How to Care for an Indoor Chinese Fan Palm


Native to southern China, Japan and Taiwan, the Chinese fan palm (Livistona chinensis) grows up to 12 feet tall and wide or larger when kept indoors. This tree-like palm develops a woody trunk as it matures and has an open growth habit with wide, fanned-out foliage. Chinese fan palms are excellent houseplants in areas of homes where there's plenty of space for the plants to grow, such as a sunroom, large living room or atrium. Young Chinese fan palms need some protection from direct sunlight and should stay in partial shade, while older trees can withstand some direct sun.

Step 1

Position your indoor Chinese fan palm in bright indirect sunlight. Maintain normal indoor air temperatures around the palm of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Water your Chinese fan palm once or twice each week when the top 1 inch of potting soil dries out. Water the palm deeply and thoroughly until the water begins to drain freely from the container's drainage holes.

Step 3

Feed your Chinese fan palm once each month with a liquid all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, following the dosage instructions on the label. Feed the palm only once every two months during winter when it's not actively growing.

Step 4

Prune away the lower fronds when they become discolored, cutting them back to the trunk. Keep the potting soil surface free of debris to prevent insects and diseases.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for spider mites infesting your Chinese fan palm. If you detect spider mites, wash the palm leaves with a solution of 2 tbsp. of liquid dish soap mixed with one gallon of water. You can also apply an insecticidal soap or miticide to your Chinese fan palm to treat heavier spider mite infestations.

Things You'll Need

  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Liquid dish soap, insecticidal soap or miticide (optional)


  • Denver Plants: Chinese Fan Palm
  • Plant Care Guru: Chinese Fan Palm

Who Can Help

  • Palm Tree Care: Chinese Fan Palm
Keywords: Chinese fan palm, fan palm care, indoor palm tree, Livistona chinensis

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.