How to Grow Pindo Palm — Butia

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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 is commonly called Pindo Palm.

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.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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