Dioon Edule Plant Growing & Caring Information and Tips

5 Min Read

The virgin’s palm belongs to the class of seed plants known as cycads, which originated before the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction.

Dioon edule is not a palm at all, despite having a palm-like appearance and going by the term “virgin’s palm.” Mexico is the native home of this species. We investigate its upkeep both inside and outside!

Dioon Edule Plant Overview

Common NameVirgin’s palm, chestnut dioon
Scientific NameDioon edule
Height & SpreadUp to 8 feet tall, 6 feet wide
LightFull sun, partial shade
SoilWell-draining, poor soils
Pests & DiseasesCaterpillar, cycad aulacaspis scale

About Mexican Cycad

There was once a division of Dioon edule into two subspecies: edule and angustifolium. In this article, we’ll concentrate on the care needs for Dioon edule, although they likely also apply to D. angustifolium and other species in the Dioon genus, including Dioon imbricatum, Dioon aculeatum, and Dioon strobilaceum.

The leafy plume of the chestnut dioon is what attracts the most attention. These leaves are pinnate, which means that a row of opposing leaflets is positioned down each side of the central stem. Each leaf can get up to six feet long overall. Nonetheless, they normally don’t get that large right away and are proportionate to the trunk.

The very slender, semi-glossy, blue-green leaves give the plant a delicate appearance. Under the soil are robust taproots that can find water in even the most difficult garden soils, as well as coralloid roots that fix nitrogen.

Perhaps the presence of humans will be too great an extinction for these majestic cycads that survived the extinction of the dinosaurs. You’re able to assist! As you cultivate a dioon edule in your garden or collection of plants, you are contributing to the preservation of this exquisite species.

Chestnut Dioon Care

It will be quite simple to grow this palm-like plant in your garden as long as you provide the right circumstances. Here’s what you need to know to take care of your diabetes properly.

Sun and Temperature

Mexico palms thrive best in full light. However, they can like some shade because they are usually cultivated in hotter climates. If you are growing your dion plants indoors, you should put them close to a bright window, preferably one that faces south. If your dioon is kept outside in the garden among other different plants, it should be in a spot that receives some shade during the hottest part of the day.

Its dioon edule hardness sets it apart from other members of its family. This cycad is one of the hardest to tolerate, with occasional lows below 10°F, while being native to Mexico.

Water and Humidity

Give your dioon plants some water when the soil starts to dry out. When watering your plants, proceed with great caution since they should never be left sitting in water. Note: chestnut dioons will not resist drought until they are fully established. Don’t ignore the young chestnut dioons that have just been planted.

Although not necessary, this species of dioon prefers humid surroundings. Ensure that there is sufficient airflow between the leaves in all scenarios. Set it apart from the other plants in the cluster. When watering, try to keep the short, stocky trunk and foliage as dry as possible.

Also Read: Dwarf Palm Trees


The most crucial aspect of nappy education is arguably proper drainage. As long as the soil drains properly, these plants can thrive in practically any type of soil, including rocky, sandy, and loamy ones.

Still, some moisture must be retained in any of these well-drained soils. For the garden soil to avoid drying out too soon, use mulch or composted plant waste as needed. Use a soil mix designed for cactus, succulents, or palms for container-grown evergreen cycads. A water-catching tray should be emptied as needed, and the pot should include drainage holes.

Fertilizing This Growing Plant

Dioon edule plants typically grow just fine in low soils; however, if you add some additional nutrients, their growth will accelerate. Apply a balanced fertilizer with a light dose regularly during the growing season. To increase the fertility of the garden soil, you may also use sandy compost.


Pruning your dioon edule houseplant is not necessary. Only if the leaves are sick or pest-infested should you remove them.


It is possible to grow Mexico cycad plants from seed, but doing so would require finding both male and female plants, maybe doing manual pollination, and then waiting for the female cone to unfurl and release its seeds. Dioon edule seeds germinate quickly, despite their long growth period.

Vegetative propagation is the best option if you want to avoid waiting around for an established plant. If it already has roots, be sure to preserve them. Plant the cutting in a tiny container that is filled with well-drained soil similar to what you would use for established potted plants.


When it comes to pest and disease issues, dioon is one of the easiest plants to manage, given the proper garden conditions. There are very few things that need to be watched out for.

Also Read: Bamboo Palm

Growing Problems

Overwatering, which most drought-tolerant plants do, increases serious dangers. Excessive wetness in the soil can cause root rot, which can then lead to leaf and stem rot. Since a plant cannot quickly recover from this, prevention is crucial. Ensure that the soil is completely dry before adding any water.

Cycads that spend too much time in the sun could get burned. When burned, its leaves take on a pale brown or yellow hue. When a plant is exposed to direct sunlight in a dry, hot area (think above 100°F), this is typically what occurs. To help with sunburn treatment, try hiding your Dioon edule under any taller plants you have gathered.


Cycads, in particular, are a staple food for hungry caterpillars. Use diatomaceous earth or BT spray if the issue continues.

Additionally susceptible to scale insects are dioon edule plants, especially Cycad aulacaspis scale. As they feed, they will embed themselves in the lower leaves of cycad plants, causing the leaves to turn brown and yellow.

Infested leaves must be removed, and they must be destroyed far from your garden. Nevertheless, you want to use an insecticide as well because these scales could spread to the stem and roots.

Naturally, the best course of action is prevention, which may be achieved by only purchasing healthy cycads from reliable vendors.


It’s unlikely that your dioon will experience any health issues. On the other hand, if the roots are rotting due to overwatering, they could pick up fungi or bacteria from the garden planting site.

Dioon spinulosum, the relative of D. edule, is occasionally impacted by fusarium wilt, which is caused by a fungus that grows in the soil. Use a broad fungicide if you notice areas of browning leaves or other odd growths.

Also Read: Madagascar Palm Plant


Is the sago palm Dioon edule?

No, but they both belong to the family of cycads. The leaves of sago palms are arched, while the leaves of dioon edule plants are flat. In contrast to the white female cone of the dioon edule, the sago palm bears a golden female cone.

How quickly does an edule grow?

This plant grows quite slowly. This plant is typically seen in gardens at bush height due to its short, stocky trunk, which grows slowly. These plants don’t have a strong need to proliferate because they can live for hundreds of years.

Are cats poisoned by cycads?

Yes, although historically, certain societies have considered these plants edible, in reality, they are usually harmful to all mammals.



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