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yezishu

Pygmy Date Palm - am i doing it right?

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yezishu

Hi everyone. earlier today I picked up a pygmy date palm on a whim at Home Depot. I'm quite excited about my new purchase, but I want to ensure that i'm not messing something crucial up and that my palm will be as happy as possible.

I currently have it in the plastic pot that it came in from home depot (pic included). Do i need to transfer it to a real pot with soil and etc, or will it be okay remaining in the planter it came in? If I do need to transfer it, do any of you have recommendations for good pots? 

I plan to keep the palm inside all year. obviously winters in Chicago are brutal, and summers are too unpredictable for me to eep it outside during the months of humidity and warmth. Am I screwing up by doing this? will it be able to survive fine indoors? where should I keep it to get optimal light?

Finally, bugs. the palm was outside at the garden center at home depot, and i kept it outside for a couple hours after i got home. I really do not want any kind of infestation, for me and my family's sake as well as the trees. Are there any bugs I should worry about, and if so, how to get rid of them.

i apologize, as these are probably very obvious questions, but I'm quite new to this and I just want to make sure I don't kill my first palm by doing something stupid/that could have been easily avoided!

Thank you all!

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Rickybobby

Welcome to the forum. I live in Ontario. These warm months are awesome and even the cool nights won’t hurt the palm. My pygmys will be outside until end of September October. They will do fine indoors in the winter but please let them breathe and grow outdoors. I don’t report mine until there pot bound. I use coco coir and perlite and clay pebbles. For drainage works well. These palms are tolerant of a little bit wetter soils but don’t push it. Bugs wise you never know what’s in the soil so there’s not much you can do. Spider mites will happen in the winter probably anyway. Remember these palms came from an outdoor nursery in Florida.  Hope this helps you. 

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petiole10

I'm guessing that this palm would enjoy the summer Ontario weather (and having enjoyed a great visit there once in summer during a tour that included the east coast all the down to the wonderful Carolinas and other southern states)

I agree that they definitely need at least some time outside in the warmer season(s). Where I live this side of the pond, its a maritime climate, and deep cold spells in winter are rare. But my experience is they tolerate very little cold at all and even a very light frost can damage them.

My own pygmy date palm heads outside as early as possible after winter has finished - varies in timing each year according to how quickly it warms up. But during the late spring and summer months it thrives under a open gazebo, with some of my other indoor plants with bright light out of the direct sun. The strong sun scorches the fronds quickly because of the time they spend indoors. It can stay out till late October and even into November if the weather stays mild and there is no prediction of early frost. Very unusual indeed to see frost, especially close to the coast where I live, before November, and sometimes later than this.

Feeding is important in growing season - these palms are susceptible especially to manganese deficiency which makes the fronds go yellow, growth can slow and even stop with fronds not opening properly - and can result in die back if left untreated. But most palm and some general plant feeds have traces of manganese amongst the usual important elements and with regular feeding during growing season this shouldn't ever be a problem

 Watering relatively little and often seems to work well - but in winter care is needed not to keep them too wet and always let they dry out before re-watering. Even indoors, with the lower light levels, unless you use a grow lamp. They do not appreciate strong indoor heating and the very dry air, so misting with some cool rainwater helps. Plus it helps avoid bugs and mites. And use rainwater for general watering if possible rather than tapwater. . The salts in tapwater can burn the fronds if used for spraying leaves - as well as not good for the roots if allowed to build up in a pot. Changing some soil/compost at the start of the growing season helps avoid this problem if tapwater has to be used at all.  Light very well drained soil is important.

Anyway, just my few cents. Hope it helps :)

 

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HtownPalms

I agree with what Rickybobby said. Keep it outside as much as possible during the warmer months. These palms can survive inside, but it's hard for them to thrive inside. I have played around with Majesty palms and Parlor palms leaving half inside and half outside all summer. The palms outside grow so much more than the palms left indoors. I think the Pygmy Date Palms are good to about the mid 20s so you should be able to leave it outside in Chicagoland until October I'm guessing. My Pygmy Date Palms are growing in regular Home Depot potting soil and they propably get watered way more than they should and they all look great. I give them miracle grow palm granules once every 3 months, but I think a lot of folks on here would tell you better methods for feeding your Pygmy Date Palm. Good luck with it! 

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Allen

I have one I keep outside all summer and put in the garage when frost is coming.  I would put it outside in part shade if I were you  then gradually move to full sun.  Otherwise inside I would try sunniest location possible.  In winter the low humidity indoors will be tricky in Chicago.  

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Rickybobby

Low humidity indoors won’t be a problem. My date grew like a weed last winterbindoors.  I kept my room warm and I did use some artificial lighting and it looks perfect

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HtownPalms

The Pygmy Date Palms seem to be pretty resilient as far as humidity goes. Where I live the humidity rarely drops below 70% and we have PD Palms everywhere. When I was in San Diego where I'm assuming the humidity is rarely over 40% they had PD Palms everywhere. 

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Funkthulhu

Nebraska checking in.  

The Pygmy is probably my most robust and forgiving palm.  It goes out the earliest in the Spring, and comes in last in the Fall.  I watch the weather and make sure it gets an extra drink here and there when we have 100 degree days, but otherwise just meteoric water for the season.  Gets a bit pale inside over winter, I always say I'll get some more intense lighting but I never do.  That said, it gets burned in the spring and grows in its "summer coat" right after.

I had a mutant with 6 or 7 growth points.  I have since done surgery to reduce it to 3 and one of those has a good 18" of trunk on it. 

Not my favorite palm, but sturdy and likely to outlive most of the rest I have.

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