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foxtail palm


Wodyetia bifurcate, the Foxtail Palm is a species of palm in the family Arecaceae. It is native to Queen Island Australia. The Foxtail palm trunk is smooth, thin, and self-cleaning.


It grows a single, double or triple trunk that is slightly spindle-shaped to columnar reaching heights of about 20-30 feet. The crown shaft of the Foxtail palm is light to bright green and slightly swollen at base. Variance of greenish colors deep green to light green colors.

 It’s more commonly known Australian-English name from the appearance of its foliage, which is in a shape of foxtail. White flowers stalk comes from the base of the crown shaft. Fruits are 2 inches long. Olive green to green in early stages. Orange-red when ripe. 

You can grow and maintain this plant easily in your home garden by following the instructions given below. 

Propagation

Purchase seedlings from the nearest nursery or online. You may propagate by seed germination. For commercial production, seed germination is best.

Through seed germination, it will take 2 to 4 weeks to germinate.


By seed germination

You can purchase foxtail palm seeds from a nursery or garden center or from any trusted supplier. To germinate soak the seeds in Luke warm water for 48-72 hours to loosen the pulp.

Discard any seeds that float on the top and keep those seeds that sink to the bottom. Change the water daily so the hard outer shell of the seed can soften.

Soaked seeds are more likely to germinate successfully. Plant the seeds at least 8 feet apart if you are planting outside. Or you may germinate it in germination tray.

Use potting mix like 60% loam + 30% Coco peat + 5% compose + 5% sand.

Dig a small hole in the soil where you plan to grow, now bury your seeds beneath the surface leaving part of the seed visible.

Now place your germination tray in partial shade and maintain consistent moisture till seed germination. Seeds will take 2 to 4 weeks to germinate.

Planting and growing season

You can plant and propagate during any season. A soil temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be ideal.

Cold temperature can slow or prevent germination.


Selection of pots and growing bags

If you want to grow in a container, choose a container as per the size of seedling. To propagate by cutting offshoots use 4-6 inches diameter garden container for developing new seedlings.

You may grow it in a growing bag. Growing containers should have a good draining system with 2-3 holes.

Now place your container where it can receive at least 4- 6 hours of direct sunlight or partial shade sunlight.

You may keep it indoors in south-east or east or west direction facing windows of the living room or hall where at least 3-4 our direct sunlight is available. 



Light requirement 

Although Foxtail palms do best in full sunlight. They can tolerate a partially shaded location. Foxtail palm responds well to partial shade and greenhouse.

The leaves turn yellowish-green in direct sunlight. They need bright indirect sunlight from a south or west-facing window.

Without enough light, the growth of the plant will slow considerably.

Water frequency

Foxtail palm requires a good amount of water to thrive. Keep the soil moist constantly.

In peak summer seasons water the plants twice in a day. You should let the topsoil dry before the next watering done. Keep in mind that water logging in container may infect your roots.

Watering must be regular but limited to not suffocate the plant’s roots.


Fertilizer Requirement

To established your young plants use nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Use bone dust one teaspoon every three months or use 5gm any nitrogen reach fertilizer (NPK 8:2:12ratio) every month.

You should just spread fertilizer on the top of the potting mix. Regular watering slowly leaches down the fertilizer.

During spring change 2-3 inches topsoil and fill it with fresh potting mix.


Pruning

To keep your palms looking healthy and attractive, prune Foxtails dead fronds. It is extremely important to prune properly by cutting six inches away from the trunk.

Leaves should be cut away when they are completely brown and dead. Don’t trim unless they are clearly dead or damage.

Repotting of plant

This is a fast-growing plant. It is best to change the pot once every or two years in a large pot. Any time you can change the pot your plants but best it to do in spring.


Pest management

Foxtail palm is not susceptible to diseases. To maintain it is advisable to remove old and dead leaves.

Clean leaves with cotton cloth regular intervals if possible. It can suffer from discoloring leaves if there is too much water. Give less water during this time. They are rarely susceptible to common houseplant pests like mealy bugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Use Neem oil or insecticidal soap as a foliar spray. 


Importance of Foxtail palm

They are an excellent choice for creating landscapes with a tropical feeling, and they can be used in malls and roadside for landscape deigned.

Foxtail palm makes an attractive contribution to your small home garden. It has good economical value if cultivated commercially. 

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Information given in this article has been shared by Mr. Sital Sarkar. For any query, you can Contact Us.

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