Pygmy Date Palm

A Beginner's Guide to Pygmy Date Plant Care | All you Need to Grow

Family: Areacaceae          
Common Name: Pygmy Date Palm, Roebelenii Palm, Miniature Date Palm
Botanical Name: Phoenix roebelienii

The Pygmy Date Palm is a canopy of soft fronts supported by a single earth-tone trunk (careful of its small spines!) that creates a canopy of delicate, strap-like foliage displayed in a radical formation. This slow-growing indoor palm (mature height up to 6') requires a spot with bright indirect light for most of the day, preferably near a south or west-facing window. The Phoenix robelenii (the botanical name) looks best when displayed solo, so you can appreciate its form and structure or in a clump (think -- creating your oasis!). Their care is simple. Water the soil thoroughly when dry and rotate the pot in a clock-like turn once a week to prevent the foliage from leaning towards the light source. We like our preserve our Pygmy Date Palm's curvy figure!

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Give your Pygmy Date Palm as much indirect light as possible. It will grow faster and stay green and vibrant when it has access to at least 6 hours of very bright indirect sunlight each day. Avoid placing this plant in the sun’s direct rays, especially in the summer when the sun’s rays are intense. You can still have your Pygmy Date Palm plant in your home if you have a light-challenged space. The caveat is that it will not grow fast or large, but the good news is, is that it won’t need to be watered as much!


Pygmy Date Palms are thirsty! They have a lot of leaf surface area and they transpire moisture throughout the day. Depending on the environment, you may need to water your plant once a week or every other day. Keep an eye out for dry soil and water the soil slowly to give the soil time to absorb the moisture. Soak all soil areas evenly and ensure that all the water drains from the pot. The roots should never sit in a puddle of water, as this will cause root rot. 


To thrive, ensure you provide your Pygmy Date Palm plant soil that is well-draining. This plant prefers soil that lets the water to drain easily out, and doesn’t become waterlogged. We recommend sandy loam or a mix of potting soil and sand that works for good drainage. The soil pH level should be between 6.0 and 7.0 and should be a bit acidic to neutral. Also, the soil should be rich in organic matter, as that is helpful for the soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability.


Pygmy Date Palms are sensitive to cold. The ideal range for this plant is between 70-95°F – this plant likes it hot! The warmer it is, the more likely it will continue to grow but beware of extreme periods of heat, as this can dry out the soil very quickly! It is good to move it to a shady spot during heat waves to prevent excessive moisture loss! If you keep your plant outside, make sure you bring it back inside for the nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees.


Pygmy Date Palms LOVE the moist air. If you can keep the humidity levels over 50% in the air space around it, all should be fine! Preferably, this plant should be in humidity levels that are between 50% and 70%. Any signs that the leaves look brown around the edges are an indication that your humidity levels are too low! Learn how to increase the humidity for your indoor plants!


You should be fertilizing your Pygmy Date Palm every 2 to 4 months for growing outdoors, and 4 to 6 weeks indoors, during the growing season (spring and summer)! We recommend using a balanced, slow-release palm fertilizer or a fertilizer that is specifically made for palm trees. Check the packaging for a fertilizer with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium of around 8-2-12 (or something that is similar to it). When you apply the fertilizer to your Pygmy Date Palm plant, make sure to spread it evenly over the soil surface and also avoid putting it near the base of the plant or on the plants’ fronds. Then, you should water the plant carefully after applying the fertilizer to help it with reaching the plants roots!

Growth Rate

Pygmy Date Palm plants are fast-growing plants! This plant can reach a mature height ranging from 4 to 6 feet. However, some Pygmy Date Palms may even grow taller than this mature height and some could grow a bit smaller. This is dependent on their specific environment and genetic factors.

Pet Friend or Foe

Pygmy Date Palm plants are considered to be pet friendly! Friend!

Pro Tips

  1. Ensure you water your Pygmy Date Palm frequently so that the soil stays evenly moist, but don’t let it become waterlogged.
  2. When fertilizing your plant, always follow the directions on the specific packaging you are using. Make sure to not over-fertilize your plant as it can cause nutrient imbalances.
  3. Pruning your Pygmy Date Palm is very beneficial. Trim off the brown or yellow fronds to keep the plant’s appearance and overall health. Use sharp pruning shears to prevent damage to your plant!
  4. Repot your plant when it becomes root-bound or outgrows its current container that it’s in.

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