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The Mediterranean fan palm is one of the toughest and most durable palms in cultivation. It tolerates temperatures below 10°F and heat above 115°F. It grows throughout the Inland Empire where it commonly develops numerous trunks of varying heights from its base. Some trunks can grow 15-20 ft. tall. Leaves are pale green, 2-3 ft. across and cut in the shape of a fan. Leaf bases are covered with many sharply pointed spines that can be hazardous when pruning fronds. Golden-yellow flowers grow on tight panicles 8-12 in. long, but are mostly hidden by the foliage. Colorful orange fruit mature in summer at the base of the foliage.

Mediterranean fan palm is ideal as a natural specimen type plant for use in raised planters, large containers and in courtyards. It is a signature plant for Mediterranean style gardens in combination with olives, lavender and rosemary. It is capable of absorbing and retaining moisture within its fibrous tissue which it uses to withstand extended periods of heat and drought. Periodic summer watering easily sustains this species.

Water Needs

The Mediterranean fan palm grows in sunny locations on many types of soils and normal winter rainfall. Periodic deep watering in summer helps sustain this plant through the dry season. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Palm
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Multi-trunk
Growth Rate: Slow
Height: 10 ft. - 20 ft.
Width: 10 ft. - 20 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand, Clay, Calcareous soil, Alkaline soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Frost, Drought, Coastal salt air, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Raised planters, Near pools and water features, Foliage accent plant, Container plant, Civic spaces, Small spaces


Prune fronds as needed anytime. Prune out undesired trunks and newly emerging trucks / sprouts as desired (D). Mediterranean fan palm becomes a wide clump over time. Make sure you have enough room to accommodate its mature size before planting (S).



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