How to Grow Date Trees From Seed


At least two species of palms produce edible dates that many people enjoy as if they were candy. The African date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and the Senegal date palm (Phoenix reclinata) are species with edible drupe fruits known as dates. If you purchase dates at the grocery store, you can remove the seeds and then germinate them in your kitchen or garage. Date palms are typically slow-growing trees, but if you live in a temperate climate, where winter temperatures never drop below 20 degrees F, both varieties of date palm should perform well.

Step 1

Wash the torpedo-shaped seeds from a fresh date and soak them in 1 cup of water for up to two days.

Step 2

Fill one or more plastic zipper bags with perlite or vermiculite and add a small amount of water (1 tbsp., or less).

Step 3

Add your soaked seeds to the bag, seal it and place it in a warm place. The top of a water heater or a powered computer terminal are good spots.

Step 4

Check the moisture content of the bag every three or four days and add a few drops if it appears to be drying out. Watch for signs of germination.

Step 5

Plant germinated seeds in small pots filled with compost. Keep them in a warm place, preferably one that receives sunlight. When your young date palm tree is 1 or 2 feet tall (this can take one year, or more), transplant it to a sunny spot in the garden in spring, or plant it in a large pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Perlite or vermiculite
  • Plastic zipper bags
  • Compost
  • Sandy or clay soil


  • Purdue University
  • Grow a Date From Seed
  • Garden Web forum
Keywords: date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, growing tropical

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.