( Phoenix Dactylifera )
Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm Origins:
– Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm is believed to have originated
in North Africa and the Middle East. One of the very few palms to produce dates in our
North Florida hot and humid climate the Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm will produce 1-3 inch long
edible fruits in large clusters providing both male and female palms are present in the same area.
Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm Preferred Exposure:
– Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm wll prefer a full sun location in
the North Florida landscape.
Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm Fronds | Trunk:
– Foliage of the Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm remains evergreen through
the winter in the North Florida landscape ( hardy for zones 9-11 and may sustain frond damage in zone
8) and sustains little to no winter damage in all but the very worst of our winter seasons.
– One of the most cultivated of all the Phoenix family of palms, the Phoenix
Dactylifera / True Date Palm has throughout history been sought after and cultivated into new location
for its fruits. Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm forms a large and stately head that
reaches as much as 20 ft from left to right when mature. The upright fronds extending from the crown of the
trunk may be up to 20 ft in length and are rather sparse giving the palm an overall light and feathery
– Long needle like thorns towards the base of the fronds closest to the
– Trunks of the Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm may eventually reach
30-100 ft in height depending on how many trunks are allowed to develop. Phoenix Dactylifera /
True Date Palms naturally have a multi trunked habit but are most often seen with the offshoots or pups
removed at the base to make a single trunked specimen.
– Old leaf fronds are removed completely from the trunk on the lowest portion
of the palm and left at the top near the foliage, they are then trimmed on an angle to expose the diamond shape
of the individual palm fronds.
Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm planted in the North Florida |
Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape will tolerate virtually any soil components, providing they are planted
into well drained soils.
– Salt tolerance is moderate and Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm palms may
in sites with coastal exposures.
Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm Size Variance:
– Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm palms can reach sizes of 30-100
feet H | and spreading 16-25 feet in width,
width will vary depending on the number of trunks that are allowed to
Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm Growth Habit:
– Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm has a stiff upright habit that is often
described as vase shaped.
Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm Growth Rate:
– Like much of the Phoenix family of palms, Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date
Palm palms are slow growing and may develop only 3-6 inches of trunk each growing season.
– Fronds develop length quickly and within 3-5 years after being planted from
the average 30 gallon palm you can expect your trunk to have a 2 ft
base and an overall height of 20 ft or more.
Canary Island Date Palm Bloom:
– Large white clusters on female palms are tucked in-between fronds and when
male palms are present in the same vicinity give way to orange fruits that are 1-3 inches in length and
great eaten fresh or dried.
Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm Water Requirements:
– Drought tolerant once established into the landscape. Take care to water well for
the first few months after being planted from and S & J Nursery container into the landcape.
– Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm will search out a water source and
the overall appearance of the palm will benefit from supplimental irrigation, especially when trying to get your
palm growing quickly.
Best Uses For Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm in the North Florida |
Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape:
– Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm is an excellent choice for a landscape
statement for larger yards and commercial buildings where their huge highly decorative heads can be fully
– Often seen planted as a street tree as their non invasive root system
doesn’t seem to mind being crowded into tight spaces.
– Large palms make a dramatic statement and are often seen as the focal point
of the landcape on commercial buildings and residential landscape subdivision entry ways etc.
Care of Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm:
– Phoenix Dactylifera / True Date Palm will need good water during the
establishment period and are drought tolerant once established into the landscape.
– Trim back damaged or older browned out fronds each year as needed at the base of
the stem to keep the plant at its best. Be sure to prune just past the last set of needle like thorns, removing
those thorns when pruning older fronds helps keep the trunk size uniform on all sides and much safer to be
MINIMUM PALM FERTILIZER REGIMEN – what you should be doing to keep your palm
– Fertilize each spring with a specially blended fertilizer for Palms, follow
manufacturers directions and apply 1/2 lb o 1lb of fertilizer per inch of diameter of trunk on your palm,
measured from a hands width above the ground level. That means for a 12 inch wide trunk from left to right you
would need 6-12 lbs of fertilizer for just that one palm!
– Fertilize every fall with magnesium sulfate ( Epsom Salt) to keep your palm
green and healthy through the winter months!
MAXIMUM PALM FERTILIZER REGIMEN – what you can do to get your palm up and growing
– Fertilize every three months with your choice of Palm fertilizer and
Magnesium Sulfate. Water 3-4 times per week and make sure to water thoroughly after each fertilizer
– Wait till fronds have turned completely brown before removing from the palm
as the palm will take back in the nutrients from those older leaves ad use it when forming new ones.
*CAUTION – DO NOT FERTILIZE NEWLY PLANTED
FIELD GROWN PALM TREES WITH PALM
Note : When planting smaller palms being grown in a container, this rule does not
apply, rather, use half the recommended application rate for your trunks diameter, as containered palms roots
have not been damaged or cut during planting but are still only a portion as large as they would be if the palm
had been growing in the ground and excess fertilizer on a confined root system is still not preferable for
Palm fertilizers are water soluable and will burn the new roots your palm tree is
trying to put out as it establishes itself into the landscape. It is best to use only poly coated plant food
that is heat release like Osmocote general purpose fertilizer or non
burning Milorganite in the first year in the landcape, and then the
following year, start your palm food regimen that will provide all of the minor nutrients that your palms will
need to keep them healthy and problem free in Florida’s soils.