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.
Pygmy Date Palm Tree Profile
Scientific name: Phoenix roebelenii
Common names: The Pygmy Date Palm is also known as Robellini Palm and Miniature Date Palm.
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).
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.
Maintenance: 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 continuous 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.