General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Plant Height: 6-12 feet
Plant Spread: 6-8 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: Pinnately compound with sharp spines at base of petiole.
Fruit: Other: Clusters of 1/2 to 1 inch long obovoid dark green fruit matures to reddish-brown and then black.
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Other: Creamy white to pale, yellowish-white
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Houseplant
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Days to germinate: 3-4 months
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs repotting every 2 to 3 years
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Awards and Recognitions: RHS AGM

Common names
  • Pygmy Date Palm
  • Robellini Palm

Photo Gallery
Location: Monte Palace - Funchal - Madeira
Date: 2023-04-14
Location: Sebastian,  Florida
Date: 2019-10-07
Location: Cypress Gardens, Florida
Location: India
Date: 2019-01-01
Location: Sun City West, AZ
Date: 2018-05-15
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: June 2011
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Fl
Date: December 2009
Location: Sebastian,  Florida
Date: 2015-12-24
Location: Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida
Date: 2022-02-23
very large, old specimens
Location: Botanical garden of Madeira
Date: 2023-04-11
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2013-05-12
Location: Sebastian, Florida
Date: 2017-06-09
Uploaded by sedumzz
Location: Daytona Beach Florida
Date: July 23, 2011
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2012-08-25
Location: Southwest Florida
Date: September 2012
Location: AZ
Date: Spring
Great landscape plant, gives a feeling of a tropical beach.
Location: Port Orange, Florida
Date: 2018-11-13
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2014-06-05
Location: Real Jardín Botanico de Madrid
Date: 2018-04-08
Location: Hidden Hills CA zone 10b
Date: 2014-05-31
fairly young - less than 7 years old
Location: Southwest Florida
Date: September 2012
Location: my garden, Sarasota FL
Date: 2014-08-22
This clump is at the end of our driveway, and needs the dead fron
Uploaded by sedumzz
Uploaded by treehugger
Location: Paseo del Parque, Malaga
Date: 2015-03-25
Location: AZ
Date: Spring
The leaves move in the slightest of breezes.
Uploaded by sedumzz
Location: my garden, Florida
Date: 2018-07-04
Location: Miami, FL
Date: 2013-12
Crandon Park
Location: my garden, Sarasota FL
Date: 2014-08-20
Pretty burgundy-red dates on my Pygmy palm. Only one out of a clu
Location: my garden, Sarasota FL
Date: 2014-08-22
New palm 'pup' at the base of a three-stem clump
Location: my garden, Sarasota FL
Date: 2014-08-22
Very sharp, up to 3in. long torns for about the first 1/3 of the

photo credit: H. Zell

photo credit: H. Zell
Uploaded by Gabiche
Uploaded by hawkarica
Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9b
Date: 2015-05-05
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Nov 29, 2011 9:23 AM concerning plant:
    Phoenix roebelenii is a slow-growing palm that has become one of the most widely used landscape palms in Florida. It is also a very popular houseplant because of its smaller size and easy care. I've grown this palm as a landscape plant as well as a containerized plant and I must say that it's an easy-care tree ... just beware of the sharp thorns!
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 15, 2022 8:41 AM concerning plant:
    For several years I grew a specimen of this species native to southeast Asia in a big pot and it got about 5 feet high under those conditions. I had to be careful when I pruned off the dying old leaves because there were powerful leaf spines near the bottom of those leaves. It was lovely. When I visited Flaming Gardens west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida in February of 2022, I took a photo of a group of this species that were 15 to 25 feet high. The literature often says it only grows about 10 feet high, but I must say that most any so-called dwarf or compact tree can stay short for many years and then decide to get bigger. (I saw a good example of that at Morton Arboretum in Illinois in the 1980's where a Silver Cedar (Juniperus virginiana 'Glauca') that was supposed to only grow to 15 to 25 feet had grown to about 40 feet high with a labeled old specimen planted about 1922.) The Pygmy or Dwarf Date Palm can be growing with one narrow trunk to around 1/2 foot in diameter, but it usually is growing with several trunks. It is dioecious and bears creamy flowers in clusters in spring. Those flowers bear small brown dates about 1/2 inch long on the female trees in September-October. The species was named after Carl Robelen, who was an orchid collector.
  • Posted by dyzzypyxxy (Sarasota, Fl) on Aug 22, 2014 9:15 AM concerning plant:
    Fairly slow-growing small palms for a smaller garden. They do grow in clumps of 2 to 5 stems, however, and if they are happy they will put up new "pups," so when you are planting them, allow for more spread than a single crown would take. Use caution when trimming the dead fronds. There are long, very sharp thorns on the fronds near the trunk!
Plant Events from our members
markcee On May 13, 2018 Obtained plant
MySecretIslandGarden On September 2, 2022 Maintenance performed
Trimmed all of them
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