How to Look After a Date Palm Tree

Updated February 21, 2017

Date palm trees (Phoenix dactylifera) are the oldest fruit trees cultivated by man. Grown in warm and sunny climates around the world, date palm trees are hardy to -7.78 degrees C; date trees prefer a tropical climate, however they are resistant to cold snaps and will survive a brief freeze. This enables date palms to be cultivated in climates in which many other palms will not survive. Date Palms are low maintenance, drought- and disease-resistant, and easy to grow.

Date palm trees have fat, sturdy trunks, fan-like broad leaves and delicious fruit. They provide an abundance of shade and historically have been planted around desert oasis locations. Add a tropical touch to your landscape with the addition of date trees.

Test your soil. Take a soil sample to your local state extension office or landscape centre to evaluate the nutrient content of the soil.

Adjust the soil as indicated. Soil low in nitrogen can cause deformed and yellowed leaves, stunted growth and low fruit production.

Fertilise three to four times per year. Date palm trees are vigorous growers and will benefit from regular feedings. Use an organic fertiliser and follow package instructions. A slow-release fertiliser that will provide fertiliser slowly over a period of months is the best choice.

Apply a three- to four-inch layer of organic compost to the top of the soil around the base of the trees to slowly add nutrients as the compost decomposes.

Cover the compost layer with a two- to three-inch layer of organic mulch. Straw, aged non-treated sawdust, shredded newspaper or torn strips of cardboard may be used to retain moisture and control weeds.

Top dress the area with a one- to two-inch layer of pine bark or decorative pebbles.

Water regularly. Date palm trees have very deep roots and are quite drought-tolerant but will benefit from watering during dry periods.


Date palm trees are fairly fast-growing with large root systems. Plant your tree where it will not interfere with other trees, utility lines or underground pipes.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic compost
  • Organic mulch
  • Garden gloves
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About the Author

A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld writes of her love of all things natural. Affeld's passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle. She writes for a prominent website as a nature travel writer and contributes articles to other online outlets covering wildlife, travel destinations and the beauty of nature.