The Mediterranean fan palm, also known as Chamaerops humilis, is a hardy palm with multiple trunks and a compact blue-green crown. It has fan shaped fronds and small flowers. It grows slowly to a height of 10 to 15 feet tall and about the same around. It can be used in containers, as a screen or barrier, as an indoor plant, and massed under taller trees.
Plant your Mediterranean fan palm outdoors in partial or full sun in USDA zones 8 to 11. Indoors, it can be used anywhere. It is an evergreen so will provide year-round interest in your yard.
The Mediterranean fan palm is a great landscape plant and is very effective with night lighting or around a swimming pool or spa. The reflected heat and glare from the water don’t bother it. It is also a good choice in a tropical garden that sustains the occasional frost. It can also be grown with other drought resistant plants in desert environments.
Space your Mediterranean fan palms about 8 feet apart for best effect. Found naturally in poor rocky soil, it does well in most soils but prefers a pH of 6.1 to 7.8. Water regularly, but do not overwater. It can handle moderate to fairly severe drought. Once the plant is established, you can reduce watering. Feed it in the spring before new growth begins with a general purpose fertilizer.
The Mediterranean fan palm will bloom repeatedly with inconspicuous flowers ranging from pale green to cream or tan. Some varieties have yellow flowers.
This tree will grow by sending up pups at the base. Do not remove these unless you must, as these will become the multiple trunks that make this palm so delightful.
The Mediterranean fan palm has spines or sharp edges that can cause injuries. Use caution and wear gloves when handling this plant.
To propagate, you can divide the root ball or remove the fleshy coating on the seeds and sow indoors in well-draining potting soil several weeks before the frost free date. The seeds cannot be stored so plant them as soon as possible.