How To Grow Teddy Bear Palm Tree (Dypsis leptocheilos)

Teddy Bear Palm Tree (Dypsis leptocheilos)
Teddy Bear Palm Tree (Dypsis leptocheilos). Photo by Flickr.

The Teddy Bear Palm Tree, scientific name Dypsis leptocheilos or Neodypsis lastelliana, is a very elegant palm known for its unique trunk with a distinctive reddish-colored fuzzy crownshaft.

It can grow indoors or outdoors. It is often confused with another palm also known as the Redneck Dypsis lastelliana.

Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Dypsis leptocheilos or Neodypsis lastelliana
Common names:Teddy Bear Palm, Redneck Palm, Red Fuzzy Palm.
Origin:Native to Madagascar.
Growth Rate:Moderate. Up to 30 ft tall and 15 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 10b (35 to 40 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
Light Req:Full sun.
Water Req:Moderate.
Soil Req:Widely adaptable.
Fruit:Yes. Yellowish-orange. Not edible.
Propagation:By seeds, germinating in 4-6 months.

Teddy Bear Palm Identifying Characteristics

It has a single, clean, white, waxy trunk ringed by the scars from the fallen fronds. The crownshaft is covered in dense reddish-brown velvet like or fur-like fuzzy material “tomentum”, hence the name Teddy Bear Palm. The trunk has a lot of similarities with bamboo.

About 15-20 slightly arching leaves emerge from the crownshaft forming a beautiful crown. Leaves are pinnate, or feather-shaped, 8-10ft long, with gorgeous drooping dark green leaflets that are 18 inches long and 1 inch wide.

Teddy Bear Palm Flowers and Fruits

Teddy Bear Palm Tree (Dypsis leptocheilos) fruits
Teddy Bear Palm Tree (Dypsis leptocheilos). Photo by Flickr.

It produces pale yellow creamy flowers that bloom from May to August. Flowers are supported by 3ft long branched inflorescence coming from below the leaves. The Teddy Bear Palm is monoecious, male and female flowers on the same plant. Flowers are followed by berry-like fruits.

How To Care For Teddy Bear Palm

Dypsis leptocheilos grows at a medium rate up to 20 – 30 ft tall and 15 -20 ft wide. It grows best in full sun and requires moderate amount of water with good drainage.

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

Propagated by seeds that take around 4-6 months to germinate. For the best result soak seeds in warm water overnight before planting. Plant seeds ½ inches deep in a mix of garden soil and fast draining potting soil. Keep the soil moist and provide enough light.

Teddy Bear Palm Tree Pictures

Teddy Bear Palm Tree (Dypsis leptocheilos) at the nursery
Teddy Bear Palm Tree (Dypsis leptocheilos). Photo by Flickr.