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1 Nov 1998

Jubaea chilensis


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

David Minks