Honey palms originated in Chile but are now cultivated in many European countries. In Germany they are still very rarely found in gardens, with big enthusiasts who pack the palm thickly in winter and even heat it. As a container plant, the honey palm is easier to cultivate, although a cool hibernation is advisable. Read the text below to find out what else you should pay attention to.


  • Comes from Chile
  • Only species in the genus Jubaea
  • Feather leaves, 4 to 5 m long
  • Monoecious of separate sexes
  • Massive gray trunk, up to 1.5 m in diameter (in old palms)
  • Up to 30 m in height (in their homeland)
  • Inflorescences up to 1.5 m long, from around the 60th year
  • 3 to 4 cm large yellow drupes
  • Palm sugar, palm honey and palm wine are made from the sugary palm sap
  • However, the palm tree must be felled for this
  • Also planted in the Mediterranean
  • slow growing

The care of the honey palm

Honey palms grow extremely slowly, especially in the first few years. When they are 4 to 5 years old, they grow a bit, but in 20 years they usually do not grow to more than 1.50 m. These palms are extremely rare and you can usually only buy them from specialist dealers such as palm dealers. Because of this rarity and their slow growth, honey palms are correspondingly expensive. However, you don’t get a space problem as quickly as is often the case with other palm trees.

Honey palms do not need as much summer heat as other palms, are a bit tougher, but not really hardy either. Only those who live in a wine-growing climate and very mild areas can plant this palm. For all others, the bucket position is suitable.

Honey palms like sun, but are slow to get used to it. You need a permeable, coarse-grained and slightly acidic plant substrate. Since palm trees are deep-rooted, a correspondingly deep planter is recommended. When planting out, care must be taken to ensure a wind-protected place and good winter protection. Young palm trees are not suitable for planting out. They should be at least 5, better but significantly more years old. A sure instinct is required when pouring. It must be poured thoroughly and then the soil must first be allowed to dry well. Fertilize in spring. You should not cut, only completely dried fronds are removed. Honey palms are propagated by seed. Diseases and pests are very rare with good care and protection in winter.


The location should be bright. The honey palm likes to spend the summer outdoors, after a certain amount of acclimatization also likes full sun. In winter she likes it cool. The cooler the place, the less light is required.

  • Bright and full sun
  • Definitely outdoors in summer, but get used to the sun slowly – sunburn
  • In winter, the palm can get by with very little light, but only when the temperatures are low. Then she stops growing and does not shoot.
  • If you want to plant the honey palm, you must choose a wind-protected location

plant substrate

It is important for the plant substrate that it is permeable and coarse-grained. Some acidic soil is also beneficial. Peat and humus soil are unsuitable because they collapse quickly.

  • Permeable, coarse-grained
  • Slightly sour
  • Soil partly loamy, partly sandy with some expanded clay or lava granules
  • No peat or humus soil
  • Alternatively, palm soil can be used.


A distinction is made here as to whether the honey palm is cultivated in a container or whether it is to be planted out. Keeping vessels is fairly straightforward. There is a lot more to consider when planting.

Vessel Keeping

  • Drainage im Topfboden
  • Use containers that are as tall as possible – taproots
  • Use a suitable soil mixture, palm soil if necessary
  • Repot in spring
  • Only repot when the upper roots push out of the container
  • Use a slightly larger container

planted out

  • Plant slightly elevated to avoid too much moisture. The rainfall in autumn and winter is often too much for the palm tree, so excess water can run off better.
  • Best time in spring – late March, early April, although many recommend later, from May to August
  • Palme should be at least 4 years old, better older
  • The planting hole must be dug sufficiently large
  • Before planting, submerge rootstock in water until no more air bubbles rise
  • Insert and fill up the planting hole
  • Tamp down the soil well and water vigorously
Note: When planting, no organic matter such as compost or bark mulch should be placed in the planting hole. It is much better to apply this superficially as a mulch layer after planting.

watering and fertilizing

The honey palm has a medium water requirement. If you keep the vessel, you have to be careful when pouring. It’s best to do a finger test. The soil should be well dried but not dry. Then always water thoroughly and leave a few days break between watering.

