Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Date Palm
Phoenix dactylifera 'Medjool'

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phoenix (FEE-niks) (Info)
Species: dactylifera (dak-ty-LIF-er-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Medjool

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is fire-retardant

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From hardwood heel cuttings
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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4 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral cordycep On Oct 16, 2013, cordycep from Sacramento, CA wrote:

had it for a year. 5 feet. 10" trunk.
DId not know it needs alot of water until near the end of growing season. Now I water alot every 3 day.

Positive Dopplerdave On Apr 6, 2013, Dopplerdave from Pearl, MS wrote:

Growing well in the open yard planted in the ground 3 years now. Never covered or protected from 23f temps and still growing strong. Ridgeland is 10 miles north of Jackson, about 170mi north of the Gulf of Mexico.

Positive tmccullo On Sep 30, 2012, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

We have two of them that have been in the ground for about 6 years. One had a small crop of huge dates this year. They don't seem to be very picky about the soil and get lots of water and do just fine. They have easily survive a 19 degree winter with no problems.

Positive Fires_in_motion On Feb 11, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Probably the greatest tree in the world.

Neutral CGall30198 On Jan 11, 2010, CGall30198 from Alpharetta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I am experimenting with this palm. They sell them at Lowes as cold Hardy palms and since the recent cold weather we are getting it is being put to the test. So far it has major leaf burn with the temps being in the teens with wind chill's in the single digits. Pine straw at the base and Christmas lights around the top for protection. We will have to wait and see what happens when the weather warms up here this spring. (Zone 8a)

Neutral palmbob On Dec 16, 2009, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This variety of date palm originated in the Middle East, but is rapidly becoming one of the primary varieties grown and sold in California. Often called the 'Cadillac of Dates'.. the fruits are very large for date fruits and are exceptionally soft and sweet (a tad too sweet to me). Most dates sold simply for eating (and not part of some candied product) now in California are this variety.

Positive mlm1974 On Aug 30, 2007, mlm1974 from Spring, TX wrote:

This tree does not like standing water from heavy rains, plant it in an open area of your yard (imagine a 40 ft circle with no other trees) that has some slope. It likes sandy, loamy, nuetral soil (mix in a soil conditioner with mg/mn when planting) and organic manure type feedings during growing months only. Like many palms, the medjool drinks water as it is flowing by, it does not do well in low lying areas where water ponds. Light freezes do not harm dactylifera. your queen palms and pygmy dates will show damage before the true date does. Mine seem to be growing fast, about half the rate of my mexican fan, but faster than what many websites say.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Queen Creek, Arizona
Sacramento, California
Brandon, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Gretna, Louisiana
Houma, Louisiana
Metairie, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana (3 reports)
Vacherie, Louisiana
Ridgeland, Mississippi
Alvin, Texas
Houston, Texas
Spring, Texas (2 reports)

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