How to Transplant Date Palm Trees


The date palm, a well-known fruit-producing ornamental, is relatively easy to transplant, according to the University of Florida Extension. Date palms tend to be hardy and drought-tolerant and make a nice addition to the landscape. Whether you have a pot-bound palm that has been in a container for some time or a relatively young palm grown from an offshoot or tissue culture, the same transplanting techniques apply.

Step 1

Dig a hole in the ground where you wish to plant your palm about a month prior to transplanting. Make the hole approximately 36 inches deep and 42 inches in diameter. Mix the soil from the hole with compost. Date palms are tolerant of a wide range in pH, but if your soil is outside the range of 6.0 to 8.0 amend the soil accordingly. Refill the hole and water the soil.

Step 2

Plant the palm in the early morning. Dig a hole two to three times as wide as the root ball and about the same depth as the container the date palm has been growing in--deep enough to place the root-shoot interface about an inch below the soil surface.

Step 3

Place the palm in the hole and carefully fill in with soil around the palm. Firm the soil, creating a shallow basin of soil just outside the perimeter of the root ball. This will help hold water near the plant's roots.

Step 4

Top-dress the transplanted palm with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Spread fertilizer in the area of the root ball and out to 12 inches beyond the root ball's edge.

Step 5

Mulch the area around the date palm tree, creating a circle about three feet in diameter around the tree, but do not allow the mulch to touch the palm trunk.

Step 6

Water the date palm. Depending on the weather, maintain a schedule of watering about every two to three days for the first six months, or until the tree is established.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Palm plant in container
  • High-nitrogen fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • University of Florida: Transplanting Palms in the Landscape
  • Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations: Date Palm
  • Food and Agricultural Organization of the U N: Land Preparation, Planting and Fertilization

Who Can Help

  • University of Nevada Cooperative Extension: The Date Palm Gardening Guide
Keywords: transplant date palm, plant palm outdoors, grow 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.