Written by Ivy
Nov 18 2022
You can read more about how the Windmill Palm's growth rate varies depending on its growing environment in this guide, along with other maintenance advice. When grown in ideal conditions, windmill palms naturally develop new growth at a moderate rate of speed. A member of the Arecaceae family of perennial palm trees, the windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) is an evergreen palm. If you want to give your landscape a tropical feel, it is a great option. It can endure snow cover and thrive in USD zones 8a to 11.
A windmill palm's annual growth is typically less than 8 inches. Nevertheless, the growth rate may vary based on the environment and other growing circumstances. Due to their ability to withstand drought, these palms require very little care and upkeep. Despite not being the fastest-growing palm trees, they make up for this with their toughness and longevity.
The growth rate of windmill palms is naturally slow. Although they have a maximum height of 40 feet, in most cases, their growth stops at about 10 to 20 feet. Their growth is accelerated by a consistent fertilizer schedule, stable soil moisture, and a lengthy, warm growing season. With the right care, a windmill palm can be trained to grow no longer than 12 to 18 inches each year.
Consistently hydrate the soil. Give this plant 1 to 2 inches of irrigation water to the root during the warm growing season. Despite being drought-tolerant, this plant will grow more if the soil is consistently moist. Keep in mind to never let the soil become soggy. Reduce watering during the cooler months to keep the soil from becoming saturated.
Maintain a consistent fertilizer schedule. Use a slow-release fertilizer made of granules that are tailored to your region's soils and palm trees. The palm-specific fertilizer contains nutrients that are necessary for the healthy growth of palm fronds. Contact the neighborhood extension office to find the best fertilizer for your area. Applying fertilizer is generally best done in the spring, early fall, and summer. Magnesium, iron, manganese, and boron are essential components that must be present in the fertilizer for palm trees. The quicker, healthier growth of this plant is encouraged by these nutrients. Avoid using liquid fertilizers because they leach out of the ground before the palm can absorb them.
In the cooler months of mid-autumn and spring, the windmill palm tree will receive more warmth. If the soil temperature is higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, palm root growth will increase. By removing mulch in the early spring so that the sun can warm the soil, you can aid in the soil's warming process. The palm's growth rate will be naturally slowed down if it does not receive enough sunlight.
With an evergreen habit and a canopy spread of about 12 feet, windmill palms can reach heights of 20 to 40 feet. The tallest individuals grown there only reach a height of about 10 feet. It appears that the single trunk is covered in burlap sheets due to its hairy exterior. In fact, the fibers are used to make ropes, mats, and brooms.
The canopy is covered in large, fan-shaped leaves and thorn-lined stems. Each frond is typically 3 feet wide and has 15 to 19 sections. A 2-foot-long panicle that is drooping and filled with vibrant yellow flowers emerges in the late spring and summer. Small bluish drupes that contain the palm's seeds replace the withered flowers.
Growing windmill palms is a popular option for people who reside in regions that are typically too cold for the majority of palm species. They are among the most cold-tolerant palm trees, typically surviving winter lows of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. However, zone 7 residents should plant in a protected location shielded from chilly winter winds and add a thick layer of mulch to protect the root system.
When kept in their ideal environments, windmill palms can add 2 to 3 feet of new growth each year. The palm grows at a natural rate, and while you can't change that, growing it in its preferred environment results in the best growth. Any plant that is grown under circumstances that it does not prefer will grow more slowly and become unhealthy.
On a site that receives full sun to partial shade, grow windmill palms, keeping in mind that partial shade fosters the best growth. Rich in organic matter, well-draining soils are ideal for the palm. Avoid planting windmill palms in wet areas that have a propensity to retain water because these conditions encourage diseases like root rot, which can be fatal to the palm. The growth rate of the palm is negatively impacted by sites with poor drainage and full shade.
The windmill palm grows well when planted in large containers because of its compact size. Just make sure the container has bottom drain holes, and use fertile, well-draining potting soil. Slow-release fertilizers are commonly found in potting mixes, which reduces the palm's need for fertilizer. You should start applying fertilizer once the nutrients in the potting mix are depleted, so check the label to see how long the slow-release fertilizer lasts.
During the growing season, weekly water applications are adequate for windmill palms because of their moderate drought tolerance. As active growth slows in the winter, you can reduce your frequency to every two weeks or so. Pruning should only be done on completely brown fronds because those with some color are still feeding the palm with nutrients. Apply a palm tree fertilizer to the windmill palm in the spring, spreading it under the canopy and watering it into the ground.
These palms are perfect for framing entryways and adding a tropical touch to porches, patios, and larger balconies thanks to their smaller size. Additionally, they make striking specimens and accent plants. Windmill palms serve as pool plants and bring year-round color to winter gardens. Even people who live in colder climates can use the potted palm to spruce up outdoor areas and bring it indoors to a sunny spot in the winter. Anywhere it is used, the palm is a beautiful addition.
