Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Miniature Chusan Palm, Wagner's Windmill Palm, Waggie
Trachycarpus wagnerianus

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Trachycarpus (trak-ee-KAR-pus) (Info)
Species: wagnerianus (wag-ner-ee-AH-nus) (Info)

Synonym:Trachycarpus fortunei (dwarf form)

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

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:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 38 photos.
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16 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive giegertree On Sep 21, 2014, giegertree from Savannah, GA wrote:

Not a palm for sandy soils in the Southeast -- it does its best in a clay or loam that has good drainage!

Positive NorthSC On Jan 30, 2014, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Trachycarpus wagnerianus, is doing fine during mid-SC winters, that happen to be very cold (especially chemtrail-induced) every 5 years or so. Yet they would burn in our hot summers, again, if chemtrails are not present, which would cool down the climate, making the plants sick with mold, diseases and "preserve" the Windmills... It's up to you whether you enjoy CHEMTRAILS (also called stratospheric aerosols or modified persistent contrails) or not. This winter of 2013/2014 a lot of my palms that usually survive zone 8A got damaged and probably killed. Which means the MASSIVE GEOENGINEERING has altered our climate making it zone 7A or something like that. Today, 17th March 2014 it was just barely above freezing all day long, which is way below normal, which usually would be about 70F or more. The frigid, even snowy weather is clearly cause by excessive spray of chemical aerosol persistent contrails, also known as CHEMTRAILS. Will we and our native flora survive this onslaught? Time will tell.

Positive Rickwebb On Jan 16, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I've seen one about 8 ft high specimen in a hotel parking lot in Williamsburg, Virginia in March 2013. I've noticed since about 2004 a tropical style little front yard of a bed & breakfast in Rehoboth Beach, DE, in USDA Zone 7a that holds two specimens that are doing well since my last visit in January 2014. Rehoboth Beach in southern Delaware is USDA Zone 7a. The info online says that this species is now considered a variety or cultivar of the regular Windmill Palm and should be T. fortunei wagnerianus or 'Wagner' and a nursery selling it lists it as hardy to Zone 7a.

Positive SuburbanNinja80 On Aug 19, 2012, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Other Than being Insanely Slow growing... its doing a good job in same pot I had it in for a Long time. I'll get some Photos of it soon.

Positive imcuban2 On Sep 9, 2010, imcuban2 from Chicago, IL wrote:

I love this palm takes chicago weather better than fortunei, I have had this in the ground about 3 years now. Was a 5 gallon when I got it. Now I planted another next to it hope it does just as great!

Positive peejay12 On Apr 25, 2010, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is said to be the best 'general' palm for the UK climate. This has to be good, as anything MUST be better than the dreaded Trachycarpus fortunei.
It is the stiff plastic-like leaves,(which give a satisfying rattle when you shake them) which makes them highly wind-resistant - a crucial factor in this wind-swept soggy little country.

To make these palms look more tropical, some palm enthusiasts strip the fibrous coating from the trunk, giving the trunk a narrower smooth appearance which is highly distinctive. This technique originates from oriental countries where the fibrous material is used to make rope, matting, etc.

They do not form off-sets, so I have planted three close together. I hope they will start to lean outward, giving them a more tropical appearance.

U.K. Parks and Garden departments live in the stone age when it comes to anything unusual or interesting. I have hardly ever seen a palm planted by a local council. If these plants can be planted in Vancouver, Canada - why not here? Heaven forbid anything which may make our towns look more interesting!

Even in the mild climate of Cornwall, councils mostly plant the same things as up in Scotland - just lack of interest, I guess.

Positive gtr1017 On Mar 17, 2010, gtr1017 from Roanoke, VA wrote:

I have young waggie, maybe 4 years old, planted next to a needle palm, did nearly as well as the needle, even the center frond survived. This is better than the fortunei by far. I'm in the mountains of Virginia, zone 7a / 6b border, no protection, just the leaves that fell off my Sycamores .....G

Positive hardyinokc On Feb 19, 2010, hardyinokc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Planted this under the south eave my house in 2005. Have never lost the spear leaf due to cold (I do spray the growing point with a copper-based anti-fungal in the middle of winter and beginning of spring). Practically no damage due to cold. Has grown from about 12" to almost 5' in 4-5 years. Beautiful palm!!!

