Saturday, December 5, 2009

Phoenix roebelenii, Dwarf Date Palm

A low maintenance landscape of Dwarf Date Palm, (rear) Cycas revoluta, Sago Palm in front and rosettes of Agave attenuata to the left.

This is one of my favourite palms as it is will grow in sun or shade, live happily in a container and is tolerant of dry conditions one established.  It forms a well shaped graceful specimen of about 2.5 metres. If grown in partial shade it will lean towards the sun but this does not detract from its overall appearance. The only drawback to growing it is that the leaf fronds have long spines where they join the trunk which can spike you when pruning off old leaves. Exposing the trunk in this way means you can attach orchids or bromeliads which can take advantage of the textured bark to establish themselves. Mature specimens are sometimes available for sale and it is worth paying a big price to achieve instant impact in a landscaping project.
It is native to tropical Laos but is adaptable to more temperate climates and will grow well indoors. There are few problems in growing this Palm but mealy bug may be an issue if growing it indoors. Misting the leaves with a foliar fertilizer to keep it in good order and a yearly dressing of a slow release plant food suitable for palms helps keep it looking good.


  1. These palms look great with the cycads. Ian McMaugh and I were doing some maintenance in a garden with a Phoenix roebellenii. Those spikes are vicious! One got me in the back!

  2. I do like this palm, even when they are small. They have a really elegant look. I am crazy about those agaves, too!

  3. How lush and exotic! What wonderful creatures ... makes me wish I had a southern garden so I could grow them. Beautiful. Carol