How To Grow Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii)

Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii).
Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii). Photo by Wiki Commons.

The Mule Palm Tree, scientific name Butiagrus nabonnandii, is a hybrid between Pindo Palm and Queen Palm. This palm is rare and expensive. It can tolerate cold, wind and drought. Very durable palm that can be grown in the USDA Zone 9a.

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Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Butiagrus nabonnandii
Common names:The Mule Palm, Butia Queen Cross, Pindo Palm, Butia x Syagrus.
Origin:Native to Florida.
Growth Rate:Moderate to Fast. Up to tall 20 – 30 ft and 5- 10 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 9a (20 to 25 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
Light Req:Partial shade to Full sun.
Water Req:Moderate.
Soil Req:Widely adaptable.
Fruit:Yes. Green.
Propagation:Be seed.

Mule Palm Identifying Characteristics

Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii)
Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii). Photo by Flickr.

It has a heavy gray trunk covered with old leaf bases. Dark green arching leaves emerge right from the trunk. Leaves are pinnate, or feather-like, about 5-10 ft long, with 80-150 leaflets. It produces small pink flowers that grow on branched inflorescence.

How To Care For Mule Palm

This palm can grow up to tall 20 – 30 ft and 5- 10 ft wide. This palm is cold hardy and can tolerate cold down to 20 F. When mature enough this palm is known to withstand cold even below 20F. Great for USDA Zones 9a (20 to 25 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

It grows best in partial shade or full sun. Likes moist well drained soil but will tolerate drought for a short period of time when mature enough.

To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagated by seeds.

Mule Palm Tree Pictures

Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii)
Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii)
Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii)
Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii). Photo by Flickr.

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3 thoughts on “How To Grow Mule Palm Tree (Butiagrus nabonnandii)”

  1. My mule palm is really messy and has too many fronds that are touching the ground. I’d like to trim it to achieve a little better shape. Can it be trimmed note or do i need to wait until summer?

  2. My two palms are not very healthy after this past winter one looks like it’s dead. Will it come back?

  3. You have XButiagrus nabonnandii listed as “native to Florida.” The parent plants are native to Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia, and the Mule is a hybrid of these, manipulated by humans. It’s not native to anywhere. (But it sure is beautiful.)

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