How to grow and care for Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) Indoors

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Pygmy Date Palm Care, Phoenix roebelenii Care

Botanical name: Phoenix roebelenii
Family: Arecaceae
Common names: Pygmy Date Palm, Dwarf Date Palm

Pygmy Date Palm Description

Pygmy Date Palm also called Dwarf Date Palm is a small-sized indoor palm that is tolerant to drought and shade and is ideal for the limited spaces.

Pygmy Date Palm Size

The Pygmy Date Palm is a slow-growing slender tree growing to a height of 3-5 ft. The Pygmy Date Palm leaves are 2-4 ft long, pinnate, with around 100 leaflets arranged in a single plane.

The leaflets in Pygmy Date Palm are about 6-10 in. long and very narrow, slightly drooping and grey-green in color. The fronds develop off a stately central trunk.

Pygmy Date Palm Flower

The Pygmy Date Palm flowers are small, yellowish, produced on a 18 in. inflorescence. The fruit is an edible 1 cm drupe which resembles a small, thin-fleshed date.

Pygmy Date Palm Origin

Pygmy Date Palm is native to the dense tropical forests of Africa and Southeastern Asia from Southwestern China, Northern Laos and Northern Vietnam.

The Latin name roebelenii honors the orchid collector Carl Roebelen (1855-1927).

Pygmy Date Palm Air Purifying

According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Phoenix roebelenii was found to get rid of common VOCs like xylene, toulene and formaldehyde from indoor air.

Pygmy Date Palm Related Plants

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

Pygmy Date Palm for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) from Etsy.

Pygmy Date Palm Care, Phoenix roebelenii Care

Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) Care Indoors

Pygmy Date Palm Light Requirements

Pygmy Date Palm grows best in bright, indirect light but can tolerate some light shade. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Pygmy Date Palm

Water Pygmy Date Palm thoroughly until water runs through the drainage hole and allow 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, Pygmy Date Palm, is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Do not allow your Pygmy Date Palm to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the palm.

Temperature for Pygmy Date Palm

Average warmth with a minimum of 120C is ideal for Pygmy Date Palm. If the temperature is comfortable for you it is ideal for your Pygmy Date Palm.

Protect Pygmy Date Palm from cold draughts as they can cause reduced growth. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Pygmy Date Palm

Moderate to high humidity is excellent for Pygmy Date Palm. Mist the leaves frequently or set the pot on a wet pebble tray during hot weather. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves of your Pygmy Date Palm with a gentle spray of water from a hose or spray bottle to get rid of dust. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Pygmy Date Palm

Feed Pygmy Date Palm monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer during the growing period. Water thoroughly until the solution comes out through the drainage holes.

Withhold feeding for your Pygmy Date Palm during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to repot Pygmy Date Palm

Repot Pygmy 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 for your Pygmy Date Palm. The soil should be free-draining and rich in organic matter.

How to prune Pygmy Date Palm

Pruning Pygmy 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 from your Pygmy Date Palm. Any frond with green continues to provide food (nutrients) to the plant.

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

Where Pygmy Date Palm seeds are not required, cut away the flower stalk immediately to prevent the plant from wasting energy on developing the flowers and seeds. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) Propagation

Pygmy Date Palm propagation is done exclusively from seeds. Seed germination can take up to 3 months and requires keeping the soil moist through out the period.

Buy beautiful and healthy Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) from Etsy.

How to propagate Pygmy Date Palm from seeds

Sow the Pygmy Date Palm seeds in moist soil and place in a warm place.

Keep the soil moist through out the period until germination takes place.

Move to cool shaded place after germination and maintain the soil moist until your new Pygmy Date Palm is well established.

Pygmy Date Palm Care, Phoenix roebelenii Care

Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) Problems Indoors

Why does my Pygmy Date Palm have leaves with brown tips?

There are four reasons for brown leaf tips in your Pygmy Date Palm. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors.

One reason for brown leaf tips in your Pygmy Date Palm is dry air (low humidity). Raise humidity for your Pygmy Date Palm by more frequent misting or set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second reason for brown leaf tips in your Pygmy Date Palm is underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times for your Pygmy Date Palm during the growing season.

Reduce watering for your Pygmy Date Palm during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

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

The fourth reason for brown leaf tips in your Pygmy Date Palm is is damage by touching. Place your Pygmy Date Palm from the line of traffic.

Why does my Pygmy Date Palm have yellowing of leaves?

Underwatering Pygmy Date Palm is the reason for yellowing leaves.

Water your Pygmy Date Palm 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.

Why does my Pygmy Date Palm have leaves with brown spots?

There are two possible causes of brown leaf spots on your Pygmy Date Palm. Remove the affected leaves and discard.

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

Ensure the pot for your Pygmy Date Palm has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

The second causes of brown leaf spots on your Pygmy Date Palm is sudden decrease of temperature due to cold draughts.

Protect your Pygmy Date Palm from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

Why does my Pygmy Date Palm have brown leaves?

The lower leaves of your Pygmy Date Palm may turn brown and droop due to age; remove by cutting and not pulling.

If the browning of the leaves of your Pygmy Date Palm is general and accompanied by rotting, the reason is root-rot disease due to soggy soil.

Which plant pests attack Pygmy Date Palm?

Pygmy Date Palm is rarely attacked by pests. However, common pests are Red Spider Mites, Scales and Mealy Bugs.

Regularly check underneath the leaves of your Pygmy Date Palm for these pests. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants.

Is Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) toxic?

The foliage of Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) is non-toxic to both humans and pets.

However, Pygmy Date 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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