Holding a prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit, the Canary Island date palm, also known as a Phoenix canariensis palm is an excellent evergreen specimen for patios or conservatories.
The Date Palms we supply are between 2 and 4 years old. Date Palms may look exotic but they are actually pretty tough. They thrive in the UK and are winter hardy to -6°C, but they will need protection if temperatures drop lower than this or are this low for a prolonged period of time. Grow them in large pots – certainly for the first couple of years – so that you can move them somewhere that will offer protection from frost.
New growth will form from the centre of the plant during the summer months. When the outer leaves turn brown and unsightly, chop them off at the base of the leaf using good quality secateurs or loppers. The pineapple-shaped “trunk” seen in photos of mature plants will be formed over 10-20 years from the stumps of leaves that have been removed. We’d recommend the use of Blood Fish & Bone organic fertiliser about once every 3 months, when the temperature is above 5°C.
- Despite looking like desert palms and being drought tolerant, you will need to water your Phoenix canariensis palm well in spring & summer – do not let dry out.
- In colder spots, bring in for winter or tie fronds up together in a bundle. This will protect the centre of the palm.
- If you’re lucky enough to get shoots at the base of Phoenix canariensis palm, these can be carefully detached along with roots and used for propagation. Pot each shoot in an 8cm (3 inch) pot of the standard potting mixture, place it in bright filtered light and water it sparingly-just enough to keep the mixture barely moist. New top growth will indicate that the shoot is well rooted. Treat the young plant in the same way as a mature Phoenix canariensis palm.
- A slowly growing tree, the Phoenix canariensis palm is easy to grow and care for.
- For best results, grow The Phoenix Palm in a large pot on your patio. It will thrive in a sheltered site in full sun, with some shade at midday. Bring it undercover in the winter.
- When in growth, water moderately and feed with a balanced fertiliser once a month at half strength. Water sparingly in winter.
- If the plant becomes pot bound, plant on into containers 2.5cm (1 inch) larger when new growth starts in spring. Use compost with good drainage. In years when re-potting is not carried out, top-dress by replacing 5cm (2in) of old compost with fresh compost.
- You will only need to prune old fronds that hang below horizontally. Do not remove any growing upright as this may slow the growth and reduce the palm vigor. Remember that this palm has spines and sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling.