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How to Grow Livistona

Livistona, Chinese fan palm
Livistona, Chinese fan palm

Livistona–commonly called Chinese fan palm–is a tropical palm with fan-shaped leaves that are borne in dense, terminal heads. Livistona is grown as a specimen tree in tropical regions; in temperate regions, it is grown as a houseplant.

Livistona has fan-shaped, glossy, rich green leaves with short spiny leaf stalks; the leaves are divided into pendent segments. The fronds are deeply cleft into long, narrow leaf segments that droop at the tips.

Livistona is a genus of about 28 species of single-stemmed palms. Livistona is native to tropical woodland and rainforest in Asia and Australia.

Get to Know Livistona

  • Plant type: Palm
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 11-15
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Height and width: 6 to 8 feet (1.8-1.4m) tall grown indoors; outdoors in tropical regions to 40 feet (12m) tall and 15 feet (5m) wide
  • Foliage: Fronds artr fan-shaped and deeply cleft into long, narrow leaf segments that droop at the tips.
  • Flowers: 3-petaled fleors are produced in panicles
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Uses: Houseplant, grow as a specimen tree in tropical regions
  • Common name: Chinese fan palm
  • Botanical name: Livistona
  • Family name: Arecaceae
  • Origin: Asia and Australasia
Livistona rotundifolia, Chinese fan palm
Livistona rotundifolia, Chinese fan palm

Where to Plant Livistona

  • Light indoors: Grow Livistona indoors in full or bright indirect light.
  • Light outdoors: Grow Livistona outdoors in full sun or partial shade.
  • Soil indoors: Grow Livistona in a soil-based pitting mix.
  • Soil outdoors: Plant Livistona in humus-rich, well-drained soil.

When to Plant Livistona

  • Set container-grown Livistona outdoors in tropical or subtropical region any time of the year.

Planting and Spacing Livistona

  • Space Liviston planted outdoors 15 to 25 feet (5-8m) apart.

How to Water and Feed Livistona

  • Water Livistona freely during the growing season; in winter, water Livistona sparingly.
  • Fertilize Liviston with a balanced liquied fertilizer montly during the growing season.

Livistona Care

  • Water Livistona sparingly in winter and do not apply fertilizer.

Growing Livistona as a Houseplant

  • Livistona thrives in bright light, average room temperature, and medium humidity.
  • The soil can be allowed to dry between waterings.
  • Fertilizer should be applied regularly in spring and summer.
  • Repotting can be done once every two to three years; use an all-purpose soil mix.

Livistona Pests and Diseases

  • Livistona are susceptible to mealybugs, nematodes, scale insects, and spider mites.

Livistona Propagation

  • Livistona is best started from seed in a greenhouse; it is very slow growing.

Livistona Varieties to Grow

  • Livistona australis, Australian fan palm. Large palm with erect, robust trunk; long spiny leaf stalks; lustrous deep green fronds often arching at the tips; grows to 80 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
  • L. chinensis, Chinese fan palm. Grows to 6 feet tall indoors; leafstalks are 15 inches in length and have sharp spines along the edges; fronds are glossy green, 2 feet land and 2 feet wide; outdoors grows to 40 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
  • L. mariae, red fan palm. Grows to 100 feet tall in tropical regions; slimbrunk; spiny leaf stalks.
  • L. rotundifolia. Medium to large palm with slim trunk; rounded, lustrous deep green blades, rigid and shallowly notched; grows to 80 feet tall in tropical regions.

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