Jump to content

Growing Jubaea chilensis in Florida


Scott W
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay, so a little background, I started my palm growing addiction back a few years ago, circa 2004 probably.  Began with growing a bunch of cold hardy specimens from seed purchased from RPS, including Jubaea chilensis.  I sold all but one and kept it potted until I found a home I could put it in the ground, which was in 2015.

In 2017 I decided where in the yard I would put some of my palms which included my potted Jubaea chilensis.  Currently it seems very content in it's location, where it gets full afternoon sun.  I fertilize at the same time as my other palms and gets watered when nature does the work along with some deep watering when it doesn't.  Soil is standard Florida Sandy loam for th first coupk inches, turning to a tannish orange sand about six inches down.  It is also planted on top of a  hillside that transitions to a tidal creek/river.

I know everyone says you can't grow this palm in Florida and those that have tried have failed.  So I have questions for those that have tried and failed ...

1.  How big was the palm when it died?

2.  What are signs of it starting to decline?

3.  Any other factors that might have contributed to it's demise?

Jubaea chilensis 6/17/21

Jubaea chilensis 6/17/21

Jubaea chilensis 6/17/21

Jubaea chilensis 6/17/21

Jubaea chilensis 11/2017

Jubaea chilensis 11/17

Edited by Scott W
additionaI info
  • Like 14
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great looking palm whatever your doing keep doing. I have always heard it's the nematodes that get the Jubaea's. Definitely keep the updates coming. 

T J 

  • Like 1

T J 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

Great looking palm whatever your doing keep doing. I have always heard it's the nematodes that get the Jubaea's. Definitely keep the updates coming. 

T J 

Thanks for the info as I had not heard that.  Mostly others have said it's the heat and humidity.  

Edited by Scott W
.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arizona is another state that you don't see too many jubaea in. We don't have the humidity which seems to be the biggest problem with these,but we do have extreme heat events,which they do cope with. (117F yesterday,118F predicted today) I sold about a dozen of these last year in 5 gallon size, so maybe we will start to see a few of these get established in the Arizona desert. Other than being slow growers here,I haven't had any problems with the species.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20210617_122521662.jpg

  • Like 6
  • Upvote 1

Mesa, Arizona

 

Temps between 29F and 115F each year

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Scott W You're looks pretty good!  The things I have noticed growing small ones is that you'll start to see some brown spotting on the leaflets before they decline if you plant a young one.  @TexasColdHardyPalms advised to plant a larger one or they wouldn't tolerate overhead moisture, so that could be the cause of my one failure thus far.  My soil is extra dark and loamy, so it might hold a bit too much moisture without any amendments.  I included a photo of my freshly dug Howea planting since it shows the soil pretty well.

image.png.5f06f75a3c326c0bf703e9a8adacbe28.png

  • Like 6

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks @kinzyjr!

As for my soil, I'm in the process of putting a small pond in so here's what it looks like:

PXL_20210617_183047080.thumb.jpg.6f9c01b09afdb46a254f3b24c264de76.jpg

 

A few years back we had a septic tank issue and the company actually wanted to pay me to dig up and remove all the tannish dirt as they said they use it for drain fields because of its porosity.  I kindly said thanks but no thanks.  Not sure if it's a factor or not.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Scott W said:

.... I know everyone says you can't grow this palm in Florida and those that have tried have failed.  So I have questions for those that have tried and failed ...

Nice specimen. He looks happy in that spot.

I have not grown a J. chilensis in the ground but I know of others who have tried. I grew a couple in pots once and they did fine and I eventually sold them because I didn't want to experiment with them in the ground. Most of the known attempts were here in S. Florida with a couple in Central Florida. Of all the conversations over the years about the attempts, I got the general idea that the palm does not like 'wet feet' and needs exceptional drainage. Specimens grow fine in the ground and do well until we get a period of heavy rain that goes on for days. Then the palm starts turning brown at the leaflet tips and continues to brown until the palm falls over or gets bud rot.

I know of a single specimen in the Sarasota area that is a large rosette size in a collector's yard. I would run into the owner at sales once or twice a year and he always had new photos of the palm on his phone. It has been a couple years, but even then the palm was magnificent. From the photos, I could tell the palm is growing in a large yard all by itself; surrounded by turf grass and a small mulch bed. It was at least 7 to 8 ft. (2.1-2.4m) in height... big, burly... carrying a big upright crown, full of leaves. I can't remember if the specimen was the first attempt or if he had tried one before.

