PhoenixRoebelenii also called "Pygmy Date Palm" is a small (even miniature) feather palm, from Laos and Southeast Asia. The Pygmy Date Palm is absolutely gorgeous; it has a small stature, lacy leaves, and often has a gracefully curving trunk. The Pygmy Date Palm is a singular trunk species but is commonly planted in groups to make an attractive specimen. It is also one of the most popular palms available, grown worldwide in containers, or used in landscaping in warmer areas. Palms are not typical trees. Instead of branching out, they grow huge leaves from a giant bud at their apex. The palm grows taller as this bud keeps producing new leaves and the lowest leaves die and fall.
This is a slow growing, small to medium sized, palm to about 3m (10 ft), although older plants can be quite tall. The Phoenix Roebelenii has a single trunk that is hairy at first, becoming clean but "knobby" as it ages.
The Pygmy Date stem is roughened by the old petiole bases.
They have very attractive, fine-textured, feather-type fronds with unarmed petioles. The glossy leaves are lush, deep green or sometimes bluish green, and they grow to about 1.2 m (2 - 4 ft) in length. The fronds arch outward to form a loose, rounded, fernlike canopy. The delicate leaflets, arranged neatly along the upper length of the gently arched leaf stem lend the plant a very graceful aspect. Each leaves has about 40-50 soft, bright green pinnae on each side, borne in a single plane, that are about 8"-10" long. The lower leaflets are modified into sharp, pointed, 2-3 in (5-8 cm) spines. This Phoenix is not self cleaning, so old fronds need to be manually removed (it can get be painful, due to the spines).
The cream colored, dioecious flowers are held on short 0.3 m (1 ft) inflorescences and are followed by small black dates on the female plants (male flowers are borne on a separate plant). The flowers are inconspicuous, born in small panicles between the fronds around April or May. When the flowers die, the fruits appear. They are small drupe, oval-round, about 1.25 cm (1/2 in) long, and range from dark purple to brown/black when fully ripe between September and October.
9-11 (-5c/25f, 4c/40f). The PhoenixRoebelenii may be cold damaged at temperatures below 30§F (-1§C). This palm prefers bright sun to partial shade and likes lots of water (although not wet feet). It is very adaptable to most soils (use light, fast draining soils in containers). Fertilize it 3 times a year and use a mild organic fertilizer or slow-release type if grown in a pot. This is an excellent dwarf accent palm prized for small-area tropical effects; a very good container plant, for patios or indoors. Use clumps of these palms as specimens or to serve as focal point in a mass planting of annuals. This rugged little palm also looks great indoors - just give it a bright spot and keep it out of drafts. If planting them out, choose a site that is well protected, either next to a wall, building or house (south side preferred) or under a large tree. Interestingly enough, all the cultivated plants are single trunked, yet in the wild, they are all clumping, and single trunked specimens haven't been found. This palm does not need to be prune, except to remove the old dead fronds.
Although this palm is single stemmed most nurseries offer it in containers planted with 3 to 5 specimens. When grouped like this, the stems tend to curve gracefully away from the center of the clump creating an especially attractive arrangement.