What is a Hawaiian Palm?
The fabulous Hawaiian Palm is a beautiful sight in the garden or living room, creating a tropical ambience with its magnificent green leaves and exotic appearance. The plant also produces exquisite long yellow flowers in October - making it a lovely addition to your home long into autumn - with the flowers increasing in beauty as the plant grows older.
Facts about Hawaiian Palms
- The origins of brighamia insignis (Hawaiian Palm)
- The Hawaiian Palm has grown on the exotic island of Hawaii for millions of years, with the isolated location of the island allowing plants and animals to evolve undisturbed. A certain species of moth is thought to be the only creature capable of pollinating the flowers of this plant.
The rarity of brighamia insignis
As a result of the arrival of humans on Hawaii and the destruction of its natural habitat, this moth is now extinct. The Hawaiian Palm is consequently also faced with extinction, as without the moth pollination, reproduction is seriously inhibited. This makes the palm one of the rarest plants on the planet. There are currently only about seven of these palms growing in the wild, isolated on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i.
What is being done to protect this plant?
A number of scientists and volunteers are actively occupied with the conservation of the Hawaiian Palm. This group belongs to the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), which aims to halt the decline in biodiversity. The group has pollinated the flowers of the palm by hand and harvested the seed, which is now being used to propagate the plant.
A large number of plants have now been cultivated in a special reserve, and the Hawaiian Palm will eventually be returned to the wild. The IUCN is also trying to restore the natural habitat of the palm so that it will ultimately be able to survive independently.
By purchasing one of these plants you directly support the work of the IUCN/SSC Hawaiian Plant Specialist Group, helping to protect the Hawaiian Palm and many other plants from extinction. Click here to buy a Hawaiian Palm for your home or garden.
Brighamia Insignis care
While these plants are rare, Hawaiian Palm plant care is fortunately very easy. Here are the most important care instructions to follow:
Watering and feeding
- Watering once a week is sufficient. If the soil is still moist, you could even skip a week.
- The plant is a succulent and therefore needs very little water - too much could kill it.
- Feed once a month throughout the year.
Positioning and pruning
- Give the plant a sheltered position in the house or garden in summer. This will prevent excessive leaf drop. The Hawaiian Palm has an atypical growth season, with the main growth taking place in the winter months and the dormant period in summer. It will start to grow vigorously again from August.
- Snap the lower leaves off as they turn yellow. This forms the trunk that is characteristic of palm varieties. New leaves develop in the crown and the older leaves at the bottom of the plant are shed. Regular checks and the removal of affected leaves will help to prevent most problems.
- Re-pot the palm in a larger pot every year. It can reach a height of one metre.
- Give the Hawaiian Palm a light position indoors in winter for the best results.
- Let the room temperature drop below 12 °C at night to avoid damage by spider mites.
Preventing insect damage
- Insect damage can be controlled by simply breaking off all damaged leaves and rinsing the stem and remaining leaves with lukewarm water to get rid of any remaining insects. The palm will be as new within six weeks.
- Insect damage can be recognized by the formation of small cobwebs between the leaves (spider mite) or by the appearance of spots on the leaves (thrips). Affected plants should preferably be placed outdoors in summer. The plant is not susceptible to other damage.
As you can see, Hawaiian Palm plant care is very straightforward. So, consider adding one to your home or garden to lend beautiful shape and colour, knowing you’re supporting the work of the IUCN/SSC Hawaiian Plant Specialist Group.