Growing indoor palm trees is a delightful way to bring a touch of the tropics into your home.
- Select a palm variety that suits indoor conditions.
- Make sure the pot has drainage holes and is large enough.
- Use sandy soil and avoid repositioning the palm’s roots.
- Place the palm in an area with indirect sunlight to prevent leaf scorch.
- Maintain moist soil, especially during warm months, without overwatering.
To successfully grow indoor palm trees, I first choose a species that is well-suited for indoor growth. I opt for a large pot with drainage holes to accommodate my palm’s root system and ensure proper water drainage. I fill the pot with sandy soil to mimic the palm’s natural habitat, and I carefully place my palm without disturbing its roots.
I find a spot in my home that receives bright, indirect sunlight, and I make sure to keep the soil consistently moist during the warmer months. With these easy steps, I can enjoy the lush beauty of palm trees right in my living room!
Who doesn’t like palm trees? Although you can find them on sparkling beaches and other sunny destinations worldwide, it is possible to have indoor palm trees, too. Their feathery fronds, colors, and elegant and sophisticated structure create a distinctive, refreshing look in any area. So, if you want to add flair to your living room, you can use palm trees and take advantage of their unique charm at home.
However, as with any planting, the first key to success is selecting the perfect plant that suits your goals, resources, and the planting environment. Not all palm trees can grow indoors or in a container.
We will discuss the fourteen best indoor palm plants and find one suitable for your needs. Before that, let us first take a look at some information about palm trees, how to pot them, and how to care for them when grown indoors.
- Why I Plant Indoor Palm Trees
- How I Pot an Indoor Palm Tree
- How Fast Do My Indoor Palm Trees Grow?
- How I Care for My Indoor Palm Trees
- Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) – Indoor Trees that Clean the Air
- Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) – Indoor Palm Plants for Containers
- My Petsafe Indoor Palm Plants – Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- My Award-Winning Indoor Palm Trees – Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
- Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) – Indoor Cycad Plant
- European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)
- Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis) – My Subtropical Indoor Palm Plants
- Dwarf Indoor Palm Trees – Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
- Fishtail Palm (Caryota)
- My Fast-Growing Palm Trees – Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)
- Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
- My Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) – Flowering Indoor Palm Trees
- Sentry (Howea belmoreana)
Why I Plant Indoor Palm Trees
No other plant is more tropical than a palm tree. They make excellent houseplants because they are easy to grow and are very tolerant of neglect. When given the proper indoor palm tree care, they add life to any interior.
They can live a long time and offer many excellent health benefits. Some palm trees purify the air, while others help prevent illnesses by cleaning the air of indoor pollutants such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other toxic vapors (..).
How I Pot an Indoor Palm Tree
A critical aspect of growing palm trees is to know how to pot an indoor palm tree. Most palm species need repotting about once every two or three years. They grow well as indoor plants in a container because it is the only way to limit the size of their roots and keep them manageable.
To pot palm plants, choose a large pot that can fit their entire root system. It should have container holes for water drainage.
Indoor trees in a larger planting container need watering less often. Do not attempt to reposition or spread out the palm’s roots and use sandy soil.
How Fast Do My Indoor Palm Trees Grow?
Like other indoor plants, the answer to the question of how do indoor palm trees grow is that it depends on what kind of palm tree you have. With hundreds of species and a wide variety of palm trees, it is not surprising that their growth and maturity rates are as diverse as their, color, size, and uses.
Palm trees may have a reputation for growing very fast, but that is not universal. There are many slow-growing palm trees, too, and these are the ones that are common for indoor use.
How I Care for My Indoor Palm Trees
Even though there are different varieties of indoor palm trees, most species require the same primary conditions to survive. Ideally, palm trees prefer their soil moist, especially during warm summer months.
Indoor palm plants usually do better in the shade, so avoid direct sunlight to prevent damage to the leaves. Also, they do not need regular fertilization but can benefit from being fed with organic material.
For pests and gnats prone types of indoor palm plants, keeping humidity at high levels helps fend off mites and other insects. If your palm plant has pests, begin treatment immediately.
My Amazing Indoor Palm Trees
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) – Indoor Trees that Clean the Air
Parlor Palm, also known as Neanthe Bella, is one of the most popular house palm trees. It is sought after because parlor palm trees can thrive indoors where other palm species may struggle. Also, it is one of the cheapest palm trees on the market.
