Space For Roots Of Mexican Fan Palm - Knowledgebase Question

Agoura Hills, CA
Avatar for lancecrow
Question by lancecrow
March 8, 2004
My company is considering a Mexican fan palm for a small section of landscaping. The soil on the desired spot is only 12 inches deep, with a concrete structure underneath. Is this enough root cover for this tree?

Answer from NGA
March 8, 2004
Mexican fan palm has the potential to 100' in height with a 10' width. Because of this, the planting area you describe will be much too inadequate. 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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