Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Canary Date Palm
Phoenix canariensis

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phoenix (FEE-niks) (Info)
Species: canariensis (kuh-nair-ee-EN-sis) (Info)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
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

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

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 114 photos.
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20 positives
6 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive IlhadoPico On Oct 15, 2014, IlhadoPico from Sao Roque do Pico
Portugal (Zone 11) wrote:

These grow fine on Pico Island, Azores.

Positive beau99 On Jun 1, 2014, beau99 from Benton, LA wrote:

I live in Benton, Louisiana just outside of Shreveport in Zone 8a. I was told I couldn't grow a Canary Island date palm in this area, but I love proving people wrong...and I did! I grew the tree from a seedling about 15 years ago and it has grown huge and beautiful! It is now about 20 feet tall. It has suffered frond damage after a few very cold winters with temps down into the teens for a few nights, but it recovered with no problem! It is true that this tree grows very wide before it starts to grow up. It is also true that the spines are EXTREMELY sharp and dangerous! I have to take extreme care when pruning old fronds, but for me it's worth it to have this beautiful tree in my yard!

Positive DaveTorquay On Feb 20, 2014, DaveTorquay from Torquay
United Kingdom (Zone 10b) wrote:

An extremely common palm here in Torquay, infact I think every single street has at least 12 planted. I did have one in my garden, but had it taken out as my back passage is on the small side and the leaves were pricking people as they walked past (it was also a pain when I tried to sunbathe nude in my garden, literally). Very fast growing, a seedling planted in the ground will be around 20ft and fruiting in approximately 5 years and 2 months here. They self seed profusely and I am constantly weeding out seedlings from my side border, as well as my tubs out front. Torquay is the only place you will now find this palm in the UK, after winter 2010 they died everywhere, including on the Scillies I believe (as it got much colder there). There is a mature specimen located by the railway line in town, the only mature specimen in the whole of western Europe. It was planted in 1876 by Reginald B. Hawkings, an engineer from Paignton. I'm sure he would be highly amused that this palm now towers over Torquay, if he wasn't dead that is. Seedlings from this palm spread all over Tor bay, carried by seagulls (I expect) specimens in Brixham & Paignton were all killed in 2010 however, but not a single one was damaged in Torquay, well it didn't get a frost here, so you know. The council here don't actually plant any, they employ a staff of 30 to weed them out, a few are left and those are the ones you can see about the town. When they get to around 15ft tall they are removed and then new ones allowed to sprout, that is why there are no other mature specimens. They love the long hot summers in Torquay (the warmest in the UK) and are so common that I actually hate them now, I only give a positive as they remind me of a visit to Majorca in my youth.

Positive hoitider On Oct 2, 2013, hoitider from Emerald Isle, NC wrote:

I purchased three of these palms two years ago one is at the end of my septic tank field getting the nutrients and water from that and is outstanding,tremendous growth,gets afternoon sun, the other two are in different locations and are no where near as nice.apparently the like moisture and nutrients,I have four other types of palms and my livingston chinensis,chinese fan pals are now 12 ft and looking grat they did not shed their leaves this year, guess we are moving into zone 8 or 9,my butias palms are out standing ,needle pals are nice sabal palm just bought 12 ft will see what it does ,my chamacrops humilis shrub palms are abot 8 ft high and five wide doing nicely,mt saw palmeto silver are slow my lady palms did not make it,my washington robusta mexican fan palms are doing grate six ft tall and five wide,windmill palms are doing fine,this collection of palms in zone 8 were experemental

Positive palmScott On Jul 31, 2012, palmScott from Portsmouth
United Kingdom wrote:

Phoenix canariensis are very commonly planted all around Portsmouth, with some large specimens planted close to the beach. They have survived the last few cold winters we have had in the UK without damage here & I would consider them hardy in this location. They also have survived in central London & other sheltered locations along the south coast, including the Isle of Wight, Channel Islands & Scilly Isles.

They grow big very fast here & are not suitable for small gardens, but they are cheap & readily available from all garden centres & D.I.Y sheds.

All in all an ideal fast growing palm for the mildest locations in the UK.

Positive sherizona On Apr 9, 2012, sherizona from Peoria, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Very easy palm to care for in the desert southwest. They tend to grow out before they grow up and palmbob is right, those big needles can pack a punch so be careful pruning. Softens hard concrete walls that seem to be everywhere here, just mind the mature size. Many plant this palm in their postage-stamp-sized lots and after a few years wish they chose a pygmy instead. You really need a good-sized space for this graceful giant.

Positive Tropicalnikko On Mar 20, 2011, Tropicalnikko from Brisbane bayside
Australia (Zone 11) wrote:

This palm grows well pretty much anywhere in Australia. Great hardy palm suitable for all big gardens.

Neutral peejay12 On May 10, 2010, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

Although not as hardy as Butia capitata, this palm has become quite popular with gardeners in coastal parts of Cornwall, where (amazingly) it seems to thrive. In the UK it seems to grow faster than Butia and is a lot cheaper to buy. It seems to show more signs of rot (brown spots on the base of new leaves) after the winter than Butia.

