Pygmy date palm – Care, Poisonous, Lifespan (Phoenix roebelenii)

Pygmy Date Palm is a very popular tree in the United States and other parts of the world and it has been since 5 decades. I Have seen these lovely Palm Trees in My Colleges and Public Parks. This tree can add more beauty to landscape

and the vibrant leaves blowing in wind can give a positive vibe. This Tree is a slow growing palm tree and can reach up to 6 to 12 feet high. It can grow multiple trunks that can either grow diagonal or upright , branches can be seen coming from bottom.

Leaves can grow about 2-3 foot long that’s why we never see its flower which is hidden by its own Leaf. Single Tree for a small office garden , many say it looks perfect separately but you can also grow it with a multi pygmy date palm.

Background Information

This Palm(Phoenix roebelenii) Tree was first discovered in various parts of SouthEast and SouthWest Asia , and in modern day these countries are China’s Yunnan Province , North Vietnam and North Laos. It comes from the Arecaceae Family which is one of the famous palm families out there.

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This palm is called by many names including miniature date palm , pygmy date palm and also with the first word of its scientific name which is robellini. The Binomial or scientific name of pygmy date palm is Phoenix roebelenii ,

it grows about a height of 3 meters (which is 9.1-9.8 feet) and spreads 70-120 cms ( which is 25-47 feet). In only one branch it has more than 90 leaves and the size of leaves varies from 14-24 cm long and about 1 cm wide.

Its Flowers are generally very small , yellowish in color and its fruit which is called date is very small and thin which is edible means you can have it.

Pygmy date palm

Pygmy date palm

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(Phoenix roebelenii ) Pygmy Date palm Care

To care for pygmy date palm you need to fix a time to give it water regularly, These palms Needs more water when it matures to a certain level. here is how to Care for Pygmy Date palm:

1. Take Extra Care when giving it plant food.

which is its fertilizer requirement i talk about this in best fertilizer below you can check.

2. They prefer sand and peat mix soil.

for better drainage , and don’t forget to place this plant in a better location where it has partial shade or full shade.

3. It can grow in the sun but is not preferred.

Grow this plant(Phoenix roebelenii) in below 5-7 pH soil as it is perfect for them if you grow in it over 7 pH it may show deficiency of various micro nutrients like magnesium and potassium which are necessary for this plant growth.

4. Also they may develop some spots on leaves.

if it really have deficiency.

5. Diseases and pests.

might not affect it as it is a strong palm but do care for it as it can be affected with rotting of root or leaf spots .

6. It can adjust to drought conditions.

as well but don’t make your plant thirsty with water.

How to Grow Pygmy date palm?

There are number of conditions you should take care to perfectly grow your palm tree. You should be make a note on all the thing I explain here like watering, sunlight, temperature, seeds, fertilizer, repotting etc. to keep this plant growth stable.

Taking care of all these things can make your plant strong and it doesn’t get any pests and diseases.

Here are some things to note on how to grow pygmy date palm :


At the time of growth, these plants need water to build its trunk, but you should not over do this so that the plant gets submerged in water. This plant does not need much water in winter, it remains very comfortably without water as there is medium humidity

and coldness which makes this tree require less water. When this plant is a small seed, you should give water properly to the plant for seed germination. It is an important thing for its growth until it sprouts and shows some progress.


When these plants are small, you can place them near the window , where it will get partial sunlight. These plants were found in the covered forest area, it means that they will grow in partial light or medium light,

but even with that they can easily grow in full light as well. It would be best if you grow it at some place where it gets 2–4 hours of light, but it has been seen that this tree can grow even in full sunlight.


When we talk about temperature these plants can survive in winter as well comfortably, and the Hardiness zone is 6 to 11. The temperature which is suitable for pygmy date palm is 51 to 74° F(11-23° C) and make sure you do not grow them

in below temperature by 49° F (9° C) otherwise their growth was affected by that temperature.


