How to Transplant Date Palms


The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) typically grows to a height of 120 feet with leaves as long as 60 feet long. Its fruit is 1 to 3 inches in length and sweet once fully ripe. Date palms need a warm climate, with temperatures above 64 F in order to flower and bear fruit. They grow best in USDA hardiness zone 11. Unlike many broadleaf trees, date palms do not need their root ball wrapped during transplantation.

Step 1

Dig a hole twice the diameter of the date palms container. Make the depth of the hole deep enough to allow the root-shoot interface to sit 1 inch below the soil's surface.

Step 2

Remove the date palm from the container. Slide a long knife along the inside of the container, between the pot and the dirt. Carefully grasp the date palm by the base of the trunk and pull it out of the container.

Step 3

Place the date palm in the center of the hole. Fill in the hole, around the root ball of the palm, with soil.

Step 4

Top-dress the date palm with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Apply 1.5 lbs. of fertilizer per 100 square feet of area. Spread the fertilizer, in an even layer, directly over the root ball and outwards 6 to 12 inches.

Step 5

Create a circular mound of dirt around the perimeter of where the root ball is planted, to form a barrier. Water the date palm, within this barrier, every second day, for the next six to eight months.

Step 6

Water the palm after the establishment period only during periods of drought.

Tips and Warnings

  • When choosing a new planting area for the date palm, take its eventual height into consideration. Do not plant under power lines or near other large trees.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Long knife
  • Nitrogen fertilizer
  • Mulch (optional)


  • Purdue University: Date
  • University of Florida Extension: Transplanting Palms in the Landscape
  • University of Florida Extension: Fertilization of Field-Grown and Landscape Palms in Florida

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida Extension: Palm Seed Germination
Keywords: transplant date palm, planting date palm, growing date palms

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.