The fan-shaped leaves of windmill palms are what make them special. One of the toughest palm trees, they produce yellow flowers in the late spring and summer. These palms, which are native to Asia, can withstand both shade and salt.
Although the Windmill Palm can grow in a wide range of soil types, it is most likely to prosper in moist, well-drained soil that has a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. When it is first planted, it should be watered every few days; however, once or twice a week for established plants.
They can withstand the cold and frequently grow in USDA zones 8 to 11.
A slow-release fertilizer should be applied twice a year to promote growth. The best fertilizer for Windmill Palms is 10-10-10 or any other product made specifically for them.
Read More: Windmill Palm Tree Care & Growing Guide
Contrary to popular belief, windmill palms grow slowly to moderately. Each year, they can increase in height by about eight inches. When they are young, this is true, but as they get older, they will start to grow more slowly. Although the Windmill Palm is not the fastest-growing palm tree, its moderate growth rate is still remarkable given its size.
Several factors can affect the growth rate of a Windmill Palm, such as:
The Windmill Palm's growth rate can be impacted by the type of soil in which it is planted. Palms prefer soils that have a lot of organic matter and are well-drained. The growth of the palm can be hampered by excessively dense or clay-like soil.
The palm's growth rate may also be impacted by the local climate. Windmill palms located in colder climates, for instance, will grow more slowly than those in warmer climates.
The Windmill Palm's rate of growth can also be influenced by how much sunlight it receives. To promote growth, palm trees require at least six hours of sunlight each day. The palm will still grow, albeit slowly, if it is not getting enough light.
Although most only grow to be between 10 and 20 feet tall, this type of palm tree can reach heights of up to 40 feet. All of this will depend on the environment and growing conditions, so it is critical to meet these requirements to guarantee that they will develop to their full potential.
Because it has no issues, particularly in cooler climates, windmill palm is a simple tree to grow. Even though scale insects and palm aphids can attack it, using an insecticide to control them is simple.
Despite the rarity of diseases, leaf spots and yellowing can occasionally happen.
If the soils are not properly drained, root rot could develop.
Pruning is not necessary for windmill palm trees. Only the dead fronds need to be removed; you can leave the yellow fronds on the plant. The plant is still receiving nutrients from the yellow ones. Remove the blooms as they develop if you don't want the fruits of the palm trees to clutter up your landscape.
The windmill palm tree's growth is stunted when pruned. Most people prune their palm trees before hurricanes, but this only makes the plant less able to withstand the strong winds. Naturally wind-resistant, palm trees.
Although they are naturally slow-growing trees, these palm trees can grow a little faster when certain conditions are met and they can reach their full potential. When raised properly and given the right conditions, they can even reach heights of up to 40 feet.
For busy homeowners looking for a low-maintenance option, these palm trees are easy to care for and require little maintenance. For anyone looking to add a touch of the tropics to their garden, the Windmill Palm is a fantastic option thanks to its impressive growth rate and striking appearance.
Because they are a native of the lowland tropics, windmill palms do not require direct sunlight. The windmill palm, however, prefers full sun because it thrives in tropical climates, according to research.
The windmill palm is a native of the lowland tropical regions. Overstory trees provide partial or semi-shade for it to grow.
Windmill palms prefer long periods of direct sunlight. They favor lighting that is direct and bright. It is best to keep them away from the hottest part of the day, which is typically between 10 am and 2 pm in the summer. Plants that flourish on or close to the beach are called windmill palms.
Windmill palms are plants that grow very slowly. You must first tend to their basic needs if you want to accelerate their growth. Make sure the plant is planted in a location where it can grow and that it has access to enough water and light. It's crucial that windmill palms get enough water, but not too much. The roots of a tree will rot if the soil is too wet, and the tree will eventually die. In most situations, a monthly watering of once or twice should be adequate.
As opposed to growing from a high stem, the windmill palm is a type of palm tree. However, it may take these palms years to mature sufficiently to bear fruit.
Here are some more pointers.
Protect the Plant's Roots After the plant has emerged from the ground, watch out for its roots to make sure nothing is damaging them. By safeguarding them, you can help your plant's foundation while also ensuring that they grow and develop properly.
It's important to remember that these palms frequently require water at both their base and their top, which is why bottom watering is so crucial. They are susceptible to root rot if you do not water them from the bottom up.
Although they are native to the Mexican peninsula of Baja California, windmill palm trees are also planted in many other places.
The windmill palm tree comes in two different varieties. With a height of 20 meters (65 feet), the Washingtonia filifera is taller. Washingtonia robusta is 50 feet or 15 meters shorter. Up to 100 feet or more can be reached by windmill palms.
Windmill palm trees, or "Trachycarpus" as they are scientifically known, are one of the tallest and most robust palms in the world. They can reach heights of up to 120 feet and offer shade to those who live beneath them. Windmill palms, a variety of fan palms, have thick trunks with a solitary frond on top that they use as a canopy to shield themselves from the heat and direct sunlight. Windmills got their name because of their wide, waxy leaves that resemble traditional Dutch windmills.