There are several other fan palms, but this is the only one that is native to Europe. The large, deeply divided, fan-shaped fronds give this plant its other frequently used common names: dwarf fan palm and hair palm.
Each dark green leaf measures about 2ft/60cm across and consists of a number of stiff, spiky segments radiating from the base. The leaf stalk, which is usually l-2ft/30-60cm long, is sharply toothed.
The plant makes a bushy, architectural shrub, which is generally not difficult to grow in room conditions. Where winter temperatures fall below 55°-60°F/13°-16°C, water this palm sparingly and allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.
Even well-established plants do not produce flowers or fruit when grown indoors. Take care when handling the palm: the leaf stems are covered with sharp teeth. The long, stiff-leaf segments often become shaggy and split at their tips.
FACT FILE European Fan Palm
Origin: Western Mediterranean countries.
Height: To 4ft/1.2 m
Potting Mix: Soil-based
Repotting: Move into a pot one size larger every 2 years in spring until the maximum convenient size has been reached; thereafter top-dress.
Propagation: Sow fresh seed in a propagator, or carefully separate 8-10-in/20-25-cm suckers, with roots, from the parent plant and pot up individually.
Keeping Plants: This palm can survive for several years, given good growing conditions.
PLANT CARE European Fan Palm
- Bright light with some direct sun, although the plant will tolerate light shade.
- Minimum temperature 50°F/10°C.
- Keep the soil moist at all times in the growing period, but do not allow the pot to stand in water.
- Liquid-feed every 10 to 14 days in summer.