On Jun 14, 2013, Mojave_Sun from Saint George, UT wrote:
This palm, along with the hybrid variety (Mexican/California Fan mix) are very common in St. George, Utah,
the climate here is very similar to Las Vegas, NV, as both cities are in the Mojave Desert. The only real negative is since we're slightly higher in elevation (2700-2800 ft.), there tends to be more nights at or below freezing in December and January causing the fronds to severely brown which makes for a couple short months of unsightly palms and also requiring trimming/cleaning in the spring that can be costly if using a commercial contractor.
However, the climate is obviously warm enough that people rarely wrap them with burlap as it's really not needed here, but I'd recommend wrapping the young and newly planted ones just incase.
Most Mexican Fan palms in the St. George area are probably 25 to 40 years old, so the tallest (about 40-60 ft) were most likely transported in quite tall from SoCal, so it's not clear whether they will naturally reach heights like they do down there or even in nearby Las Vegas.
Last winter we experienced a record cold spell where two nights dropped to 12 degrees F., to my surprise, the area lost very few palms, the ones that didn't make it were younger, unprotected specimens in the higher, outlying areas of the valley. So, that proves these palms are indeed cold hardier than given credit for!
I agree with GardenSox. I have a friend who has one of these palms in her yard. Last spring she planted a new lawn, and now there are hundreds of palm seedlings sprouting up all throughout the yard. I've also seen them in the neighbor's yard. The seeds are also spread by birds.
On Oct 8, 2012, GardenSox from Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
My next door neighbor has a mature Washingtonia robusta right next to our property line. It is probably 50 or 60 feet tall at this point and I suppose it looks just fine now that they've cleaned up the rat-infested fronds that "adorn" this terrible tree.
Am I being harsh? You tell me - the Washingtonia robusta drops thousands of seedlings which sprout everywhere. They grow in cracks in the sidewalk, they grow in your gutters if you haven't cleaned them out recently, they grow in your flower beds, they grow in your lawn, they grow in gravel pathways . . . they grow and grow. I spend about 30 minutes each weekend, almost all year round, plucking out seedlings just to stay on top of the chore.
When it gets windy out, the fronds (which have sharp spikes on them) tend to drop with a vengeance. Imagine waking up at 2:30 a.m. because a 6 foot frond fell from 60 feet above onto the roof of your house. It is unpleasant; trust me.
It seems like there must be better palms out there to choose from. Do your neighbors a solid and avoid this one like the plague it is.
On Aug 6, 2012, Palm1978 from Bonita Springs, FL wrote:
This palm is common in Southwest Florida, becoming increasingly so as you head north up the coast. Does well here but lightning, humidity and hurricanes keep it from reaching the heights that they do out west.
My strong personal preference is that this palm looks best when the boots and petticoat are removed. Most are not maintained this way in Southwest Florida.
On May 11, 2012, debchrus from Homosassa, FL wrote:
About ten years ago, my husband and I purchased a goodly-sized double Washingtonia palm and had it placed by heavy equipment into our back yard. It was a splurge purchase, but having just moved to Florida, I wanted palm trees. We had one (different variety) in the front yard, but wanted one in the back yard, as well. I learned that palm trees are very slow-growing and Washingtonia are one of the fastest growing palms, so that is how we decided to go with this variety!
Not being botany-savvy, I don't know if one palm grew into two trunks or two palms grew so close together that their root balls became one.
All was well until this year, when it appeared that one of the trunks on the double palm had died - the other side is very healthy and has new foliage. We were hoping to see signs of life during the spring, however, the side we suspected was dead shows no new growth and feels mushy to firm pressure, so I guess the one side truly is dead. :-(
How do we go about cutting that side off without harming it's 'Siamese twin?' My husband thinks we should saw-off the dead portion as close to the root as we can without disturbing the root. We love the palm and want to get rid of the dead portion of the double-palm without harming the live side. Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.
We'll share our experience with the palm when we learn what to do and try it!
Thank you so much, in advance, to anyone who can guide us as how to get rid of the dead side without harming the live side.
On Jan 8, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:
Anybody who doesn't like these palms should be banned from all garden boards!-kidding. But,they are truly misunderstood palms,giving a tropical look on almost no care. Locally,they do naturalize around water sources. Not commonly being this is the cool SF bay area,but as they build into a grove mixed with CIDP,Acacia's,even citrus and native Oaks and Sycamores, its a natural oasis growing as if planted by ma nature's perfectness.
