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Description

The Date palm is widely recognized for its edible date-type fruit and stately growth habit. This species commonly grows 50-60 ft. tall with long feather-type fronds. These fronds are pale gray-green, 15-20 ft. long and develop an upward arching habit. Colorful orange inflorescences develop below the fronds; fruit begins to develop in spring and ripens by mid winter.

Date palm is native to arid regions of North Africa and are often found growing in sandy soils around oases and seasonal water courses. This species and several improved fruiting varieties have been cultivated for centuries and are an important food and economic resource in the Middle East and Africa. The popularity of date palm has led to its widespread planting in many commercial and some residential landscapes. It is valued for plaza and street tree uses, as well as in courtyards and raised planters.

The Date palm grows best in warm climate zones and is highly tolerant of heat, aridity and wind. Regular summer moisture is needed for best fruit production; trees in urban landscapes can adapt to drier conditions. It is an iconic symbol of the southwestern garden style.

Water Needs

The Date palm is highly adapted to warm climate locations throughout the Inland Empire. It thrives in sun and with normal winter rainfall and low amounts of summer water. Monthly deep watering from spring through fall will enhance its fruit production and help maintain good foliage character. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and size.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Palm
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Arching
Growth Rate: Slow
Height: 50 ft. - 60 ft.
Width: 30 ft. - 40 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Cream
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand, Deep soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Parks and open space, Near pools and water features, Mass planting, Civic spaces, Background plant

Maintenance

Prune fronds as needed anytime. Prune out developing flower spikes in spring / summer to prevent fruit set and drop if desired. Edible fruit (dates) will not develop unless pollinated by a male date palm (D).

References

Associations

Plant Lists