How Do You Take Care of a Pygmy Date Palm Tree?

Someone who wants to take care of a pygmy date palm tree should avoid watering it too much, not over prune it and use fertilizers that develop the right soil environment. In addition, it is necessary to ensure that it has the right amount of sun exposure, while protecting it from frost.

Ways to care for a pygmy date palm tree include:

  • Watering them, without overwatering them – While pygmy date palm trees do need regular watering, watering them too often can cause root rot.
  • Avoid over pruning – Palm trees in general are unlikely to flourish when deprived of their leaves. When the leaves are removed before turning completely brown, the plant suffers from a nutritional deficiency. To avoid stressing the plant, leave the leaves to grow. When trimming, pay particularly close attention to the crown.
  • Avoid letting the tree grow in an alkaline environment – Allowing this tree to grow in an alkaline environment can make the leaves yellow. Use a nitrogen-based fertilizer to develop the soil.
  • Ensure the tree benefits from the right weather conditions – Although these trees are tough, they do begin to suffer when they are exposed to too much frost. It is therefore important to shield them. In addition, ensure they are exposed to a mix of partial shade and full sun throughout the day.

Maintaining a pygmy date palm requires balancing the need to maintain a moist environment with preventing standing water around its roots. Planting the palm in a pot with drainage holes helps achieve this balance. Additionally, using a water meter or a finger to establish soil dryness to a depth of 2 inches signals the appropriate time to water. A fertilizer designed for palm trees applied according to package directions during active growth provides the nutrients necessary to keep the plant healthy.

Pygmy date palms are tropical and sensitive to changes in sunlight, wind and temperature. Partial shade outdoors and an east-facing window indoors provide consistent light, and a sheltered location away from drafts or wind protects the leaves. Unless within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones nine to 11, the palms must be over-wintered indoors. In extreme heat, a controlled environment such as a greenhouse prevents damage.

Preventing insect infestation entails inspecting and cleaning the leaves. Using water mist is the best approach because commercial cleaners dry and damage the fronds. Trimming dead fronds diverts energy back to new growth, and removing only brown leaves retains the nutrients stored in the green leaves.