To grow this plant you have to show patience as it takes time to germinate the seed, to tell you more it’s not a plant which can show growth in just 10-12 days but will take at least about 1.5 to 3 months to be able

to see any growth about its sprouting. After that, it will start to grow beautifully- Check The Seeds Price in .


How much space does the plant take ? Let me tell you that this is a Slow Grower Palm Tree and it grows about 2-3 foot in 4-6 years But it does not happen with every palm stem, because they grow in groups,

so one of them will show faster growth than the other and grow a bigger height of 5-7 feet tall.


This special type of Tree needs a strong Fertilizer so palm tree fertilizer is the best one. You can give them in early spring with regular water. Palm fertilizer has many micro nutrients that can help plants boost its roots and branches

and also refreshes soil which leads to killing of some pests. In this article below I also mention some good palm fertilizer for pygmy date palm.


Care for the plant is important and you can do it by giving it well drained soil for that you need peat or bark based mixture that will improve the drainage of the soil, that way water is not going to spoil the roots

and eventually there will be no water logging on the soil part.

Potting Repotting

Let me tell you that when these plants are young, they do not need repotting, but as soon as they grow more, they need to be repotted, if they are not repotted, then the plant will start to fade,

the root of this plant needs more space when mature. Let me tell you that every variety of this plant needs repotting because their roots are going to be more complex and bigger. While repotting, you have to take care not to spoil the roots

and make sure to remember this plant does have spines which means you must wear your gloves. Repotting of this plant occurs after every 1 year. If you grow this plant in the ground, then the grass that grows near the palm should be removed

so that the grass can’t have your fertilizer nutrients and it all goes to your pygmy date palm.

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how to grow pygmy date palm
how to grow pygmy date palm , Care

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(Phoenix roebelenii) Pygmy date palm Propagation

There are 2 ways you can propagate this plant. Propagation is used to double the plants so those having large garden can grow it. I have explained both the ways on how to propagate pygmy date palm :


Seeds can be purchase from Online or offline store and if you have Whole palm Tree you can Collect the ripened fruits & make a new palm tree. The fruits are about 1 cm length and 5 mm diameter, we will be making seedlings out of it.

You can use your hand to pull out all the fruits. Take the collected seeds and put it in a polythene bag and sprinkle some water over it and pack it for 7 days. These days fruit ripping starts so that we can take out seeds from the fruit.

After 7 days Open your polythene bag and soak all the seeds in a water jar and remove its outer coating with your hands and you will see seeds. Those seeds can be used to make a new pygmy date palm.

Now you get the seeds, put all the seeds in a sand pot. Make sure proper space in between all the seeds. Sow it about 1-2 cm below the soil surface, lightly put more sand to cover it fully and sprinkle water full

until you see water coming out of the pot. Keep a good watch over the month , make sure it does get proper water & don’t make soil dried.


You can propagate it using the baby offset of the pygmy date palm. To properly propagate it you need to cut it so that it does have some leaves and has some roots. The baby offsets are at the bottom growing , you need to separate it

from its parent with roots, it is important because with some roots it can grow without its parent and become a new palm tree. This method is not difficult, you can do it for yourself or may ask a plant expert to do that.

how to propagate how to grow pygmy date palm
how to propagate how to grow pygmy date palm

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(Phoenix roebelenii) Pygmy Date Palm Pruning

As you know these palm trees(Phoenix roebelenii) look good when they are green bright in color, but not every leaf is going to be green forever , it may get dead after a certain time & its place will be taken by new greener leaves , this cycle goes on.

On how to prune pygmy date palm is removing all the dead fronds of fern(leaf like part of palm tree) So that your pygmy date palm can retain to its greener look and looks beautiful. Pruning does improve its appearance, the healthy leaves replaces the dead ones,

but don’t overdo by cutting every leaf you see dead. Prune only the ones which totally fade, not the one where the tip of the leaf changes color.

Best Fertilizer for Pygmy Date Palm

As you know every plant and tree needs best fertilizer of its kind to further grow in length and when we talk about the palm trees they need a specific fertilizer or plant food for its overall growth.

