The Q&A Archives: Windmill Palm, best planting time

Question: I live in Richmond Va. Zone 7. I would like to plant a windmill palm. Is fall a good time or should I wait until spring.? What would you feed them with?

Answer: Either spring or fall are good times to plant. Windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) is a native of China. It grows slowly, reaching eight feet in 15 years in Virginia. It makes an excellent specimen plant for a patio or small courtyard. The windmill is the most common in your area because it is among the most hardy of all palms and can sustain temperatures to about 5 degrees Fahrenheit. If the tree is small, you can protect it in bubble wrap, leaving part of the crown exposed so the plant can breathe. When it snows, use a broom, and gently lift up each palm?s fronds to remove the heavy white stuff before it breaks the tree. Expect some frond damage each winter - simply cut the damaged fronds off each spring. Don't fertilize unless the growth is poor. You can use a 10-10-10 formulation on them.

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