The Q&A Archives: Windmill Palm Indoors

Question: Can a windmill palm tree live indoors in the winter and brought out in the warmer months?

Answer: Windmill palms can grow indoors, but they're happier outside, as long as they're protected. Windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) is a native of China. It grows slowly, reaching eight feet in 15 years. 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 frond to remove the heavy white stuff before it breaks the tree.

If you decide to take it indoors for the winter, provide bright light, average household temperatures and high humidity (dry air can make the fronds crispy brown). Mist your palm daily to counteract the dryness of indoor air. Best wishes with your windmill palm!

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