Foxtail palm cold hardiness

Tips for Growing Magnificent Foxtail Palms (Wodyetia bifurcata)


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Foxtail Palms, native to Northern Australia are one of the most attractive known palm species. They can be told apart from other palms by their single gray trunk, grow to 10 metres and sprout light green feathery fronds.

Foxtail Palms thrive in warm dry climates and are fast growers. They handle light frost, are particularly strong against disease and pests and are resistant to the lethal yellowing disease.

These easy to grow, worry free palms have a wide tolerance to different soil types, including rocky sands and alkaline limestone soils. They make an excellent addition to all climatic areas. Foxtail palms are grown with great effect along the medium strip of the streets of Surfers Paradise.

Here are some basic tips that should help you grow Foxtail Palms.

– In order to experience rapid growth for your palms, you must fertilize them regularly. The right fertilizer to use is one that is packed with slow release potassium and micronutrients. The potassium is particularly important since your palm may suffer from a deficiency in low potassium soils.

– Foxtail Palms are prized for their beautifully solid trunks and their feathery leaves. They are considered great accent pieces for any lawn or garden when planted alone. If you are going for a more dramatic effect, these palms may also be planted in groups of three or more. They also serve as house or conservatory plants that look extremely gorgeous in well-lit areas. You can also plant foxtails in pots as nice patio plants.

– Foxtails will tolerate a fair amount of salt spray and strong winds. Allow space for the size of their trunk and spread of their fronds.

– The soil of your Foxtail Palm must be well maintained and properly cared for. In order to ensure only the best growth for your palm, use a fertilizer that is vitamin packed. Look for one that is.

– Fertilize using a complete plant food with all essential minerals because these vitamins and nutrients are usually leached out of the sandy soils that the palms grow best in. Keep your fertilizing sessions to a minimum, do not over fertilize them.

– It is important to keep your watering to a minimum as well. Watering must be done slowly ensuring that the water gets deep into the root system. Water twice a month during summer and once every six weeks during the winter months.

– In order to keep your palms looking healthy and attractive, prune your Foxtails’ dead fronds. It is extremely important to prune properly by cutting six inches away from the trunk. Because any nicks on the trunk may open up the palms to insects and disease.

– Foxtails look particularly great when planted on one or all four corners of your house. Planting a row of Foxtails will instantly give your garden a lush tropical feel.

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Foxtail Palm Tree Stock Photos and Images

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  • foxtail palm, foxtail palm tree, or Wodyetia bifurcata’s seed
  • The trunk of a Wodyetia bifurcata – foxtail palm tree.
  • closeup shot of foxtail palm, foxtail palm tree, or Wodyetia bifurcata’s seed
  • Foxtail palm tree on white background.
  • Wodyetia (Foxtail Palm). Palm tree isolated on white background
  • Foxtail palm tree isolated on white background
  • Foxtail palm tree in the garden
  • foxtail palm tree isolated on white background. 3d illustration
  • The Foxtail palm fruits at the early stages.
  • foxtail palm tree isolated on white background. 3d illustration
  • Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata), stem
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  • Foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) bark close-up
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  • beautiful Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) in garden of Thailand
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  • Fox Tail palm tree on blue background worm-view, Normanbya normanbyi
  • foxtail palm tree isolated on white background. top view. 3d illustration
  • Fox tail palm
  • Bright orange Foxtail Palm fruit (Wodyetia bifurcate A.K. Irvine) on tree.
  • Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata)
  • Foxtail palm tree in the garden
  • The Royal Palm Tree is the Cuban National Tree a symbol of the Caribbean country.
  • Foxtail palm fruit (Wodyetia bifurcata). Photographed in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
  • Foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcate A.K. Irvine) leaves under blue sky background.
  • A Foxtail Palm bearing fruits. Wodyetia bifurcata. Florida USA
  • Palm trees with foliage, and gold and red berries
  • Foxtail palm and seed of palm at the color red.
  • Foxtail tree’s fruits, Hawaii
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  • Tropical Australian foxtail palm seamless pattern .
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  • Botany – Trees – Arecaceae. Foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcata)
  • Tropical cabbage palm in a seamless pattern .
  • Palms and agaves, La Palma
  • Tropical cabbage palm leaf in a seamless pattern .
  • foxtail palm tree isolated on white background. top view. 3d illustration
  • The Royal Palm Tree
  • foxtail palm tree isolated on white background. top view. 3d illustration
  • Caribbean, Anguilla. Side view of hotel.
  • Foxtail palm tree in the garden
  • Foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcate A.K. Irvine) leaves under blue sky background.
  • Tall palm trees with berries in season.
  • Foxtail palm and seed of palm at the color red.
  • Foxtail palm tree isolated on white background
  • Tropical cabbage palm leaf in a seamless pattern .
  • Foxtail palm tree in the garden
  • Foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcate A.K. Irvine) leaves under blue sky background.
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Foxtail Palm

Wodyetia bifurcata

The enchanting foxtail palm is extremely popular for its perfect proportions, self-cleaning habit and full, rounded fronds.

