Indoor Palm Trees

Indoor Palm Plants
A Selection and Caring Advice

Indoor palm plants can be an expensive choice of plant for the home....compared to other types. However, they really do spruce up the look and feel of a living room, conservatory and other room's within a home or office.

Parlor Palm - Chamaedorea Elegans

Parlor palm in a pot picture

This palm is the most popular and well known, grown indoors. These are patient growers but after a few years of growth they can reach a height of about 3ft or more. Once they have developed in age and given the correct amount of light, they can produce small flowers.

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Kentia Palm - Howea Forsteriana

The Kentia is another popular choice of plant for indoor growers and is similar to the belmoreana (sentry palm) with the main difference (in looks) being the leaves do not arch as much with the Kentia. Similar to other palms, it is tolerant of lower temperatures and does not need a great amount of light for growth.

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Sentry Palm - Howea Belmoreana

sentry palm Tree leaves picture

It can be quite hard to see the difference between this plant and the kentia, at first glance. The leaves on the sentry are also quite wide like the kentia forsteriana, although they arch over more. This type is also known as the curly palm, and grows slowly. This plant like other palms looks great placed in hallways or large rooms.

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Pygmy Date - Phoenix Roebelenii

indoor pygmy date picture

The Pygmy date palm is also known as the miniature date or dwarf palm. This tree can grow to approximately 3ft, which is a good height that's manageable for a home or office. The leaves are much slimmer in width than the three above.

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European Fan - Chamaerops Humilis

European palm

The fan palm is said to grow well indoors compared to other fan type of palms. Fan types are generally not as popular as other palms. These grow several stems from the base and produce fronds that look similar to a fan. Once they grow and mature they are an attractive plant.

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Lady Palm - Rhapis Excelsa

Lady Palm Picture

This plant is another fan type of palm that can be grown indoors. These can grow up to 2-7 ft high and grow much slower than many other palms. If you find the fan type palms look appealing then this one is a good option to consider. Indoors the Lady palm can grow up to 14ft tall.

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Areca Palm - Dypsis Lutescens

Areca palm

The areca is a cane type palm with several common names including butterfly palm. This species displays similar fronds as the kentia and grows up to 8ft tall, which makes it a great focal point of large rooms or within office reception areas. Growing is easy and very similar to many of the other palms. This species is the most popular grown indoors from it's genus (dypsis) and sold at many garden stores.

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Sago Palm - Cycas Revoluta

The sago palm is named palm, although it's not a true palm (just has similar looks). It will not grow well like some many other palms in low light conditions and prefers above average humidity levels. Growing up to about 2ft tall indoors this species is a slow grower - so plenty of patience is needed for a young plant. If you have pets think twice about growing a sago palm because it's highly toxic and can cause death if ingested.

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Canary Island Date Palm - Phoenix Canariensis

Canary Island Date Palm Picture

The Canary date palm shares many similarities with the Pygmy date (Phoenix roebelenii) within the same genus. The leaflets on this species are straight, fairly stiff and narrow in width. Indoors your able to grow these up to approximately 6 ft tall, while outdoors anything up to 20 meters. Best suited to be planted in containers within a conservatory or a warm green house and also enjoy being placed outside in warm conditions.

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Useful Points To Consider

  • Having the correct living space and place: Because many palms are grown to a great height in tropical climates, a grower needs to know the plants matured height before buying. Grown indoors and potted correctly they will grow to approximately 3ft-8ft in height, making it a good idea to plan where the plant will reside, based on the space needed.

  • Cost: Many can be quite expensive compared to other house plants.

  • Repotting: Most palms do not like to be disturbed too often, so its best to repot only when absolutely necessary.

  • Light: Palm's prefer partial shade (or partial with some sunlight), especially the kentia and parlor, as they are more than happy in low-light conditions.

Potential Problems

  • Brown leaves, spots or tips: Dry air, under-watering and cold air can cause brown tips, and spots can be caused by over-watering, getting cold suddenly or watering with hard water. The lower leaves will turn brown after a period of time naturally that can be removed (by cutting) which allows new growth.

    If the brown leaves also seem to be rotting (fold one in the hand to see if it has a damp feeling) - then you could be over-watering.

  • Yellowing leaves: The most likely cause is under-watering.

  • For any of these issues above you will just need to adjust the conditions and care given, and remove damaged leaves by cutting.....then they should be fine, fairly quick.
  • Root rot: Main cause is over-watering and the container, soil or both may not be draining well. This is serious and needs attention or it could be too late (will need treatment).

  • Insects: Red spider mite, mealy bug and scale can be a problem.

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