The best fertilizer for pygmy date palm is 8-2-12 fertilizer which has many macro nutrients including 22% soluble potash , 12 % magnesium, with 2% nitrogen and 8% potassium and many other nutrients for better plant growth.

8-2-12 fertilizer

8-2-12 Fertilizer 

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Most Search Questions


Pygmy date palm lifespan

According to American University of Beirut , pygmy date palm lifespan is 25-50 years and it is non toxic date palm. Its fruits are edible and it can be propagated using cutting or seeds. It does tolerate pests and diseases but some nematodes and thrips can still affect this beautiful palm Tree.

Triple pygmy date palm?

When we talk about triple pygmy date palm is seen that some people who grow it in shorter pots or with less space It can double or triple itself when roots didn’t find the space in the soil.

Sometimes it has seen that if it gets everything in that small space of soil , meaning good fertilizer and other nutrients then may it be possible to grow another trunk which leads to either double or triple palms.

Pygmy date palm indoor?

When growing pygmy date palm indoor you need to take care of certain things like it should get indirect sunlight and make sure regular watering is done, keeping soil moist is necessary but don’t over do , Make sure before every watering session

you need to check if it properly dry’s the 1 inch soil above the surface and if not then don’t give water to it.

Also If you over water it you can see the ferns or fronds (leaf of palm) turning brown eventually they will fade. so do good care of this plant when it is young. In Indoor it needs only indirect light to grow , not much watering needed in winters.

Pygmy date palm home depot

you can find pygmy date palm home depot is in many website, one of them i know – here is the link .

Pygmy date palm growth rate

When it comes to Pygmy date palm growth rate is about 12 to 24 inch it grows per year According to Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute at Cal Poly. The height of this palm can be 6-15 feet tall and it spreads about 6-7 feet wide.

This Plant can grow in both indoors and outdoors , Yes they are slow grower but it is sure a good palm tree it needs time to build its trunk(main stem).

Pygmy date palm fruit

Yes pygmy date palm fruit are very small and can be edible according to institute at cal poly. It has very sugary , sweet kind of taste , they are very small berry types of fruit in appearance. It can be about 1-2 cm in length.

Pygmy date palm(Phoenix roebelenii) produces these fruits in bulk. They can be further use to grow new date palm as fruits are the one which will ripen and eventfully we take out  seeds from them.

Pygmy date palm for sale near me

People use to search pygmy date palm sale near me is to find if it is available in their near by area , but to tell you nowadays it can’t be purchased offline as many times they say we don’t have stock  so better if you purchase it online.

You can buy its seeds or the young plant according to your choice. Here is the link to buy this palm.

Dwarf date palm

This variety can grow about 7-12 feet tall in height and may show curve structure and a big thick trunk with long leaves ,which makes its appearance attractive. Dwarf date palm produces edible fruit but it is only grown for the purpose to give an ornamental landscape.

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How tall do pygmy date palms get?

It can grow about a height of 5-12 feet and grows in upright position, also some people pygmy date palm(Phoenix roebelenii) have 2 more trunk(main stem) popping out of the primary date palm root.

It has about 2-3 foot long ferns or leaves. They are one of the finest palm tree you will see in many cities.

How do you take care of a pygmy date palm tree?

To take care of your pygmy date palm you need to make sure it gets daily water and soil is always moist when they are young. Soil must be well draining and it can grow in both sunlight and full shade area ,

make sure your soil doesn’t have a high pH  over 7 as it can get deficiency of many macro nutrients.

Are pygmy date palms poisonous to dogs?

Pygmy date palms(Phoenix roebelenii) are not toxic or poisonous to dogs, cats. These palm are safe(non toxic) for cats, dogs and for humans fruits are even safer to eat so it doesn’t have any poisonous thing in it. Its Non toxic palm tree and one of the popular date palm tree. If any tree that is poisonous it does have its leaves, stem or roots toxic, but in case of pygmy date palm it is not toxic to to dog, cat but some of the thorns present in there can irritate any living being.

