1 Nov 1998
In September 1995 I purchased a 5 gallon Jubaea chilensis for $35.00. It was about 10 inches above the pot and beautiful. I didn’t understand it then, but I now know that this palm was greenhouse grown and not hardened off. In October 1996, I planted it about 14 feet away from a recently planted, same size Sabal riverside. This was a flat area saved for my “large” palms. I rubbed my hands together in anticipation, dreaming of two monsters side-by-side. Both palms were planted straight out, and had to endure the next summer without protection (because I thought these guys were tough). The Sabal died in June 1997; reason: too hot, too soon. The Jubaea withered down to 5 inches, and no longer had a visible center spike, didn’t pull out, just withered like an umbilical cord. The newly added drip irrigation watering system provided consistent moisture and in 9 months this palm began to green up (Thank You, Lord) followed shortly by a new growth spike. Seven more months pass, now October 1998, and it is 12 inches tall and perfectly green with no unhappy brown tips. Two inches net growth in 3 years. It is a short, chunky thing, with a thick base that reminds one of an onion. The leaves are decidedly green, not blue, but it behaves like a blue palm, that is, I can’t give it enough sun and it is so slow I know it will be beaming over my grave. I’m glad my Momma didn’t put me straight out in the sun.
Jubaea chilinsis - 2006