When in doubt about if it will grow, try and try again.

Ryan

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 2

South Florida

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Palmarum Thank you for the insight.  Gives those of us who try some hope.  I have one in the yard surrounded by rocks.  It is currently in active growth, but had to put a barrier up to keep the squirrels away.  For anyone else trying them, the squirrels love them so be sure to either put a barrier up or grow them in a pot until they are at a size where they'll let them alone.

One experiment I did with these that produced good results was testing them to see if they could sprout on their own in our climate.  The answer is definitely yes.  I grew a few in pots to sell/auction off at CFPACS meetings a while back.  The seeds that took longer than 2-3 months to germinate were taken to the back and put in a 4 inch deep hole.  A month later, I noticed shoots coming up.  The only bad thing is that after they break the ground, the squirrels go after them.

There is some debate about whether this palm in Winter Park is pure Jubaea, but either way, it looks the part:

https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/30034-mature-jubaea-chilensis-in-orlandoflorida/

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wasn't there a fairly large Jubaea at Leu Gardens?  I seem to recall that it died, but it might have been from physical damage.  Eric talked ab8ut it here: 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Merlyn said:

Wasn't there a fairly large Jubaea at Leu Gardens?  I seem to recall that it died, but it might have been from physical damage.  Eric talked ab8ut it here:

Yeah, there is a photo of it before it died on the Palmpedia page: https://www.palmpedia.net/wiki/Jubaea_chilensis

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 4 planted in Phoenix they live but they look like hell I think they like cooler weather and some humidity they look good in California 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Scott W said:

Oh wow, so that had several feet of clear trunk..,.

Yeah, and from Eric's description it was a transplant.  So it may have died due to transplant/transport/upper stem damage.  It's probably impossible to know for sure.

"The one at Leu was a semi mature specimen, it had about 6-7ft of clear trunk. It had been moved to Leu around 1985 (before I was here). It was growing at the estate of Mulford Foster NW of Orlando. He was the famous plant explorer/bromeliad expert and hybridizer. When I started here in 1992 it was healthy but had a big gouge in the trunk right under the crown.  It slowly started declining awhile ago and died. I have tried a couple of young 5 gal. specimens I ordered from CA but neither made it more than a year. "

The only reference to Foster's location was a news article in the Sentinel, saying that he lived near Lake Apopka.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/17/2021 at 3:20 PM, Scott W said:

Thanks @kinzyjr!

As for my soil, I'm in the process of putting a small pond in so here's what it looks like:

PXL_20210617_183047080.thumb.jpg.6f9c01b09afdb46a254f3b24c264de76.jpg

 

A few years back we had a septic tank issue and the company actually wanted to pay me to dig up and remove all the tannish dirt as they said they use it for drain fields because of its porosity.  I kindly said thanks but no thanks.  Not sure if it's a factor or not.

Im sure this great drainage soil helps.  Your jubaea looks nice at that size.  I have BxJ and (BxJ)xJ, the latter seems a lot more sensitive to the summer wet season and its in a 20 gal pot.  I may actually plant it in a sandy spot after the wet season passes.  Humidity means slower soil dry cycles and in the rainy season that may put a premium on soil drainage to get best results.   Jacksonville may also have the advantage over south florida of a longer cool season which seems to be the favored weather for my hybrids, they obviously grow better in the cool season.  

  • Like 1

Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
On 6/17/2021 at 3:46 PM, Palmarum said:

I got the general idea that the palm does not like 'wet feet' and needs exceptional drainage. Specimens grow fine in the ground and do well until we get a period of heavy rain that goes on for days.

I know that's not it 100%.  We have winters in the PNW where the rain goes on for months.  But it's cold rain and fog.  Like jolly old England.  My Jubaeas actually continue growing over the winter.  And they seem happiest here with sandy soil on top but pure clay under that.  Same as with my Trachys.  I'm thinking Jubaea prefer a winter wet season rather than a summer wet season.

