How to Care for a Pygmy Date Palm


The pygmy date palm, a miniature of the date palm grown throughout the Middle East for fruit, makes a lovely, easy to grow indoor plant. A type of feather palm, Phoenix roebelinii grows indoors to a height of about six feet and a spread of about three. This date palm adds a natural tropical touch, gracing a room with arching, fine textured fronds.

Step 1

Place your pygmy date palm near an east window, Clemson University Extension suggests. The plant prefers a good deal of indirect sunlight, but no direct sun.

Step 2

Keep the plant in a location that is at least 80 degrees during the day and about 15 degrees cooler at night. Since the pygmy date palm originated in the tropics, do what you can to simulate a tropical environment. Keep the plant away from drafts.

Step 3

Maintain uniformly moist soil. Do not allow the pygmy date palm to stand in water, but do not let the soil dry out either.

Step 4

Apply nitrogen fertilizer regularly during active growing to promote lush growth of this typically slow growing plant.

Step 5

Watch for mites, mealy bugs and aphids, which are attracted to the pygmy date palm. Treat any insect problems with a commercial insecticide according to manufacturer's directions.

Step 6

Repot your pygmy date palm when roots fill the pot, often every two to three years. Remember that this plant does well when its roots are confined.

Things You'll Need

  • Pygmy date palm
  • Watering can
  • Nitrogen fertilizer


  • Clemson University Extension: Indoor Palms
  • University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension: Palms
  • University of Arizona: Arizona Landscape PalmsUniversity of Arizona: Arizona Landscape Palms

Who Can Help

  • University of North Dakota: Interior Plantscaping With Large Houseplants
Keywords: pygmy date palm, pygmy palm care, interior date palm

About this Author

Ann Wolters, who has been a freelance writer, consultant, and writing coach for the past year and a half, has had her writing published in "The Saint Paul Almanac," and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a master’s degree in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota and taught English as a foreign language for nearly seven years.