What is the Phoenix canariensis or Canary Islands palm?

The Canary Islands palm, or phoenix canariensis in Latin, is an indoor shrub whose generous and majestic habit will not fail to satisfy you. Its crown of palms gives it a superb wingspan: even in your living room, it can reach 2 meters in good conditions! Blooming in summer, it can even produce clusters of colorful fruits that will brighten up your interior. Relatively vigorous and resistant, it tolerates drought and cold when it does not exceed -10 ° C. Pay attention to its watering, and your Canary Island date palm should bring you the sun that your decoration lacked!

Description of the Phoenix Canariensis

  • Latin name: phoenix canariensis
  • Synonyms: Canarian palm, false date, Canarian date palm
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Origin: Canary Islands
  • Flowering period: June to August
  • Flower colors: yellow, white
  • Plant type: palm tree
  • Type of vegetation: perennial
  • Type of foliage: evergreen

Characteristics of the Phoenix Canariensis

Superb specimen of Arecaceae, the phoenix canariensis has settled in our climates, in the ground in regions with mild winters, but also indoors. Relatively hardy and resistant to drought, it supports many types of soil, provided good drainage is preserved.

Its majestic harbor is particularly spectacular in the open ground, where it can reach up to 20 m high. Grown in a greenhouse, conservatory, or in your home, it will grow up to a little over 2 m.

Its leaf crown is carried by a single, scaly stipe – or trunk. There are up to 100 pinnate palms per crown in uncut individuals. These can measure up to 5 or 6 m in length, on a 1 m long petiole. Its foliage is composed of thin and rigid leaflets, arranged irregularly, of a beautiful brilliant green. Beware of the thorns hidden in the palms, because they are as tough as they are sharp!

In summerinterfoliar inflorescences appear, white or yellow, followed by large clusters of orange to red fruits, each containing a single seed which can then be sown.

In the Canary Islands, the sap of the phoenix canariensis makes it possible to produce an excellent vegetable, honey.

How to maintain the Phoenix Canariensis?

Exposure Luminous
Watering May to September: very regular
October to April: let the root ball dry
Fertilizer Vegetation period: every 10 days
Liquid fertilizer
Growth Maximum 2m
Diseases Mites, mealybugs

Exhibition / Location

The Canary Islands palm cannot withstand temperatures below -10 ° C, at best. In the Mediterranean region, you can plant it in the ground, in a massif where you will put it next to a phormium, a shrub sage, or a few agaves.

In areas where winters are harsher, it will find its place indoors, on a covered terrace, in a greenhouse, or on a veranda.

Give it plenty of space because it is a pretty tall tree. Find a well-lit location for it, and install it in a pot or container suited to its current size.

Choose a pierced pot, the bottom of which you will cover with gravel or pieces of pottery. Pour a substrate composed of 50% potting soil, 25% sand, and 25% loam. When planting, add a slow-release fertilizer at the rate of 3 g per liter of the substrate. Then proceed to a copious watering.

How to water the Phoenix Canariensis?

Water often between May and SeptemberFrom October to April, you can let the root ball dry out between two waterings.

To maintain a good humidity level and rid its leaves of dust and mites, regularly mist the foliage of your phoenix palm.

Which fertilizer to use?

During the growing season, fertilize every 10 days using a liquid fertilizer mixed with irrigation water.


To stimulate the growth of your Canarian phoenix palm, water is preferably in the evening, and do not let its soil dry out too much in summer.

How to report it?

Repotting takes place between March and June, in a pot of suitable size. Proceed as when planting, finishing with a contribution of fertilizer and copious watering.


You can sow the seeds found in the fruits of your palm tree, in the spring, by following these different steps:

  1. Separate the seed from the pulp;
  2. Throw the seeds in boiling water and leave them for 30 seconds, to cause a thermal shock which will promote their germination;
  3. Make them dry ;
  4. Sow in pots, in a substrate composed of 75% seedling soil and 25% sand. It is necessary to drive the seeds one by one to 2 cm deep, horizontally;
  5. Water abundantly and place these pots at a temperature of 20 to 25 ° C;
  6. Germination can take 4 to 8 weeks ;
  7. Repot the young plants when they have developed 2 young leaves, following the usual repotting procedure.

How to prune the Phoenix Canariensis?

All year round, remove dry palms using a sharp-bladed instrument. Since the leaves of the false date palm are covered with strong thorns, use long-handled pruning shears so as not to injure yourself. Cut off at the base of the palm, at the point of attachment to its stipe.

Diseases and Parasites

Grown indoors, the phoenix canariensis palm can fall prey to mites and mealybugs. If necessary, use an insecticide, preferably during cooler hours, in the event of an infestation.


Apart from its formidable thorns, the date palm of the Canaries does not represent any danger.

Some species of Phoenix Canariensis

Besides the type species, there is only one variety of phoenix canariensis, very indistinct: the phoenix canariensis porphyrocarpa. Only the color of its fruits, red instead of orange, can characterize it.