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Blue Hesper Palm

Brahea spp.

As its name suggests, a blue hesper palm tree brings striking color to the landscape. Its powdery blue to nearly silver large fan-shape leaves decorate this slow-growing desert-friendly palm tree all year long. Treat a blue palm as a bold landscape focal point to anchor a rock garden or foundation planting. Several blue palms planted together become a refreshing living screen. It can also be grown indoors in a container, although its growth will eventually be curtailed by the height of the ceiling.

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Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

20 feet or more

Width:

Up to 16 feet

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Problem Solvers:

Zones:

8-11

Propagation

Colorful Combinations

As a true desert palm, this tree—once established—can handle intense heat, drought, and even frost. Plant it alongside a host of other desert-friendly plants to create a drought-tolerant frost landscape that boasts color and texture throughout every season. Easy-care perennial planting partners include aloe, blue chalksticks Senecio serpens, echeveria, ice plant Delosperma cooperi, kangaroo paw Anigozanthos, red yucca Hesperaloe parviflora, Russian sage Perovskia atriplicifoli, and sedum. These perennials bloom sporadically throughout the year, so count on them to add splashes of welcome color to the dry, rocky landscape. 

See our drought-tolerant landscaping ideas to beat the heat in your garden.

Blue Hesper Palm Care Must-Knows

When selecting a planting site for blue hesper palm, choose a location that has space for the plant to grow 15 to 20 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide in 20 years or so. (With age, it may reach 50 feet tall and 16 feet wide.) The site should also provide well-drained, moist (not wet) soil and full sun to promote the tree's intense blue-silver foliage. Trees growing in part shade take on a blue-green appearance that is attractive but not as eye-catching as blue-silver leaves.

Plant nursery-grown transplants in the landscape in spring. Water the young trees well every couple of weeks during the first growing season to promote a deep, extensive root system. Cease giving supplemental water after the first growing season.

When these trees are in bloom, they develop spectacular long, arching panicles of cream-color flowers. The fragrant flowers decorate the plant for several weeks and can be pruned off when the blossoms fade. Remove dead foliage as needed.

More Varieties of Blue Hesper Palm

Blue hesper palm

Brahea armata is the bluest of the hesper palms. It is also known as Mexican blue palm. Its creamy-white flower clusters arch out among the foliage creating a spectacular show on mature plants. Blue hesper palm grows 45 feet tall and 20 feet wide. It is hardy to 25 degrees F, so you can grow it in Zones 9-11.

Guadalupe palm

This selection of Brahea edulis is native to Guadalupe Island off the coast of Baja California. The fan-shape green leaves are armed with small teeth on the leaf stems. It grows 40 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Grow it in well-drained soil. Zones 10-11

San Jose hesper palm

Brahea brandegeei develops a thick trunk covered in old leaf bases. The 3-foot-wide leaves are medium green on top and silver underneath. It grows 40 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Zones 10-11

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