NOTE: In this article, California Fan Palm and Washingtonia filifera may be used interchangeably; in fact, Washingtonia filifera is the botanical name for California Fan Palm.
The California fan palm is a popular choice for low-maintenance desert landscaping because of its tall, regal appearance and large, rounded, and fan-shaped fronds. The palm trees can reach heights of up to 80 feet. Their old fan-shaped fronds turn brown and droop each year, creating a skirt around the thick trunk.
Each frond can reach up to 6 feet across on mature trees. They are tipped in threads that are deeply toothed. The leaf stalks can reach up to 5 feet in length and are outlined in curved thorns.
Why does my Washingtonia filifera roots have rot?
If left untreated, root rot on your California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) can be fatal. For this reason, if the symptoms appear, we highly advise that you adhere to our recommendations to keep your plant alive: Blackened and softened roots.
Why does my California Fan Palm have gray mold spots?
A particular fungus that frequently affects flowers and spreads quickly is known as gray mold spots. This fungus is most likely to blame if you see any brown (or gray) spots. Don’t ignore these signs because doing so could cause your plant to die.
When you understand the root of the issue, the solution makes perfect sense. The majority of the time, it is caused by the Washingtonia filifera being overwatered. We urge you to cut off the infected roots and leaves, remove the affected sections of the plant, and then repot your plant in a fresh container with sterile potting soil.
Why does my California Fan Palm have leaf spots?
This type of disease is one of the most frustrating for California Fan Palm owners, we give you all the leads to spot and save your plants that present symptoms such as leaves that suddenly change color, or wilt/droop.
Why are my California Fan Palm leaves turning yellow?
This is probably the most common problem in the gardening world, yellowing leaves. There are 2 main reasons for this phenomenon, overwatering, or a lack of nutrients.
Whether you think your plants are getting too much water, cut back on how often you water them, and take the following measures to see if they might be nutritionally deficient:
Each deficiency produces a different yellowing on the Washingtonia filifera in question, here’s how to spot them:
- Yellow patches between leaf veins on elder leaves are the first sign of magnesium shortage. Veins continue to be green while the leaf’s core turns yellow. The leaf’s edges yellow last.
- Yellowing between leaf veins is another sign of iron shortage, but young leaves on plant tops and branch tips are initially affected.
- The newest leaves are first affected by sulfur deficiency, rendering them completely yellow.
- Potassium deficiency shows itself when leaf edges turn bright yellow, but the inner leaf stays green. Older leaves show symptoms first, and leaf edges soon turn brown.
- A lack of nitrogen is indicated by a widespread yellowing. Older, inner leaves are the first to yellow. As the yellowing progresses, it eventually touches young leaves as well.
According to the symptoms mentioned above, you just have to act accordingly. You can reduce your watering frequency, or fix a deficiency in Potassium, or Nitrogen, for that, you just have to buy a special soil for your deficiency, a consultant in a gardening store will know perfectly well how to inform you.
Is my California Fan Palm sunburned?
It is quite easy to find out if your California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) has been burned by the sun. Just like on us, your plant will change color in this case, it will start to turn yellow or white.
The leaves of your California Fan Palm can also change color in case it gets too much water or not enough light, as we saw above.
However, there is a way to tell if it is sunburn; look at the bottom of the yellow leaves, the ones that have a shaded area closer to the root, if this area stays greener, it is probably sunburned, not something else.
Why are my California Fan Palm leaves turning brown?
Most of the time, leaves of a California Fan Palm that turn brown is a sign that your plant has been sunburned, it has probably been exposed to too much direct sunlight. Don’t panic, your plant probably won’t die from this, but its growth will take a hit.
Should I leave my Washingtonia filifera in direct sunlight?
No! Don’t leave your Washingtonia filifera (or California Fan Palm) in the sun if it displays the symptoms mentioned above; that’s why it’s in such a bad situation.
The remedy, as said in the paragraph above, is simple: just move your plant’s California Fan Palm out of direct sunlight. Your plant should swiftly re-grow with this strategy and appropriate watering.
Why are my Washingtonia filifera leaves drooping or wilting ?
This typically occurs when your Washingtonia filifera gets dehydrated. Large plants are more at risk since they naturally require more water than smaller plants.
You may quickly determine if your Washingtonia filifera plant needs water by under-weighing its pot; if it seems light, the soil and roots are probably fairly dry and require water.
In order to ensure that the roots of your plant receive the water’s benefits, you must first moisten the soil in the container if it is absolutely dry. One common error is to immediately drown the California Fan Palm after a dry period in the belief that it requires a lot of water.
This is the case, but giving too much water at once is the best way to finish it off, you should actually water the soil normally, resuming a quiet watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Washingtonia filifera
Your plant needs water to survive, but it’s crucial to balance the amount and timing of watering. As we previously mentioned, overwatering could be catastrophic for your Washingtonia filifera.
Touching the soil will let you know whether your plant needs water or not; if it still feels damp, it’s generally best to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
It is also a good idea to keep your Washingtonia filifera at a stable temperature (especially if it is kept indoors!). At GreenShack, we generally recommend staying in the 65 and 85 degrees F range. Of course, do not place your Washingtonia filifera near a source of hot (or cold) air such as A/C units, radiators or the like.
Keep your California Fan Palm Dust-Free
This one relates to indoor plants. Just like your furniture, dust collects on the leaves of your indoor plants. The issue is that this can block the photosynthesis process from starting, which would cause the plants to gradually lose their color.
This would be a true journey into hell for your California Fan Palm and would also satisfy the pests.
To remove the dust, gently rub the plant’s leaves with a microfiber cloth. Dust can be removed more easily with a damp cloth, but stay away from corrosive substances like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you have a tendency to overwater, you should be mindful of your drainage, and if they don’t already have them, we suggest selecting a saucer and a pot with drainage holes.
In the meantime, if you don’t have holes in your pots, you can add volcanic rocks (or any rocks with holes) at the bottom of your pot, this way it will create a channel so that the water doesn’t stay in your skin too much (to avoid that roots start to rot!)