California Fan Palm "Bonsai"?

ganja

Seedling
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
Los Angeles
If you live here in California you will see at least one of these guys growing out of an old sign post hole or a crack in the sidewalk. These palms grow anywhere there's dirt and water. Knowing that there some really tough plants i decided to pull one out of the local train tracks(thats right. it was growing in crushed rocks) and put it into a pot. Has anyone ever tried to bonsai a palm tree? I know you cant trim the top down or anything but i was wondering if anyone has kept one of these guys in a small bonsai pot for a few years. :cool:
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,563
Reaction score
19,733
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
If you live here in California you will see at least one of these guys growing out of an old sign post hole or a crack in the sidewalk. These palms grow anywhere there's dirt and water. Knowing that there some really tough plants i decided to pull one out of the local train tracks(thats right. it was growing in crushed rocks) and put it into a pot. Has anyone ever tried to bonsai a palm tree? I know you cant trim the top down or anything but i was wondering if anyone has kept one of these guys in a small bonsai pot for a few years. :cool:
Sago palms yes. Fan plams...errr no. These grow very fast and really big. So much so that a 25 gallon pot would probably split after 6 years.
 

ganja

Seedling
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
Los Angeles
The one i got was only big enough to fit in my pocket. I walked across it on my way down the tracks.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,679
Reaction score
12,349
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
As you already know, you cannot really "bonsai" a palm. They cannot be kept small with the same techniques used for woody plants, like pines, maples, etc. Primarily, that's because their growth is completely different.

Pruning a most palms can kill them. Their leaf growth is directed by a growth "eye" AT THE END OF THE LEAF. That is 180 degrees different than a pine or maple, where growth is started and controlled by a leaf bud at the stem end of the leaf.

All that boils down to "prune a palm leaf and you kill the leaf." If you prune a maple stem or leaf, it stimulates more budding below the cut because there are more buds on the trunk meant as replacements.

Additionally, palms send leaves out from a central point on their trunk--they do not branch. They can generate "pups" from their trunks, but only certain species do that.

Some palms can--and have (Sagos and phoenix palms in particular) been "bonsaied" but they are not top pruned. Rather, their growth is controlled through root restriction.

http://www.pacsoa.org.au/palms/Articles/BonsaiPalms.html
http://www.fukubonsai.com/3a3f.html
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom