The Q&A Archives: Fox Tail Palm

Question: I live 30 miles north of Tampa, FL. I've located a tree nursery in North Tampa that carries Fox Tail Palms...I love them and think they are great. I was told that it likely won't grow in my area (Spring Hill) as it gets too cold. Granted this year was a nasty

Answer: I think I'd take the chance! Here's what I know about foxtail palms:
Foxtail palm grows naturally among rocks and boulders in northeastern Australia, specifically in northeastern Queensland, in the Melville Range, near Bathurst Bay on the Cape York Peninsula. Foxtail palm grows in loose, sandy, granitic soils among enormous granite boulders. The climate in this area of Australia is tropical with a prolonged dry season. Foxtail palm has recently become a very popular ornamental in the southern parts of Florida, California and Texas.

Foxtail palms are exceptionally hardy and easy to grow. They tolerate a wide variety of well drained soils, including alkaline limestone soils and rocky sands. Regular fertilization with palm fertilizer, and regular watering result in rapid growth. Fertilizer for foxtail palm should have ample amounts of micronutrients and slow release potassium. Foxtail palms may develop potassium deficiency in potassium deficient soils. The foxtail growth rate has been documented to be 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m)/year under good conditions. Foxtail palms tolerate light frost, rarely attract pests and disease, and are resistant to lethal yellowing.

Light: The foxtail palm grows best in full sun, but it grows well in partial shade, too. Even small plants and seedlings can tolerate hot, full sun from an early age. The foxtail palm can also be grown indoors where it does well in brightly-lit areas.
Moisture: The mature foxtail palm has a deep root stem that allows it to be quite drought tolerant. However, this palm responds well to regular, deep watering in well drained soils. During cooler months the foxtail palm needs only occasional watering. Care should be taken not to overwater foxtail palms that are grown in containers.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 - 11. Foxtail palm should be protected from frost or freezing temperatures. Mature and established plants can tolerate only a light frost with temperatures down to about 27? F (-2.7 C), without significant damage. Some enthusiasts are growing foxtail palms outdoors in zone 9, where they must be protected from freezing conditions.

Hope this information helps you make your decision.

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