Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Care for a Canary Island Date Palm

The Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) is a tropical palm tree that has spiny, feather-like, 8- to 15-foot-long leaves that create an arching crown. The leaf stalks are golden in color and grow from a heavy, thick, up to 4-foot-diameter trunk. Although slow-growing and often planted in containers to grow indoors, the Canary Island date palm can grow up to 60 feet tall at maturity. This palm tree also produces orange-yellow, 1-inch-diameter fruits that are ornamental and date-like, maturing in early summer.

Water your Canary Island date palm once or twice per week to keep the soil evenly moist. For container-grown palms, water using warm water. For outdoor date palms, water deeply and thoroughly during summer.

Feed your indoor Canary Island date palm once per week during the spring and summer with a water-soluble palm fertilizer. Outdoor date palms require a slow-release palm tree fertilizer containing magnesium and other trace elements applied when the tree is actively growing. Follow the application and dosage instructions on the label.

Mist your indoor Canary Island date palm three or four times per week with lime-free warm water. Keep humidity levels high around your date palm by placing water and pebbles in the drainage dish beneath the pot, ensuring that the pot is sitting on top of the pebbles and not in the water.

Prune away the old or dead fronds on your Canary Island date palm, cutting them back to the trunk. Prune only the fronds that hang below the horizontal and not the upright fronds.

Treat your Canary Island date palm for Ganoderma fungal disease, which creates a conk or shelf-like mushroom at the base of the tree. Remove the conk, and avoid wetting the trunk when watering or using a sprinkler system.


Plant your Canary Island date palm in full to partial sunlight and in fertile, fast-draining soil. If you’re growing the date palm in a container indoors, place the tree in bright indirect light, such as beside a south-, east- or west-facing window. Pot the date palm in a well-draining soil mix that contains coarse sand, perlite or another component that assists in drainage.


Avoid injuring the Canary Island date palm’s trunk with a lawn mower, weed-eater or other landscaping tool. Trunk injuries can cause a wide range of sometimes lethal problems in the date palm tree, including Ganoderma fungus and giant palm weevil infestations.

Garden Guides