Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Foxtail Palm
Wodyetia bifurcata

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Wodyetia (wod-YET-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: bifurcata (by-fur-KAY-tuh) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Unknown - Tell us

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

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

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

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:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By palmbob
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By IslandJim
Thumbnail #4 of Wodyetia bifurcata by IslandJim

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There are a total of 55 photos.
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10 positives
9 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Palm1978 On Aug 21, 2012, Palm1978 from Bonita Springs, FL wrote:

I know folks both common and enthusiast really enjoy this palm so I'll tread lightly. It is a handsome palm.

It is extremely common in Southwest Florida and does ok but many specimens in public and private plantings seem to suffer from nutritional deficiencies or some kind of fungal infection. Reminds me of the Queen Palm down here: over planted and under cared for.

Neutral NatureGuy12a On Aug 11, 2012, NatureGuy12a from Valrico, FL wrote:

I started my Foxtail Palm from seed about 5 years ago in a small container. Eventually (about a year after germination) I transplanted it into a standard, vinyl-type (cheapest) container. It's now about 7-8 feet tall in this container. Even here, inland (east) of Tampa a few miles, we get frosts in Jan/Feb...sometimes very hard freezes. This tree gets covered along with other tender plants. (Once, I didn't protect it and the fronds frost burned.) I should also add that the patio is entirely screened......which adds some element of protection. I consider this palm to be relatively least under the circumstances in which it has been growing. It gets a few hours of direct sun in the afternoons--through the screening. Because of this plants nature of growing slowly, I take special care not to over water it....and never have a large-sized tray/saucer under its container. My Foxtail Palm usually grows 1 or 2 new fronds each growing season---I suppose the large it is, the faster it will produce new growth (like many other plants do.) I'm hoping that this plant never gets too tall in its container that it will no longer fit within the confines of my screened patio/pool area....I'll know more in about 10 years....(give or take.)

Positive coastalzonepush On May 10, 2012, coastalzonepush from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

although mine is growing quite slowly, i cannot give this palm a rating below a positive. i love the leaves and the formal look of the sculpted trunks. the crownshaft and lush foliage gives this palm a very tropical look and feel. the younger ones here take some damage on very cold nights but the mature ones are pretty hardy' brown at the tips of the leaflets. its very clear that the more well kept , fertilized, watered, and sheltered ones fare the best. of course they are not as hardy as queens. i hope for mine to take off and become the centerpiece of my yard someday.

Neutral DavRod On May 28, 2011, DavRod from Portland, TX wrote:

I planted Foxtail Palms in my yard in the spring of 2008 her in Portland TX (near Corpus Christi). We had a brief (never more than 8 hours) of cold weather and even a little snow during the winter of 2009. I did not cover the palms as as a result, they all died! So I started with new, bigger (10-12 feet) trees in the spring of 2010. Once again, we had a freakish winter and it went all the way down to the mid 20's and stayed below freezing for about 60 hours! This time I was prepared and had the trees wrapped from the ground to the tip of each frawn. The end result was that 3 of the five appear to be dead! There has been no growth at all on the 3. How long should I wait before calling it quits and just starting over?

Positive Tropicalnikko On Mar 20, 2011, Tropicalnikko from Brisbane bayside
Australia (Zone 11) wrote:

Great looking palm. Love it. Wish I had more. Highly recommended.

Negative AMRod On Jan 27, 2011, AMRod from Hialeah, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

3 years ago I purchased 2 foxtail palms about 10' in height. I placed them both in the entrance of my home. Now they're very much alive, but they look terrible. Brown, burnt like and short pods. I have yet to feel like my purchase was worth the sight on a daily basis. If nothing changes by spring I will be forced to pull em out. Until then I keep hoping some miracle fertilizer will repair em.

Neutral jskyieeyes3 On Sep 12, 2010, jskyieeyes3 from Saint Cloud, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

bought a small foxtail palm a few months ago from lowe's. i must admit, the small ones don't look much like the big ones, but i'm hopeful that as it grows it will look more and more like the beautiful foxtails i see all over.

Neutral Seedera On Sep 9, 2010, Seedera from Punta Gorda, FL wrote:

I have 4 Foxtail seeds that have rooted and sent up about a half an inch tall sprout. anyone know how fact they grow from this point?

Positive robcorreia On Aug 14, 2008, robcorreia from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have a Foxtail palm and only now was able to id it here. It's going about 30Ft tall, without any fertilizing and I barely water it. It lends a lush tropical feel to my garden. I love it!

Neutral plantparent On Jun 8, 2008, plantparent from Sarasota, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love the look of these palms. They are all over our area in landscapes.
I have mine in a container as we rent and want to take it with us when we leave.
I am noticing brown tips and alot of spotting. I'm thinking it is from the cold this winter. I've heard adonidias are suseptable to this also.
Everything I've read says fast growing. I would say mine is slow. Maybe because it's in a container.

Negative BayAreaTropics On Aug 27, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

The worst choice for a cool summer area.Even in our mildest year ever, it grew just one and a half fronds. Strange that it has such good cold tolerance for freezing weather or short winters spells.
It might be possible in those sheltered areas where a variation of 'The greenhouse effect' (patio enclosures or hot walls)bring up our zone15-17 Sunset,heat..
A very attractive palm,so tempting....
Foxtails resemble a cross of Caryota(fishtail palms) and Queen palms. Save your money and time, and use either of those hardy palms in the bay area.

Positive AmandaTaylor7 On Jun 12, 2007, AmandaTaylor7 from Alvin, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

My husband and I planted a single Foxtail Palm and then another set of 3 that were growing together in our front yard. We live about 20 minutes south of Houston and our climate stays hot and very humid all summer. However, ours are doing VERY well!