Edited by Fallen Munk
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Fallen Munk said:

I know that's not it 100%.  We have winters in the PNW where the rain goes on for months.  But it's cold rain and fog.  Like jolly old England.  My Jubaeas actually continue growing over the winter.  And they seem happiest here with sandy soil on top but pure clay under that.  Same as with my Trachys.  I'm thinking Jubaea prefer a winter wet season rather than a summer wet season.

The reference to drainage refers mostly to growing them in containers (with a few attempts in the ground) while in South Florida. The ones I tried rotted out before I made the mix super well-draining. I think mostly they don't like wet feet when it is constantly hot, as it brings out fungal issues. I would also avoid overhead irrigation, as they would also be destroyed by budrot. If anyone here in SFL finds a way to grow them, it would be a fun day.

Ryan

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

South Florida

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Fallen Munk @Palmarum

Thanks for the additional input.  I do have it on micro drip irrigation now, and maybe once a week it gets overhead if it doesn't rain when I water the weeds/grass.  Regardless, it still seems to be growing well, so only time will tell.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, so going to track this for the next year, pictures are the baseline to see how she grows.  Once the emerging spear is large enough I will number it so I don't lose track.

PXL_20211002_150821910.thumb.jpg.e00d9fd537a224deaeddc2991dcf3793.jpg

PXL_20211002_150716183.thumb.jpg.5f9a9eda2e656594f801f2b344c07193.jpg

PXL_20211002_150753460.thumb.jpg.d085108c912a40a5a788e26d2786c4e8.jpg

PXL_20211002_150848709.thumb.jpg.c6dd854530ebe5829bde93bd0a977d2c.jpg

PXL_20211002_150920257.thumb.jpg.0b16fc126ca90d740de6bf59fd969a4f.jpg

  • Like 7
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Scott W said:

Okay, so going to track this for the next year, pictures are the baseline to see how she grows.  Once the emerging spear is large enough I will number it so I don't lose track.

PXL_20211002_150753460.thumb.jpg.d085108c912a40a5a788e26d2786c4e8.jpg

 

I know you mentioned above that it's near the top of a hill, but it also looks like it is raised maybe 2 inches above the immediate surroundings.  Is that the case? 

Also, I see a dripline coming in from the right, what amount of water are you giving it?  I.e. a 1/2gph dripper for 30 minutes/day, or something else?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Merlyn said:

I know you mentioned above that it's near the top of a hill, but it also looks like it is raised maybe 2 inches above the immediate surroundings.  Is that the case? 

Also, I see a dripline coming in from the right, what amount of water are you giving it?  I.e. a 1/2gph dripper for 30 minutes/day, or something else?

It's mounded slightly but not quite that much.  Think it was just the camera angle, so here another picture near ground level.

Also, I have two open ended drip lines around it that each pushes 4 gph, so 8 gph total when I water.  I only recently put this in and have not gotten to putting nozzles on it.  I've been using it twice a week if it doesn't rain, typically for one to two hours.

PXL_20211003_163440598.thumb.jpg.e4cb1fde6dedc4e3cce9c1499850b6af.jpg

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried a bunch of times along with Merrill Wilcox ---I got a few up to 15 gallons but they perished suddenly --never got one this far .  Walter Rogers bought one from CA in 1955 and moved it .  when he moved to the beaches from Ortega ---he and I dug it up ---it had about 2 foot of trunk ---I planted it in 1997 --- it died about a year later ---  it was growing in Ortega but it was under canopy as every thing he planted had grown over it. ---  Merrill imported some from a fellow in Chile and planted them at his new wifes house in Alachua county --- I saw them maybe 2003 --- maybe Rich has seen em .    Looks like Zuck is mad and turned off Facebook on accounta 60 minutes

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, edbrown_III said:

  Looks like Zuck is mad and turned off Facebook

We can only hope ( really hard )  this happens.  :floor: :greenthumb:



 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, edbrown_III said:

I tried a bunch of times along with Merrill Wilcox ---I got a few up to 15 gallons but they perished suddenly --never got one this far .  Walter Rogers bought one from CA in 1955 and moved it .  when he moved to the beaches from Ortega ---he and I dug it up ---it had about 2 foot of trunk ---I planted it in 1997 --- it died about a year later ---  it was growing in Ortega but it was under canopy as every thing he planted had grown over it. ---  Merrill imported some from a fellow in Chile and planted them at his new wifes house in Alachua county --- I saw them maybe 2003 --- maybe Rich has seen em .    Looks like Zuck is mad and turned off Facebook on accounta 60 minutes

Yeah, FB been on the fritz all day :floor:

Anyway, yeah, I'm surprised she's doing so well knowing the failures of others.  She was potted for the better part of twelve years, and only went into the ground four to five years ago.  Who knows, maybe, just maybe, she'll survive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...
21 hours ago, EPaul said:

@Scott W - Any update on this beauty?  Also, is this a hybrid or pure Chilean Wine Palm?

