How Do I Care For My Windmill Palm In The Winter?? - Knowledgebase Question

Chesapeake, VA
Question by kwoolard
October 2, 2004
I have a Windmill Palm and need to know what to do during the winter to protect it. Do I need to wrap the tree in plastic (I have seen many palms in my area doen this way)? I planted the palm last spring/summer and did nothing to it for the winter. I noticed that the leaves seemed to turn brown and was wondering if the winter cold did that. Please advise.

Answer from NGA
October 2, 2004


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.

Browning fronds are probably due to winter damage and it may happen every year unless you protect the fronds from cold temperatures.

Best wishes with your windmill palm!

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