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Foxtail Palm Care Guide and Growth Tips

Australian native Woodyetia bifurcata is a fast-growing and adaptable palm tree. Among landscapers and nurserymen in the warmer zones of the United States, varieties of foxtail palm trees have become increasingly popular. 

The only prerequisites for growing these plants are that the soil is well-draining and not very acidic. The foxtail palm tree is a great option for people who live near the seaside or in other salt-prone places since it can withstand wind and salty sea spray. Let’s examine how to cultivate foxtail palms in your yard.

Foxtail Palm Caring Tips

Foxtail palm maintenance is simple if the right conditions are provided for it to flourish. While it is possible to keep these lovely palms indoors in huge pots if you live in the right hardiness zone, many people choose to move them outside after they have reached the ceiling.

Foxtail Palm’s Ideal Soil

This palm will have the ideal well-aerated growth medium if a regular potting mix is used, with a 2:1 mixture of vermiculite and peat moss or coco coir.

Fertilizer for Foxtail Palms

Throughout the warm growing season, foxtail palms should get frequent fertilization. For palm plants, use a slow-releasing fertilizer that is high in micronutrients. Apply around 2-4 times a year, in the spring and summer, and make sure to follow all label directions. Fertilize not throughout the winter.

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Watering the Foxtail Palm

The soil should always be constantly wet for Wodyetia bifurcata. So, you shouldn’t let this plant dry up in between waterings. During the warm growing season, depending on the growing circumstances, water about twice weekly. Watering may only be necessary once or twice a month in the winter.

Requirements for Foxtail Palm Lighting

This big tree should get enough sunlight because it loves the sun. This plant thrives in a sunroom, greenhouse, or a large window with southern exposure. The foxtail palm needs 80–90% of full sunshine since it cannot tolerate low light.

Humidity and Temperature

The foxtail palm prefers warm temperatures and shouldn’t be exposed to low temperatures below 60°F because this will cause the plant substantial stress. Temperatures between 65 and 85 F are ideal for growth. Being tropical plants, they like higher-than-average humidity and will appreciate additional humidity when planted inside, such as that provided by a humidifier.


It is not necessary to repotted the foxtail palm tree too frequently since it is quite sensitive to the process. Before repotting, keep the rootball thoroughly wet for a few days to lessen the shock. In the spring, repot the plant and choose a container that is one to three inches bigger in diameter than the previous one.

After that, cut the palm off, saving as much of the dirt surrounding the roots as you can. Make sure the root ball cavity is about twice as big as the root ball. After that, insert the foxtail palm and compact the dirt around it. Make sure there are no air pockets by carefully watering.

If you can, place the plant in indirect light for a few days to let it grow before bringing it back into full sun to protect the palm tree.

Pruning and More

The foxtail palm doesn’t need to be pruned. This tree naturally sheds leaves when it needs to be cleaned. It’s also vital to remember that this palm shouldn’t be trimmed by cutting top growth to shorten it since doing so would severely harm the core of the crown and maybe kill the palm.

Establishing Foxtail Palm

The foxtail palm may be grown from seeds. In a 6 to 12″ container, sow a few seeds in loose, sandy soil. When plating, make sure the seeds are separated and not touching.

Place the pot on a heat mat set to 85–95°F and cover it with a plastic dome or bag to trap humidity to help with germination. It takes three to six months for seeds to germinate. Your seeds can be replanted into a bigger container once they have sprouted and grown to a height of several inches.


It is not advisable to consume the foxtail palm since it is poisonous to people, cats, and dogs. Keep out of children’s and household pets’ reach. Wodyetia bifurcata is harmful to humans, in contrast to other palms. The consumption of plant materials like leaves, fruit, or seeds can lead to stomach problems, vomiting, and other health problems. It is not advisable to consume the foxtail palm’s deadly fruits.

Toxicity to Dogs and Cats

The fruit, leaves, and seeds of the foxtail palm are poisonous to animals and should never be eaten since they may be lethal. Contact your veterinarian right away if you believe someone may have consumed any part of this plant.

What are the Potential Problems with Foxtail Palms

Yellowing leaves on Foxtail Palms

The leaves of this self-cleaning palm tree will eventually turn yellow and fall off. But persistently yellowing fronds might be a symptom of a mineral deficit, necessitating fertilizer. Implement the foxtail palm fertilizing advice given in the section above.

Browning leaves on Foxtail Palms

The brown tips and yellowish fronts on foxtail palms might be symptoms of frizzle top, a manganese deficit. This is probably a sign that fertilization is required. Browning of fronds may also be the consequence of crown rot brought on by excessive soil moisture and inadequate drainage.


The fungi that may infect Wodyetia bifurcata include those that cause fusarium wilt, diamond scale, leaf spot, leaf light, Ganoderma butt rot, and more. When a disease is discovered, separate your plant, remove the affected fronds with sterilized shears, and treat with fungicide as directed on the label.


Numerous pests, such as mealybugs, banana moths, whiteflies, ambrosia beetles, and others, can harm foxtail palms. When an infestation is discovered, use a pesticide as directed on the label.

Frequently Asked Questions About Foxtail Palms

Why do the foxtail palms brown?

Unfortunately, the foxtail palm, like many other palms, is a heavy feeder and frequently has a variety of nutritional deficits. Brown leaf tips can be caused by a little iron, magnesium, potassium, or manganese shortage.

Do I need to remove the brown palm leaves?

At the base, close to the stem, or at the soil, remove any leaves that are completely brown or yellow. Make cautious not to yank on the leaves as this might harm the plant’s vital components. Remove only the afflicted section of the leaf if only a portion of it is brown or yellow.

How can a foxtail palm be brought back to life?

Foxtail palm trees that are sick typically die after three to four years. Ganoderma has no known cure or therapy thus, damaged trees should be cut down as soon as feasible.

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