Although the largest specimens in the southwest may survive, I think most of the others will perish in our first really hard winter. Even large plants are only (claimed to be) hardy down to -10C.

The leaves will reach over 4m long, so a plant will cover an area the size of a house (even before the trunk forms !) so a lot of thought needs to go into positioning this giant.

This is a plant for very large gardens and municipal plantings. In Penzance many large (but not very tall) plants can be seen, such as beside the quay car park,outside the town hall, and in the gardens near the art gallery, and in the Queen Mary Gardens at Falmouth (although these suffer from the sea winds).

Positive paulrintexas On Apr 23, 2010, paulrintexas from Friendswood, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I planted two of these palms five years ago that were in 45 gallon containers. I'm right on the border of zone 9a/9b. I brought them home in the back of a pickup. Although they are a slow growing palm, mine are getting very large. They need a lot of room and mine now measure about 20' across. They are truly a beautiful palm tree.
We had the hardest winter in 15 years this year with 5 nights of temps in the 20s. One night was right at 20*. The palms suffered little damage other than the fronds were a little burned. Be VERY careful when pruning. The spines are unforgiving and will pierce easily thru a leather glove. I have been stabbed twice and the pain several hours later was excruciating.

Neutral donnacreation On Mar 21, 2010, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This palm requires partial winter protection (xmas lights and frost cloth) here in central SC. I protected mine in Dec and removed the frost cloth 2 months later in mid Feb. It seems cold hardier than several phoenix sylvestris dates I planted and protected at the same time. Since removing its winter protection, this palm has withstood temps down to 24f and many heavy frosts with no damage, while the frond tips on the sylvesters are a little burnt.

Positive stephenp On Nov 14, 2009, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

This palm is one of the most architectural there is, and is gaining massive popularity around the UK, although tends to be only confined to coastal areas, although some grow a little inland.

Biggest ones occur on the south coast, and on the Isles of Scilly (eq. USDA zone 9B/10A)

Here where I live (zone 9a) CIDP's rarely get winter damage if at all, and they are becoming frequent in peoples gardens, there are a few fairly large specimens around too, which have been growing for the last decade or so. The main problem is that people are relatively inexperienced with these palms and therefore plant them next to walls, not realising their potential size.

A great plant definitely a positive.

Positive ArchAngeL01 On Mar 16, 2009, ArchAngeL01 from Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is my favorite palm probrobly , it defoliates here a lil in winter but recovers rapidly i seen HUGE one in charleston and it AMAZED me

Positive JamesPark On Feb 19, 2009, JamesPark from Auckland
New Zealand (Zone 9a) wrote:

Now surpassing Trachycarpus fortunei in popularity here in the southwest UK, specimens are beginning to mature now and many small gardens have been taken over by these palms. They grow steadily all throughout the year due to our constant rainfall although the recent freeze has damaged the foliage of many plants. I have had a spear pull on two seedlings! Their potential is now being recognised and plants are beginning to be planted by councils across the country.

Positive agentdonny007 On Oct 8, 2008, agentdonny007 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 8b) wrote:

Grows with little care. Very gorgeous specimen but does require good space in the yard! One of the largest palms seen through the Las Vegas valley and many hotel/casinos utilize it's tropical appeal to create oasis style landscapes. Fronds can receive slight burn in cold winters, but definitely one of my favorite palms:)

Positive cazieman On Oct 29, 2007, cazieman from Seattle, WA wrote:

i have a 2 year old seedling from a plam in Sochi, Russia, it is doing good so far, slow growing though.

Positive 1cros3nails4gvn On Apr 17, 2007, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

these are popular palms here in the Lowcountry of S.C. Although for some reason the Lowcountry is classified as 8a/8b, which is incorrect for most of the region, because the winters are more like 8b and 9a and even higher on islands and near the beach or marsh (on Hilton Head to 10a in some places). this palm is popular here in residential landscapes and it is fining its way into commercial landscapes, as well as the pygmy date and sylvester date (wild date palm). canary dates hardly get damaged if at all during hard freezes. most palms here are small because to the residential landscapes they are not that readily available in large sizes like they are to commercial landscapes. if one wants a tall palm here, they get a palmetto which go for as low as $210 for a 10-18 foot stripped palm.

Positive WebInt On Jan 1, 2007, WebInt from Vista, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very easy palm to transplant. Large mature trees are great back drops for pools and often used for this reason. Make sure you do not get females plants. Most providers will want to push a female on you. They are not as desirable and they usually have a lot of them. So someone looking for a plant that has no idea will be sold a female. Females are messy and you will be picking up fruit out of the pool almost year round. Considering that most CIDPs that are large enough to walk under will run you $5000 and up, it is worth taking your time and start your search early for the right plant.

Due to the width of the crown it also makes a great palm for canopy cover for the smaller rare palms. But that is one expensive canopy!

