Pygmy date palms need regular trimming to look their best. Wear protective eyewear when pruning. Trimming requires pruning shears, a ladder, gloves, rubbing alcohol and rags, and it can be completed in one afternoon.
- Remove discolored fronds
Use the pruning shears to remove brown or yellowing fronds. Start at the bottom of the crown, and work your way up. Cut one leaf at a time until you reach healthy leaves.
- Remove diseased fronds
Inspect the plant for diseased fronds. Remove any fronds that have brown or black spotting on them. Apply rubbing alcohol to the pruning shears before moving on to another tree, wiping them off with a rag. This helps prevent the spread of disease. Rake up any cut fronds, and dispose of them promptly.
- Trim lower fronds
Cut off any old leaf debris and fibers from the woody trunk to increase the visibility of the knobs of the trunk. Trim just below the main fronds to increase the resemblance of the palm to a pineapple shape. Remove any lower fronds that are not horizontal to the ground. Some pygmy palms may form suckers at the base. Trim the suckers to avoid the development of multiple trunks. Multiple trunks can result in competition for nutrition.