On Sep 14, 2011, GreatUnstopbLee from Las Vegas, NV wrote:
Can be invasive and hard to get rid of. Every summer I am always digging up dozens of these because they can break through walls and foundations. Also very loud in the wind. In my opinion they only look nice when they are trimmed, the stem is filed, and they reach over 100 ft. tall.
I don't know who is growing this plant in Dallas without a electric blanket wrapped around it. I mistakenly bought 4 last year to add a little bit of the "tropical" feel to my yard, and after the freeze we had I dug the dead plants up to add a little big of "barren" feel to my yard.
On May 27, 2010, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:
I am in a Zone 8A (Orangeburg county, SC) perhaps ~50 miles south of the old USDA Zone 7B border.
I planted a 8 ft. tall Washingtonia Robusta in August 2009 in a sheltered sunny location on a south side of my house about 2-3 ft. from the wall. It had beautiful foliage, which browned and broke during the winter in December and January. I wrapped it with burlap a lot during the most cold weather for a couple weeks in January. Some time in January there was a unusual snow storm with LOTS of snow which lasted for 2 days although temperatures stayed normal. I was told it will be growing like crazy in May and it did grow a little bit during May (today is 27th of May). It grew a green stem of about 12" inches and another stem of about 5" inches both holding the browned foliage. That is all. Nothing else has come out of it and currently I think it kind f stopped growing, I think.
What is wrong with it? I live in a small town surrounded by forests. Perhaps all the forests and trees cool down and reduce the climate from 8A to a lesser one?
In fact I saw a couple very tall Washingtonias in Columbia, SC area and they were all or partially browned, but seemed doing quite well. One of them I suspect could be a Filifera. It's growing next to some radio station on East side of Columbia.
Also I find European Fan Palm (Chamaerops) not hardy enough for zone 8A since it gets most of the foliage brown during winter where I live, although it does not die and soon recovers some of the foliage. Could this be caused by a rural climate away from cities and from lakes?
Also, I got another 2 robustas which were beautifully green at the nursery, who tied their tops upwith rope in March, yet once planted in my place the foliage became yellow and then brown a lot. Apparently while in the nursery they probably got some freezing weather in March this year 2010 which seems to have damaged the foliage.
So my experience with Washingtonia so far is so-so.
UPDATE: January 2012: Got 3 of them in my garden one last spring and two a couple years ago. Overwintered fine, with a little help from anti-fungal spray. The fronds all browned, but grew back during the year and the fronds were still growing at the end of December 2011! The last winter 2010/11 was so-so with 3 snowy days, but the temps did not go below 16-17F. This winter 2011-12 so far the coldest night was just down to 28F but the next 2 nights were forecasted to become 22-25F. Very mild winter for a zone 8A! Looks like we are getting 8B/9A zone climate here, which is great news for growing palm trees.
One of the Washingtonia robustas is growing faster and larger than the other one. Not sure why. Perhaps because the slower growing one was planted slightly too high by the "professional" nursery specialist.
On Feb 1, 2010, Ray_Woodlands from Spring, TX wrote:
Our palms have grown like mad over the past 7 years in the Houston area, but we had a 4 day freeze this year where temps got down to the high teens. All the fronds are brown. Should we just wait it out, or cut the dead ones off now?
On Oct 25, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:
Mexican fan palms in central SC struggle with our cold frosty winters. Fronds are usually dead and unsightly by Dec, and they grow slowly. The tallest MFP I've seen locally is only about 14 ft tall. I think the Ca. fan palm would perform better around here, but I've yet to come across a nursery that stocks them.
update:4/29/29 after 2 warmer than normal winters, my 2 Washingtonias are growing, well, robustly. They seem to attract fire ants, which killed one of mine several yrs ago. I've also had to treat mine with copper fungicide and insecticide, but only during colder than normal winters. Washingtonia filibusta hybrids are a great choice, but I don't know anyone who has this palm, and most growers in Fl grow the W. robusta.
