How to Care for the Pygmy Date Palm


Pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii), also known as miniature date palm, is an attractive and adaptable palm tree that will add an exotic, tropical aura to the indoor environment. A graceful, slow-growing tree with fine-textured, feathery fronds, pygmy date palm can sometimes reach heights of up to 12 feet at maturity. However, most pygmy date palms will top out at about 6 feet with a 3-foot span. Although pygmy date palm is most commonly grow indoors, the tree can be grown outdoors in the warm climates of USDA Zones 10 to 11.

Step 1

Place the pygmy date palm where the plant will exposed to bright sunlight year-round. Temperatures should be between 70 and 80 degrees F during the day and about 60 degrees F at night. Place the tree away from drafty doors and windows, air-conditioner vents and heating vents.

Step 2

Keep the soil moist at all times but don't water excessively, as root rot caused by soggy soil can kill the tree. Water the tree with warm water whenever the top of the soil feels slightly dry. Allow the water to run through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Discard water left in the drainage saucer and never allow the pot to stand in water.

Step 3

Feed the tree every week during spring and summer, using a liquid fertilizer for indoor plants. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the fertilizer package. Withhold fertilizer during fall and winter.

Step 4

Clean the leaves whenever the foliage gets dusty. Place the plant in the shower and spray the foliage with a fine spray of warm water. Alternatively, place the plant outdoors to be rinsed by a warm rain. Avoid commercial leaf-shine products, which can damage the foliage.

Step 5

Repot the tree in spring or early summer every two or three years. Remove the tree from the container and plant it in a container one size larger. Fill the container with commercial potting soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid fertilizer for indoor plants
  • Container
  • Commercial potting soil


  • Clemson University: Indoor Palms
  • North Dakota State University: Interior Plantscaping with Large Houseplants
  • Dwarf Date Palm, Miniature Date Palm, Pygmy Date Palm
Keywords: pygmy date palm, miniature date palm, miniature palm tree, indoor palm tree

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.