How to Care for Pygmy Date Palm


Native to Africa and tropical regions in Asia, the pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii), also called the dwarf or miniature date palm, is the smallest species of date palm. The pygmy date palm reaches only 6 to 12 feet in height and 6 to 10 feet in width, with leaves that are 8 to 12 inches long. Grown outdoors only in tropical regions, where winter temperatures stay above freezing, the pygmy date palm has become a popular indoor palm tree due to its smaller size. The pygmy date palm is also a great houseplant because it removes formaldehyde and xylene from the air.

Step 1

Position your pygmy date palm in bright but indirect sunlight. If you're growing the palm indoors, keep air temperatures between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Water your pygmy date palm two to three times per week to keep the soil evenly moistened at all times. Don't water-log the soil or allow it to dry out. Water the palm with warm water.

Step 3

Apply a water-soluble palm plant fertilizer once each week throughout the spring and summer. Follow the dosage instructions on the label.

Step 4

Mist your pygmy date palm with lime-free warm water once every two or three days to keep the air humid around the plant. Put pebbles or gravel and water in the drainage dish beneath the pot to increase humidity, but make sure the pot isn't sitting directly in the water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for spider mites infesting your pygmy date palm, especially if you're growing it indoors as a houseplant. If you detect spider mites, wash the plant's leaves with an insecticidal soap according to the directions on the label.

Things You'll Need

  • Palm plant fertilizer
  • Lime-free water
  • Water spray bottle
  • Pebbles or gravel
  • Drainage dish
  • Garden or potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Humus
  • Insecticidal soap (optional)


  • Dwarf Date Palm, Miniature Date Palm, Pygmy Date Palm

Who Can Help

  • Pacific Palms Nursery: Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
Keywords: pygmy date palm, date palm care, grow Phoenix roebelenii

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.