How to Look After a Date Palm Tree

Written by marlene affeld
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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.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Organic compost
  • Organic mulch
  • Garden gloves

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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

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

  7. 7

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

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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