Furthermore, parlor palms made it to NASA’s list of indoor plants that clean air. According to their study (..), the palm trees included in the list absorb carbon dioxide and promote oxygen release. It may be a slow grower, but its height can peak up to two feet after a couple of years.
It may also produce a cluster of flowers, which is pretty rare for most indoor palm trees. Some sun may be helpful, and low light is tolerated. However, harsh sunshine will also scorch the leaves, so never place it in direct sunlight.
Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
The Lady Palm, sometimes referred to as Bamboo palm, is grown in the garden and indoors in offices or living rooms around the world. The reason for its popularity is mainly because of its adaptability to a wide range of climates, environments, and soils.
Rhapis excelsa is a widely cultivated species, surviving in both tropical and subtropical landscapes. They are slow growers and are the easiest palm tree types to grow. Indoors, they grow best with bright indirect light near windows or skylights.
They adapt well to low light areas and need adequate watering because they love moist soil. If the ground becomes dry, foliage may turn gray and tips may look burned.
Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) – Indoor Palm Plants for Containers
The Bamboo palm, with common names reed palm or indoor bamboo, is a relative of the Lady Palm, Kentia, and Majesty palm species. They are slow growers, and you can plant them from seeds.
The deep green to blue-green foliage of bamboo palms are what makes them beautiful houseplants. The leaves add fantastic depth to any shade garden.
They do well in north-facing light and are suitable for containers. As the name implies, they form slender and long trunks that resemble bamboo trees.
Bamboo palms are easy to grow indoor trees, and you do not need training or special skills to be able to grow them properly. Make sure that when you plant them, choose well-drained soil.
Watering one to three times each week will do the trick. While they like fertilizer, do not go overboard with excess fertilizing.
My Petsafe Indoor Palm Plants – Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Ponytail Palm, or Elephant’s Foot, are distinctive looking indoor plants with a thick, water-storing stem base. They have dark green, narrow, curly leaves that flow up from the trunk like plumes of water in a fountain.
Although they can thrive with little water, they do best when well-watered and fertilized at least once every few weeks during spring and summer. They can grow between 45° to 71°F. If growing well, they can be re-potted once a year.
To limit the size of the plant, only change pots every two or three years. They are also non-toxic to pets so you can plant them even if you have cats or dogs at home.
My Award-Winning Indoor Palm Trees – Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
The Areca Palm, otherwise known as Butterfly Palm, is an easy growing indoor palm which has been awarded Garden Merit by Royal Horticultural Society. It differs from other palm plants because it has many narrow, full leaves arranged close to each other. Other palm trees mostly have broader and sparse leaves.
Butterfly Palm can thrive in an area that does not receive any sunlight at all. Even if this tree needs moisture, too much water can kill this palm quite rapidly. It’s best, therefore, to make sure that the soil has dried out before watering.
Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) – Indoor Cycad Plant
Sago Palms or King Sago Palms are lovely, easy care indoor plants. Despite the name Sago Palm, these plants do not belong to the palm species. Instead, King Sago Palms are cycads, which are seed plants with a stout and woody trunk and evergreen leaves.
King Sago has become popular in recent years because it has a prolonged growth rate, making it the perfect indoor plant. Unlike other houseplants, these species do not need frequent re-potting, and they do not have pollen, so they are allergy-safe for many homeowners.
The primary care for Sago Palm is to avoid overexposure to sunlight because too much light may damage the glossy deep green leaves. Also, do not give them too much water to prevent root rot from overwatering. Before considering planting one inside your house, make sure you do not have household pets as they can be harmful to dogs and cats.
European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)
The European Fan Palm, with common names Palmito, Mediterranean Fan Palm tree, or Dwarf Fan Palm, is a typical low growing indoor fan palm. It is easy to care for in moderate temperatures. You can find trees suited to cold climates, such as the European Fan Palm, a cold hardy plant that has made its way to offices as border plantings and corner ornaments.
This variety enjoys full sunlight and can grow up to fifteen feet. If you have ample indoor space and want a towering palm in a corner, use European Fan Palm.
It will grow slowly and well if given proper attention. Ensure adequate spacing between plantings if you prefer to grow them in pairs.
Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis) – My Subtropical Indoor Palm Plants
Chinese fan palm, also known as Fountain Palm, are types of indoor palm trees that are subtropical. Climates in subtropical areas usually have warm to hot summer months and a mild to cool winter season. These areas include Florida, Jacksonville, and California.
Although these palm houseplants have long been used as a container palm species, the neat leaves, which form a big fan, make them ideal landscape ornaments.
