Canary Island Date Palm

Phoenix canariensis

Massive and magnificent, the Canary Island date palm rules the landscape with its aristocratic size and beauty.

Large Canary Island date palm

The palm's huge crown of stiff leaves over a thick trunk is best suited for more formal and spacious landscapes.

This palm sets off a larger, elegant home - especially nice accenting one with Mediterranean-style architecture.

People often call this palm tree "Pineapple Palm."

The base has a fat, pineapple-like shape and a crusty leaf scar pattern, more noticeable while the palm is young.

Young palm in pot showing large base

Ferns often germinate in the "pineapple" part as the trunk forms, adding to the ornamental look.

Plant specs

This is a slow grower to 40 feet. Give it plenty of room since the wide-spreading fronds stay low to the ground for many years as the trunk slowly forms.

In spite of its tropical look, a Canary Island date is one of the best cold hardy palms - fine anywhere in Zone 9 and southward.

This palm is moderately salt-tolerant and needs a full sun location. It produces ornamental fruits resembling dates in spring and early summer (they're edible but not very tasty).

The dreaded palm weevil

Canary Island date palms can be susceptible to palm weevils that invade the heart of the palm and kill it.

BUT - this only happens to stressed palms.

Palm weevils are beetles that lay larva (eggs) on decaying matter...they don't attack healthy trees. So if your palm is attacked, it was already sick.

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat to the hole when you plant.

Fertilize in spring, summer and fall with a granular palm fertilizer with micronutrients.

This palm can be prone to potassium deficiency - which causes yellowed fronds - but you can apply a fertilizer that's high in potassium to keep it green.

This palm is not self-cleaning, so you'll need to remove browned fronds. But with its slow rate of growth this won't be a regular chore.

Avoid removing horizontal fronds or those above.

Though this palm is drought tolerant once established, make sure it gets watered during dry spells.

Mature palm in landscape

Plant spacing

This is one VERY BIG must plan for the palm's eventual massive size. Best to plant well away from the house (at least 10 feet).

If planting more than one, space 10 to 15 feet apart.

Canary's are too big for containers.

Landscape uses for Canary Island date palm

  • anchor for a large bed
  • single yard specimen
  • flanking a large formal gate and/or driveway entrance

A.K.A. (also known as): Pineapple palm


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Dwarf bougainvillea, carissacycads like cardboard palm, Panama rose, Knock Out rose, and other sun-loving plants that like it on the dry side.

Other palms you might like: Sylvester Palm, Ribbon Fan Palm

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