Washingtonia robusta - Mexican Fan Palm

Washingtonia robusta - Mexican Fan Palm - Arecaceae

Washingtonia robusta or Mexican Fan Palm is a massive palm native to Southwest Arizona, Southern California and Northern Mexico. In nature, these palms will reach up to 100 feet (>30 m) tall with slender gray trunks. Leaves are bright green, costa-palmate, with well-armed petioles. Leaves will reach up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long and up to 4 feet (1.2 m) wide. Trees are planted as street trees in California and other Mediterranean-like climates. They are fast growing and make good container palms while they are young. The palms are hardy in the landscape in USDA zones 9-11.

Blooming: Our palms are 3 years old and have yet to bloom.

Culture: Washingtonia robusta need full sun to light shade, preferring a well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand. The palms are well watered and allowed to dry before watering again. We fertilize them once a month with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 of the amount recommended on the label. In the landscape, the palms are very drought resistant, but will grow faster with regular watering and fertilizer. Our specimens at 3 years old have reached a height of 5 feet (1.5 m) tall. During the winter months, water is restricted and fertilizer is not used during this period.

Propagation: Washingtonia robusta are propagated from seed. Seeds germinate in 30-60 days after sowing.

Washingtonia robusta was featured as Plant of the Week July 31-August 6, 2009.

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