How to Grow and Care for Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) Indoors


Canary Island Date Palm, Phoenix canariensis

Botanical name: Phoenix canariensis
Family: Arecaceae
Common names: Canary Island Date Palm, Pineapple Palm

Description

Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm) also called Pineapple Palm is native to the Canary Islands and is a popular palm which is tolerant to soil variation and is moderately drought tolerant.

Pineapple Palm can grow in partial shade or full sun. It is slow growing and exclusively propagated by seed.

Size

Phoenix canariensis can grow to a height of 66 ft in its native habitat, ocassionally growing to 130 ft. When grown indoors it can grow to a height of 6 ft.

Pineapple Palm leaves are 2-4 ft long, pinnate, with around 100 leaflets arranged on each side of the central rachis. The leaflets are about 6-10 in. long and narrow, straight and stiff.

Fruit

The Canary Island Date Palm fruit is an oval, yellow to orange, edible 2 cm drupe with a large seed. It resembles a small, thin-fleshed date.

Related Plants

Canary Island Date Palm is closely related to Phoenix roebelenii (Pygmy Date Palm).

Where to Buy

Pineapple Palms in various sizes are available online at Etsy. Buy Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) online from Etsy.

Canary Island Date Palm, Phoenix canariensis

Phoenix canariensis Care Indoors

Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) care indoors is easy once it is provided with the right growing conditions. Phoenix canariensis thrives in bright, indirect light, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, well drained soil that is rich in organic matter coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Pineapple Palm requires repotting every 2-3 years only when it becomes pot-bound. Regular pruning is necessary to keep it neat and tidy as well as minimize pest and disease infestations. Keep reading for more on these conditions and how to provide them..

Light Requirements

Canary Island Date Palm grows best in bright, indirect light but can tolerate some light shade. It can also grow under a grow light where natural light is inadequate.

Turn the pot regularly to ensure that the palm receives light on all sides for uniform growth.

Watering

Water Canary Island Date Palm thoroughly until water runs through the drainage hole and allow the top 2-3 inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering in the cold season as growth is minimal but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Use chlorine-free water for watering; like all palms, Pineapple Palm is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water.

Avoid getting the base of the palm wet to prevent rotting. Do not allow Canary Island Date Palm to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the palm.

Temperature

Canary Island Date Palm requires an average warmth with a minimum of 120C to thrive. If the temperature is comfortable for you it is ideal for this Palm.

Keep the Pineapple Palm away from cold draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperatures as they may negatively affect the growth of the palm.

Humidity

Canary Island Date Palm has no need for high humidity to thrive. Moderate to high humidity is ideal for this palm.

However, when temperatures are very high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity.

Occasionally clean the mature leaves by spraying with a strong jet of running water to get rid of dust as well as discourage pest infestations.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Canary Island Date Palm monthly with a balanced, liquid fertilizer during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

To prevent fertilizer build up which is indicated by leaf burn and brown spots, regularly flush the soil. Run a stream of water through the soil until water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow the stream of water to run for some time and repeat the process several times.

Repotting

Repot Canary Island Date Palm every 2-3 years at the beginning of the growing season when the palm has become pot-bound.

Use a pot 1-2 sizes larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the palm.

Soil

The best soil for Phoenix canariensis should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this palm. Buy quality Potting Mix for Canary Island Date Palm online from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Canary Island Date Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain the palm neat and tidy.

Cut off only old brown and dry fronds . Any frond with green continues to provide food (nutrients) to the Pineapple Palm.

Where Canary Island Date Palm seeds are required for propagation, allow the fruits to mature and drop then cut away the spent flower stalk.

Where the seeds are not required, cut away the flower stalk immediately to prevent it from wasting energy on developing the flowers and seeds.

Propagation

Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) propagation is done exclusively from seeds.

Seed germination can take up to 4-6 months and requires keeping the soil moist through out the period.

How to Propagate Canary Island Date Palm from seeds

Seed germination is difficult and may take up to 3-4 months. It also requires that the soil be kept moist through out the period.

Fill the rooting container with loose, free-draining potting mix and slightly moisten the soil.

Sow the seeds in the moist soil and cover the seeds slightly with soil. Do not bury them too deep to hasten germination.

Cover the set up with polythene cover to create a greenhouse effect and place in a well-lit, warm place at about 300C. Warmth and humidity are important for germination.

Keep the soil moist through out the period until germination of the seeds takes place. Germination may take upto 3-4 weeks.

Lower the temperature slightly after germination and maintain the soil moist until the new Pineapple Palms are well established after which you can begin routine care.

Canary Island Date Palm, Phoenix canariensis

Phoenix canariensis Problems Indoors

Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) problems indoors are brought about by cultural faults in watering, feeding, humidity and temperature among others. They include brown leaf tips, yellow leaves, brown leaves, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more details on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Brown leaf tips

There are four reasons for brown leaf tips in Canary Island Date Palm. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors. One reason for brown leaf tips is dry air (low humidity).

To raise humidity for Pineapple Palm, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

The second reason for brown leaf tips in Canary Island Date Palm is underwatering. Water the palm liberally and keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season.

Reduce watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

The third reason for brown leaf tips in Canary Island Date Palm is cold draughts. Protect the palm from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

The fourth reason for brown leaf tips in Canary Island Date Palm is is damage by touching. Place the palm away from the line of traffic.

Yellow leaves

Underwatering Canary Island Date Palm is the reason for yellowing leaves. Water the palm thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Brown leaf spots

There are two possible causes of brown leaf spots in Canary Island Date Palm. Remove the affected leaves and discard.

One cause of brown leaf spots in Pineapple Palm is overwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season but not soggy.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

The second causes of brown leaf spots in Canary Island Date Palm is sudden decrease in temperature due to cold draughts.

Keep the palm away from cold draughts like drafty windows and doors to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

Brown leaves

The lower leaves in Canary Island Date Palm may turn brown and droop due to age; remove by cutting and not pulling.

If the browning of the leaves is general and accompanied by rotting, the reason is root-rot disease due to soggy soil. Read on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.

Pests

Canary Island Date Palm is rarely attacked by pests. However, spider mites, scales and mealy bugs may attack the weak plants.

Regularly check underneath the leaves for these pests. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Check out this guide on how to identify and treat pests in houseplants.

Is Canary Island Date Palm toxic?

The foliage of Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) is non-toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA.

However, Pineapple palm bears sharp spines at the base of the frond which are extremely sharp and toxic. They often snap off once they penetrate the skin and may cause pain and swelling in the affected part of the body.

Always wear leather gloves, eye protection and thick clothing when handling this palm.

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