How to grow and care for Canary Island Date Palm Indoors

Indoor Palm, Canary Island Date Palm

Botanical name: Phoenix canariensis
Family: Arecaceae

Canary Island Date Palm also called Pineapple Palm is native to the Canary Islands and is a popular Indoor Palm. It is tolerant to soil variation and is moderately drought tolerant. It can grow in partial shade or full sun. It is slow growing and exclusively propagated by seed. In its native habitat it can grow to a height of 66 ft, ocassionally growing to 130 ft. When grown indoors it can grow to a height of 6 ft. The 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. The fruit is an oval, yellow to orange and is an edible 2 cm drupe with a large seed. It resembles a small, thin-fleshed date. Canary Island Date Palm is closely related to Phoenix roebelenii (Pygmy Date Palm).

How to Grow Canary Island Date Palm

Light

Canary Island Date Palm prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate some light shade. An east-facing or west-facing window is ideal for this palm. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Watering Canary Island Date Palm requires watering thoroughly until water runs through the drainage hole and allowing the top 1-2 inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering in the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Use chlorine-free water for watering; like all palms Canary Island Date Palm is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicsl dissolved in water. Avoid getting the base of the palm wet to prevent rotting. Do not allow the palm to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to root-rot and eventual death of the palm. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth with a minimum of 120C is ideal for Canary Island Date Palm. If the temperature is comfortable for you it is suitable for this Palm. Protect the palm from cold draughts. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Canary Island Date Palm has no need for high humidity. Mist the leaves frequently or set the pot on a wet pebble tray during hot weather to raise humidity. Occasionally clean the mature leaves by spraying with a strong jet of running water to get rid of dust.

Feeding

Feed Canary Island Date Palm with a water-soluble fertilizer monthly during the growing period. Water thoroughly until the solution comes out through the drainage holes. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Find out more on feeding houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Canary Island Date Palm every 2-3 years at the beginning of the growing season when the palm has become root-bound. Use a pot 1-2 sizes larger that has a drainage hole(s). The soil should be free-draining and rich in organic matter.

Pruning

Pruning Canary Island Date Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain your plant neat and tidy. Cut off only old brown and dry fronds. Any frond with green continues to provide food (nutrients) to the plant. Where the 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 the plant from wasting energy on developing the flowers and seeds. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Canary Island Date Palm

Canary Island Date Palm is exclusively propagated from seeds. Seed germination can take up to 4-6 months and requires keeping the soil moist through out the period. Sow the seeds in moist soil and place in a warm place. Keep the soil moist through out the period until germination takes place. Lower the temperature slightly after germination and maintain the soil moist until the plant is well established.

Common Problems in Canary Island Date Palm

  • Leaves with brown tips
  • Reasons for brown leaf tips in Canary Island Date Palm are dry air, underwatering, cold draughts and damage by touching. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors. Correct the faults by raising the humidity, watering correctly, protecting the plant from draughts and placing Canary Island Date Palm away from traffic respectively.

  • Yellowing of leaves
  • Underwatering Canary Island Date Palm is the reason for yellowing leaves. Water thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

  • Leaves with brown spots
  • Overwatering or sudden decrease of temperature are the causes of brown spots in Canary Island Date Palm. Remove the affected parts and improve the growing conditions by correct watering and maintaining the right temperature by protecting the palm from cold draughts.

  • Brown leaves
  • The lower leaves of Canary Island Date Palm may turn brown and droop due to age; remove by cutting and not pulling. If browning is general and accompanied by rotting the reason is Root-rot Disease due to waterlogging of the soil.

  • Pests
  • Canary Island Date Palm is rarely attacked by pests. However, common pests are Red Spider Mites, Scales and Mealy Bugs. Regularly check underneath the leaves for these pests. Isolate the plant to prevent spread to other houseplants.

Toxicity

The foliage of Canary Island Date Palm is non-toxic to both humans and pets. However, this 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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