What is a Dwarf Date Palm?

Ken Black

A dwarf date palm is a species of palm that is relatively small compared to other types of palms. The dwarf date can be placed in a variety of settings, including indoors and outdoors. For those who love palm trees but live in the North, this may be the best option. They do well in potted environments and prefer to have a little shade. The tree is native to Southeast Asia, but has been imported and established a presence in many other tropical regions of the world, and in other locations as indoor plants.


A dwarf date palm is one of the most popular varieties in the United States, partially because they can be moved inside and outside with very few problems. Also, for a tropical plant, they are remarkably hardy in cold weather, being able to survive temperatures as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit (-7° Celsius). However, the plants should be brought indoors when the temperature starts to get near the freezing mark, just to ensure that there is no stunted growth or other adverse effects.

A dwarf date palm, also known as a pygmy date palm, can grow up to 10 feet (3.05 meters), but it does so very slowly. The container it is in may also have some effect on its growth rate. In fact, some in containers may only reach a size of six feet (1.8 meters). While this can be a relatively large house plant, it is one that is capable of being accommodated in most homes.

The dwarf date palm also has a number of distinctive features that especially attract those who are interested in palm trees. The trees often have a curved trunk, a distinction that some palm trees have but others do not. A dwarf date palm can also have multiple trunks. Finding double, or even triple, trunks is not uncommon.

There is nothing truly outstanding about the palm fronds themselves, though those considering purchasing the dwarf date palm should understand there are some rather pointed thorns at the base of each frond. These have the potential to be very uncomfortable if touched unaware and therefore should try to be avoided. Any children in the household should be warned about these thorns and shown where they are.

The dwarf date palm is a relatively easy maintenance plant, once it is protected from colder temperatures. As a tropical plant, the tree should be watered regularly as it is not very tolerant of drought-like conditions. Its fruit produces very little litter and it creates very little waste.

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Discussion Comments


my pygmy palms have yellow leaves.. and seem to have a white substance on the new growth..help


my dwarf date tree has turned brown, is that normal in winter?


dwarf pygmy palms, what is considered regular watering? i have 6 new plants 4 doing great 2 seem dry and wilted. don't want to overwater.

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