Pygmy Date Palm, Robellini Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Pygmy Date Palm, Robellini Palm
Phoenix roebelenii

The Huntington Botanical Gardens

Thumbnail by growin
East Lake, FL

Pygmy Date Palm, Robellini Palm
We have this Palm with triple 'trunks. It was planted eleven (11) years ago in Palm Harbor, Fl. which is in Pinellas zone 9. It is close to zone 10. It is 5 to 6 foot tall.
This has been absolutely beautiful with no problems such as insects, etc. It is planted on
the South side of the house close to a window and loves the sun and is protected from the
cold. Last year we had a terrible, unexpected cold snap 3 times and lost some 'cold hearty' plants. Our 'screw pine' suffered badly but survived. The Robellini did not suffer at all. We did not cover it as it is well estabalished.
We have regular maintance by a chemical company and have been very careful as to 'who' and 'how' it is trimmed. I have viewed the pictures you have and thank you for them as they are very helpful to people. I will put my list of the pictures where the plant has been pruned properly and add a list of those that have been what I call, 'scalped' at the bottom of my post.
When 'scalped' the plant goes into a form of shock and it takes quite a long time to recover but it does recover, unless the 'head' has been taken off.
The 'heart breaker' for us is that we had to change yard help (gardners or who does the lawn and plants) this past week.
After careful consideration, very definite discussion concerning all the needs of all plants we have we did hire a 'Landscaping Contractor'. Walking around yard and all plants he was told exactly how to and how not to trim the Robellini. He was told we do not allow 'Round Up' to be used. We also use hand pruners, never electric machines.
Tuesday the lawn was cut to specification 4 1/2" and done correctly.
My husband and I are both disabled and can not do the yard at all even though we know
what and how to care for it.
Thursday the man and crew of one started pruning the yard plants. Before we knew or could stop him he had 'scalped' our Robellini horribly. Robellinis grow in rows that alternate around the trunk. He cut off four rows of all three trunks and was starting on the fifth row when I got to him. This he did with the 'forbidden' electric rotating trimmer and did so quickly that it took him only a few minutes sto cause damage that will take a yeqr or two to recover. Let me explain that the reason I spent so much deliberate time concerning this plant is that the yard trimmers all through zone 9 are 'scalping' all Robellinis. They think this will save them time in the long run. It cost him the job. He was paid in advance. This is something I have never done before and will not do again.
The pictures you have for viewing: The ones that are done correctly in our estimation are the ADK Spirit pic (1st one), dstick7 amd grpwim.
The ones 'scalped' are: palmbob, Scqarlite and Cactus lover. Compare and see for yourself.
We did lose on Robellini 3 years ago when our 'then gardner' sprayed round-up around it.
If or when this is done Round-Up kills everything it touches and the ground can not be planted again safely for apx. 6 months.
Thank you for the opportunity to share. We hope to help others who are trying to care properly for the wonder of plants.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Hi Shoilee,

That's great info for other owners of Phoenix roebelenii. As my pics were at a Botanical Garden (Huntington Botanical Garden), your helpful comments would be great to add to the plantfile here: so that other gardeners can benefit from your experience.


Laguna Beach, FL

Question. I live in Northwest Florida. My plant has not leaves on it. Inside the top of the plant, I can pull pieces of the inside out with no resistance. I was told I have bud rot and I have treated the large tree with copper and another fugnicide I got at Lowes. Should I just cut this on limb off. I can not pull the tops of of the outher to limbs of this tree.
What should I do? It is a large tree and I would like to try to save it. I don't think it is weather damaged because others in my neighborhood have leaves on their Pygmy Palms already.
Please advise.

noonamah, Australia

In cooler climates you have to avoid overhead watering of Phoenix roebelenii, that's what starts the crown rot. Probably best to leave it as is now and see if it recovers. Putting fungicide on it is probably the best thing you could have done so now just wait. It may take some time to recover.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)


Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.