ground and had no trunk. As of 2013 the trunk is roughly 6 ft with a crown reaching to 9+ ft in height.

My Trachy always gets leaf damage in winter due to my light on overwintering methods, but looks excellent by spring. To overwinter I simply place a long 2x4 vertically next to the trunk and bungee cord it at different places on the trunk to keep it steady. I secure a thick towel to the top of the wooden 2x4 to prevent the plastic sheet from tearing. Last, I drape a large piece of plastic over the 2x4 like a tent and place a few bricks at the base. In the future I will only cover the crown. The trunk gets a strand of rope lights. The whole process takes 15-30 mins tops. Overwintering starts when the first night dips below 15 or 20, usually mid-to-late December, and stays on until around March 1. Roughly 60-75 days.

The trick to trachy's is keeping them dry when it's super cold. I remember my first overwintering involved 3 garbage cans and a tarp. We saw -20F that first winter and my trachy saw only 20% leaf burn. Keep the spear especially dry. The only leaf burn I could see was in areas where snow and frost had excessively bonded to the plant during that cold snap. Otherwise snow typically does nothing besides weigh down the leaves (which looks super cool!).

Trim off any severely damaged leaves by April 1 and water this palm as much as you can. I fertilize with a palm feed by Miracle Grow once I'm spring.

I love my trachy, and 60 days inside plastic is worth the awesomeness of having a palm in Chicago!

The pic below is from winter 2011-12

Positive TDogg77 On May 24, 2013, TDogg77 from Belle Vernon, PA wrote:

I overwintered this palm in western Pennsylvania with good success. It had some foliar damage to a couple fronds but has already by May grown a full green frond and has an emerging spear pushing out. It should put on several more by fall. Hopefully winter #2 will be as kind!
This is a great palm to try in zone 6.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Douglasville, Georgia
Portage, Indiana
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania
Boothwyn, Pennsylvania
North, South Carolina
Arp, Texas

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America