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How Do I Take Care of a Pygmy Date Palm Tree?

By Laura Wallace Henderson

Palm trees include plants with a variety of sizes and shapes, fulfilling an array of uses in landscapes and indoor settings. Many of these tropical and semi-tropical plants produce attractive blossoms and edible fruits. One type of palm tree, the pygmy date palm (Arecaceae Phoenix roebelenii), matures at a height between 6 and 12 feet tall. Its long leaves form a sweeping feather shape over the single, upright trunk. Pygmy date palms produce cream-colored blossoms and small, dark clusters of fruit.

Transplant your young tree into a heavy, flat-bottomed pot. Like most palms, pygmy date palms don't form woody taproots, making them suitable selections for potted plants. A heavy, sturdy pot will help hold your top-heavy palm firmly in place. Use an average potting soil for transplanting. Although pygmy date palms survive in a variety of soils, they prefer loose, loamy mixes that drain easily.

Set your new palm in a sunny location that receives full sunlight or partial shade. These tropical trees require plenty of natural light.

Water your pygmy date palm regularly to maintain a slightly moist medium near its roots. Place a drip tray beneath the pot to catch any excess water. Slowly apply the water to the pot until a few drops emerge from the drainage holes. Check for adequate moisture by inserting your fingertip below the surface of the soil every few days. Add water when the upper surface begins to feel slightly dry to the touch.

Feed your palm every three to four months with a time-release plant food formulated for use with palm plants. Following the package instructions, apply your fertilizer when the plant begins to form new flower buds; pygmy palms produce blossoms several times each year.

Protect your small tree from freezing temperatures. In cold climates, bring your palm tree indoors before the temperatures begin to drop in the fall. Place the tree near a warm, southern window to allow adequate amounts of natural light. Take your tropical plant outside after the weather begins to warm in the spring.


Things You Will Need

  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Plant food

About the Author


Laura Wallace Henderson, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She has served as the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." She continues to empower and encourage women everywhere by promoting health, career growth and business management skills.