How to Trim Pygmy Date Palms


The pygmy date palm, also known as Phoenix roebelenii, originated in southeast Asia near forest clearings, riverbanks and rainforests. In the wild it is generally found as a single-trunked specimen. However, nurseries typically sell them in groups of two or three as multiple-trunked specimens. As with any palm tree, the pygmy date palm needs regular trimming to ensure it stays looking its best. Trimming, though, should be done in moderation. An overly trimmed palm tree may suffer health consequences.

Step 1

Prune off brown or yellowing fronds from the pygmy date palm tree. Grasp each frond with a gloved hand and snip it off an inch or two from the trunk with your pruning shears.

Step 2

Look for diseased fronds. Diseased fronds will have spotting on them--usually brown or black in color. Prune these fronds off in the same manner as the brown or yellow fronds.

Step 3

Trim off other fronds that are horizontal or lower to the ground for aesthetic reasons. Leave fronds that are above horizontal to the ground intact.

Step 4

Clean your pruning shears with alcohol before moving on to the next pygmy date palm tree. This ensures no disease is transferred between palms.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid overly pruning pygmy date palm trees. Like all palm trees, if they are severely pruned they may go into decline. Green fronds that are above horizontal to the ground must be left on the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Ladder
  • Gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rags


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Pygmy Date Palm
  • Pygmy Date Palm: Pygmy Date Palm: Phoenix Roebelenii
  • Texas Riveria: Phoenx Roebelenii
Keywords: pygmy date palm, trim date palm, trim pygmy date, pruning shears, brown fronds, disease fronds

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.