A tropical showstopper in the landscape, the foxtail is available in single or multi-trunk specimens. Its smooth gray trunk is topped with a bright green crownshaft and big tufted fronds that resemble the bushy tail of a fox.

The charismatic beauty of this palm works in almost any landscaping, as long as the house itself isn’t overwhelmed by its size.

Plant specs

Foxtails are fast growers, reaching an ultimate height of about 30 feet.

They’re best suited for Zone 10, though areas of Zone 9B that closely border Zone 10 will work with normal winter temperatures.

These South Florida palms like plenty of sunshine and they’re moderately drought-tolerant once established, though a regular watering is ideal.

The foxtail is a moderately salt-tolerant palm and it’s self-cleaning (old fronds fall off by themselves).

“But it doesn’t LOOK like a foxtail palm…”

When shopping for a young foxtail, don’t be put off by the sparse appearance and “torn” ends of the leaves – they’ll grow quickly into a full, rounded “tail.”

Plant care

Plant with organic peat humus or top soil added to the hole.

Foxtails can be heavy feeders. Fertilize with a granular palm fertilizer containing micronutrients…do this in spring, summer and autumn.

Supplement feedings by applying manganese or magnesium every so often to keep the fronds their prettiest deep-green color.

You’ll never have to trim a frond, since old ones fall off on their own.

Plant spacing

Fronds are large on this palm, so plant a single specimen at least 8 feet from the house (and even farther for multiple trunks, since they bow out) to allow the head of the palm room to flush out without fronds being damaged.

If planting a row of foxtails, place them at least 6 feet apart. If the “head” of the palm clears a fence or low structure, you can place it as close as 3 feet from the fence.

Foxtail palms will work well in large containers while they’re young.

Like all plants, palms produce flowers and seeds.

After flowering, a more mature foxtail bears a large, heavy cluster of fruit containing seeds.

The fruit is showy and bright red, each one the size of a small tomato.

Landscape uses for foxtail palm

  • stand-alone specimen for the yard (especially nice with multiple trunks)
  • focal point and large anchor plant for a garden bed
  • architectural accent for a two-story house
  • center of a circular drive
  • lining a walkway or drive
  • along the property line
  • tropical accent near an uncaged pool
  • double-trunk framing a focal point (your front door?) or beautiful view
  • container plant (when young) for pool cage or patio

GOOD SNOWBIRD PLANT? YES

COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Golden dewdrop, dwarf oleander, Knock Out rose, Texas sage, dwarf firebush, cocoplum, star jasmine, and firecracker plant.

Other palms you might like: Alexander Palm, Queen Palm

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Caring For Foxtail Palms: How To Grow Foxtail Palms

The foxtail palm tree (Wodyetia bifurcata), an Australian native, is an adaptable, fast-growing specimen. In recent years, varieties of foxtail palm trees have become popular with landscapers and nurserymen in warmer zones of the United States.

Grown in a wide range of soils, the only requirements are that soil be well draining and not highly acidic. Tolerant of salty sea spray and wind, the foxtail palm tree is an excellent choice for those who live on ocean fronts and other salt prone areas. Let’s take a look at how to grow foxtail palms in your garden.

How to Grow Foxtail Palms From Seed

Easily started from seed, the foxtail palm tree is suitable for container growing and may be used as an interior planting if correct growing conditions exist. Containers must be large enough to accommodate the large root system. Seeds may be started in small containers and transplanted when germination occurs.

The attractive foxtail palm tree grows most rapidly in a full sun area, but may thrive in partially shaded areas as well. The foxtail palm tree prefers a humid environment which may be provided by nearby fountains or pebble trays in the immediate area where it is grown.

Seeds started in pots should be kept moist until germination occurs. Germination may occur as quickly as one month or take up to one year, but is most often accomplished within a three month time frame.

Well drained soil and adequate watering, combined with appropriate fertilization ensure a low care beauty wherever it may be planted.

How to Take Care of Foxtail Palms

Easy maintenance is associated with the foxtail palm tree, as it is a self-cleaning specimen; meaning that spent leaves will die and drop from the tree as needed to facilitate new growth.

While the foxtail palm tree is somewhat drought resistant, regular watering encourages optimum growth and a lush, exotic appearance. Regular watering is required until the tree is established, usually in one or two years.

Caring for foxtail palms should include mulching, but mulch should not hug the trunk. Mulching helps retain moisture and discourages maintenance workers from accidentally injuring the trunk with mowers and trimmers. It also keeps weed growth down in the area of the foxtail palm tree.

