The pygmy date palm, or Phoenix roebelenii, is a slow-growing tree that reaches 6 to 12 feet tall. Its fronds are 3 feet long and arch away from the curving trunk. This palm does well in a container and is popular near swimming pools in frost-free climates, such as southern Florida, southern California and Hawaii. It does well in partially sunny locations with well-drained clay or loamy soil. You can easily keep your pygmy date palm pruned to maintain an attractive shape and keep dead and dying fronds cut back.
Pruning a Pygmy Date Palm
Cut off lower fronds when they begin to turn yellow.
Trim the tips of new growth if it emerges looking yellow or black. Over-watering can cause this condition. Cut back on watering and monitor the condition of new growth. A plant disease may also cause the same problem with your palm. If disease exists, pruning this growth does not cure the disease.
Prune off fronds that have yellow or black spots and then move your tree to an area that receives less direct sunligh, as this condition can indicate sunburn.
Trim the tips of lower leaves if they turn brown and die—and then reduce the amount of fertilizer used on your palm, because it is the likely cause of this condition. Dry air and lack of water also cause the same condition.