Still growing, definitely still a happy palm overall minus a bit of leaf skeletonizer that attacked in the fall.  (Hoping that is gone).

Yes, purebred, grown from seed purchased from RPS about 18 years ago.

PXL_20220604_115402712.thumb.jpg.611639370ee9de59453fb47c1a17aa00.jpg

PXL_20220604_115432589.thumb.jpg.d68d826931447a2014dcd054800c4832.jpg

PXL_20220604_115732683.thumb.jpg.bd70ba68691ec3a58da480bfdd63f6e9.jpg

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eric’s is by far the most compelling but here is one in Riffle&Craft’s book:9CE7507D-6BDD-45A0-8D24-D76D8980C558.thumb.jpeg.2de66223801c3b1c6e6c3e8961b3dda3.jpeg

  • Like 1

What you look for is what is looking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a Jubea but an unlikely Andean Palm growing in the Keys:2DB61379-8F9A-46C6-BD4D-EECF9275F662.thumb.jpeg.6c7e990c5a401e565f49f31bda9592d6.jpeg

C57A2FDE-519C-4E9B-B1C8-29762694F800.jpeg

What you look for is what is looking

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Not a Jubea but an unlikely Andean Palm growing in the Keys:2DB61379-8F9A-46C6-BD4D-EECF9275F662.thumb.jpeg.6c7e990c5a401e565f49f31bda9592d6.jpeg

What you look for is what is looking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ceroxylon alpinum in Key Largo a few years back:0E69543A-0754-45EA-B534-F92059D526C9.thumb.jpeg.0a61ffb83937a4ad38a0265632a767de.jpegE3826789-8712-404A-87DB-21957138F3F2.thumb.jpeg.308be05ddb5e4be9a7050e95fa1ed88c.jpeg

What you look for is what is looking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, bubba said:

Ceroxylon alpinum in Key Largo a few years back:0E69543A-0754-45EA-B534-F92059D526C9.thumb.jpeg.0a61ffb83937a4ad38a0265632a767de.jpegE3826789-8712-404A-87DB-21957138F3F2.thumb.jpeg.308be05ddb5e4be9a7050e95fa1ed88c.jpeg

Trunk and leaves don’t look like Ceroxylon but it may be because of unfavorable growing conditions. As you can see in the photos of my C. alpinum here in CA, the leaf undersides are very waxy white. Trunks are typically very white as well. 
393554BD-F86D-47C5-883F-82B31C4823DF.thumb.jpeg.e8833e7ddb5c680bffa4106494ac1ccb.jpeg

132D8E48-DF04-48BA-8BBC-B0AE10A3986E.thumb.jpeg.101bfb1f9692b82a8dfd267f8649e295.jpeg

Edited by Jim in Los Altos
  • Like 2

Jim in Los Altos, CA  SF Bay Area 37.34N- 122.13W- 190' above sea level

zone 10a/9b

sunset zone 16

300+ palms, 90+ species in the ground

Las Palmas Design

Facebook Page

Las Palmas Design & Associates

Elegant Homes and Gardens

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will be doing a personal inspection to see if the specimen is still around. I highly doubt it. To think that someone would try this in the Keys tells you someone does not understand appropriate climate! We shall see.

Beautiful specimen that you are cultivating in an appropriate climate!

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

What you look for is what is looking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Here's the updated pics....trimmed up the dead and damaged fronds.  Still growing strong....Tiki is about 3 feet tall for reference...

20221103_165628.thumb.jpg.5c48c01395576aa47f6da0b3285cab26.jpg

20221103_165546.thumb.jpg.66969b2f199096a1c1d32a0672b2b702.jpg

20221103_165516.thumb.jpg.24ac4e34c465085e05e0e5992a40306f.jpg

  • Like 15
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...