A very popular palm tree in Houston-area. It grows quite quickly, I see that many people have expressed doubt against that -- this palm needs plenty of hot weather to facilitate its growth. So, with that stated, it does best in blazing hot sun! I have dozens of these palms planted, they are by far the easiet palms to grow...but once they have matured, routine pruning is required to rid them of their dead leaves.
On Oct 11, 2009, JoyfulSeason from Kerrville, TX wrote:
Three years ago, I purchased a three-foot Mexican palm at Walmart for $13. Planted it in the ground about six feet from a stone wall. Our 7b climate here in Kerrville, TX only offers alkaline limestone soil, but this palm doesn't seem to mind. Specimens in town seem to get only about 8 feet or so, and tend to be more shrub-shaped than tall. We get about 30-40 freezes a year, but they seldom last more than about 2 to 4 hours. The freezes cause the tips of the fans to turn brown, but by mid-May those fans become the lower fans and can be cut off, so the tree looks marvelous by summer. My palm doesn't get sun before noon, so it tolerates going from cool to 100-degree furnace-hot each day in the summer. In three years, it has grown to about 7 feet tall and is almost as wide. Give this palm plenty of room on the sides. I love the little white strings it gets along the edges of the fingers on the fans! I have a drip irrigation on it -- literally just a little drip for about 10 minutes a day. In the record drought we had this year, this palm thrived. Hope it doesn't get as tall as some contributors have indicated, but will enjoy it, even so.
On Jul 5, 2008, cstanton from Flower Mound, TX wrote:
I just planted a young mexican fan plant a few feet from my pool. I have been hearing all sides to this tree (very easy, non-invasive roots, easy maintenance, etc) and also negative points. I don't know what to believe.
Anybody have real experience with this tree next to a pool? I live in the Dallas area.
On May 12, 2008, cazieman2 from Seattle, WA wrote:
Bought one from flowerworld in maltby, wa and didn’t realize it had a fungal infection. the trunk bent at the side and shriveled slightly and the fronds turned yellow and a few died. really odd never seen this before. have another that is doing great. not the best looking during the winters here but perk back up in the summers. under used in the seattle area.
hardier than many give credit to. Seattle Times recently had and article on them in seattle/PNW gardens.
On Apr 13, 2008, MichaelLV from Las Vegas, NV wrote:
I have six Mexican Fan Palms in my yard in Las Vegas, NV. They have been in the ground about three years and all but one are doing well. The problem one gets new green fronds but they fail to open. All are on an irrigation system and receive the same amount of water and sun. Has anyone had this problem? Any idea what causes it? Thanks for any information.
On Aug 4, 2007, Taylor1987 from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
I bought a Mexican Fan Palm last summer, and it lasted through the winter, but it hasn't grown as fast as people are saying they grow. I took really good care of it last winter and the fronds are growing like crazy, but the trunk isn't growing at all.
On Apr 23, 2006, Kvickr from Fruita, CO (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have had a Mexican Fan Palm growing in a pot here in Colorado for about 5 years. So far it is still small (under 5 feet) and does not seem to be growing very fast at all. I bring it into the house in the winter.
On Sep 19, 2005, growing_N_E_Ok from Fort Gibson, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
We have grown this one in a container and moved indoors during the winters, but it had grown to big to move. I decided to just get another and start over. It was left on our patio with NO protection in its container, In november 2004 the temp. dropped to NINE degrees!!! the pot was frozen solid as a rock. There was several nights of that cold in a row, and then the weather warmed, and the fronds were almost black, and in a few days were fine. On Christmas eve we planted on the south wall of the house, and called it the Christmas Palm, it is still fine, and we have lots of nights of 5-10 degree temps, because of living in a low valley, and in Oklahoma you have the most extreme and strange weather, one day 90 degrees in Jan. and next day, 10 with snow! A horticulture prof. at my university is amazed, and says its a freak plant!! Who knows, but she says that thing should be dead!!!
