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Pygmy Date Palm Root System: Are They Invasive?

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Gardening is a fun and healthy hobby but requires proper planning to avoid the invasive behavior of plants and make the garden look nice. Are you thinking of planting some pigmy date plants, but not sure if they will become invasive? This article will explain all the information about pigmy date palms and if they become invasive.

Pygmy date palm root system explained

Pigmy date plant roots are non-invasive and do not cause problems with foundations and buildings. Their roots are fasciculated and fibrous types of the root, and they do not become woody enough to deal damage to any structure. They are one of the most miniature palm trees.

Pigmy palm trees are one of the most popular ornamental landscaping palm trees because of their small size and beauty. As they are miniature, they don’t have invasive roots. All palm trees have swallow and fibrous roots that do not become woody.

Pygmy palm trees are tropical trees and grow well where the temperature does not fall too low and too often. They are known as Phoenix roebelenii scientifically. They are also known as the pigmy palm tree, miniature date palm, robeleni date palm, etc.

So, you are thinking of planting pigmy date palm in your garden but are worried if it has invasive roots. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about their roots. They have very shallow and fibrous roots that cannot harm any object.

Just plant them about 2-3 feet away from any structure. This is because if you plan too close to any structure or building,  the plant will not be able to grow freely.

Pigmy date plants are often planted on a group of 2-3 plants. If you grow them together, you should provide them some more place. Naturally, three plants will have more roots than one plant.

Pigmy date plants are slow growers and can grow about 7-10 feet. It is also an excellent plant for indoor planting. But indoors, they do not grow over 5 feet. Female pygmy date plants also produce eatable fruits, safe for animals and children.

The roots of the pigmy date plant reach about a few feet deep. And it does not harm any pipes or foundation if that goes under the plant. The roots grow as wide as the crown of the tree. So if you keep structures away from their crown range, there should not be any issues with their roots.

As we mentioned earlier, more giant palm species are also non-invasive. , But they can cause damage to thin walkways because they have thicker roots. But pigmy date palm roots are so fibrous and thin that they do not deal any damage.

Pigmy date plants need partial shade for better growth. They are pretty hardy and drought torrent. In the growing seasons, make sure the soil is a little moist. But overwatering can cause root rot and other diseases to pigmy date palms.

Pigmy date palm root growth also depends on the soil type. They can grow on different soils. They can thrive with minimum care if the condition is temperate and the humidity is medium.

In the sandy soil, they grow longer roots. In sand, they can quickly grow their roots and need it to get water from a large area.

 However, even if you have sandy soil in your garden, you don’t need to worry about their roots. They indeed grow more roots in the sandy soil, but they also have much freedom to grow roots in different directions. They don’t grow as long roots as the sandy soils in the muddy ground.

In the later part of the article, there will be a deeper discussion about the root system of pigmy palm roots.

Does Pygmy date palm have deep roots?

Pigmy date palm does not have deep roots. Their roots grow about 3-4 feet deep, although it can vary depending on the soil type and conditions. Their growth rate is relatively slow, and they grow their adult size in 6-7 years.

Young pigmy date plants have even fewer and weaker roots. As they grow up, they start to grow more roots, but the roots never become invasive. The roots can not cause any issues to structures because of their thin and fibrous roots.

You can break through concrete with a rope. A similar thing happens with pigmy date palm and other palm trees. If a concrete structure or pipes are under their root system, they will simply ignore the object and find different ways to grow their roots. But yes, if cracks on a pipe and water leak, the roots can cause issues.

The Phoenix palm family can be found in many parts of the world, and numerous palm species are members of this family. But pigmy date palm is a native plant of southern China, Vietnam, and Laos.

Those parts of the world have humid weather, and the winter season is not very cold. That’s why pigmy date palms grow better in places where the weather is similar to their native lands.

Ther require about 6 hours of sunlight and needs acidic to neutral soil for better growth. They also require three to 6 feet of space and good drainage.

How Deep Are Pygmy date palm Roots?

Pigmy date palms roots grow about 3-4 feet deep. Naturally, palm trees do not grow deep roots, and pigmy palm trees have even swallow roots as they are tiny in size.

Pigmy date plants’ roots grow as wide as their crown and do not deal with problems with nearby structures. However, you should give them space so they can grow without issues.

You also should not plant them near any big tree. They can not be invasive, but other trees can become invasive and cause problems for them. Growing them in groups of three is a widespread practice. But if you care about tree health and the look is not so essential, you should not plant three pigmy date palms together.

Many people think pigmy glam trees grow streams from their roots, but they are actually different plants. They do not produce any branches as they are not seed-sucker plants. A seed sucker plant is a plant that grows many branches from one plant.

Can Pygmy date palm roots damage foundation or pipes?

Pigmy date palm roots do not damage any foundation or pipe. They have no necessity to go through those objects. If their roots encounter any hard object, they just change the direction of their growth.

Moreover, their roots are too weak to deal any damage to those structures. Their roots are fibrous and not thick enough to apply any pressure on those objects.

However, if cracks in the foundation or pipe leak water, the roots may cause some issues. The tree can use the leak as a source of water which can sometimes block the pipe.

The pigmy date plant roots do not stay within a few feets around and under the tree. You should not grow another plant around their root range for better health and growth.

Do Pygmy date palm spread or multiply?

Pigmy date plants do not multiply or grow from roots. You may see three pigmy date plants in many places,  but they are not one single tree. The are multiple trees planted together for landscaping.

There is no need to worry about the spreading of pigmy date plants, but you can grow pigmy date plants from the seeds. First, collect mature seeds from the fruits. Then, soak the seeds for 48 hours and remove the purple cover.

After that, dust some insecticide powder on the seeds so insects can not eat their seeds. Take a pot with rich soil and spread the seed. Spread some soil over the seeds and spray water on them.

Water the seeds every three days for three months. Pigmy date seeds are slow growers, so do not worry if they take some time to germinate. When the seeds germinate, plant the newly germinated seeds in separate pots until they become strong enough to live in the soil.

Final Thoughts

If you have pigmy date palms in your garden, you will not have to worry about invasion issues as they are not invasive. They have a shallow root system that grows as wide as the crown. But make sure to provide them with at least 4-5 feet of space so they can grow freely.

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