Pygmy Date Palm Information


Pygmy date palms (Phoenix Roebelenii) are tiny palm trees also commonly known as miniature date palms. This plant is native to Southeastern Asia, where it grows along riverbanks, in clearings and amidst rainforests. When cultivated in nurseries, pygmy date palms generally have multiple trunks. Those grown in the wild tend to have single trunks. The pygmy date palm is a popular landscape tree in the United States.


Pygmy date palm trees are highly adaptable to many different growing situations. The trees grow slowly and can be raised both outdoors and indoors. They are low-maintenance trees and very tolerant of salinity. Pygmy date palms are hardy to temperatures that are around 20 degrees Fahrenheit for brief periods of time (USDA Hardiness Zones 9a to 11). They can be cultivated both in shade and in full sun. They can grow in a vast array of soil types, but thrive in well-drained soil.


To keep Pygmy date palm trees healthy, water them two or three times a week. Fertilize in the spring with palm fertilizer spikes or granular palm food. If you are growing them in colder regions, they must be protected against frost.


Pygmy date palm trees have extremely sharp edges and spines. Be particularly careful when handling these plants and keep them away from small children and pets.


Pygmy date palm trees are tiny plants that have an elegant crown with a minimum of 50 arching leaves (which look similar to feathers) and a hairy, thin trunk. Small, cream-colored flowers appear in April or May. Female varieties produce small reddish-black or purple dates/fruits. The trees grow to be between 6 and 12 feet in height.


Pygmy date palm trees are popular ornamental plantings, and often displayed in containers or as specimen plants. They also are popular poolside plants, lending a relaxed, tropical feeling.

Keywords: Pygmy date palm, Phoenix Roebelenii, miniature date palm

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.