Contrary to what Palm Bob has written Mexican Fans do grow very tall in Miami and the rest of Florida (I have seen some SoCal sized Robustas in Sarasota and all along the west coast of Florida). I will say the rarity of seeing these guys grow so tall in South Florida is because of a few things: 1) The aforementioned storms, we get lots of rain with very strong winds and lightening. It is not uncommon to see Robusta's busted. 2) It seems they were not planted very often a long time ago. This has changed as they are planted all along I95, near most schools and malls. Way back when people mostly seemed to want to plant Jamaican tall Coconut Palms, but the Coconut Palms have not been planted like they were due to leathal yellowing. 3) There are so many palm choices here. In SoCal it is common to just see the Mexican Fans and Date palms and not much else (Queens and California fans). 4) Not too many areas of South Florida are the 80 + years old to have fully matured Mexican Fans. Most places here are very young, where clear cut when settled and again more common south florida palms (Sabal, Florida Royal, Cuban Royal, King ,etc.) are grown. I submitted a larger Mexican fan palm example from here in Miami. I will be taking more. The ones I submitted happen to be on the grounds of one of the oldest historical places here in Miami, Hialeah Park (horse racing track built in the 20's or 30's). The Royal Palms in the park are actually taller. Other places to see fairly tall Mexican fans are in the older neighborhoods of Miami Beach, Star Island, Palm Island, Coconut Grove (South Bayshore Drive south of Monty's), Miami Seaquarium parking lot, Oakland Park Blvd. (especially intersection of Inverary) and older Coral Gables neighborhoods. But for those that live in South Florida, one of the coolest Palm locations (other than the beaches) has to be Hollywood Blvd. from the Beach to about 2 miles east of A1A. Huge Royals and some Mexican Fans thrown in. I will submit some pics of those here before I move, coincidentally enough, to LA.
On Apr 5, 2005, CATSLARSON from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:
I have two in my yard in addition to many many other palms. Here in Miami, they grow like crazy even if you neglect them. I LOVE plants that can be neglected and still thrive well. Mine are 9 years old and over 40 feet tall. Both are covered with flowering vines all the way to the crown. I find that leaving the "skirt" gives them extra character -- my personal preference over making them into "sprout heads". However, since we have some of the most violent lightening storms anywhere in the world, I would never plant them close to my house making for a nice target and a fire ball with the dried skirt.
On Apr 4, 2005, washingtonia from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:
I recently purchased three young Mexican fan pallms at a nursery here in zone 7b Oklahoma City and planted them in my front yard in mid-March. So far they are thriving! I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see how big they would get in a single season and if they might even survive a mild winter here. I love their bright green foliage!
On Feb 9, 2005, BROforest from Brownsville, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:
In Brownsville, Texas these palms seed readily and naturally. They are also valuable to our area as cavity sites for Red-Crowned Parrots and Green Parakeets. In the late winter/early spring they come in large flocks to these Palm groves along the Rio Grande around Brownsville. I'll try to provide some pics of these birds in our Washingtonias later this spring.
We planted a Mexican Fan Palm about 7 years ago. It is now about 50' tall and we have had no problem with seeds or seedlings does need another palm to pollenate? We live in south Louisiana (Houma) south of New Orleans and there is a lot of rain , long hot days and mild winters this climate is perfect for this plant.....and the dead frawns make a perfect nesting place for many birds and an occasional bat .
On Jun 21, 2004, moe_29 from Clearwater, FL wrote:
In Clearwater, Florida the Washingtonia grows quite well. I grew up on Palmview Ave. Contrary to what Palmbob writes there are over a dozen examples of this palm reaching well over 80 feet, viwable from our driveway! In my neighborhood they are planted all along the roads, 5 to 6 feet apart. These palms are all over 40 years old at least - and in quite good condition. Can anyone comment on their longevity?
A spectacular palm, fully living up to it's robusta tag! :)
If you go to Riverside, California, you can see that these palms get very tall. And are actually beautiful when planted along streets, especially the tall old ones. Back in the early days, these palms were planted in the orange groves here as landmarks. And now after maybe a hundred years there are lots of these giant majestic looking palms. The talls ones look so beautiful. But the little ones are so ugly. Fan palms are messy. The fronds do not fall off, so you have to have them pruned. The seeds fall to ground and sprout everywhere. The only good thing about these palms are that they are fast growing, though that might be a bad thing if you have hundreds of seedlings to pull out every year.
These palms do great in central California where the summers are hot (100+ degrees F.) and winters moderate (occasional freezing at night). I tried growing some very young palms in Albuquerque, and they did not survive the winter. These were young palms that I think froze clear through. There is one yard in Albuquergue with larger fan palms that lose their fronds in the winter but rebound in the spring. I think these palms are tough, and can even live in some freezing conditions if they are larger. I belieive Albuquerque is zone 8a-8b.
