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Houseplant Palms

 


Get to know your houseplants. The key to growing healthy houseplants is understanding the amount of light they like, how thirsty they may get, and individual characteristics that work best in your space. Once you’ve selected a good match, the rest is easy!

 

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Bromeliads   |   Flowering   |   Foliage   |   Orchids   |   Tillandsia


Palms

Ponytail Palm, Bottle Palm
Beaucarnea recurvata


Bright to moderate light. If light is from one direction, rotate this plant before it leans towards the light to keep the trunk growing straight.
Let Ponytail Palm dry completely between before watering. Water thoroughly when dry to achieve a large bulb. These plants hold a lot of water in their bodies, how slow or fast they use water and become sufficiently dry is important. Too wet too long and they can rot.
Remove older leaves as they turn yellow or brown. Lower leaves can be gently peeled off to expose more of the trunk. Use a palm fertilizer for best results. If this plant is pushed to grow fast it may not form the characteristic large trunk.
As Beaucarnea age, the ribbon-like leaves can grow very long and twist. Often the tips turn brown on older foliage which is normal. If younger foliage tips start browning the plant is staying moist for too long. Cactus or Bonsai soil mixes are best when transplanting.

Cat Palm, Chamaedorea cataractarum


Medium and high. These palms are happiest with bright, indirect light and tolerate direct, cool light, such as sun through the window in early morning or late evening.
High humidity for a bushier plant. Palms regulate their systems according to the humidity; they will drop fronds if the air is too dry, resulting in thinner looking plant. Fertilize once a month for best foliage.
Moderate to low humidity. Use Cactus Mix when repotting to avoid roots staying too wet. Fertilize once a month. Remove older foliage, leaf tips can be trimmed.
Air purifying. Safe for pets.

Parlor Palm/Neanthe Bella, Chamaedorea elegans


Medium and high. Parlor palms are best with bright, indirect light and tolerate direct, cool light such as sun through the window in early morning or late evening.
Medium. Tropical palms use water efficiently and don’t like to get too dry, or tips will burn. Keeping them too wet however, results in discolored fronds.
High humidity for a bushier plant. Palms regulate their systems according to the humidity, they will drop fronds if the air is too dry, resulting in thinner-looking plant. Fertilize once a month for best foliage.
Air purifying. Safe for pets. Dry conditions can invite spider mites. If so, apply a houseplant systemic insecticide.

Bamboo Palm, Chamaedorea seifrizii


High. Bamboo require bright indirect light and tolerate direct, cool light such as sun through the window in early morning or late evening.
Medium. Tropical palms use water efficiently and don’t like to get too dry. Keeping them too wet however, results in fronds looking burned and the loss of foliage.
High humidity. Palms regulate their systems according to the humidity; they will drop fronds if the air is too dry to keep all the foliage. Keep Bamboo palms out of drafts in a warmer location. Move away from cold windows in winter.
Air purifying. Safe for pets. Some people remove lower foliage to expose the bamboo look of the stems. One other variety is Chamaedorea falcifera with a wider, slightly greyish leaf.

Areca Palm, Dypsis lutescens


Medium and high. Areca are best with bright, indirect light and tolerate direct cool light, such as sun through the window in early morning or late evening.
Medium. Tropical palms use water efficiently and don’t like to get too dry. Tips on the Areca will burn. Keeping them too wet however, results in spotted and burnt- looking fronds.
High humidity for a bushier plant. Palms regulate their systems according to the humidity. They’ll drop fronds if the air is too dry. Fertilize once a month for best foliage.
Air purifying. Safe for pets. Dry conditions can invite spider mites. If so, apply a houseplant systemic insecticide.

Kentia Palm, Howea forsteriana


High. Kentia Palms require bright, indirect light and tolerate direct, cool light such as sun through the window in early morning or late evening.
Medium. Tropical palms use water efficiently and don’t like to get too dry. Keeping them too wet however, results in fronds that look burned.
High humidity. Palms regulate their systems according to the humidity; they drop fronds if the air is too dry, resulting in foliage dropping.
Palms are safe for pets.

Lady Palm, Rhapis excelsa


Low, medium and high. Lady Palm tolerates moderate to low light.
High. This palm requires soil to be consistently moist. They are allowed to sit in very shallow water when the air is dry and warm.
High humidity keeps this plant bushier and moist. Use Potting Soil when re-potting.
Easy to keep happy. Naturally slow growth. Rhaphis multifida species is similar, but with longer, narrow leaflets.

Do you have a plant not listed above? Take a look at our general Houseplant Pointers.