The single palm has put on a foot and a half of new growth in the last 3 months and these are simply beautiful, full-looking palms when planted in groups. We're using ours to make some not-so-pretty neighboring apartments less visible, and they really add a lot to our home!

I also have a triplet Pygmy Date palm set, an Oleander, 2 sagos (one very tall and the other trunk is about 3 inches tall) and 4 very large and rapidly flowering hibiscus in my front yard, making our yard all together very tropical looking. These palms are the easiest thing in the world to grow, not needing any tender loving care in our area to look absolutely lush and beautiful.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced, fast-growing palm that is beautiful, I would highly recommend the Foxtail Palm!

Positive tmccullo On May 28, 2007, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Ours made it through one of the coldest winters on record in Houston. First an ice storm and them 3 days below freezing. It was even 25 degrees for hours with hard winds. We wrapped the trunk with insulation and had Christmas lights under it. The leaves got damaged badly but it has already grown two new fronds and a third one the way. We also had several days where it got below freezing for short periods of time which seem to cause no damage. Weather like this is very unusual in Houston so I expect it will do fine in the future. There are several in the community.

Positive FoxtailFavPalm On Jan 16, 2007, FoxtailFavPalm from Palm Bay, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This palm is a tree everyone should want in there landscape. If you live in a warm climate, this palm is really easy to grow, and when it is established in its environment, it is surprisingly fast growing; 2 to 3 feet a year! The foxtail palm is also very attractive. The blooms are very showy and the fruit is an colorful orange color that captures alot of attention.

Neutral davelodi On Jan 7, 2007, davelodi from Stockton, CA wrote:

I've been experimenting with palm trees near Sacramento, Ca. I love topical plants, but a real novice to gardening. I planted the foxtail in May and it looked ok all summer long, but this winter has been very cold. Way to cold for this tree. All the branches have turned brown and I'm afraid that it didn't make it. I like to see what happens this spring but I doubt it made it and probably pull it out. That's the way it goes.--- March 14th, I pulled up my foxtail (froze to death) and I liked it so much I bought another one and replanted it. I hope it makes it...

Positive macfoxtail On Oct 5, 2006, macfoxtail from Hollywood, FL wrote:

I've planted several foxtail palm 2 years ago.After hurricane wilma one of the palms seems to be dying,new frons are growing with brown edges and the trunk is not expanding.All of the other palms are thriving.Could this be some sort of desease and can it be saved

Positive laspalmasdesign On Dec 2, 2004, laspalmasdesign from Los Altos, CA wrote:

I have four Wodyetias ranging from 1' to 8' in the ground here in Los Altos, CA (9b SF Bay Area) and so far they're all growing moderately. The growth rate is quite fast during the summer and early fall months and I'm looking forward to them being larger trees. My only complaint is some occasional fungal spotting on horizontal leaves that occurs during our winter rainy seasons.

Neutral Kylecawaza On Aug 23, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

There is a beatuful specimen of this palm in the San Francisco Bay area, down in Santa Clara. It is surprisingly hardy, because it comes from a truly tropical place.

Neutral sonotaps On Aug 12, 2004, sonotaps from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

I planted some small foxtail seedlings by my pool here in Phoenix. I would say moderate growers so far, but perhaps when they get older they will grow faster.

I have seen these in full sun at the Phoenix zoo and a one other place around town. Overall, not commonly grown. The ones at the zoo look beaten up pretty bad. I baby all my plants though. Give them lots of water in Phoenix summer and fertilize in small doses monthly during warm weather.

My foxtails are doing fine so far but for the long term we will have to see.

Neutral palmbob On Sep 23, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have been able to keep this palm alive in Thousand Oaks... but I guess I can't really say I've had success with it... pretty marginal there.. but in most of So Cal, it does well, especially near the coast. Never gets quite as frilly and plumose as in more humid climates like S Florida or the tropics. Is a VERY fast growing palm in the tropics (not here in Southern California, though), and in Thailand, they can go from seed to a plant producing seed in less than 6 years. Just 10 years ago it was considered a rare plant, and was endangered in the wild (N Australia), and exporting the seed was nearly impossible. But now it is one of the most commonly cultivated palms in the world.

This species is one of the few truly heat hardy crownshafted palms... most palms with a crownshaft cannot tolerate dry, hot climates... but this one, along with Royals, Pseudophoenix and Hyophorbes seem to like the heat. So if you live in the desert, this might be a good species for you.

Recently it has been found to be quite easy to hybridize this palm with several other species (Vetchia and Carpentaria) for some spectacular crosses. The former cross actually performs better in cooler climates than do either of the parent species.

Positive IslandJim On Aug 28, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Foxtail palm is one of many major landscape palms in southwest Florida. They are often planted as two- and three-stem specimens. And their distinctive fronds make them living, breathing "conversation pieces"--in an interest class with christmas palms, bottle palms, and sealing wax palms.


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

Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Altadena, California
Cardiff By The Sea, California
Chowchilla, California
Dana Point, California
Hayward, California
Indio, California
Los Altos, California
Oceanside, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Reseda, California
Rialto, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
San Pedro, California
Santa Barbara, California (2 reports)
Simi Valley, California
Torrance, California
Ventura, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida (2 reports)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Haines City, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Key Colony Beach, Florida
Key Largo, Florida
Key West, Florida (2 reports)
Marathon, Florida
Marco Island, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida (2 reports)
Port Saint Lucie, Florida (3 reports)
Punta Gorda, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida (2 reports)
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sanford, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Sugarloaf Shores, Florida
Summerland Key, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Tavernier, Florida
Valrico, Florida
Venice, Florida
Agana Heights, Guam
Hilo, Hawaii
Las Vegas, Nevada
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Alvin, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas (2 reports)
Friendswood, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas
League City, Texas
Mission, Texas
Portland, Texas

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