The palm or Palmae is a family of flowering plants, which generally grow in temperate, tropical, as well as subtropical climates. There are about 2600 species of palm trees, of which some species are widely grown as houseplants. Kentia palm, majesty palm, phoenix palm, and areca palm are some of the species that are commonly grown as indoor plants, for their unique and beautiful foliage.
Palm Plant Care and Maintenance
Palm trees need a lot of sunlight to grow properly. So, you can place the big palm trees in areas well-exposed to bright and direct sunlight. However, small palm plants cannot tolerate direct sunlight for a long time. So, you can move them to a well-lit area for a few hours during the day. Next to sunlight, the second most important factor for proper growth is watering. Palms need a lot of water; so, keep the soil moist, but avoid over-watering.
If possible, use rainwater or stale water, as the large amount of salts found in tap water can cause the appearance of yellow spots on the leaves. Otherwise, you can boil tap water, and allow it to cool for a while, before using it for watering the palm trees. The soil should be rich in nutrients and it should be able to retain water, in order to grow these houseplants successfully. However, the soil should also be able to drain water efficiently for growing strong and healthy palms.
Kentia is the common name of Howea forsteriana. It is one of the widely grown indoor palms, which can reach a height of about 60 feet, if it is grown on the ground. But when grown as an indoor plant, it usually attains a height of 5 to 12 feet. The kentia palm can be grown in a container or pot, as it does not have a tap root system.
It can also be grown in a shaded area, provided you expose it to indirect sunlight for a while, especially in the morning. Watering is very important, but over-watering can cause yellowing of the tips of the foliage. On the other hand, under-watering can cause browning of the tips. So, you have to be very careful while watering your kentia palm.
Ravenea rivularis is the scientific name of this plant. It can be placed in a partially-shaded area of your house. While watering, make sure that the roots do not sit in water. A proper drainage arrangement is therefore, essential for growing this houseplant. The tip of the leaves can turn brown if the plant is not getting enough water. On the other hand, over-watering can cause yellowing of the tips.
So, you have to increase the frequency of watering, if you observe that the tips of the foliage are turning brown, but reduce the frequency if the foliage tips are turning yellow. As this plant prefers a slightly humid environment, daily misting can further enhance its look. Spider mites are common pests that can affect this palm tree. To control an infestation of spider mites, you can mist the plant with soapy water. But commercial pest control products may be required if the infestation is severe.
This palm tree is also known as pygmy date palm. This plant requires a lot of moisture to grow properly. Over-watering can cause the tips of the leaves to turn black or yellow. On the other hand, the plant can begin to droop if you do not provide enough water. The phoenix palm prefers bright, but indirect sunlight. If placed in an area overexposed to direct sunlight, you may observe yellow or black spots on the foliage. Like the majesty palm plant, it also prefers a high level of humidity, and so, misting can be done frequently.
The areca palm is a slow grower, and the plant looks quite beautiful, if it is grown as an indoor plant. It is a hardy plant that prefers bright, but indirect sunlight. Exposure to direct sunlight for a considerable period of time can literally burn its foliage. The plant needs a lot of water. So, you can water this palm frequently, but make sure that the roots do not sit in water.
Considerable drooping may be observed when the plant is not getting enough water. The dead and damaged brown fronds of the plant should be immediately removed. Occasional misting can enhance the beauty of this great houseplant. Misting with soapy water can help get rid of spider mites. However, for a severe infestation, you would require a commercial pest remover.
Palm plants can look really beautiful if properly taken care of. Almost all the species of palms that are grown as indoor plants, require moderate level of indirect sunlight. So, place them a few feet away from the windows. Misting a couple of times in a week can enhance the beauty and grandeur of the palm trees. However, do not forget to follow a regular trimming regime to maintain their look.