How to Grow Washingtonia filifera Plants in your Garden

Washingtonia Filifera, more commonly known as the Desert Fan Palm, is a flowering Palm plant that mainly grows in the most south-western parts of the United States.

They can easily grow up to 60 feet (18 m) tall and 15 feet (5 m) wide at the crown.

desert fan palm
Washingtonia filifera-Desert Fan Palm photograph by Laura Camp.

They are one of the more widespread palm species in the United States, and can be found in large parts of Southern California.

Grown in a variety of environments and soil types, Washingtonia filifera is a hardy plant that can be grown in areas with adequate heat and water.

Desert Fan Palm
Desert Fan Palm photograph by docentjoyce; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Desert Fan Palm

They can survive in a variety of soil types, including high-alkalinity soil, and can live for over 250 years.

To plant, first sow the seeds at a depth of approximately 0.4 inches (10 mm) in well-fertilized soil.

Desert Fan Palm owners regularly give their plants a feed with either a general nutrition or palm-specific plant nutrition every 15 to 30 days; depending on the type of supplement.

Desert Fan Palm tree
Desert Fan Palm tree photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

Washingtonia Filifera should be watered as soon as the top layer of soil dries out, up to about two 2 days after it dries. This is because both stagnant water and re-dried substrates can cause problems for palm plants.

Humidity is also important. If grown indoors then higher humidity levels can be easily achieved by using a sprayer twice daily.

In general, the Washingtonia Filifera is a relatively easy and good-looking palm plant for the home and garden.

Washingtonia filifera Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Washingtonia filifera
  • Common Name: desert fan palm
  • Growing Zone: USA: 9 to 11
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Indoor Plant, Tree

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 480 to 720
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 120 to 180
  • Time of Bloom: Spring
  • Flower Details: White, Yellow
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Palm, Upright / erect

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Quick
  • Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Slightly alkaline, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Dry

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Low
  • Propagation: Seed
  • How to Prune: Not usually required
  • Pests: palm boring beetle
  • Diseases: Usually pest free

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Pests
  • Best Garden Use: Container Garden, Specimen, Large Garden, Wildlife Garden, and Street Tree

  • Family: Arecaceae (Fan Palms)
  • Closely Related Species: Palm Trees.
  • Miscellaneous: Entices birdlife to the garden, North American native, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms
  • Genus Detail: Washingtonia
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Washingtonia filifera plants
Washingtonia filifera plants photograph by Laura Camp; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Washingtonia Filifera . You may also enjoy the following growing guides:

How to grow Washingtonia robusta and Chamaerops humilis.