The Q&A Archives: planting and care of majoul date palm trees

Question: i was fortunate to start some majoul date seeds they have lived in a pot (2 trees) for about a year1/2. I heard that there is a certian season to plant palms. Could you give me any info, on planting and care of these. Also we have grape vines that are infested with white flies, is there a safe treatment that will not harm turtles? They eat the leaves and flowers in the same area. Thank you

Answer: Medjool date palm is Phoenix dactylifera. It will grow in any soil type, in full sun to part shade, and requires regular irrigation during the spring and summer months when it is actively growing. Transplanting will be easiest on your palms if you wait until fall, winter or early spring. Summer isn't the time to do it! Medjool date palms can grow 50-100' tall and 20-40' wide so find a spot with plenty of room. They grow slowly at first, but once established can grow quite large, with a columnar trunk and large, grayish-green leaves, 12 to 20 feet long. In spring or summer, bowl-shaped creamy-white flowers are borne in long-stalked panicles, 5 to 6 feet long, followed by sweet, fleshy, brown fruits. Just keep your palms watered and they should do just fine in Phoenix.

Insecticidal soap will rid your grapevines of whiteflies, but I don't think there have been any studies on the toxicity to turtles. I think I'd just hose the grapevines off with plain water rather than use any insecticides on plant parts or in the vicinity of your turtles.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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