Phoenix Roebelenii – Best Indoor Planting and Caring Tips


Phoenix roebelenii - Best Indoor Planting and Caring Tips

Latin Name: Phoenix roebelenii

Plant Type: Palm
  • Smallest of the date palms that are commonly grown, and able to stay indefinitely in a container.
  • The crown of feather leaves is spiny at the base, and up to about four feet (120cm) across in a plant that is starting to develop a trunk.
  • The solitary trunk is about four to six inches (10-15cm) in diameter, decorated with diamond-shaped remains of old leaves.
Origin: Africa, Tropical Asia
Environment: Suitable for the home or a greenhouse
Foliage: Yes
Flowering: No
Fragrant: No
Growing Ease: Requires a little extra care
Temperature: 16-29°C, 60-85°F
Humidity: High humidity
Lighting Needs: Does best in bright indirect sunlight coming from the South/East/West
Soil Type:
  • A GOOD general purpose potting soil (a soil that retains water yet drains well) will suffice.
  • Give the plants a chance to settle in before going back to whatever fertilization program has been successful for you. Check purchased soil to see that it is well aerated and add sand or perlite and peat moss if it seems to pack too tightly.
  • If you want to mix your own take: 1 part coarse sand or perlite, 1 part garden soil, 1 part moist peat or humus (leaf mold), and a light dusting of lime. Always use a pot with a hole.
Watering: Use warm water. Keep the soil evenly moist and if you use rainwater, be careful as it could be acidic. 
Fertilizer: Feed weekly during the spring and summer with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Plant Pests: Always inspect any new plant for pests before introducing it to your home or greenhouse. Prone to spider mites.
  • Seeds and suckers in the spring.
  • It is best to propagate seeds in a mixture of moist peat and perlite. Place in indirect sunlight or under a fluorescent light.
  • Cover the pot and plant with a plastic bag secured by a rubber band to prevent the moisture from escaping.
  • Repot in its regular mix after it has been growing for a while.
  • After removing suckers with roots attached plant them in the palm’s regular potting mix.
Gardening Tips & Care:
  • Mist occasionally with warm water (lime-free to avoid leaf staining).
  • Place pebbles or gravel in the drainage dish to hold water and increase the humidity, make sure the pot is sitting on the gravel and not in the water.
  • This plant does not like drafts or sitting in water.


Air Purifier: A good remover of formaldehyde and xylene from the surrounding atmosphere.
Is Genus: No

Dwarf Date Palm, Minature Date Palm, Pygmy Date Palm

Phoenix roebelenii, also known as miniature date palm or a pygmy date palm tree, is an attractive and popular decorative plant that’s easy to care for. Although it can grow tall, it often remains small, only reaching heights of 3 to 6 feet.

Because of its manageable size, it can often be seen in shopping centers and parks, as it thrives both indoors and outside. These palms can be planted in pots or outdoors in the gardens in regions without frost. With some maintenance, your phoenix roebelenii palm will please for years to come.

Soil Preparation 

Choose a general-purpose soil that retains moisture but drains well. Add peat moss or sand if the soil is not aerated enough. Consider mixing your own soil for the plant from 1 part garden soil, 1 part coarse sand, 1 part moist peat, and some lime. If planting in a pot, ensure the pot has a hole for adequate drainage.

Water and Irrigation

Add enough warm water to your palm to keep the soil moist. If you use rainwater, check to make sure it’s not acidic, which may inhibit the growth of your plant. Mist the fronds with warm water without lime, which may stain the leaves.

During the palm’s active growth period, increase watering. Decrease watering in the wintertime.

Ensure the potted palm never sits in the water. Instead, place the pot on top of gravel or pebbles in the draining dish. This will supply humidity to the plant.

Fertilizer and Nutrients

General Hydroponics Flora Grow Easy to use Affordable Widely available

Apply a water-soluble fertilizer to your palm about three times a year, in the spring, summer, and fall. If you’ve planted your palm in a pot, let the plant settle in before giving it fertilizer. During the active growth period, apply fertilizer once every 2 weeks.


Avoid placing your palm near a drafty door or pygmy date palm indoors window. Phoenix roebelenii prefers warm temperatures from 60 to 85 degrees.


Place your plant out of the direct sun for the best results. However, the phoenix roebelenii palm can do well in full sunlight outdoors.


Transfer the palm to a new larger pot every few years. Look for signs that the palm is outgrowing its pot such as small roots on the surface of the potting mix. When repotting, be careful not to force thicker roots, but pack the soil down firmly.


