The windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) originates from central China. For a palm, the windmill is extremely tolerant of cold and is hardy down to U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 8. That means the windmill palm can tolerant winter temperatures as low as -12.2 degrees Celsius without protection. It has a moderate growth rate for a palm and requires at least seven years in the wild reach its mature height of 30 feet. Gardeners can improve the growth rate of the windmill palm with regular watering.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Powdered limestone
- Peat moss
- Palm tree fertiliser
Plant the windmill palm in fertile soil with good drainage. The palm doesn't perform well in soggy soil. Good drainage is especially important with frequent watering. The tree can tolerate a variety of soil conditions but prefers sandy loam.
Add powdered limestone as needed to raise the soil pH to between 5.5 and 7.5. Add peat moss if necessary to lower the soil pH to this range.
Provide the windmill palm with partial shade. It grows best when it has a taller tree or structure to protect it from direct sunlight. The windmill palm is moderately tolerant of salt air and should be behind a sand dune when it is near the ocean.
Give windmill palms 1 inch of water every other day for the first three months after planting. Reduce the watering frequency to once per week for the remainder of its first growing season. A windmill palm should not require supplemental watering after its first year of growth.
Apply a fertiliser specifically formulated for palm trees twice per year, according to the manufacturer's instructions. This type of fertiliser contains trace amounts of elements such as manganese and magnesium that tree requires for the best possible growth.
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