Foxtail Palm

This tropical tree needs all the sunshine and warmth it can get.

foxtail palm tree against blue sky
Denny Schrock.

Foxtail Palm Overview

Genus Name Wodyetia bifurcata
Common Name Foxtail Palm
Plant Type Tree
Light Sun
Height 20 to 20 feet
Width 10 to 15 feet
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Winter Interest
Special Features Attracts Birds, Low Maintenance
Zones 10
Propagation Seed

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's 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.

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

Foxtail Palm Care Must-Knows

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 part shade but don't grow as quickly as they do in sunny spots, 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. So instead, grow them in raised mounds in areas with a lot of clay or where water may stand. Once established, the trees are drought-tolerant and don't usually require watering to survive. However, they'll grow fastest and look best if given supplemental water during a 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 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 make beautiful specimens if you have adequate light to keep them alive.

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