The dwarf fan palm is a plant that looks tropical but is perfectly ok with non-tropical conditions. It’s one of only two palms native to Europe and copes happily with British weather. Cold temperatures, wind and drought won’t phase it.
In the wild, it grows mainly in southwestern Europe, in places like Spain and Portugal, but also in North Africa. It’s quite a slow grower, but in the wild it can reach heights of up to 5m, with its fan-like leaves growing as long as 1.5m. It won’t reach those heights in a pot and will only grow a few centimetres per year, so don’t worry about it taking over your balcony or patio.
It’s incredibly easy to care for. It likes a spot that gets some sun, but is fine with shade for part of the day. It’s very drought tolerant so just give it a water occasionally, when you notice the top two inches of soil are dry. Your plant will arrive in a nursery pot (the plastic pot it’s been growing in). There’s no need to remove it from this. Just place the whole thing inside a decorative pot.
This is an ideal plant for inexperienced gardeners and gives great results for very little effort. We’re big fans.
Did you know?
In Spain, dwarf palm seeds are mainly spread by badgers, which are attracted to the fruit that smells like rancid butter.