Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Grow Robellini Palm Trees

Roebelenii palm trees, known by the full name of Phoenix roebelenii, are a native tree of Southeast Asia. These dainty palms grow fronds containing a profusion of shiny, thin green leaf strips and provide a decidedly tropical appearance to a landscape. Their size and elegant look with year-round lush green foliage makes Roebelenii palm trees popular choices for residential and commercial gardens alike. Roebelinii palm trees offer an opportunity to amateur gardeners because of their hearty, easy-to-grow nature and striking aesthetic value. Learn how to grow roebelenii palm trees into beautiful specimens that will live for years.

Locate roebelenii palm trees in a sunny location with direct exposure to the sun. The more sun exposure the palm receives, the better growth it will produce and healthier it will look. Too much shade will produce a spindly looking palm tree with sparse leaf coverage that doesn't grow much.

Plant roebelenii palm trees in a mix of soil rich in nutrients and composted organic matter. Growing roebelenii as potted container plants requires potting soil to facilitate proper drainage. Avoid smothering the palm tree’s roots in a pot full of soggy soil, which will also contribute to root rot. When planting roebelenii palm trees in the ground, mix 2 cubic feet of soil amendment rich in composted organic matter into the native soil. Dig a hole large enough for the roebelenii root ball and mix the native soil and amendment together thoroughly.

Water roebelenii palm trees deeply and infrequently. Deep watering will help establish an extensive root system to provide sufficient nutrients to the palm tree during dry weather and between waterings.

Distribute granular fertilizer in a circular area surrounding the palm tree trunk twice a year. Lightly till the fertilizer into the soil. Avoid disturbing the soil within 6 inches around the tree trunk. Always water fertilizer in thoroughly and drench the soil surrounding the tree trunk within a 3-foot diameter circle.

Till the soil lightly around the root zone of the roebelenii palm tree 3 times a year to a depth of about 2 inches. Distribute compost on top of the tilled soil and gently work into the ground. Water in thoroughly.

Prune the lower most leaves of the roebelenii palm tree on a regular basis to remove yellowing fronds and to encourage growth of new leaves. Clip the fronds as close to the trunk as possible to achieve a clean, attractive-looking palm tree trunk with the characteristic cross-hatching roebeleniis are known for.


Plant roebeleniis in a location that offers plenty of fresh air and circulation to avoid insect infestation. Spider mite infestation is common on plants that do not receive proper air circulation and that are kept indoors or in areas outdoors too close to walls.


Do not cut the head off a roebelenii. It will not grow back or produce multiple tops.

Garden Guides