Dypsis minuta, the smallest palm tree in the world

Normally when we are told about palm trees, we immediately think of plants with trunks that are more or less thin and, above all, tall, 5, 7 or more meters. But there is a species that could well go unnoticed: the Dypsis minuta . It is so small that it can be kept in a pot throughout its life without any problem.

It is a very interesting little plant for tropical and subtropical climates, but how do you take care of it?


Characteristics of Dypsis minuta

Our protagonist is a palm endemic to Madagascar, where it lives in the rain forests at an altitude of between 200 and 550 meters. It grows to a maximum height of 50cm , and is made up of 5-8 bifid green leaves (two leaflets) that are about 20cm long, and a small stem or trunk 30-40cm tall.

The flowers are very curious . They are like “balls” yellowish-white at first and reddish later that arise from a flower stem, which comes out of the center of the plant. The seeds are small, 1cm, and hard.

Cultivation or care

Dypsis minuta in Hawaii

Image – Palmpedia

Would you like to have a copy? It is not easy to find for sale, and less on campus. However, the seeds can be obtained in an online store. If you finally succeed, these are your care:

  • Location : it has to be protected from direct sun.
  • Substrate : rich in organic matter and with good drainage .
  • Irrigation : frequent, but avoiding waterlogging. Therefore, it is advisable to water it every 2-3 days in summer, and a little less the rest of the year.
  • Transplant : every two years you have to add a new substrate.
  • Fertilizer : it is very important to pay with a specific product for palm trees, following the instructions specified on the package.
  • Multiplication : by seeds in spring. Sow in a zip lock bag filled with vermiculite.
  • Hardiness : it is very sensitive to cold and frost. Temperatures below 10ºC affect it. It also needs protection against heat (over 30ºC).

Have you heard of this plant?

Dypsis minuta, the smallest palm tree in the world

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