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Foxtail Palm Tree

Wodyetia bifurcata

Homeowners in frost-free regions have a vast array of palms to choose from, and foxtail palm is one of the most popular. This easy-growing tree grows fast and produces fronds that have a lush, full, feathery look. A well-grown tree can have massive fronds—up to 10 feet long or more. (Take care when placing foxtail palms so that nothing below them is damaged when the fronds die of old age and drop from the tree.) It also produces clusters of colorful red fruits, which add to its ornamental appeal.

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Light:

Sun

Type:

Height:

20 feet or more

Width:

10 to 15 feet

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Special Features:

Zones:

Propagation

Planting Foxtail Palm

Though it's native to Australia, foxtail palm is well-adapted to growing in areas like South Florida where winter temperatures stay warm. That has made this palm a go-to variety for tropical landscaping. Its quick growth means you can enjoy a good-size tree in just a few years.

Though foxtail palm is often planted by itself, it looks best when grouped or clustered as three or more. This creates the look of a tropical oasis and creates the perfect spot to place a garden bench or arbor with plantings of lush and colorful tropical plants.

Foxtail Palm Care

Plant foxtail palms in a spot with full sun—they do best when they get at least six hours of direct sun per day. They tolerate partial shade but don't grow as quickly and can be more susceptible to attack from fungal diseases.

Foxtail palms appreciate well-drained sandy soil and aren't suited to spots that see standing water for extended periods. In spots where there's a lot of clay or where water may stand, grow them in raised mounds. Once established, the trees are drought-tolerant and don't usually require watering to survive. They will grow fastest and look best, however, if given supplemental water during times of drought.

These palms are moderately salt-tolerant, so they're a fun choice for coastal areas. Keep the fronds looking lush and dark green by applying a fertilizer formulated for palms in the spring. Follow the directions on the product packaging for application rates.

Spreading a 3- to 4-inch-deep layer of mulch over the soil at planting time helps cut back on competition from weeds and can protect the trunks from lawn mower or string trimmer damage.

Because they like a lot of light, foxtail palms can be tricky to grow indoors unless you have a conservatory or greenhouse. But they do make beautiful specimens if you have adequate light to keep them alive.

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