Positive Jay9 On May 19, 2006, Jay9 from Jersey
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Several specimens growing in Jersey (the original one, in Britain) Zone 8b. 49oNorth. Largest are 50 years old. We are surrounded by sea and only get the odd night below -3oC, but short winter days this far North and wet!

Neutral jdiaz On Feb 20, 2006, jdiaz from Chowchilla, CA wrote:

i have dozens of these growing all over my yard because i live on a street lines with canary date palm. very attractive palm when it has formed a trunk but not really before that.

Neutral zsnp On Apr 28, 2005, zsnp from Pensacola, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I am in Pensacola, Florida. Date palm grows well in my area (zone 8b), but you have to cover the trunk with a blanket in December and January. The freezing cold will destroy this tree if you neglect it just once.

Neutral thrinax01 On Feb 15, 2005, thrinax01 from Salt Spring Island
Canada wrote:

Phoenix c. are grown as an experimental species in our zone 8b climate and some of them have managed to survive for several years unprotected. I do know of one growing in town since the Spring of 1999 and it seem to be just thriving. However it is growing right beside the ocean so it can feel the full maderating affect the Winter months. Personally I've lost numerous Phoenix over the years, but I may try one more time. The nicest specimens I've photographed in the Pacific North West were located in Brookings, Oregon on the south coast. They seemed to be every where once I started driving down side streets. The crowns were massive and the trunks were thick. They were decades old monsters and I've never even seen tham that full and with such thick trunks in southern California. The oldest I came across was planted in 1954. I also spotted two very large Phoenix in Gold Beach 27 miles north of Brookings, and they also looked great. I wouldn't mind to have one that size on my property. They are a beautiful palm indeed! By the way, many other species of palms are grown on our island with no problems at all. ature T.fortunei are common and there are some very nice Chamaerops as well.Banana Joe, Salt Spring Island, B.C.

Positive vegasguy On Dec 4, 2004, vegasguy from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

my favorite palm, does very well in las vegas. often seen at car dealers, upscale office buildings. unfortunately, most of the ones i see at homes are neglected. they look fantastic when professionally trimmed. mature grade a canaries are $4-6 thousand + planting here

Positive angelam On Apr 7, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

This palm always looks its best no matter how dry the Summer. I think they loose some of their charm when the dead fronds are pruned away, as they lose the ball like shape of the canopy. I accept that they have to be pruned as street trees, because of the risk of a falling fronds and the spines. However the one in our lawn always drops old fronds on a windy day and they pose no problem. The spines are filthy. In our palm many small birds nest and roost in the frond bases, presumably for the protection the spines give, but they leave them encrusted,and needing careful handling.

Neutral fairch On Sep 21, 2003, fairch from Watsonville, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Be careful of the spines at the base of the frons. I once stabbed myself with one, and the pain was excruciating. Either the spine is poisoned by the plant, or some toxic organism on the spine got injected by the stab. Be warned.

Positive palmbob On Jul 7, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is the classic avenue palm in Southern California (aside from the Mexican Fan Palm)- there are thousands of them lining the streets all over Los Angeles. It is one of the fastest growing, largest and hardiest palms you can grow. It seems to like Mediterranean climates better than tropical ones- those grown in Florida always look a bit anemic to those in drier climates. Once established it needs no water, and will look good in high heat and freezing cold.

It does have a few drawbacks, however. Until the crown grows over your head, or the roof of your home, you will need to contend with long, spiny leaves, the base of which have strong, sharp spines that look like darning needles up to 2 feet long that can easily penetrate the toughest clothing- even leather... so careful when pruning! It also is susceptible to Fusariam Wilt, a fungal disease that is spread by pruning with 'infected' shears/pruners. All those pruning multiple palms are urged to clean the instruments with bleach or something that kills the fungus.

Positive Chamma On Mar 27, 2003, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have just finished a project for a client where I used a canary date palm in a huge planter. The temps can reach up to 45C here and lots of hot winds. I chose the canary palm because it makes a wonderful specimen plant and it withstands heat and sun!


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

Daleville, Alabama
Dothan, Alabama
Enterprise, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Orange Beach, Alabama
Summerdale, Alabama
Mesa, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (3 reports)
Queen Creek, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Superior, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Amesti, California
Chowchilla, California
Concow, California
Encino, California
Fairfield, California
Fresno, California
Fullerton, California
Granite Bay, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Martinez, California
Oceanside, California
Redding, California
Reseda, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Leandro, California
San Rafael, California
Santa Barbara, California
Saratoga, California
Stockton, California
Union City, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Odessa, Florida
Patrick Afb, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Tavares, Florida
Benton, Louisiana
Denham Springs, Louisiana
La Place, Louisiana
Lafitte, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Vacherie, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada (4 reports)
Deming, New Mexico
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Brookings, Oregon
Beaufort, South Carolina
Bluffton, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Islandton, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Alice, Texas
Austin, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Friendswood, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Portland, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Shoreline, Washington

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