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How Fast Do Pygmy Date Palms Grow? (Quick Answers)

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Pygmy date palms are among the most popular house palm plants. As the name suggests it is a very small species of palms (Phoenix roebelenii). But how fast do they grow? Read the article to get a clear understanding of their growth.

How fast do pygmy date palms grow?

On average pygmy date palms grow slowly. They grow about 1-2 feet in a year outside. Pygmy date palms grow slowly in winter and their growth increases in the spring season. They need about 6 years to become mature. Their growth rate is even slower indoors. 

A common misconception about pygmy date palms is they grow faster than other palms as they are small. But that is not the case. Their growth rate is naturally slow to slower-medium. 

Pygmy date palms grow a bit faster in warmer conditions. That is because their metabolism is faster in warm and humid conditions.

It is a native plant of warmer areas of Laos, Vietnam, and China. Humid areas are favorable to the plants. They grow best in tropical and subtropical areas.

Let’s get back to the growth. Generally, pygmy date palms can grow a maximum of 10 feet in good conditions. But in Florida, there are higher pygmy date palms.

6-7 feet is the average height of a pygmy date palm. If they get in a low temperature and humidity they may grow even slower. That is why this plant is not plantable outside in the colder parts of the country.

However, pygmy date plants are moderately cold-tolerant palms. They can tolerate a couple of days of frost in the winter season.

They can live indoors comfortably with low maintenance. But they can grow about 5 feet in indoors. You can expect the 6-10 inch growth of an indoor pygmy date palm in a year. 

In colder areas, this plant can live inside. But put them outside in the Spring season. In Winter, they do not need too much water and care. They almost stay inactive in the cold season. 

But in spring, you will have to take care of your pygmy palm tree as this is their growing season. They need 2-3 times watering in Spring while 3 times in a month is enough in Winter.

The growth of those trees also depends on the soil quality. They grow best in soil that has a high organic components with high water drain ability. They can live in any soil that drains water quickly. 

Pygmy date palms are hardy but their root system is very sensitive. If water stocks in the soil, that may cause root rotting and lower growth of plants.

How much does a pygmy date palm grow in a year?

Don’t expect massive growth in a year. They grow about 1-2 feet in a year. In warmer humid areas they can grow about 2 feet. They grow slowly in places with a long winter season.

In indoors, pygmy palm trees grow 6-10 inches on average. The growth can vary depending on how much care you take. 

Although, they don’t need too much care. Planting on good soil, watering regularly, and placing them in a place with medium sunlight is mostly enough for them.

You may have to transplant your pigmy plant as it grows bigger. But note that, if you cause any damage to their root system, the plant may not survive. So, be careful while transplanting.

Is pygmy date palm slow-growing?

Yes, pygmy date palms are slow-growing. They grow 12-24 inches outside in a year if everything is right. Sometimes their growth can stun because of nutrients.

Indoors they do not exceed 5 feet. You can expect around 6-10 inch growth of an indoor pygmy date palm.

Palm trees are naturally slow-growing plants. But pygmy date palm is even slower among the palm family.

How long does it take for a pygmy date palm to mature?

It takes about 6 years to mature in normal conditions. When a pygmy date palm reaches 6-7 feet, you can call it a mature tree. 

But in indoor conditions, pygmy date palm grows even slower. It will mature at the same time but it will grow only about 4 feet.

Pygmy date plants can be either male or female. Both male and female trees bloom but only female trees have fruits.

The pygmy date palm can produce dates after getting mature. Those fruits are safe to eat for humans and animals.

There is no toxic part or element for birds and animals in a pygmy date plant. But there are sharp throne-like leaves that can cause injury. 

How to make pygmy date palm grow faster?

Growing pygmy date palms faster is all about providing their essential needs. A pygmy palm tree can grow a maximum of 2 feet in a year in the right conditions. 

But often their growth does not reach that mark because of some lackings. Keep in mind that it is also important to buy good-quality pygmy palm trees that come from quality mother trees. 

There are some genetic factors that affect the growth of the pygmy palm trees. However, it’s not possible to know about the previous generations of pygmy date plants that you are buying most of the time. 

But it is possible to get maximum growth by following the tips below.


Different areas have different soil types and weather. Those factors have a massive role in the growth of pygmy date plant. 

Pygmy date plants are originated from tropical regions. So, they are not a good cold tolerant plant. They do best in hot and humid areas.

So, if you are going to plant a pygmy date plant in a colder area, you can not expect maximum growth. Places with a long winter season are unfavorable for these plants.


The most essential characteristic of pygmy date palm soil is, it should drain water fast. They absorb a lot of water in the spring season but they don’t like the soil that has a high water-containing capacity.

Soil with a high ratio of sand and organic compound is ideal for those plants. 


Pigmy date palm needs a steady source of several nutrients. Nitrogen, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and iron have a critical role in their growth and health.

Bio-fertilizer is a good source of nitrogen. Nurseries have ready soil that contains all the essential elements for a pigmy date palm.


Pygmy date palms need moderate sunlight. Receiving indirect sunlight most of the day and a few hours of direct sunlight is better for them. 

If they stay in sun all day, you should water them regularly. Healthy and stable plants can stay all day in the sun with proper watering but a young plant may not survive.


Moisture is necessary for their optimum growth as they are from tropical regions. In the outdoors, there is no way to maintain moisture. But for indoor pygmy date palms, you can set a moisturizer machine.

Pygmy date palms need medium to high moisture in the air, but make sure a continuous airflow in the room. 

Without airflow, moisture can cause various molds and diseases to your plants. A ventilator fan can solve the problem. 

Does trimming palm trees make them grow faster?

It is a popular myth among gardeners that trimming a palm tree makes it grow faster. But trimming palm trees does not help them grow faster.

Trimming makes the palm tree look neat and nicer. But you can’t expect a growth boost. 

However, while trimming only perished leaves should be removed. Trimming the green leaves can hurt the plant. 

Green leaves help the tree produce food by photosynthesis. Reducing it will do no good. However, you can remove disease or infected leaves.

One must be careful from the sharp and pointy parts of the palm while trimming. Protective gloves and eyewear is recommended.

How big do pygmy date palms grow? How tall do pygmy date palm trees grow?

Pygmy date palm grows 6-10 feet tall on average. At 8-10 feet their growth will nearly stop. In colder places, pygmy date palms grow slower than usual and do not grow as big as warm regions.

In winter, pygmy date palms just stay alive and stop most of the metabolic activities.

Indoor, they can grow about 5 feet tall with proper light, humidity, and nutrients. 

Their crown can grow 4-5 feet big on average. 

They grow best when planted alone. Sometimes they are planted in a group of 2 or 3. Those multi-planted plants look beautiful but grow slower than single trees.

Final thoughts

Pygmy date plants grow about 1-2 feet yearly depending on the weather and other factors. It is a very hardy ornamental palm tree for planting both inside and outside. Keep the indoor pygmy date plants outside for the first few months of spring for better growth.

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