Planting Instructions for a Windmill Palm Tree


The Windmill palm is a single-trunked palm. The bark on the trunk is fibrous to the point that it seems hairy. The tree normally grows slowly to a height of 10 to 20 feet, although it can grow as high as 40 feet. Most palms enjoy full sun, but the Windmill palm does best in partial to full shade and tolerates cold and salt better than most palms. Hardy to USDA zone 8, the tree can also be planted in large containers in colder areas.

Step 1

Choose a location in the landscape that has partial shade and drains well. The Windmill palm will grow in full sun but will need to be watered much more frequently.

Step 2

Dig a hole three times the diameter and the same depth as the root ball of the tree. Clear the soil of any weeds and lawn grass and break up the soil well. Mix 1 part compost with 3 parts original soil to improve the soil's drainage.

Step 3

Remove the tree from the container or burlap carefully and place it in the planting hole. Fill halfway up the root ball with the amended soil and water to settle the soil around the roots. Continue to fill the hole until the soil is level with the surrounding ground. Tamp down well with your foot.

Step 4

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the tree over the entire disturbed area. Keep the mulch at least 4 inches from the trunk of the tree. The mulch will retain moisture for the roots and keep weeds and grass from growing around the tree.

Step 5

Water the palm to keep the soil moist throughout the first growing season. Never allow the soil to dry out or the tree to sit in soggy soil. In subsequent seasons, water the tree when it is hot and hasn't rained within two weeks.

Step 6

Apply a palm-specific fertilizer after planting and each spring thereafter. You do not need to remove the mulch; apply the fertilizer over it and water to leach it through to the soil. Follow manufacturer's directions on amount to use per size and age of the tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never nail anything or hit the trunk with the string from a weed cutter, as the tree does not have the ability to heal itself. Open wounds invite disease that can kill your palm.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Palm fertilizer


  • LSU AgCenter: You Can Grow Palms in Louisiana Landscapes
  • U.S. Forest Service: Trachycarpus fortunei Windmill Palm
  • University of Tennessee: Windmill Palm

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: planting palm trees, growing Windmill palms, palm specific fertilizer

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.