Love pf Palm Trees

Spindle Palm Tree

The spindle palm tree is a very close relative to the bottle palm and the champagne palm.

You can see the resemblances right away.

They are members of the same family being natives to the chain of Mascarene Islands of the coast of South Africa.

Just like it’s relatives it is on the critically endangered list of species in the wild.

There is no real threat of extinction though.

It is widely cultivated around the world as a prized specimen for landscaping.

Spindle Palm Tree--Hyophorbe VerschaffeltiiSpindle Palm Tree--Hyophorbe Verschaffeltii

CC original photo : scottzona


The spindle and the bottle have much in common especially in the way they look. 

The biggest difference is in the overall size, meaning height.

The spindle can grow to be quite a bit taller.

Almost twice as tall actually, getting to be over 25 feet or more when planted in soil.

The trunk of this variety is similar to the bottle palm as well.

Their trunk is also bulging but not as round.

As they grow their trunk elongates to be thick all the way up to past the leaf crownshaft.

The bottle tapers before.

The trunk of the spindle palm is gray to almost white showing off rings of leaves gone by.

Their feather leaves are a deep to olive type of color and the crownshaft will be a green to bluish green- turning to an almost gray color as the tree ages.

They have a few more leaves, usually displaying anywhere from 8-10 at one time.

They are 6-10 feet long with an arched curve to them and an erect sort of presentation.

They get some flower tracks that will come out from just below the crownshaft, almost looking like horns pointing upwards before they open. The flowers will be of both sexes and yellow in color. The fruit they produce will turn a blackish color when it’s ripe.

Spindle Palm CrownshaftSpindle Palm Crownshaft

Quick info:   

Scientific name : Hyophorbe verschaffeltii

  • 30 feet plus tall, 8-10 ft wide
  • Minimum temp 32°F   outdoor growth zones 10-11
  • Full to part sun, drought tolerant
  • Any well drained soil, supplement with potassium and fertilize every 2-3 months
Spindle Palm Tree - Medium

Spindle Palm Growth

The spindle palm is a fairly easy tree to grow. They are frequently used as a container tree around the patio.

It has a moderate growth rate and can easily stay in a container for some time.

Adapting well to being brought indoors with a few precautions.

Make sure to provide it with enough intense light-supplement if you have too- and of course room to grow.

It will grow in any type of soil and has some tolerance to drought.

It can develop a potassium deficiency. Supplement with a slow release potassium product to help alleviate any issues.

An extra note: If supplementing with potassium make sure magnesium is in your fertilizer or supplement. Adding more potassium can cause there to not be enough magnesium developing a deficiency in that mineral.

Practice regular water and fertilizer (every 2-3 months) to keep it looking its best. 

The spindle palm requires full to part sun. If it doesn’t get enough sun the unique trunk will change over time, by stretching to reach for enough light.

CC Original Photo /by Kim and Forest Starr 

Young Potted Spindle Palm- Hyophorbe VerschaffeltiiYoung Potted Spindle Palm- Hyophorbe Verschaffeltii

The out of shape look will not enhance its appearance and can become quite strange.

Generally there is no need to prune these guys. The old leaves will shed on their own when ready.

If you can't wait for that to happen, go ahead and trim off only the leaves that have gone completely brown.

It's best to just wait for the crownshaft part to come off by itself. Don't peel it off too early.

The spindle palm is a great addition to any landscape.  

A large container for the patio will ensure you won’t have to re-pot it for a few years.

If planting it in soil make sure to give it enough room to display it properly.

A very low ground cover planted around the base or just a centerpiece in the yard is best.

You don’t want to hide the beautiful trunk!

Your Ultimate Palm Tree Handbook

More to Learn About Palms

  • Thatch Palms

    There are 2 species of thatch palms that are perfect for landscapes or containers.They are named for the thatch roofs made out of their tough fan shaped leaves.

  • Travelers Palm

    The travelers palm would make a great addition and will turn any yard into a little slice of paradise! Many call it a fan palm because of the leaf pattern.

  • Triangle Palm

    Once you see a beautiful triangle palm tree, you’re definitely going to want one. Unique looking and easy to grow- they are gaining popularity.

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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