Prune your palm regularly throughout the year to maintain its health and appearance. However, take care not to overdo it. Using shears and gloved hands, cut off yellow, brown, or black-spotted diseased fronds.

Trim them about one to two inches from the trunk. The spikes can be razor-sharp, so take care to protect your hands, arms, and clothing.

In addition, cut off fronds at the bottom of the palm for a cleaner appearance. Clean your shears in alcohol before pruning the next palm tree. This will prevent you from spreading disease from one plant to another in your garden.


the pygmy date palm has sharp spikes that cause pain and bleeding if they puncture the skin. They can also cause infection. For this reason, avoid placing them in areas where adults, children, or pets may accidentally make contact with it.

How to Care for Dwarf Date Palm

Phoenix Roebelenii - Best Indoor Planting and Caring TipsThe dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) is also known as a miniature date palm or a pygmy date palm tree and requires basic pygmy date palm care in order to flourish.

It is the smallest variaty in the date palm family and originates from tropical areas of Southeast Asia and Africa.

The dwarf date palm has one solitary trunk that is usually between four and six inches in diameter. The trunk has a diamond texture in the shape of old leaves.

The dwarf date palm is a small version of the classic date palm seen in the tropics, and its small stature is perfect for use as a houseplant, in a garden, or in a greenhouse if you do not live in a tropical area.

The dwarf date palm is one of the most widely used in the United States. It can grow up to ten to twelve feet tall but grows so slowly that it is not a problem.

Planting Pygmy Date Palm

In order for your dwarf date palm to thrive, it needs a little extra pygmy date palm care. The temperature of the area where the dwarf date palm will reside needs to be between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (between 16 and 29 degrees Celsius).

Keep it away from drafts and air conditioners. The palm does best in high humidity and in bright, indirect sunlight with southeastern or western exposure. It does not do well in dim light.

You should plant your dwarf date palm in good-quality potting soil, meaning that it should both retain water well and drain as needed. If you decide to purchase soil, it should be well aerated and mixed. If it is packed too tightly, you will need to add sand or perlite (a type of volcanic glass) and peat moss.

If you would rather bypass the premixed store brands, you can mix your own soil by mixing equal parts of garden soil, sand or perlite, and moist peat moss or humus (the decomposed organic matter component of soil).

A light dusting of lime should then be added. Root rot occurs when the soil mix does not drain well. The pot you use should definitely have a hole for water drainage.

Watering and Fertilizer Tips

The dwarf date palm is the least drought tolerant of the date palm family. When you water your dwarf date palm, make sure the soil is always evenly moist. Rainwater could be acidic, so be careful if your date palm is in your outside garden.

If you water the palm yourself, you should use warm water. As mentioned above, root rot is a danger when the soil cannot drain, but will also occur if you overwater your phoenix roebelenii pygmy date palm.

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Make sure the dwarf date palm is settled into its new environment before you start using fertilizer. When the time comes, use a water-soluble fertilizer every week during the spring and summer.

It is recommended that you mist your date palm with warm water every now and then. The water you mist the plant with should be lime-free so it does not stain the green leaves. You can also place pebbles in the drainage dish to increase humidity. Make sure the palm never sits directly in water.

Caring for Phoenix Roebelenii

Pests and Other Considerations

The dwarf date palm is prone to small pests such as spider mites, a particularly pesky pest. If you buy a dwarf date palm, make sure you inspect it well for mites and other pests before you move it into your home, garden, or greenhouse.

If you notice that your date palm has spider mites, do not panic. First, understand what spider mites are. They are small bugs characterized by two spots on their backs. Spider mites are often considered one of the worst plant pests because their population multiplies at a very fast pace, so fast that it can catch you off guard.

First, you will need to isolate the palm from your other plants to prevent further infestation. Your best bet then is to retain humidity and increase the moisture. Also, keep the palm out of the late afternoon sun.

You can also use a 1:1 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol, but be careful not to use too much alcohol and cover the entire plant. You can also use pesticides, but they are not recommended since they can be harmful to your dwarf date palm.

You can take biological measures. Certain predatory mites will kill the spider mites and then feed on each other, wiping out the population. If you take precautions, however, you will most likely avoid any initial infestation.

Occasionally, you will need to prune the crown of any brown leaves to maintain its greenery. You must also make sure that, as your dwarf date palm grows, it has enough space. Household palms should be moved outdoors when they outgrow their indoor residences.

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