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Help with my indoor Chinese Fan Palm.

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by Layne on February 01, 2005 08:53 AM
Hi, I got this Chinese Fan palm quite healthy from Lowes Jan 16, 2005. Then I transported into a slightly larger pot from it's original plastic 10 Galon container. I watered it fully and drain from the saucer, and kept the saucer dry.

2 weeks to now, the palm fans goes weak and won't stand straight, fan lopes are wilting and edges curling up. The room is kept at 65F and it's at a south facing window with filtered sun light almost all day. The room humidity is around 50.

I'm worried about the palm and did some researches online. Could it be overwatered? Or could it be less humidity? It was doing so find in Lowes, would be ashamed to kill this nice looking plant. There is a air outlet for hot air just feets away from the plant though. I closed the outlet after I find the plant is getting weak. Also afraid to water it as so many articles says not to over water palms. How could I keep the plant with high humidity? Spray the leaves daily? Thanks.

You can see the pictures of this plant at here:

The 4th picture is the health one just days after I get it. The other pictures are what the plant look now.

The pot mix I used when transported the plant was commercial potting mix from Walmart. But it was cold and more than damp as I put it in the yard. Kept all the original soil though.

Any advice about how to take care of this nice plant (now or later) will be appreciated.

by obywan59 on February 01, 2005 03:54 PM
I've never had a chinese fan palm, but I did a search on the internet to learn more about them. It sounds like your plant has been too wet. They are a very drought tolerant plant and are useful in xeriscaping in the warmer zones. During the active growing season the surface of the soil should feel dry to the touch before watering thoroughly. Never let the plant sit in water for more than a half hour. During the winter decrease the frequency of watering to let the top inch of soil dry out.

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May the force be with you
by Layne on February 01, 2005 04:10 PM
Thanks Terry for the reply.

Yes I was kind of worried I over watered it when transplanted. But it's said it's much easier to water it one day before the transplant. Plus I did check the soil, it was almost dry through when I got it, should be about time to water. And it's said when water, water thoroughly. I kind of suspect the air outlet contributed more. Will try to mist it daily and see what happens. Thanks again. Anyone has experience with Chinese Fan Palm is welcome to chip in. All I want is to get this plant healthy again.

It's said it requires high light. So a south-facing window isn't too much light for it then?

by Amy R. on February 01, 2005 05:54 PM
Hi Layne,
I don't know much about the Chinese Fan Palm, but I just wanted to suggest something. In my piddly experience, I have learned that repotting immediately after purchase can cause added stress to the plant. Not only is it acclimating to it's new enviornment, it's roots are trying to adjust to a new medium, etc. What I have been doing, is placing my new plant where it's new home will be, and then waiting for a while, months even, until I'm sure it has adjusted. And if you don't like the ugly grow pot it came in, you can just set that pot in your pretty ceramic one until it's time to transplant. The only thing to watch out for is if it is totally rootbound, as then you will need to water more diligently.
A great way to increase the humidity around your plant is to set it on a humidifying tray(tray filled with pebbles and water, just make sure the pot doesn't actually sit IN the water, or you'll get root rot). I think this is more effective than misting, though misting keeps your plant nice and clean.
Eek, sorry so long, hope this helps. And good luck with your lovely palm!
by papito on February 01, 2005 08:23 PM
I only have Bamboo Palms, but I found this info about Chinese Fan Palm from Success With House plants(TM).

Light and temperature requirements:

Lots of light, but not direct hot sun.
Indoor temperature of about 70*F.

Watering and feeding:

Likes a lot of water, but not soggy. It is best to let the soil dry out between watering.
Feed with weak liquid food once or twice a month in the summer, none in the winter.

Soil and transplanting:

Use fast draining potting mix.
Transplant only in the summer, while the palms are actively growing.


Cut off any damage fronds.

Typical problems/cause(s)/solution(s):

Dry brown leaf tips and brown patches at leaf edges.
Likely caused by low humidity.
Mist regularly.

Round, yellowish brown patches on leaves.
Likely caused by fungus.
Spray as often as necessary with fungicide.

Light-colored, dry-looking leaves.
Likely caused by spider mites.
Check the undersides of the leaves for tiny red insects.
Move the palm away from other plants to prevent the insects from spreading and spray with miticide.

Note:::When using any pesticide, always follow label directions.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.

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