Positive purplesun On Nov 7, 2009, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

These are tough little palms that have survived three weeks with no water immediately after being planted in my garden (Z8a). I almost thought I lost them, cos they looked pretty shriveled and brown-tipped. After some deep watering, though, they have regained their health, and some have even grown their first palmate leaves. They are planted in a trio less than two feet apart from each other.

Update April 7th, 2010: My three two-year old waggies have survived a bitterly cold winter with temps dipping to -3 degrees F under heavy snow cover, in Krapets, Bulgaria. Heart of palms healthy, leaves burnt.

Positive BrooklynJon On Mar 17, 2008, BrooklynJon from Brooklyn, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

My Waggie survived its second Brooklyn (6b/7a) winter in grand fashion. I protected it with a few inches of mulch, a burlap wrap (leaving the leaves sticking out), and adding an umbrella greenhouse for the few coldest nights of the year. There is no apparent leaf burn. I 'm hoping this summer I can start to see a little trunk. I have it on the north side of my house, next to a fortunei, looking like a stately pair. I recommend trying them both up in northern coastal areas.

Neutral tropicsofohio On Jun 13, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

i recieved a vary small palm in the mail and planted it in my garden. it was just starting to end the stap leaves "phase" and started to devide into fronds. i went on vacation and found it badly deprived of water. it then lost its spear a cupple months ago. somthing told me to leave it in the ground, though. now i just descovered that it had regrown another spear! i moved it to the north side of our home so that it will be protected and it wont dry out as often. for the winter i will just cover it in mulch. the north side of my home is shealtered from wind that takes heat away, so i estimate about a zone 8 microclimate. i cant wait to se what new growth brings.


it has added a new frond, but it kepps getting eaten down by sow bugs, ive taken leaves from other plants to keep them away from my palm, but this is only a short term solution, anyone got any ideas that can help me kill the bugs, without harming the health of my plant? remember, its just starting to break up the stap leaves

it died :( i dug it up so it would stop getting eaten down and it died 2 days later, never saw it comming:( :( :(

-palm killer

Positive dragontek On Mar 10, 2007, dragontek from Vernon Rockville, CT wrote:

Growing this palm in Connecticut-zone 6. After this winter which is snow free, but brutally cold from mid January on, I was worried if this palm would survive. My plant has about 15" of trunk, and is 15 years old. I have hardened off this palm over the years- during the winter of 1997-98 it spent the entire winter in the ground.

I did protect this palm with a greenhouse, wrapped the trunk. I did not add heat. This is one tough palm- today (March 10th)I am going to remove the greenhouse- thus far no visible damage to the plant- I also have a Trachy Fortunei nearby, that was protected as well.

These palms can be planted in a zone6-7- if protected.

Positive growin On Nov 19, 2005, growin from Vancouver, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Cool growing palm with compact, stiff leaves. More formal appearance than T. fortunei. Stiff leaves makes it a better choice for high traffic & windy locations. Slow growing.

Positive sylvainyang On Aug 18, 2005, sylvainyang from Edmond, OK wrote:

I got it from Hardy Tropicals, its half size of the Takil. cutie pie. The leaves looks much more rounder and stiff. It loves sunshine. Little but Strong Palm. I am so excited to have it. I am going to plant several T. Nanus surrounding it later.

The one gallon size that I planted in pot left out doors was killed by the Oklahoma winter. I regret did not plant it in the ground.
I got more seedling this time and they will stay indoors for winter until they are 1 gallon to plant in the ground.

It's not worthy to get a smaller size, a biger size cost more, 10 years old plant usually 4 feet tall when grown in northern states. Even you pay 5 times more still worth it.

The eight seedlings that I got from California I put them in the unheated garage face to the room. No lights No other protections. They all survived and unharmed. I will do the same thing when I got the 15 gallons size. Move it in winter and move back out in spring. This palm will certainly replace Trachycarpus Fortuneii (windmill palm) in the future because of stifer leves and Bonsai look.

