Livistona chinensis

Chinese fan palm, fountain palm

Livistona chinensis is an elegant single-trunked palm, with glossy deeply divided fan shaped leaves that droop gracefully downwards.

Mature Fountain Palms can form cream flowers in early summer, but even juvenile specimens are very arresting.

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Origin: East Asia (Southern China, Southern Japan)
Genus: Livistona
Species / Cultivar: chinensis
Common Name: Chinese fan palm, fountain palm
Synonym: Chamaerops biroo, Latania chinensis

Plant Biography

Originally found in East and South East Asia, the Livistona chinensis has spread rapidly as an indoor plant due to its compact form and fan like crown.

Young plants are usually kept as indoor specimens, but as they develop into larger palms they can be hardy down to -4C and thus can be kept outdoors in sheltered spots.

The young plants have upright leaves, but as the plant matures, the leaves start to droop giving it its characteristic shape and the common name of “Fountain Palm”

Livistona chinensis
Light: Bright Indirect
This plant likes sun, but keep out of direct sunlight. Best placed in an area near a window.
Soil: Indoor Potting Mix
Enjoys moist well drained soil with composted organics and some drainage material.
Temperature: 13 - 27°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Slow
Expect to see quite small amounts of growth over the years.
Final Size: Tall
Final size will work as a large stand-alone specimen plant.
Water Requirement: Light Watering
Water when several cm of soil depth is dry to the touch. Water must draining easily away.
Humidity: Medium
Easygoing in regular home conditions, keep away from cold draughts and heat sources.
Maintenance: A little
Easy to care for, just keep an eye on any extra environmental needs such as humidity.
Eventual Height: 3 m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.

Expert Tip

Frequent repotting is highly discouraged as the L. chinensis does not like its roots to be disturbed. Repot in spring only when it becomes severely pot bound. The plant grows slowly, repotting may not be necessary for 3-5 years.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Water less in winter and check that the top 3 inches are dry to the touch. We suggest using filtered, distilled or rain water to avoid chemicals in the tap water.

Most indoor plants like a steady diet of liquid plant food, but not palms. Palms are slow-growing, especially indoors, and don’t need much fertiliser.

Expert Tip

Avoid watering at the base of the trunk as this may lead to rot.
Brown Leaf Tips

Brown Leaf Tips

Most of the time, the indoor plants will develop brown tips because of stress factors in the environment:

low moisture in the air – mist the plant every other day or place on a tray with pebbles that is always topped up with water. Alternatively, a cool-mist humidifier can help.

dry soil – do not allow the soil to dry completely

salts accumulating in the soil – tap water is most of the time very hard and deposits of limescale can form on the roots. use filtered, distilled or rain water


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