Growth and Care of a Dwarf Date Palm
A dwarf date palm is the smallest type of date palms and is easier to plant and care for than other types of palms. It is characterized by a spiky brown trunk with long leaves that drape down to shade the length of the plant. This type of palm is ideal for more temperate and tropical climates, as it does not grow well in extreme cold or heat. Dwarf date palms are also an attractive plant for a smaller garden and yard or for a greenhouse.
Given the small size of dwarf date palms, they survive best in planters. When selecting a planter, make sure that there are holes on the bottom so that excess water can drain out easily. Use an all-purpose soil in the planter. Find a warm, damp spot with plenty of natural light.
Sunlight and Wind
Since they are tropical in nature, dwarf date palms thrive in direct sunlight. Decide which direction your yard gets the most sunlight from throughout the day and place the palm directly in its path. Dwarf date palms can stand up to windy conditions, but you might consider minimizing any damaging effects by moving the plant indoors during particularly windy days.
Water and Fertilizer
Dwarf date palms thrive in wet, humid conditions. Therefore, you must ensure that the soil is always moist. Use warm water and mist directly onto the soil from a watering can or hose. If you rely on rain water, make sure that the soil does not become saturated. If this is the case, move the palm away from direct rainfall. Fresh fertilizer should be added to the dwarf date palm once a week.
Dwarf date palms originate from Africa and the tropics. Therefore, the most ideal temperatures for the palm are between 65 and 85 degrees. If you live in a region of extreme heat, consider growing the palm in a temperature-controlled greenhouse. Unexpected cold temperatures will require extra preparation if the dwarf date palm resides outdoors. Over the palm with a burlap sack and remove once the temperature warms up again.
It is imperative that you utilize pest control around your home and yard to help protect your dwarf date palm from diseases spread by insects. Mites are among the most common types of bugs that date palms are susceptible to. Before purchasing and planting a dwarf date palm, make sure it is inspected thoroughly for any types of bugs. Insects like spiders can carry mites that can stay and live off of palms.
Clean the fronds of the dwarf date palm by misting warm water on them once a week. Avoid commercial leaf cleaners, as these can dry out the fronds, making them turn red and brown. Extreme weather conditions can cause parts of the leaves to turn color. If this is the case, clip off the tips.