Neutral aviator8188 On Jul 23, 2004, aviator8188 from Murphysboro, IL (Zone 7a) wrote:

I too have seen the canadian site featuring these magnificent specimens, along with Trachycarpus fortunei. I wish I could grow Trachy's here, but I'm afraid I must settle with good 'ole Sabal minor and Rhapidophyllum hystrix! Although I haven't tried any Trachy's, I might consider it for zone 7... I know a lot of gardeners in southern California call them "Trashycarpus" palm's because their seen along freeways "half dead." The reason for that, is because Trachy's of course require ample water, which they do not recieve in so Ca.!

Positive atlpalm On Apr 27, 2004, atlpalm from Marietta, GA wrote:

I live in Atlanta ga and planted a windmill palm in my yard about 10 years ago. Since then this palm is doing great! It's about 12 feet tall. During the winter if it gets about 10 F or colder I protect the trunk (ussualy with a trunk rape matterial designed for such things). I have seen many windmill palms around Atlanta all doing great. I have also seen a few cabbage palms around the area that seem to do good even though I am not sure of the growth conditions.

Positive Denis_Canada On Dec 28, 2003, Denis_Canada wrote:

This palm grows well in USDA zone 8. It can take the wet winters of the British Columbia coast. Unlike T. fortunei, it can tolerate high winds. Some Canadians cross pollinate Waggies with T. fortunei. Waggie x fortunei makes for an interesting palm.
Waggies prefer rich temperate rainforest soil. Water during the summer in rain shadow areas like Victoria, BC or Saltspring Island, BC.

The Vancouver, BC use of Waggies is to plant them in areas of high winds where T. fortunei palm fronds can get tattered.

Positive palmbob On Jul 26, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

T wagnerianus is a commonly grown landscape plant in Southern and Northern California. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was found up in Washington, Texas etc. It has a good deal of cold hardiness and is very wind and drought tolerant.

This palm is often sold in nurseries under the name Trachycarpus takil, which it is not. T takil is actually a pretty rare palm and the largest of the genus. But somehow it got confused with this little palm and the confusion goes on and on.

T wagnerianus differs from its even more common cousin (T fortunei) by having shorter, stiffer leaves and a smaller habit in general. It still has the furry trunk and the flowers are similar. When young it is distinguished by usually (not always) having a leaning trunk. For some reason, as it starts to form a trunk, it forms a little curve at its base, giving one the impression it's gonna grow a curved trunk sort of like a coconut. Soon it starts growing straight up however, and as it matures the little curve at its base becomes harder to see. The other Tracycarpus never seem to do this, though.

It is not know where this plant came from originally. There are no known specimens in the wild. It was first discovered in Japan several hundred years ago. It may be a cultivar of the Chinese Windmill palm, but all palm experts agree it is now a different species.

Great palm for planters and small gardens... not sure if it would make it indoors. Seems to like LOTs of sun. Though often described as a slow growing palm, compared to 95% of the other palms that can be grown in southern California, this is a fast one. A 1 gal plant can have a mature look in just 5-7 years here (about 5-6' tall). I have seen some old ones (don't know how old, though) over 25' tall.

According to Kew Gardens, this palm has recently (2006?) been included now in Trachycarpus fortunei, but as a dwarf variety of it... so T wagnerianus is no longer a true species name... sigh.


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

Phoenix, Arizona
Malvern, Arkansas
Brentwood, California
Encino, California
Granite Bay, California
Los Angeles, California
Reseda, California
San Marino, California
Santa Barbara, California
Grand Junction, Colorado
Vernon Rockville, Connecticut
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Hampton, Florida
Douglasville, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Newnan, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Suwanee, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Fallston, Maryland
Brooklyn, New York (2 reports)
Liverpool, New York
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Edmond, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Conway, South Carolina
North, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Sandy, Utah
Roanoke, Virginia
Williamsburg, Virginia
Bremerton, Washington
Kent, Washington
Puyallup, Washington

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