Foxtail Palm Fertilizer

When feeding the foxtail palm tree, fertilizer should be heavy on nitrogen, which encourages lush green foliage growth. Foxtail palm fertilizer should be balanced and also contain micronutrients and trace elements.

Controlled release fertilizer is preferable to rapid release, water soluble fertilizer, as the latter moves through the soil too quickly to benefit the deep and spreading root system. In areas where manganese toxicity may exist in the soil, such as some areas of Hawaii, a low pH may be corrected with the application of limestone.

Foxtail palm fertilizer may be the pellet form and should be broadcast in the area under the tree’s canopy, taking care not to dump large amounts on newly forming roots which may burn. Avoid fertilizing against the trunk area.

Once they are properly located, caring for foxtail palms is relatively simple. Once you grow these specimens you will quickly learn how to take care of the foxtail palm. Through experience and experimentation you will determine which foxtail palm fertilizer is best for your conditions and which varieties of foxtail palm trees you prefer to grow.

Wodyetia bifurcata

Family: Arecaceae Origin: Endemic to Cape Melville, Northern Queensland

Foxtail palms are now prolific not just in Brisbane but all over the world in tropical and sub-tropical climates. That’s quite remarkable, considering they were unknown to the world just over thirty years ago. They were brought to botanists attention in 1978, growing in Cape Melville in Northern Queensland. Due to their original rarity nurseries weren’t given access to Foxtails until 1992.

The genus are named for Wodyeti, an Aboriginal man who had a great knowledge of the region. ‘Bifurcata’ (twice divided) refers to the distinctive plumlose leaflet arrangement, from which its common name is also derived. It’s a monotypic genus (only having one species), at least so far.

Arboriculture

Growth form

In their native environment Foxtail palms reportedly grow to 15 metres. Under cultivation they rarely reach 10 metres. They have largely displaced taller species such as Alexander palms, their comparative shortness often considered an advantage since at height palms have a ‘telegraph pole’ aesthetic to many observers.

Trunk

They have a sturdy, grey trunk with some light signs of leaf scars.

Flowering

Seed pods open to reveal infloresenscences on a stalk connected to the palm tree at the base of the crown shaft.

Foliage

Palm fronds 2-3 metres long with plumose fronds. Foxtail palms are self-cleaning, meaning the expired fronds fall from the tree naturally.

Fruits

Orange-red at maturity, Foxtail palm seeds are the only palm fruit known to be poisonous. They are best managed by removal from the crown shaft when still in the seed pod.

Management

Propogation

Foxtails are easily propogated in cultivation in warm climates. Only mature fruits should be selected and they should be dried if being stored. They remain viable for several months but fresh seeds should be used in following years. In temperate climates seed trays should be heated to 32 degrees Celsius.

Cultivation

Foxtail’s natural environment is on rocky ledges among granite boulders. In cultivation they expect the same excellent drainage. They are reasonably shade and salt tolerant, making them one of the most hardy palms available.

They may be fertilised with slow-release palm or general fertilisers. If they aren’t fertilised look out for potassium deficiency. It is identified by necrosis in the ends of leaflets on older fronds and black spotting in the midsections. They may also suffer from Manganese deficiency which leads to leaflet necrosis starting at the base of the leaflet rather than the tips and with black stripes instead of spots.

Potassium deficiency in Foxtails can also be compounded by the application of fertilisers high in Nitrogen (lawn fertilisers, for example) close to the tree. The nitrogen is used in substitution for potassium leading to an effective deficiency.

Brisbane’s climate is great for Foxtail palms. With monthly watering and annual fertilising with palm fertiliser they should thrive, given good drainage.

  • Foxtail Palm Tree

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    The foxtail palm tree is a landscaping beauty.

    No wonder the seeds where sold on the black market back in the ‘80s.

    Once found everyone wanted this tree in their yard!!

    They are a native from the outback.

    It originally comes from Australia.

    Located back in one of their national parks where it was finally discovered.

    Then a few years later, Australian landscapers realized it’s potential.

    The rest is history… so they say.

    Although it is considered threatened in its native habitat, it doesn’t have any danger of disappearing anytime soon.

    Residents of Florida and then Texas wanted this prize tree, and got it by way of the black market seeds.

    Now it’s planted widely around the world as a gorgeous ornamental tree.

    Growth and Care

    The foxtail palm tree is easy to grow and is considered a medium to fast grower.

    It is tropical to sub-tropical in its temperature requirements and they like the higher humidity.That’s kind of funny because it is also very drought tolerant and disease resistant.

    They will rarely reach 30 feet unless in their native environment. This palm has self cleaning leaves, so no pruning is involved at all unless it is a safety concern as in next to a walkway.

    They definitely will thrive in full sun to slightly shaded.

    The soil is best if it is a sandy well drained mix- if needed add some sand to your soil when you plant.

