Also known as Canary Island date palm, pineapple palm (Phoenix canariensis) comes from the Canary Islands off the coast of northwest Africa. In the United States, it grows well in United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, especially in arid and semiarid areas. It thrives in full sun and fertile, moist soil but tolerates any well-drained soil. It also tolerates salty conditions and confined spaces. It grows slowly to a height of 40 to 60 feet and a spread of 20 to 25 feet.
Water the soil around the plant with 1 inch of water once a week in the early morning.
Remove dead fronds as necessary during a warm, dry period. Before pruning, brush the manual pruning saw blade to remove foreign particles and disinfect it in a solution of one part pine oil and three parts water for 10 minutes. Cut off only the yellow or brown fronds that fall off easily with little force and hang below the horizontal fronds.
Apply fungicide to the plant after pruning to protect the freshly cut wounds and immature tissue. Pineapple palm can be affected by the fungi that cause fusarium wilt, pink rot and sudden crown drop, so use a product labelled for use against them.
Remove the conks of any fungus that appear as mushrooms or shelves.
Remove plants that grow around the base of a pineapple palm plant's trunk because they can damage above-ground roots.
Apply palm tree fertiliser that has high magnesium, nitrogen and potassium content about four times a year during warm months. This maximises growth and keeps the pineapple plant healthy. Compared with other palms, pineapple plant has the highest susceptibility to magnesium deficiency. Follow closely the directions on the fertiliser packaging.
Remove the fruits, which ripen in summer. They are edible and could fall to the ground if not removed.
Don't remove fronds that grow upright, because doing so could stunt growth and reduce vigour. Don't water the plant in winter, because frozen water could severely damage or kill the palm.
Tips and warnings
- Don't remove fronds that grow upright, because doing so could stunt growth and reduce vigour.
- Don't water the plant in winter, because frozen water could severely damage or kill the palm.
- Arizona State University: Phoenix Canariensis
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Phoenix Canariensis
- UC Davis: Palm Diseases in the Landscape
- UC Davis: Palm Trees for Landscapes in Tulare & Kings Counties
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Magnesium Deficiency in Palms
- Virginia Tech: Canary Island Date Palm