Diamond or Joey Palm

The Diamond or Joey palm tree has some of the largest most beautiful leaves of any palm tree on the planet.

When you first spot one you are likely to assume it is not a palm tree at all but a member of another plant family altogether.

There are two varieties of the Joeys.

One with deep emerald green leaves; often referred to as the diamond palm.

The other with a stunning blue color commonly called the blue Joey.

Both have trunks that are subterranean presenting only their leaves above the soil.

Diamond or Joey palm, johannesteijsmannia altifronsDiamond or Joey palm

 CC Original photo by: RuB 



They are solitary in nature so there’s no worry about them spreading out of control or taking over your garden.

The striking leaves are a long diamond shape, which are deeply corrugated or pleated. They are solid and not divided in any way. No stringy or sagging tips.

Getting to be up to 10 feet long and 6 feet wide, they make a commanding statement in any landscape.

The emerald or diamond Joey palm has deep green on the top of the leaves while the underside is much lighter with a yellow color vein running through the center.

The blue Joey also has green on the top of the leaf but the underside is covered with what appears to be felt whitish/silver or deeper blue in color. This difference makes it even more sought after for landscapes and containers.

The stems or stalks can get up to 10 feet long and are protected with small teeth running down the spine. The trees get whitish color flower clusters- both sexes on the same tree-that are generally around 2-3 feet long. These once pollinated produce a smaller round fruit that ranges from light to a darker brown.

Diamond or Joey palm, johannesteijsmannia altifronsDiamond or Joey palm,

The Blue Joey Palm Tree

Gardenology.org-IMG 7521 qsbg11mar

Care and Growth

The two types of Joey palm trees are very similar in the growing conditions.

They originate in the lower mountain rain forests of countries like Malaysia and Thailand.

These trees are generally found as understory plants and are threatened in their natural habitats.  

This can make it more difficult to find for purchase.

When they are available they are generally more expensive due to their rarity.

Joey Palm Tree - Medium

Quick info: Scientific names:

 Johannesteijsmannia altifrons-- Joey or Diamond palm

 Johannesteijsmannia magnifica—Blue Joey palm

  • Solitary underground trunks, very large elongated diamond shaped fan leaves
  • Minimum temp 35°F, growth zones 10-11
  • Shade to deep shade, acidic soil with added material for water retention
  • Requires lots of water and humidity, protect from wind

The soil should be on the acidic side as they don’t do well in alkaline soil at all.

They need lots of moisture so the water requirements are more demanding than other palms.

Adding a humus mix to the soil for extra water retention will help.

They also require a higher humidity level in the air.

Dry desert climates will be harder for them to thrive in.

You will have to supplement them with enough air born moisture like showers or mist baths to ensure a happy plant, and feed with a good palm fertilizer when needed.

They are considered a small palm getting only to 12-20 feet tall but can get practically just as wide.

The understory plant they are in their natural habitat will require you to ensure they are kept in part shade to heavy shade.

Be sure to plant in a location that will protect their large leaves from being shredded in the wind.

 Joey palms do well indoors or in containers if you meet their growing requirements along with sufficient space.

Diamond or Joey palm, johannesteijsmannia altifronsDiamond Joey Palm Tree

The reward will be an exceptional plant with striking leaves appearing to grow straight out of the soil.

Display this gorgeous specimen in your "little slice of paradise" where it can be easily seen and appreciated.

Explore more palms

  • All Types of Palm Trees Planning on growing a tropical garden inside or out? Here's a list of the many types of palm trees used in landscapes so you can plan accordingly!
  • Coconut Palm Tree-Symbol of Relaxation The coconut palm tree is the world’s symbol for relaxation. You can grow your very own by meeting these conditions and it will reward you with bountiful fruits.
  • Bottle Palm Tree-Unique and Easy Did you know the bottle palm tree is easy to grow in soil or containers? See how they can enhance the beauty of your yard.

I'm Darla the creator of Palm Tree Passion.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit.

Creator of Palm Tree PassionDarla

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A NOTE on Buying Palm Tress: If you are looking to buy palm trees of any kind then I would highly recommend purchasing through the Real Palm Tree Store.

They are a huge nursery based in Florida with connections to many quality growers.

Whether you are ordering from inside the United States, Canada or another part of the world-- ordering one tree for your landscape or many for a commercial project-- I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

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Make sure to visit real palm trees, ask questions and read the reviews before buying anywhere else.

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