Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Date Palm
Phoenix dactylifera

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

Synonym:Phoenix iberica

One vendor has this plant for sale.

11 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
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant is fire-retardant

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By buzunar
Thumbnail #1 of Phoenix dactylifera by buzunar

By palmbob
Thumbnail #2 of Phoenix dactylifera by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #3 of Phoenix dactylifera by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #4 of Phoenix dactylifera by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #5 of Phoenix dactylifera by palmbob

By buzunar
Thumbnail #6 of Phoenix dactylifera by buzunar

By buzunar
Thumbnail #7 of Phoenix dactylifera by buzunar

There are a total of 56 photos.
Click here to view them all!


5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive SuburbanNinja80 On Oct 15, 2011, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Allah Akbar, This palm Lives again. 2000 years later and we have it everywhere.

Positive mgmarcks On Jul 11, 2008, mgmarcks from Roseville, MI wrote:

I planted a small sprig and in three or four years had a magnificent fountain like palm shrub. A well meaning lawnscaper trimmed away the lower flowing branches and it is turning into a gorgeous tree. Can't decide which way I like it better. Very healthy with no care.

Positive cobra2326 On Dec 12, 2006, cobra2326 from Brooksville, FL wrote:

Interesting propogation information from the University of Florida:

Several date palm species, most notably the commercial date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, produce offsets or suckers at the base of the trunk. These can be cut from the parent plant and either planted in containers or planted directly in the ground. If no roots are present when the suckers are cut, the leaves should be reduced in number and/or size.

Neutral zsnp On Jun 19, 2005, zsnp from Pensacola, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This palm grows in zone 8b, but you will have to wrap the trunk with a blanket in January to keep it from freezing. If you don't pay attention to your date palm in zone 8b, you will eventually lose it which is a huge loss, because this palm is very expensive over here.

Positive Dobe On Aug 17, 2004, Dobe from Fresno, CA wrote:

The date palm, which give out tasty fruit, is a fine choice for a landscape tree. Although if you are around when your seed-grown one matures or have one of these palms, it would be a pain to obtain the fruit. Regardless if you are planning it to fruit you need a male and female, but even if you don't get any, it's still a nice tree. They love the warmth and dry climates. Here in Fresno California, they are every were! Litteraly, there is not a neighbor hood or near buildings, with out a date palm. Palmbob has a point. Even here they are trimmed and when that happens, it makes them look dull. Planting the seeds are not hard neither. My technique I just did for the first time about one or two weeks ago. First the day before, I soaked the seeds for 24 hours in room temp. water. Then what I did was got a ziplock baggie, and some new zealand sphagnum moss, I soaked it, and then squeezed it till no drops came out. Then I drained the water from the cup and took out the seeds, and mixed them with the baggie and moss. I zipped up the baggie containing the seeds in the moist (not wet) moss. Then choose a really hot place in your house. I used my garage, during the day it gets incredibly hot in there. Check on them every few days. Be sure to keep them OUT of direct sunlight (it will roast them) It just so happends that yesterday afternoon, I went to check on them and they had little roots. The roots will burst out in the middle on the side without the parting line.

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

This is the edible date palm. IT is a wonderful specimen palm for any garden in the Southern US, from California to Florida. It has an attractive blue-green coloration of the leaves (more so in the drier climates) and a very tall, ornamental 'woven' trunk look to it. It can grow up to about 80' of trunk, perhaps more. It loves hot, dry climates, but can do great in humid climates, as well (for edible dates to be produced, you need a hot, dry climate normally). It is dioecious (needs male and female trees to make fertile seed). It is a suckering palm, though in cultivation, most keep trimming away the suckers to give it that monolithic look. Without trimming, it can become a very difficult palm to deal with, having sharp spines and sharp tips to the leaflets. THis is one of the faster growing palms you can get in the US.

The source of this species is probably northern Africa, but it has been in cultivation so long (over 5000 years), true wild populations are hard to identify. It is thought by some to be a cultivated form of Phoenix theophrastii, aslo from Northern Africa and Crete.

Dozens of cultivars have been created, some which are grown extensively in California's Coachella Valley, an ideal climate for date palms (hot and dry and rarely freezes).

Like all Phoenix species, Date palms are dioecious (separate male and female plants). In cultivation, usually one male palm (called a Macho Date Palm) is planted in the center of a large number (50 or more) female date palms (that produce the fruit) as the pollen source. It is a suckering species, and if not kept pruned can become a huge mess of trunks and impenetrable, spiny leaves. It is the suckers that are produced that are usually taken off and propagated to continue a line of a certain variety, so that not only the variety can be continued and refined, but the sex of the plant will be known (all suckers are the same sex as the parent)


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

, (2 reports)
Laveen, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Fresno, California
Hayward, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
San Diego, California
San Marino, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Union City, California
Brooksville, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Denham Springs, Louisiana
La Place, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Conway, South Carolina
Baytown, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas
La Villa, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Mission, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Sullivan City, Texas

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America