On Oct 29, 2003, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
This is the third year for my Mexican Fan Palm. I have never protected it here in Dallas, Texas and it always comes back. It is doing great so far. It is over 5 ft. and continuing to grow. It would be nice to think that it would grow to 40 feet.
On Oct 27, 2003, mungoj from Murfreesboro, TN wrote:
This is my first time with this plant in Murfreesboro, TN I have outdoor heat floodlamps on each plant, they stand four feet tall. I'll also wrap with burlap with colder weather settles in - wish me luck!
On Oct 20, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I know these are common palms in southern California, but when they get really tall like in the picture of them at the pond in the Los Angeles arboretum, they looks so great. Some of the palms in this garden are nearly 100' tall. Nowhere in Florida do these palms get that tall because of Florida's thunderstorms... the lightning doesn't allow any palms to get very tall for very long there (guess I have to edit that statement a bit as there are obviously some tall ones in Florida... not as many perhaps as in California, though, where we just don't get lightning). These are weeds in many areas of southern California, showing up in just about every single garden in Los Angeles at one time or another. My garden had hundreds of these pulled up as weeds in just an eight-year period.
On Jul 24, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Have several of these in my yard in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. Started out as gallon can size, now tall enough that you can walk under them. More and more are being planted in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Gives wonderful tropical look along with Japanese banana growing by koi pond. Love them, will plant more and incourage others to give them serious consideration.
On Mar 8, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
Also popular in southwest Florida (U.S.), where it's one of our more popular large landscape palms, partly because it's fast growing and inexpensive, making it ideal for shopping malls and office buildings. There are several that are more attractive, such as Livistona decipens and L. chinensis.
This is one of the hardier and faster growing palms. I believe the picture of California Fan Palm is actualy a Mexican Fan Palm because of the proportions.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Dauphin Island, Alabama Gulf Shores, Alabama Mobile, Alabama Orange Beach, Alabama Pell City, Alabama Robertsdale, Alabama Goodyear, Arizona Mesa, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Queen Creek, Arizona Scottsdale, Arizona Tortolita, Arizona Caddo Valley, Arkansas Fountain Lake, Arkansas Lonoke, Arkansas Magnet Cove, Arkansas , California August, California Canoga Park, California Chowchilla, California El Cajon, California Encinitas, California Fontana, California Joshua Tree, California La Riviera, California Loyola, California Merced, California Mission Canyon, California Palm Springs, California Redding, California Reseda, California San Diego, California San Leandro, California San Pedro, California San Ramon, California Temecula, California Thousand Oaks, California Wilmington, California Big Pine Key, Florida Black Diamond, Florida Boca Raton, Florida (2 reports) Bonita Springs, Florida Brandon, Florida Campbell, Florida Clearwater, Florida Cutler, Florida Homosassa, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Meadow Woods, Florida Melbourne Beach, Florida Niceville, Florida Ruskin, Florida South Daytona, Florida South Venice, Florida Trenton, Florida Brunswick, Georgia (2 reports) Kihei, Hawaii Denham Springs, Louisiana Jean Lafitte, Louisiana Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports) North Las Vegas, Nevada Summerlin South, Nevada Deming, New Mexico Las Cruces, New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico Emerald Isle, North Carolina Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2 reports) Garden Home-whitford, Oregon Portland, Oregon Beaufort, South Carolina Bluffton, South Carolina Bucksport, South Carolina Conway, South Carolina East Sumter, South Carolina Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Lexington, South Carolina North, South Carolina Parris Island, South Carolina Simpsonville, South Carolina Socastee, South Carolina Murfreesboro, Tennessee Abram-perezville, Texas Arroyo Alto, Texas Austin, Texas Belton, Texas Brownsville, Texas Dallas, Texas Devers, Texas El Paso, Texas Frisco, Texas Galveston, Texas Houston, Texas Kerrville, Texas Lasana, Texas Macallen, Texas Markham, Texas Missouri City, Texas Muniz, Texas Pearland, Texas San Antonio, Texas (2 reports) San Leanna, Texas Scenic Oaks, Texas Spring, Texas Saint George, Utah Edgewood, Washington Orchards, Washington Seattle, Washington Shoreline, Washington