Chinese Fan Palm Care

Chinese Fan Palm

Chinese Fan Palm Care Instructions

Chinese Fan Palm

Chinese Fan Palm

This article will explain in-depth Chinese Fan Palm care instructions. By following this guideline, you should have no problem keeping your palm not only surviving, but thriving for years to come. The Chinese Fan Palm is quite a versatile plant used in homes, offices and interior landscapes due to their easy care and slow growth rate. The Chinese Fan Palm is also more commonly known as the Fountain Palm and it’s scientific name is Livistona Chinensis from the family Arecaceae. They are native to subtropical regions throughout Eastern Asia, but can now be found commonly throughout the world. Popular in Florida landscapes, this palm is also used as a houseplant in colder climates and could reach up to 50′ in height.


Chinese Fan Palms are commonly grown can be found in 6, 8, 10, 14 and 17″ pots. Larger sizes are available for special orders. There are many varieties of palm that people commonly classify as a Fan Palm. Washingtonia, Latania and Bismarckia to name a few. This article is specific for Chinese Fan Palm care. All varieties can be grown outdoors in warmer climates when there is no chance of frost. They are also perennial in USDA hardiness zones 9B-11.

Lighting Requirements

Chinese Fan Palm do best in locations with bright, filtered light such as a window sill that has an Eastern exposure when grown indoors. When grown outdoors, Chinese Fan Palms prefer a shaded location such as a covered porch or under a tree, however they can also tolerate full sun. If you have less than optimal lighting available, the plant may adapt and survive – but be careful to watch for yellowing or dropping of leaves. From our experience Fan Palms are an excellent choice for a room or office with direct natural sunlight.

Temperature Requirements

The Chinese Fan Palm is a great house or office plant because it prefers the same temperatures that many living situations are kept at on a daily basis. Night time temperatures in the lower 60’s and day time temperatures in the 70’s are ideal. Keep in mind that although your home or office are kept at these average temperatures, other factors may play a part in your plant being too hot or cold. Make sure that your Palm is not directly affected by a heating or air conditioner vent. The direct cold or hot air will surely damage your plant. You also want to keep an eye on the window if you place your plant in one. On very cold days, the glass will transfer the cold – and if the leaves from your Fan Palm are pressed against the glass, they will become damaged. It is never a good idea to have your plant up against any window or wall. You will also want to avoid any drafts in colder climates. A cold gust of wind from being placed near a door or window that opens could also damage your plant.

Watering Chinese Fan Palms

The most important thing to keep in mind when watering Fan Palms (as with almost any plant) are that you want to avoid creating a situation that promotes root rot. In our homes and offices, we keep them in a light, well-draining soil. They prefer to be kept on the moist side, but are very drought tolerant. Fan Palms require an average amount of humidity and will benefit from the occasional misting. There is not specific amount or frequency of water that we can suggest because the lighting, temperature and evaporation rates differ in every home and office – but on average you probably should not be watering your Fan Palm more than 4 times per month. The quantity of water that you give the plant depends on the pot size and how dry/moist the soil is. You will need to develop a feel for the proper amount of water. Try to water at an even amount of moisture, not letting your plant get soaking wet and then allowing it to dry out between watering. Do not let water accumulate in the crown or cups that the leaves. Moderation is key. Any planter that allows for evaporation, air flow and water drainage works well. Once you develop the “feel” for watering, you will be able to judge when to water by picking up the plant. The heavier the plant feels, the more moisture there is in the growing medium. If the plant is too large to lift, a water meter is well worth the investment.

Are Your Plants Leaf Tips Turning Brown?

A common problem with Chinese Fan Palms and almost all indoor houseplants is what we call “tipping” or simply the tips of the leaves drying out and turning brown. This can be caused by a number of factors including over-watering, chemical burn from too much fertilizer, Root rot and dry stagnant air. Probably the most common reason your plant is tipping could be in the tap water. Tap water contains salts, chlorine, minerals and fluoride – all of which can build up in the soil of your plant causing the tips of the leaves to burn and turn brown. One way you can reduce this is to use a water filtration system. If you do not have a filtration system available, leaving he water in an open container overnight before using can help relieve some of the chlorine.

Fertilizing Chinese Fan Palms

Do house plant fertilizers work? Definitely. Chinese Fan Palms, like every other living thing need a source of energy. The plants take in their nutrients from the light, water and potting medium they are planted in. That medium only holds so much, and when the nutrients are depleted, fertilizer is the only source left. People who grow house plants without repotting and fertilizing regularly are essentially starving the plants and holding them back from their full potential. There are many different fertilizers on the market and they come in many forms. There are water soluble fertilizers, ready to use liquid, liquid concentrate, fertilizer spikes, time release granules and many others. Which fertilizer works best? That is up for you to decide. We prefer a ready to use liquid simply for the convenience of use. We also dilute the fertilizer and use every time we water so there is a constant stream of nutrients being fed to the plants. Be sure to choose a “palm specific” fertilizer as their needs may differ from other common house plants.

Chinese Fan Palm Disease and Insects

Fan Palms are susceptible to common insect infestation when grown indoors. The most common problems that can occur are spider mites, mealy bugs and scale. All of these issues can be resolved quite easily if spotted early and treated properly. In most cases, a simple treatment of insecticidal soap or a solution of rubbing alcohol and water will do the trick. If you are having problems with your plant and not sure of the right solution, contact us and we will be happy to provide the best product for your issue.

Do you have a question about Chinese Fan Palms or any other plant that was not answered here? Please feel free to contact us at 201-794-4747 and speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members. We would be happy to help.

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