I'm relatively new to gardening and need some advice.
I have a prime spot in my yard is begging for a large gorgeous palm. After lots of research, I've decided on the "Fishtail Palm"(Caryota gigas?).
I've found a great local resource (in San Diego area), and am ready to commit, but had a few quick questions before I proceed...
1) SKIN IRRITATION?
A kids playhouse will be somewhat near the tree. I recently read that Fishtail palms contain skin irritants, which saddens me since I really had my heart set on this palm. How big of a concern is the skin irritant factor? Is it going to be ok near a playhouse?
2) HOW FAST GROWTH?
It sounds like there are two main kinds of Fishtails - "Caryota Urens" gets extremely tall, and "Caryota Gigas" is more like 20-30 feet (which would be perfect for my yard). It sounds like Gigas is what I want, correct? If so, how long will it take to grow to a large shady canopy (assuming I start with a 15 gallon)?
3) BEST TIME TO PLANT?
I was originally going to plant it in the Fall (since I'm still working on my yard), but my husband pointed out that if we plant it now, it might get some height over the summer (moving us closer to our ideal height). Is there an ideal time to plant this kind of palm?
Thank you very much for any advice you can give me!