Do not be deceived by other trees using “date palm” in their common names. The only tree that grows dates is the real date palm (Phoenix dactylifera). This palm is regarded as native to North Africa, but grows around the world in dry, warm, frost-free regions in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.
Long Time Earth Resident
The date palm was around on the Earth untold centuries. Its sugary, edible fruit produced the date palm a tree that is desirable, and people have cultivated it for thousands of years, possibly as early as 4,000 B.C. in Mesopotamia, Babylonia and ancient Egypt. It’s impossible to tell its precise point of origin or original selection, but scientists consider it to be the Persian Gulf area, from North Africa to northwest India. In modern times, the date palm is cultivated in warm, dry regions of Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
The Treelike Date Palm
Date palms grow tall like a tree , around 100 feet, using one trunk or a few trunks sprouting at a cluster. But the plant doesn’t produce woody tissue to support itself; rather, look the trunks , around 16 inches in diameter, are made of fibrous stems that overlap one another. Pinnate leaves emerge from the top of the tree, each around 20 feet long and 2 feet wide. One leaf may develop 150 leaflets. The word date comes from Greek for “finger,” and also the fruit resembles little hands, oval and approximately 1 to 2 inches long. Only female trees produce dates. In the U.S., dates have been only grown commercially in Southern California, Arizona and Florida.
Ideal Date Palm Habitat
The date palm is a shrub of contradiction. It is said in Arabic it has to have its toes in its head in the fire of the sky. It thrives in sandy soils or saline soils so long as an abundant supply of underground water is available. The huge leaves are made to survive a warm, dry climate, and adjust the tree to lengthy slopes without rain, but the palm requires a supply of standard water. The date palm’s ideal growing conditions are located in the populated areas of the subtropical deserts of the Middle East: oases river banks. In the U.S., Southern California’s low-desert Coachella Valley is the center of date production. It provides excellent habitat to the date palm as the desert floor is under sea level, and provides long warm summers and mild winters.
Growing a Date Palm
If you reside in a warm climate, then you could have the ability to develop a date hands if you’re able to provide enough elbow room and water. It’s a stunning landscape palm but demands a large backyard. If your climate is moist, such as parts of Florida, your tree may thrive but the fruit may not, because the date fruits require dry heat to grow properly and may fall from the tree in wet climates. Date fruits do not form at all in too-cold climates, and many freezes can damage or destroy a date palm’s foliage.