Mexican Fan Palm Tree – Washingtonia robusta

The Mexican Fan Palm Tree, scientific name Washingtonia robusta, is very popular indoor and outdoor palm because of its striking appearance and cold hardiness which makes it a great choice for landscape in USDA zones 8b-11.This is a cold hardy, drought resistant and inexpensive palm that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Washingtonia robusta can be grown in states like Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon and Texas.

Buy Large Mexican Fan Palm – 13 ft »
Buy Medium Mexican Fan Palm – 7 ft »
Buy Small Mexican Fan Palm – 3 ft » 

Mexican Fan Palm Tree Profile

Scientific name: Washingtonia robusta

Common names: The Mexican Fan Palm is also known as Washington Palm and Skyduster.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to desert regions of Mexico.

Appearance: It has a single gray trunk ringed by old leaf bases, about 13 inches in diameter. The Mexican Fan Palm requires some maintenance to keep it attractive look.

Old leaves need to be trimmed, otherwise trunk will be sheathed in dead leaves, that form a brown, shaggy covering, also called a “hula skirt”, that extends nearly to the ground. Trunk is straight, a little swollen at the base, has no crownshaft, topped with a crown of 20-25 large fronds.

Leaves are rich glossy green, palmate, or fan-shaped, about 5ft long and 4ft wide. They have lance-shaped leaflets with elegant drooping tips that provide a very tropical appearance to the landscape. The petioles of mature palms are armed with short, sharp thorns. Be careful when trimming.

Flowers/Fruits: In the late spring, the Mexican Fan Palm produces small creamy flowers. Flowers grow in clusters on the branched inflorescence 8-10ft long that extends past the leaves. Flowers are followed by black berry-like drupes, about 1/2 inches in diameter. Fruits are edible, though thin-fleshed. They are sweet and taste like dates, can be dried or made into a jelly.

Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast. Washingtonia robusta is a fast growing palm that can get up to 50 – 60 ft tall and 5-10ft wide, but usually is not taller than 40ft.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Cold Tolerance: Mexican Fan Palm is cold hardy and can tolerate cold down to 15F but temperature lower than 23F might damage leaves. It is great for growing in 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.

Light Req: Full sun to Partial shade. The Mexican Fan Palm needs growth best in full sun, but will tolerate some shade while young.

Water Req: Moderate. It can also tolerate drought, but grows much faster when receiving plenty of water. It likes moist well drained soil.

Maintenance: Easy. It doesn’t require much maintenance and can be pruned annually. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds. Best to sow seeds fresh in the spring. It will take around 4 weeks for germination to occur. Seedlings grow fast having 4 little leaves only after 6 months.

Buy Mexican 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 Mexican Fan Palm – 13 ft »
Buy Medium Mexican Fan Palm – 7 ft »
Buy Small Mexican Fan Palm – 3 ft » 

~Susan Brian

P.S. If you like this palm tree, please click “Like” button below.

6 thoughts on “Mexican Fan Palm Tree – Washingtonia robusta”

  1. I should have bought a palm that was a 7 hardiness and I didnt. I bought the Mexican Fan Palm tree. Please help me help my tree. I bought the seedlings and put the in the yard in direct sunlight.

  2. Hello, thank you for all the great palm information on this site. I caught my neighbor right as he finished chain sawing the top off a gorgeous Mexican Palm (6ft tall) in his yard. I stopped him and asked if I could save the tree.
    The tree has no leaves but lost less then two inches at the top of the trunk.
    He let me dig up and take what was left of the tree, From what I can tell it has a nice root ball and roots. I’ve read your advice on replanting but does this poor stump have a chance? I could send you a photo if you would like to see it.

    Palm Lover in Los Angeles

  3. WE hv this fan tree and it is getting too tall in our front yard of our mobile home… If we was to cut it down to a lower level.. What would the tree do? Continue growing from center or outside? It is a healthy tree.
    Friends of ours has America no grew so high could not trim n eats a very messy tree.

  4. We have two Mexican palms. This past winter we had hard freezes and snow one time. This is Houston. The trees are fine and it is mid may.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: