Foxtail Palm Tree

All You Need to Know About the Foxtail Palm Tree

The foxtail palm tree is known to botanists around the world as Wodyetia bifurcata (however, Wodyetia palm is another commonly used name). These Northern Australian trees are very exotic and are therefore becoming increasing popular around the world. Known for their adaptability and moderate tolerance of drought conditions, these gray trees make quite an addition to any landscape, especially those wishing to obtain an exotic theme. The foxtail palm tree is the most frequently purchased and planted palm tree variety around the world—hence its immense popularity. Due to their commonality and frequency in being planted around the world, this article will explore all you need to know about these palm trees.

The foxtail palm tree has become increasingly popular and not just within beach communities in areas such as Florida. Instead, they have been brought a bit further north (but still in the south) and planted in commercial as well as residential landscapes. Many residential communities will use these plants to carry out a nautical theme, while others merely admire the stand-alone tree form and shape.  You will typically find them near water, including lakes, ponds, and even pools.

The foxtail palm tree tends to grow around thirty feet in height and has a gray trunk. In terms of spacing, approximately ten feet is recommended. Moreover, the trees are solitary, meaning they are stand-alone trees. Being quick to grow, these plants tend to have a canopy composed of between eight and ten leaves. Furthermore, you can easily identify these palms by their production of red fruits (green before becoming ripe) that are oval and around two inches in diameter. In addition, the tree produces a cream-colored flower. However, as the name describes, the spiral leaves (pinnate leaves) of the palm tree is said to resemble foxtails.

These palm trees tend to grow best in tropical or sub-tropical areas with a plant hardiness zone between ten and eleven, making them very popular throughout the entire southern region of the United States—instead of just throughout Florida. In terms of sun exposure, it requires a moderate to high level for best results. The palm is easily adaptable to various types of soils; however, it is only moderately tolerant of high levels of salt. This soil adaptability is one of the key reasons for their extensive popularity. The root system is very deep, enabling to plant to tolerate excessive winds and hold up well in times of moderate drought.

When planting outdoors, be sure to put the plant in the ground during the fall months. Although it can stand temperatures slightly below freezing (30 degrees Fahrenheit), make sure to protect the plant from frost. Without proper protection the plant may not make it through the winter months (hence why it is unable to grow in the northern region of the country).

Along with being able to grow this plant outdoors, many people also attempt to house it indoors with great success. Just be sure that the plant can receive necessary sunlight as well as well-drained soil. It is recommended that the soil not be allowed to dry completely before the next watering session.

In conclusion, the foxtail palm tree is extremely popular and continues to increase its popularity. The majority of the people planting palm trees in their commercial or residential landscape are probably planting one of these gray-trunk Australian trees that are relatively tolerant to drought and high winds. Furthermore, their wide adaptability to soil types enhances their popularity and is one of the key reasons for being found everywhere from Texas to Florida. Although these palm trees make a great addition to your landscape, it is essential to understand they are relatively expensive. Therefore, make sure to only purchase this plant if you plan to water it properly and are able to provide it access to much-needed sun and nutrients.