How To Grow Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)

Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.

The Fishtail Palm Tree, scientific name Caryota mitis, is native to Southeast Asia and India. This palm is cold hardy down to 15F and can be grown in states like Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon and Texas.

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Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Caryota mitis
Common names:Fishtail Palm, Clustered Fishtail Palm.
Origin:Native to Southeast Asia and India.
Growth Rate:Moderate. Up to 15 – 20 ft tall and 5-10 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA zones 10b (35 to 40 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
Light Req:Full sun to partial shade
Water Req:Moderate
Soil Req:Widely adaptable
Fruit:Yes. Dark red to black. Not edible.
Propagation:By seed, germinating in 3-4 months.

Fishtail Palm Identifying Characteristics

The Fishtail Palm has multi stem grey trunk. Each stem has 8 to 10 bipinnate leaves that can be up to 9ft long. The leaflets shaped like fishtails therefore the palm’s common name is Fishtail Palm.

Fishtail Palm Flowers and Fruits

Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis) flowers
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis) fruits
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.

Flowers/Fruits: It produces beautiful creamy flowers that grow among the leaves. Flower stems about 12 inches are followed by tropical looking green fruits that turn dark red as they ripe. Fruit has round shape and is about ¾ inch diameter.

How To Care For Fishtail Palm

This moderately fast growing palm can get up to 10 – 20 ft tall and 5-10 ft wide. The Fishtail Palm can tolerate cold temperatures down to 35F. It is great for growing in the USDA zones 10b (35 to 40 F) to 11 (above 40 F). It likes full sun but can also grow in partial shade.

It is not drought tolerant and requires a lot of water with good drainage. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Fishtail Palm Propagation

Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis) propagation
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.

Propagation: The Fishtail Palm propagated by seed and can also be propagated by division of clumps and separation of suckers from the parent clump. It takes around 4-6 months to germinate.

Fishtail Palm Pictures

Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis) fruits
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis) fruits
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.
Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis). Photo by Flickr.

More information can be found on EDIS and Floridata sites.

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2 thoughts on “How To Grow Fishtail Palm Tree (Caryota mitis)”

  1. “Cold hardy down to 15F” is NOT true. We had 4 hours at 29F here in FL last week and it caused major damage to our fishtails. Hopefully they will survive.

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