Phoenix sylvestris

wild date palm
Large palm with a thin textured trunk and full crown of grey & gold leaves. Good alternative to P. dactylifera & P. canariensis.
height 12–35
width 10–15
tolerates Drought, Deer , Heat, Wind
Not all palms love water! This one is actually drought-tolerant and can live quite happily on little or no water once it’s established, though it’ll grow more slowly and may not look as lush. To keep your palm looking its best, be sure to water it consistently and deeply while it’s getting established, then after a few years give it a good deep soaking every couple of weeks. It will also be happy to have more water, provided the soil drainage is adequate.

This palm is adaptable to heavy soils and will require less water in clay than it will in well drained soil. It prefers well drained soil, if possible.
exposure Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Heavy Soil, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing Palm Fertilizer
origin S Asia
8, 9, 12–23

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Similar in appearance and nearly as big as the canary island date palm. This palm grows in the marine layer, but isn’t the best choice for the foggiest areas of Northern California.
Palms are generally heavy feeders, so if you want them growing quickly and looking their best, they should be fertilized at least three times a year. Fertilizing at spring equinox, summer solstice and fall equinox will allow for a winter rest. Be sure to feed your palm with a fertilizer that contains micronutrients (especially including magnesium), especially if you see yellowing leaves or yellow spots on the leaves. This is particularly important with this palm as yellowing leaves and micronutrient deficiencies are fairly common.

Special Interest

In South East Asia, where this palm is from, its flowers are used to make an intoxicating brew. Also, the fruit is used in jellys.