How to Grow Butia

Butia palm trees
Butia palm trees

Butia is a handsome, slow-growing palm with strongly arching blue-green tinted, gray-green fronds. Butia is a semi-tropical plant that can be grown as a house plant in cool winter regions. Butia can be grown as a lawn specimen in frost-free regions.

Butia grows 12 to 20 feet(4-6m) tall and 10 to 15 feet (3-5m) wide outdoors. Grown in a container it will be much smaller. Butia bears yellow flowers in panicle to 5 feet (1.5m) long. Flowers are followed by yellow to purple fruits.

Butia is a genus of 8 to 12 species. Butia is native to Southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Get to Know Butia

  • Plant type: Palm
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 11 tro 12
  • Hardiness: Can withstand short periods near 32℉ (0℃) in dry, sunny climates; where not hardy grow Butia as house plant
  • Height and width: 12 to 20 feet (4-6m) tall and 10-15 feet (3-5m) wide
  • Foliage: Feathery, arching gray-green leaves; trunks have a heavy pattern with stubs of old leaves.
  • Flowers: Long spikes of small flowers
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Fruit: Showy clusters of yellow to red edible dates in summer
  • Uses: Specimen tree in frost free regions
  • Common name: Pindo palm, jelly plam
  • Botanical name: Butia
  • Family name: Arecaceae
  • Origin: Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina

Where to Plant Butia

  • Plant Butia in full sun or light shade.
  • Outdoors plant Butia in well-drained soil.
  • Inoors, grow Butia in a soil-based potting mix in bright filtered light.

When to Plant Butia

  • Set Butia in the garden in spring or autumn.

Planting and Spacing Butia

  • Space Butia 10-15 feet (3-5m) apart.

How to Water and Feed Butia

  • Give Butia regular water. Keep the soil just moist in winter.
  • Feed Butia with a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly.

Butia Care

  • Pot on or top dress Butia in spring.
  • Trim dead fronds to avoid a fire hazard.

Butia Pests and Diseases

  • Tar spot, false smut, and other fungal diseases can occur.
  • Spider mites and scale insects may be a problem.

Butia Propagation

  • Sow seeds in warm soil in spring.

Butia Varieties to Grow

  • Butia capitata, Jelly palm. Slow-growing palm with sturdy trunk; strongly arching, narrowly elliptic blue-green tinted, gray-green leaves 6 feet (2m) or more long; yellow flowers are borne in panicles to 5 feet (1.5m) long in summer.

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