The Q&A Archives: windmill palm

Question: I have a planting area built into my pool that is a 7 foot square that is only 2 feet deep (with a concrete floor), can I plant a windmill palm or mediteranean fan palm and have it do well in only 2 feet depth of soil?

Answer: Windmill palm has the potential to reach a huge height with a 10' width. Because of this, the planting area you describe will be much too small. If it's a palm you want, I'd suggest planting either Rhapidophyllum (Lady Palm) or Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm). Lady palm is a slow-growing fan palm reaching 5-12' tall and wide. The root system is small enough to be happy in a 12" soil depth, as long as the soil drains well. This palm takes lots of neglect - from drought to lack of fertilizer, to lack of light. The cabbage palm is also a slow-growing fan palm, growing 20' tall and 10' wide. It needs to watered on a regular basis and will remain on the smaller side when the roots are contained (such as they would be in the planter you describe). Hope this information helps you find just the right palm for your landscape project!

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