Date Palm Maintenance


Date palms (Phoenix spp.) are cold-tender tropical trees that are most commonly grown in regions where winter temperatures rarely dip down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Date palms are native to Africa and Asia, enjoying drier, hotter and desert-like climates. Date palm species that are most commonly grown in landscapes include the Canary Island date palm (P. canariensis), true date palm (P. dactylifera) and Senegal date palm (P. reclinata). Some dwarf date palm types like the pygmy date palm (P. roebelinii) are sometimes grown indoors as houseplants in colder climates.

Step 1

Water the newly planted date palm once or twice each week for three or four months after planting it to soak the soil down to and around the roots. Date palms are desert plants that require no additional irrigation after this establishment period.

Step 2

Keep the ground area around your date palm free of weeds, lawn grass and other plants. Hand-pull or shallowly hoe any weeds or grasses and don't plant any flowers or other plants near the date palm.

Step 3

Feed your date palm four times per year during spring through autumn with a slow-release palm tree fertilizer that contains trace elements, or "micronutrients." Follow the application and dosage directions on the fertilizer package.

Step 4

Prune your date palm only lightly, if at all. Cut away only totally brown and dead fronds, and never remove fronds that are still green or living.

Tips and Warnings

  • Beware of root and foot rots in your date palms. Date palms need little water after they're established, so beware of overwatering the plants. Keep any sprinklers or other irrigation systems away from the date palm and don't place any plants that require watering near the date palm.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Hoe
  • Palm tree fertilizer
  • Pruning tools (optional)


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Make A Date With Palms
  • University of Florida Extension: Growing True Date Palms in South Florida

Who Can Help

  • Dwarf Date Palm, Miniature Date Palm, Pygmy Date Palm
Keywords: date palm care, Phoenix palm maintenance, date palm trees

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.