California Fan Palm Tree – Washingtonia filifera

The California Fan Palm Tree, scientific name Washingtonia filifera, is one of the most popular palms in subtropical climates because of its beautiful appearance and low maintenance.  This is a large tree that can tolerate cold down to 15F making it perfect for growing in zone 8b. This palm can be grown in states like Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon and Texas.

Buy Large California Fan Palm – 24 ft »
Buy Medium California Fan Palm – 6 ft »
Buy Small California Fan Palm – 4 ft »

California Fan Palm Tree Profile

Scientific name: Washingtonia filifera

Common names: California Fan Palm Tree is also known as Desert Fan Palm, American Cotton palm, Arizona Fan Palm.

Family: Arecaceae.

Origin: It is native to North America.

Appearance: The California Fan Palm has heavy grey trunk ringed with old leaf scars. When the leaves die they bend downwards and form a skirt around the trunk. Trunk is a little swollen at the base and can get up to 3ft in diameter at its widest point. Palmate, or fan shaped, leaves emerge from the trunk forming a loose and open crown. Leaves are grey-green, about 4-6ft across with tips of fronds arching down. The leaf stems of mature palms have curved thorns. The leaflet edges have fibrous white cotton-like threads.

Flowers/Fruits: In the early summer, the California Fan Palm produces creamy flowers that hang in clusters from the crown. Flowers are small held by stalks that extend beyond foliage. The California Fan Palm has male and female flowers on the same inflorescent. The flowers are followed by black fleshy berry-like fruit, ½ inch in diameter with a single seed inside that mature sometime in September.

Growth Rate: Moderate. In the wild Washingtonia filifera is known to grow up to 70ft tall but in cultivation it is usually not more than 30-40 ft tall and 5-10 ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both. California Fan Palm Tree can also grow in a pot.

Cold Tolerance: It is cold hardy to about 15-20 F and can tolerate frost. It also recovers pretty quickly from the damage. Great for USDA Zones 8b (15 to 20 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

There is a great book, written by David A. Francko that I really like, it’s called “Palms Won’t Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas”. It goes into the details on how you can grow cold hardy palms in zones 7, 6 and even 5. This is the perfect foundation book for the gardener who would like to see a banana next to his cherry tree and a palm between his maples. It got great reviews and 5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

Light Req: Partial shade to full sun. It likes full sun but can also grow in partial shade.

Water Req: Moderate. It can also tolerate drought but does best in moist well drained soil. It can tolerate alkaline soil.

Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Insects and Diseases: This pest and disease resistant palm is very easy to maintain.

Propagation: Propagated by seed.

Buy California Fan Palm Today

We don’t sell palm trees on this site, but you can buy it from one of my favorite palm nurseries – Real Palm Trees. It has beautiful palm trees at discounted prices and offers a Free Shipping. This is one of the few sites that I trust, because each palm tree comes with Certificate of Authenticity that guarantees highest quality of the tree. All of their palm trees are properly grown and acclimatized to the correct hardiness zone.

Most importantly, you will receive a tree in perfect health and wouldn’t have to worry about it dying few weeks later. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or you money back. 

Buy Large California Fan Palm – 24 ft »
Buy Medium California Fan Palm – 6 ft »
Buy Small California Fan Palm – 4 ft »

~Susan Brian

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2 thoughts on “California Fan Palm Tree – Washingtonia filifera”

  1. I live in coastal virginia. I recently bought a house on the Elizabeth River that has a California fan Palm in the back yard. it is about six feet tall and apparantly is in good health. Can someone tell me when i need to trim the dead fans off. What time of the year do you need to feed this guy as well.
    Thank you in advance.

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