  • Irrigation water that is not too calcareous
  • Medium water requirement
  • Water evenly and deeply from spring through fall
  • Dry the soil well between waterings, but do not let it dry out completely
  • The amount of irrigation water depends on the location, weather and plant size
  • Water sparingly in winter
  • The cooler the beach location, the less water is needed!
  • At the beginning of the growth period in spring, provide nutrients every 14 days with commercially available liquid fertilizer

To cut

Honey palms are not pruned, at least not in the traditional sense. Under no circumstances should the tip be cut, as this is the only growing point. Only brown leaves are cut off, that’s all there is to chop from this palm tree.

  • Do not cut
  • Do not cut off brown leaves until they have completely dried up
  • Carefully cut off the petiole at the base
  • About 3 cm of the stalk remain on the trunk


Young palm trees in particular are sensitive to frost and should never be planted out. You can only try it if you are at least 5 years old. The danger is that the roots, which are still very small and don’t reach deep into the ground, will freeze completely. As a result, of course, no more water can be transported. The palm dries up, because the year-round green fronds evaporate a lot of water even in winter and the plant needs replenishment.

  • Planted honey palms can withstand temperatures as low as -15°C
  • The roots are the most sensitive
  • Short periods of frost are less severe than permafrost
  • If there is a slight frost, wrap the palm in bubble wrap or better yet in reed or bamboo mats
  • It is important to protect the heart of the palm, also from moisture. It is therefore good to cover the palm tree with foil or something similar, or to tie the leaves together at the top and wrap them.
  • It is good to form a proper roll of palm tree and protective mat, but do not wrap it too tightly
  • If the temperature rises, the protection must be removed
  • With deeper frosts, the soil around the trunk must be covered with an insulating layer. This should be about 20 cm high,
  • Bark mulch, straw or brushwood are suitable. This protective layer should also be removed on warmer days so that the roots can breathe and do not rot.
  • If you have to reckon with severe frosts, you should line the planting hole with Styrofoam plates as soon as you plant and put a heating cable for gutters in there.
  • This cable can be turned on when needed and performs well.

Overwinter as a container plant

Honey palms in planters should not be overwintered outdoors, or if they are, then only with a lot of protection. The substrate should not freeze through.

  • Hibernation just above the frost line – then low light requirement
  • The warmer, the more light we need
  • A frost-free greenhouse is ideal
  • If you hibernate in a warm living room, there is a risk that the palm will shoot because of the lack of light. In addition, pests like to spread.


It’s not easy to get seeds, but if you’re lucky enough to find them, you can definitely try sowing them. The seeds are often offered under the name ‘Coquitos’, not under honey palm.


  • Only use fresh seeds, even if they are germinable for up to 2 years. Fresh ones germinate better.
  • Sow in early spring
  • Soak in water for 1 to 3 days
  • Temperatures of at least 18°C
  • Stick half of the seeds in coconut substrate or potting soil
  • Always keep the substrate evenly and slightly moist
  • It is ideal to stretch a film or bag over the seed pot to achieve high humidity.
  • The same is also achieved in a mini greenhouse.
  • Germination time – 2 to 3 months
Tip: Many who have tried it before recommend opening the hard shell with a nutcracker or hammer to make it easier for the germ. Of course, you have to be extremely careful not to damage it.

diseases and pests

Diseases actually only occur if the honey palm is cared for incorrectly. It is often watered too much or too little. Especially when the soil often dries up, there is a threat of spider mites. These often spread during warm hibernation, they like dry heating air. It is therefore beneficial to spray or shower the leaves of the palm tree regularly.

  • Wipe scale insects and mealybugs away – mainly when they spend the winter in a warm place – or treat them with an alcohol-soft soap solution
  • Spider mites do not like humidity, so spray the palm regularly with water, if necessary use chemical preparations

Frequently Asked Questions

How expensive are honey palms?
There are big differences, depending on the age of the plants and the corresponding size. I found prices from 60 euros, but also for 23,500 euros. However, this palm already had a trunk diameter of 2.70 m and a height of almost 5 m. Anything in between is possible.

How important is heart protection in winter?
Many palm connoisseurs who try outdoor palms find protection from moisture almost more important than protection from frost. Most palm trees come from areas where the cold months are much drier. They have a hard time coping with the constant wetness here. It weakens them and then of course they become more sensitive. So it really makes sense to cover the ground well and cover the palm tree so all the moisture doesn’t run into the heart of the plant.

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