How to Care for Your Pygmy Date Palm


The pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii), also known as miniature date palm, is a dwarf palm tree that reaches heights of 6 to 12 feet. It has a thin trunk and bright green leaves that can grow up to 4 feet long. The pygmy date palm can be damaged by temperatures that dip below 30 degrees F. It is hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11, but is routinely grown as a container plant in many other areas and brought inside during winter weather.

Step 1

Dig a hole that is two times the width and the same depth as the container the pygmy date palm is growing in. Place the root ball into the planting hole very carefully, as the roots of this tree are easily damaged. Replace the soil and tamp it down firmly with your foot to remove air pockets.

Step 2

Water until the soils feels very moist. Continue to water the tree whenever the top of the soil is dry during the first growing season.

Step 3

Feed four to six times each year with a fertilizer specifically designed for palm trees.

Step 4

Remove dead or damaged leaves as necessary.

Step 5

Inspect the tree often for signs of pest infestation or disease. If you notice signs of illness clip a leaf off and take it to your local extension office for treatment advice.

Tips and Warnings

  • The pygmy date palm tree has extremely sharp spines, so wear thick clothing when in close proximity to the tree and keep children from playing near it.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Palm tree fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Plant-Care: Pygmy Date Palm -- Perfect Tropical Landscaping Plant
  • University of Florida Extension: Pygmy Date Palm1
  • Tropical Plants Library Online: Pygmy Date Palm
  • Floridata: Phoenix Roebelenii
Keywords: pygmy date palm, grow pygmy date, plant pygmy date, miniature date palm, phoenix roebelenii

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.