As you know they do have edible dates that are high in vitamins  and minerals. Repining can happen in pygmy date palm during growing season like summer. If cared properly it can grows for years and can become big to produce fruits. It takes a lot of 4-5 years for the palm tree to produce edible fruits.

Chemical irritant are common in palm tree but if you see the big picture the pygmy date palms can be included in your landscapes, garden, lawns and every location which has space to plant those palm trees.

Can you separate pygmy date palms?

Yes you can and they can grow separately. What you need to do is use a sterilized cutting tool and separate them then plant the one you just remove from its main root , make sure it has some roots when you separate it.

Also some roots might get damaged but these palm trees are very strong so they can recover very well.

Are pygmy date palms fast growing?

No, they are not fast growing ,They are famous for slow growing but you need to understand the reason is that it has to build its thick stem to support its ferns(leaves) it takes years to make it.

To tell you about how their growth rate is it can grow about 4 feet in 5 -6 years.

Do pygmy date palms need sun?

Yes Every plant needs sun to make its food, Pygmy date palm can grow in the sun as well as in full shade, partial shade, indoors , outdoors, filtered lights.

Sunlight is important in every aspect of it , even if it gets indirect light that’s fine.

Also Read : Polka Dot Plant – Care Guide, Benefits, Pests, Leaves Curling

How long do pygmy palms live?

They can live about 25-50 years of life but with good care, people who care for this palm tree(Phoenix roebelenii) can see its growth in all those years, otherwise it gets diseases which will stop its growth.

They are slow in growth parameters but still they can survive for many years even drought conditions can’t harm these beautiful pygmy date palm.

How often should I water my pygmy date palm?

When these plants are younger they need regular water but with time when they are mature give them water according to how often you see its soil getting dried.

I suggest you check in every 2-3 days if you get to see the soil is still moist and give them after a week. In summer they need water frequently and in winters ones a week is enough.

Make note of how often your plant soil gets dry in every season. It will tell you exactly how often I should water it.

Are pygmy date palms edible?

Yes, its fruits are edible and they are very small fruits generally seen in a bunch. They are non toxic to animals like cats and dogs.

It’s a tropical palm tree that can grow to 6-7 feet tall and spreads 5 foot. it can grow both indoors and outdoors , you should protect them from much cooler environments. Its growth can get affected with winter cold.

How deep are pygmy palm roots?

It can be seen its roots are deep about 3-4 feet from the soil surface, when it matures it gets more deep as the trunk needs more support to stand upright.

Roots can go to deep soil so it can protect itself from wind storms. That’s why you see these can be standing still in heavy storms.

Why is my pygmy palm dying?

First of all check your container is properly giving water to the whole root ball, as the palm matures its root ball also matures. If you have a small pot & you are giving it water 3 times in a week still it’s getting yellow

and then brown leaves it may be due to root doesn’t have enough space to grow further and even if you give them water , not every drop of water is reaching to the root ball and all the water is going out of the drainage holes.

So change your pot to a bigger container and let me tell you why your pygmy date palm is dying because either you’re giving it lots of water or less water.

What grows well with pygmy palms?

You can Grow Sprengeri , Asparagus , philodendron, monstera with pygmy palms , its stunning bright leaves with excellent vines can go with the palms perfectly. You can also add polka dot plant near this palm tree which makes it very beautiful looking location.

Also You can add Red hot poker plants as they give your garden orange yellowish color which looks quite unique.


The best thing about this plant is it looks amazing , palm trees(Phoenix roebelenii) have its unique following of people found in every big company’s lawns and gardens.  One thing I didn’t mention here in this article is that it is also very effective

in purifying bad air quality. It can tolerate cold temperatures, and it is also a strong plant that can survive drought situations. If you have a medium to small garden and you want a tree-like plant that can grow well

and looks amazing then a pygmy date palm can be your good choice.

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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