Pygmy Date Palm Tree – Phoenix roebelenii

pygmy date palm3 Pygmy Date Palm Tree   Phoenix roebelenii

The Pygmy Date Palm Tree, scientific name Phoenix roebelenii, is one of the most widely used palms in landscaping in America. Not only it can be used outdoors in variety of settings, but it also looks great in a container. This slow growing palm grows only up to 10ft tall making it perfect for small gardens. Many consider it to be a dwarf palm. It looks especially graceful when planted in group of 3 to 5 specimens. Phoenix roebelenii can tolerate cold down to 15F and can be grown in states like Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon and Texas.

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Pygmy Date Palm Tree Profile

pygmy date palm2 Pygmy Date Palm Tree   Phoenix roebeleniiScientific name: Phoenix roebelenii

Common names: The Pygmy Date Palm is also known as Robellini Palm and Miniature Date Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to Southern China.

Appearance: In its natural environment Pygmy Date Palm has a single-trunk, but in cultivation it is usually planted with 3-5 specimens. When planted in clumps, the trunks tend to curve gracefully away from the center of the clump creating an especially attractive arrangement.

The Pygmy Date Palm trunk is covered with old leaf scars and topped with pinnate, or feather like, leaves which grow to about 4ft in length. Leaves are bright green, droopy covered with 4-5 in leaflets that are modified into 2-3 in. sharp spines at the base of the petiole. Be careful while pruning it and keep kids away.

Flowers/Fruits: During spring, the Pygmy Date Palm produces beautiful creamy flowers that are held by 1ft long stalks. The Pygmy Date Palm is dioecious, male and female flowers grow on separate plants. Between september and october, flowers are followed by small dates. It usually has about 10 -13 long fruit clusters hanging below the leaves. Fruits are elliptical, 1/2 inch long and turn red-brown to dark purple when ripe. The date is mostly seed with only a thin layer of fruit.

Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate. Phoenix roebelenii is a small palm that can grow up to 5 – 10 ft tall and 1-5 ft wide, but usually doesn’t grow more than 7ft.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both. It is very popular indoor palm tree because it does well in any kind of container. It is perfect for deck or entry ways.

Cold Tolerance: Phoenix roebelenii is a cold hardy palm that can tolerate cold down to 15F when mature enough. It is great for USDA Zones 8b (15 to 20 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

 Pygmy Date Palm Tree   Phoenix roebeleniiThere is a great book, written by David A. Francko that I really like, it’s called “Palms Won’t Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas”. It goes into the details on how you can grow cold hardy palms in zones 7, 6 and even 5. This is the perfect foundation book for the gardener who would like to see a banana next to his cherry tree and a palm between his maples. It got great reviews and 5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

Light Req: Fulls sun to Partial shade. It likes full sun but can also grow in partial shade.

Water Req: Moderate. Adapts to all king of soil. It is drought tolerant but does well in moist well drained soil.

pygmy date palm4 Pygmy Date Palm Tree   Phoenix roebeleniiMaintenance: Easy. Phoenix roebelenii doesn’t have a self-cleaning trunk and requires old leaf removal to keep it beautiful appearance.  To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continues release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagation: Propagated by seed that takes around 3-4 months to germinate. The best conditions for germination would be warm moist soil with enough shade to protect young seedlings from direct sunlight.

Buy Pygmy Date Palm Today

We don’t sell palm trees on this site, but you can buy it from one of my favorite palm nurseries – Real Palm Trees. It has beautiful palm trees at discounted prices and offers a Free Shipping. This is one of the few sites that I trust, because each palm tree comes with Certificate of Authenticity that guarantees highest quality of the tree. All of their palm trees are properly grown and acclimatized to the correct hardiness zone.

Most importantly, you will receive a tree in perfect health and wouldn’t have to worry about it dying few weeks later. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or you money back. To purchase a Pygmy Date Palm, click on one of the links below:

Buy Large Pygmy Date PalmOnly $789.95!
Buy Medium Pygmy Date PalmOnly $299.95!
Buy Small Pygmy Date PalmOnly $59.95!

For more photos click here Pygmy Date Palm Pictures.

~Susan Brian

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14 Responses to “Pygmy Date Palm Tree – Phoenix roebelenii”

  1. How long can we leave a pygmy date palm in a container or about 3-5 gallons?

  2. I have a Phoenix Robelini (Pigmi Date Palm) That has split at the top to 34 different heads. Does anyone know why or how this happens? I have a photo that I would like to share but do not know how.

  3. One of the needles stuck my arm and it has become red and swollen. Is this an infection that needs medical attention or will it absorb and go away on its own?

    Thanks, Bob

  4. It appears that some of my phoenix roebelenii have “suckers” and I would like to get rid of them. Does anyone know how to do this and not harm the original trunk? Thanks.

  5. I have a pygmy date palm with three trunks. It was severely damaged by the freezes this winter. Only two of the trunks have survived. Can I trim the third dead trunk out? If so how should I go about it?


  6. How long can we leave a pygmy date palm in a container or about 3-5 gallons?
    This is just for one plant in the container not multiple crowns.
    It depends on the maturity of the palm itself. If it is still young say a 2-3 year old plant can stay in the same container for 3-4 years but you must check if the plant becomes pot bound or root bound. You’ll see lots of fibrous roots coming out of the drainage hole/s. I would also suggest that you change the potting soil mix (e.g. Miracle Gro) every other year to keep the plant healthy.

  7. I have heard these trees will freeze in North Florida (Jacksonville). Is this true?

  8. John: Yes, and no. We are not horticulturists or professional gardeners, just everyday folks who love plants and trees. If your tree is fairly new/young, you should cover the tree, especially the root base every winter in Jacksonville. Our 3-trunk tree is 7 years old and the last two winters we left it uncovered. The first year, you remember how cold the winter of 2010 was, most of the palm leaves had to be cut away, but the tree came back in the spring beautifully and this past winter, 2011 was very mild and the tree looked as good all winter as it did in the summer. Any time you have a young tree or plant, it’s best to protect it for the first few winters to acclimate it to our Jacksonville winters. Good luck. We love our tree! It sits in middle of our front yard and looks awesome.

  9. I have one that has three tree trunks but two have now died or at least there is no growth on them now. Should I cut them down or will they come back?

  10. i remove pygmy palm from back yard to front yard one month go now trun leaf to brown i dont know what i do please let me know

  11. We have a planting of three Pygmy date palms in a small pocket of soil (roughly 1-1/2 x 2-/2 feet) on the patio right next to the pool. The palms were planted 10-12 years ago, and the tallest is now 10-12 feet tall.

    Does anyone know whether the palms’ root system is strong/extensive enough to weaken or break through the concrete side of the swimming pool? We recently had to remove a coconut palm from our back yard that was causing damage to the concrete wall by the dock.


  12. no they will not hurt your pool wall…they only grow 10-12′

  13. We have a group of 3 pygmy date palms in attached planters on either side of a spa attached to the pool. We have been told to remove the 22 year old palms as their roots have caused a pool pipe leak. Do these palms live much beyond 22 years? We would like to transplant them but want to check on their possible life span first. They are healthy beautiful trees. Thank you – Sandra

  14. If you cut a pygmy day palm at the trunk below where the leaves sprout, will the leaves grow back?

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