    They would love palm fertilizer/ mineral mix twice a year, and if there’s a bit of a dry spell, you could help them with a bit of water.

    As with most palms-no standing water around those roots.

    They can withstand a mild frost, or temps below freezing but not for too long. Remember tropical.

    If you are going to have a few days below then consider covering the leave crown to protect the bud from freezing.

    Quick info Scientific name Wodyetia bifurcata

    • 40-60 ft tall, 12 ft wide, single trunk
    • Minimum temp 30°F zones 10-11
    • a sandy slightly acidic soil with humus for moisture retention
    • Full sun, part shade when young
    • Fast grower, drought tolerant
    • easy to grow from seed or to transplant

    Appearance of Foxtail Palm Tree

    Looking similar to the Royal and the Christmas palm, the foxtail palm tree has a grey/brown trunk with the circular leaf ring scars.

    This palm also has the green leaf sheath on the trunk extending below the crown called a crownshaft.

    The difference is all in the leaves.

    You could say they are shaped similar because they are long and have a feather like appearance.

    This tropical delight easily stands out from the others with its bushy fox tail looking leaves. Thus it’s name.

    These trees do get flowers and fruit on them.

    The fruit is very similar to the Christmas tree palm and is green at first, then turning red once ripe.

    Don’t eat the fruit.

    The seeds are toxic to us.

    But you could always save a few and plant them to start another tree.

    The seeds will grow fairly easily when planted and looked after by a caring gardener.

    Some say you can grow this palm in a container.

    I think you probably could if you had the perfect lighting situation and enough room.

    You could always use them in a container until they got too big, then transplant outdoors.

    They transplant easily with little to no shock.

    Have fun picking a spot for this beauty…

    Maybe you’ll need to buy more than one foxtail palm tree for your lane-way or landscape.

    They are stunning when planted in a grouping of two or three.

    You might like these

    NOTE : About Buying Palms

    If you are looking to buy palm trees of any kind then I would highly recommend purchasing through the Real Palm Tree Store.

    They are a huge nursery based in Florida with connections to many quality growers.

    Whether you are ordering from inside the United States, Canada or another part of the world– ordering one tree for your landscape or many for a commercial project– I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

    Their customer service is second to none; all products are high quality and backed by a money back 100% satisfaction guarantee.

    Make sure to visit real palm trees, ask questions and read the reviews before buying anywhere else.

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    Other found these articles useful:

    Small, medium, large and cold hardy varieties list the trees in each category commonly used in landscapes.

    Indoor palms list the best ones for growing in your home or office year round.

    Identification shows you what parts of the tree to look at when trying to make a determination of species.

    Growing has the plant hardiness zone maps, and explains soil pH, sun requirements and other commonly used gardening terminology.

    Planting shows the best practices to get your next palm off to a great start.

    Fertilizing explains the numbers, what kind to buy plus how to calculate the proper amount and where to place.

    Palm Tree Passion is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Palm Tree Passion (amazon.com).

    Palm Tree Passion > Types of Palm Trees > Foxtail Palm Tree

    Foxtail Palm Tree

    The Foxtail Palm Tree, scientific name Wodyetia bifurcata, has the most spectacular foliage displays of all palms. The Foxtail palm has gain popularity because it is very durable and will tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions like alkaline limestone soils and rocky sands. It has a deep root system that helps it to withstand high winds and makes it easier to tolerate drought. The Foxtail Palm can also grow indoors.

    Foxtail Palm Tree Info

    Scientific name: Wodyetia bifurcata

    Common names: The Foxtail Palm is also known as Fox Tail Palm and Wodyetia Palm.

    Family: Arecaceae

    Origin: It is native to Australia.

    Appearance: Wodyetia bifurcata has a solitary, self-cleaning trunk with smooth green crownshaft. Trunk is slender, dark grey to light grey, closely ringed, and slightly swollen at the base. The Foxtail Palm has about 8-10 arching leaves which grow up to 6-10ft long. Pinnate, or feather-like, fronds emerge from a smooth green crownshaft look like tail of the fox, hence the name Foxtail Palm.

    Flowers/Fruits: The Foxtail Palm produces branched flower stalks of creamy inflorescence which grow at the base of the crownshaft. The Foxtail Palm has male and female flowers growing on the same plant. Flowers are followed by clusters of fruits which are oval, about 2 in. long, with single seed inside. Fruits are are green when young but turn red to orange-red when they ripe.

    Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast. It is a fast growing palm that can get up to 20 – 30 ft tall and 5-10 ft wide.

    Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

    Cold Tolerance: It can tolerate cold down to 30F and should be protected from frost. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 10a (30 to 35 F) – 11 (above 40 F).

    Light Req: Partial shade to full sun.

    Water Req: Moderate. Foxtail likes deep watering with well drained soil.

    Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

    Propagation: Propagated by seeds that take anywhere from 3-12 months to germinate.

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