To plant young fountain palms, select partially shaded spots with reasonably fertile and well-drained soil. You can fertilize them two times a year and watering is necessary during dry spells. They are self-cleaning of old leaves, which means that they require little to no pruning at all.
Dwarf Indoor Palm Trees – Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
The Pygmy Date Palms are genuinely one of the most beautiful types of indoor palm trees available. They remain small, growing in lower light than other indoor palm plants. They look like a miniature version of standard-sized palm trees, with rough brown trunks and green arching long leaves, each with a central stem and a lot of narrow side leaflets.
Pygmy Date Palms fit in any room, from small apartments to large houses and everything in-between. They are generally free from pests and naturally easy to grow.
To grow Pygmy Date Palms, place them in a spot with moderate lighting, water when they are dry, add fertilizer as needed, and they will be happy. If you want a mini palm tree, this species is perfect!
Fishtail Palm (Caryota)
Fishtail palms are clump-growing palms with green leaf blades divided into segments. Each segment resembles a tail of a fancy goldfish, hence the term fishtail palm. These species rarely exceed twenty-five feet in height, and some produce suckers or new shoots at the base which make them more attractive.
They grow well in properly-lit areas, providing a nice ambiance. Like other large varieties of tropical plants, you can use them as houseplants in rooms with high ceilings. Grow them in containers, by the pool, near a patio or a deck, and in indoor planters.
Fishtails are moderately drought-resistant and only need little pruning to allow the structure to develop appropriately. Red spider mites may be a problem, so make sure to watch out for any signs of infestation.
My Fast-Growing Palm Trees – Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)
Majesty Palms, frequently called Majestic Palms, were first introduced in Florida after they were imported in 1990 from Madagascar. In the wild, Majestic Palms grow near the swampy subtropics. These indoor plants prefer very humid and warm conditions.
Majesty Palms are fast growing palm trees so you may need to re-pot them every year. When changing pots, be careful not to break and damage the root-ball. Also, pick a large container that is sturdy and heavy so the tree won’t topple over inside your house.
Watch for spider mites, gnats, and mealybug infestations because these indoor palm plants are prone to tiny arachnids and bugs. Get rid of gnats in soil as soon as you see them to avoid further damage. These small pests are more often an issue with indoor Majesty Palm trees than when they are outdoors.
Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
The Kentia Palm is an easy to grow palm tree that is native to Australia and is common on Long Howe Island. It grows to fifteen to twenty feet outdoors, but since it is a slow growing plant, it can be restricted as a small tree if placed in an indoor planter.
This palm specimen is also famous to many indoor plant growers because it has a typical tropical structure of arching palm fronds. It can survive even if the soil dries out between watering.
To plant Kentia, pick a location with light and good airflow inside the house. Although slightly drought tolerant, we recommend watering to keep the soil moist. Kentia is one of the low-light plants that can survive with little light, but to maximize its potential, find a moderately lit location indoors.
My Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) – Flowering Indoor Palm Trees
The Date Palm belongs to the flowering indoor plant species in the palm family. It has dark green leaves that look like a feather that is three to five meters long. Like all other Phoenix varieties, date palms have long, sharp spines at the base of the leaves.
Date Palms produce yellow or orange fruits that turn brown when they are dry. These fruits are delicious and famous worldwide.
Indoor palm tree care involves using plenty of water even if it is drought tolerant, especially when it is the flowering or fruiting season. Pick an area with full sun where the soils drain well. They can grow in loamy or sandy areas, or even in soil that has clay.
Sentry (Howea belmoreana)
Like Kentia palm, Sentry belongs to Howea (sometimes spelled Howeia) or the Thatch Palm species. Although it may not be as sturdy as Kentia plants, Sentry Palms can do well indoors, especially if given proper care and attention.
Since both Kentia and Sentry belong to the same species, they look almost identical. The only difference in their appearance is that the Sentry Palm’s leaflets seem to grow more upright with little leaves that have a curl to them. Kentia, on the other hand, has leaves that are more curved or bent over.
Like Kentia, care for Sentry is the same. Both require regular watering to survive; otherwise, they’ll weaken. Sentry can reach a maximum height of ten feet, but you can restrict its growth by planting it in pots and containers.
Anyone with basic gardening skills and patience can successfully grow indoor palm plants. Having these indoor air freshener trees is worth it because they provide beauty, and some of them can even contribute to keeping the air clean and fresh. What are you waiting for? Have a look at your interior and pick a spot to place an indoor palm tree!
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