Blue Hesper Palm – Brahea armata
This native from the desert springs of Baja, California is one of the hardiest palms available. They can handle intense heat, drought, withstand considerable frost and tolerates at least down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It has striking bluish or bluish-white leaves and impressive inflorescences which makes the Blue Hesper one of the most attractive of the hardy palms. Since this is slower growing than some other palms, it makes an ideal container plant in my book.
In the northeast, I move it outside as soon as I can into an open, sunny location. As a desert native, it thrives if kept on the dry side. I do, however; feed (organic) and water it on a regular basis. The Blue Hesper Palm can grow in poorer soil as long as it is well-draining. As with other palms, it does not like to be over-watered.
Although it is considered shorter in height (usually up to 10') than other palms, there are specimens growing in the wild which are 20' to 30'. Generally in containers, it will stay within the bush size range. Another neat feature is it's ability to flower when fairly small and can produce an edible fruit (with an assist on the pollination).
I have grown Blue Hesper Palms for the past three years with no problems. My birds enjoy them because of their foliage and I like them because of their easy care!
Check out the palm section under tropical plants for more details.